» Comics / Reviews / Vibe #1: Yes, Vibe Has His Own Series

Vibe #1: Yes, Vibe Has His Own Series

Francisco Ramon used to breakdance in the '80s,but now, he's a key member of the JLA.

Vibe #1

Vibe used to be a joke. He was a painful attempt to cash in on the early 1980s breakdancing craze, as well as a bad attempt to write a Latino character, so his Electric Boogaloo wasn't enough to really keep him vital. Geoff Johns is seeking to change all that in the New 52 era by changing his name from Paco to Francisco and giving him not only a prime slot in the new Justice League of America, but also his own series.

Vibe #1 takes place before JLA #1, giving us a very straightforward origin story for Cisco Ramon. His oldest brother and role model, Armando Ramon, was a football star headed to college when he was tragically killed in the first incursion of Parademons in the Darkseid assault that began five years ago and gave rise to the Justice League. That same incursion managed to zap Cisco with Boom Tube energies and give him weird vibrational powers. These abilities keep him subtly out of sync with his home dimension, making it impossible to get a non blurry picture of him and making it so that he can detect and possibly cut off power sources from people drawing strength from other dimensions. Thus, it makes him a high-value recruit for A.R.G.U.S., his trainer Agent Gunn and Gunn's boss Amanda Waller.

Nobody breakdances in this issue, although Cisco's troubled older brother Dante, who carries some guilt for freezing up instead of potentially saving Armando's life, has carried around a soccer ball wherever he goes all his life. Instead, A.R.G.U.S. mollifies Cisco's reticence by telling him he has a chance to kill the Parademon what killed Armando, and he does, heroically enough to impress despite his lack of experience. Having settled that score (at least in his mind), he's on board with the next phase of the plan, which will be the whole JLA thing.

Johns co-wrote this story with Andrew Kreisberg, and it's decent enough. Nothing patently offensive, although the names Armando and Francisco still seem a little like… I don't know… swashbuckling Antonio Banderas character names to me. That's just me, though. Otherwise, it's a bit by-the-numbers, but it's fine that way. The art from Pete Woods is solid as well. There's nothing particularly exciting about this book, besides maybe the fact that Waller has a zoo full of botched human experiments and/or people who refused to play ball (including a prior 'Vibe,' a Thunderer of Qward, Pariah, a familiar face in Gypsy and apparently Darkseid's daughter), but hey, it's Vibe. The fact that he has a book at all is remarkable.

7.5