Cyborg is finally making his grand debut on DC Universe, but not where fans initially expected to see him. Instead of joining the team on Titans, he's actually showing up in this week's episode of Doom Patrol.
Despite Vic Stone having a huge connection to the Teen Titans in the comics, the Powers That Be decided to have him join the dysfunctional team on Doom Patrol. According to series star Joivan Wade, that's because fans are going to meet a younger version of the iconic superhero than ever before. He has to become the Cyborg fans know from the comics before he can join his future teammates on Titans.
And Wade loves that Cyborg is debuting on Doom Patrol first to show that journey.
"With the DCU, there are always going to be opportunities to cross over, and I'm sure they will," he tells us. "But especially when it comes to Cyborg's origin story and understanding who he is as a character, he fits within the world of the Doom Patrol."
Where Vic Stone is now in his life as a young man learning how to be a hero is very much where everyone else is on Doom Patrol.
"Every single person in the Doom Patrol has gone through traumatic, unfortunate events which have given them some kind of dysfunction or disability," Wade says. "Vic has turned his into something good, whereas the rest of the guys are essentially learning how to turn theirs into something good. But when it comes to him learning and growing and becoming who he's meant to be, who better to learn from than a bunch of characters who have also gone through similar things? It's been a greater playground for him to be discovering and learning about himself to then be ready to join the Titans when the DCU decides to do that."
Wade is "absolutely ready" if/when Cyborg is brought over from Doom Patrol to Titans.
"I'm a huge Teen Titans fan," he says with a big smile. "I grew up on that show. That's actually where I drew most of my inspiration from for the character. I watched Titans and I wanted Cyborg to be portrayed the way I loved him on Teen Titans. I can't wait for Cyborg to be a part of Titans if that's the plan. I'm so excited to see where he goes. But he's got some work to do with Doom Patrol first."
Check out what else Wade has to say about Vic Stone's journey to becoming a full-on Cyborg, where he fits within the Doom Patrol team and more in our Q&A below.
What was it about this role that made you realize you had to be a part of Doom Patrol?
It's being part of history, to be honest. There are not many African-American superheroes, especially iconic like Cyborg. Vic Stone is probably the most iconic African-American superhero across the board. To be able to play that part of history is a huge opportunity and honor for me. One of the biggest questions I asked when I sat down with [producers] Greg [Berlanti] and Jeremy [Carver] was, okay, this is a superhero show. I've seen this stuff on The CW. What is this and why is this so different?
This is the opportunity to really break down the origin of Cyborg and see where Vic Stone came from. You've seen these other versions, like Ray Fisher in Justice League, where he's already a superhero, but you didn't get to see into Cyborg's backstory of how he got there. I get to grow the character with this show because you finally get to see his origins. I'm so honored I get to do that.
This is truly the golden age of superhero shows on TV, but because there are so many to choose from, why should people watch Doom Patrol? What makes it stand out from the rest?
You've never seen this show before. This is a reluctant superhero show. It's not about the superheroes. Vic Stone is the only superhero of the bunch. It's more of an antihero show. They're not just antiheroes, they're anti-heroes. They don't want to be heroes. They don't want to be who the world needs. The heart of the show [are] the issues the characters are going through. It's really humane. It's very mature. It's got seasoned actors and the writing is phenomenal.
You are always wearing Cyborg's costume, unlike your costars Brendan Fraser and Matt Bomer, who are just doing the voice work for their characters. So, what's the everyday process like getting into that costume?
It's all practical. That's why it's so exciting—it looks awesome and it's all real. I get to wear that every day. I've got my supersuit that I have a team who helps me put it on. My faceplate is the cybernetic head gear and it's placed on via a rubber magnetic piece of material which is stuck to my face. Those magnets then hold the mask on. It just snaps on to my head. It takes about 45 minutes to get into all that on top of general haircuts and makeup.
Also, there are different versions you'll see, like oftentimes Vic is in his tracksuit. But what's really exciting is when you finally see him unveiled in his full-on cyber suit. The gadget that I'm most looking forward to people seeing is the canon—people are going to lose their minds. And it's all practical! It's insane what they've accomplished.
Is there any part of wearing that costume that was challenging for you to get used to?
The biggest challenge is that I can't see out of my left eye. I lose all peripheral and depth of field. That is really difficult, and I do most of my own stunts, so when it comes to the combat, it took me a really long while to start to get used to that and work through it. And naturally, you take the good with the bad. Having something glued to my face every single morning with actual glue, you'd rather not, but at the same time, it's what makes the costume look so cool. I'll do what it takes to make sure it looks as awesome for the fans as possible.
Wait, you can't see through the eye at all?!
It's just a light. Our costume designer, LJ [Laura Jean Shannon], actually designed the first Iron Man costume, and the first time I came in, she gave me an eye patch. She told me I had to start wearing it to get used to it because once I got on set, I'll never be able to see out of that eye.
I'm used to it now and it's a part of me. I'm one with the suit. But at the start, it was difficult to wrap my head around. My eyes have adapted to that and not being able to see out of my left eye actually made my right eye stronger. It's amazing what the human body does. I've experienced that just through not being able to see out of one eye—some of my other senses have adapted.
How do you find the humanity in playing a person who's more robot than man?
That is the coup. That's what is exciting in his character arc throughout the series. It's an opportunity to finally understand who Vic Stone is. How much is he cybernetic and how much is he human? Does he like this? We get to see his journey of accepting who he is and who he has become. I'm also trying to keep him as human as possible, but it's a tug-of-war. He's coming to terms with just how much he is cybernetically enhanced and what's real.
Brendan Fraser has already thrown down the gauntlet in the impending Robotman vs. Cyborg fight by saying that Cyborg can be hacked, whereas Robotman is all analog. Is that something that we'll see Cyborg struggle with over the course of the series?
We actually make jokes about this and reference it on the show! Vic is like Apple, made to such finite design, but Robotman is a rusty piece of metal assembled together in a junkyard somewhere. There are pros and cons to that. Cyborg can be controlled through a system which gives him access to every computer in the universe because that is software. Software can be hacked and altered. That's really at the heart of the complicated dynamic you'll see between Robotman and Cyborg. You'll see two robots going head-to-head and what comes of that.
Catch new episodes of Doom Patrol every Friday on DC Universe. Click here to subscribe now.