Cybersix is a voluminous Argentine B&W comic book saga. It is written by Carlos Trillo, illustrated by Carlos Meglia, and started in Carlos 1992.
It was originally published as a fumetti (Italian comics), but soon saw a translation in its native Spanish, then in French. IIRC there was also an animated adaptation, since the comic sold pretty well in big chunks of Europe and Hispanophone Latin America.
It sports a quasi-Expressionist art and themes, oddly reminiscent of the 1930s. Albeit more manga-influenced than, mmm, most of the 1930s. 😀
This profile was done using the first 200-ish pages, due to time constraints. It’s mostly based on Volume 1 of the French translation (by Danielle Coste) and the 1997 Spanish edition (chiefly the back matter). So this profile explains the initial state of the story, without spoiling the subsequent plot (the full saga is 2600-ish pages).
- Real Name: None as such.
- Other Aliases: “Creature number six in the Cyber series”, “Cyb”, Adrián Seidelman, and presumably “Cyberseis”.
- Marital Status: Single.
- Known Relatives: Data-7 a.k.a. Cybertwentynine (brother). The rest of the Cyber series, which are believed to all be deceased. Her adoptive father (name unrevealed, deceased).
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base of Operations: Meridiana (Argentina)
- Height: 5’7″ Weight: 120 lbs
- Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Dark (probably black).
Powers & Abilities
Cybersix is a genetically enhanced superhuman. Her physical enhancement include :
- Enough strength to easily carry a large man with but one hand. She was also seen effortlessly supporting her own weight with but one fingertip (a sort of one-finger kong or kash vault, in parkour terms).
- Quasi-superhuman agility and balance, allowing her to perform super-hero rooftop acrobatics with ease. Her strength also allows for superhuman jumps. She seems to have no fear of heights whatsoever.
- Idealised feminine physique.
- Very accurate eyesight, unhindered by low light conditions.
- Negligible need for sleep.
- Enhanced resilience to blunt impacts, presumably due to her muscles’ nature.
- The ability to detect genetically enhanced persons with but a glance at their eyes. All genegineered beings can do that, so they can also see her for what she is. Howbeit, Cybersix wears a wide-brimmed hat that can hide her eyes.
Furthermore, the Cyber series could telepathically communicate among themselves. This likely means some sort of cybernetic radio.
Though she needs little conventional sustenance, her body runs on a specific substance (which is simply called la sustancia). It serves as blood for genegineered beings, and they can’t keep functioning for long without fresh substance. Cybersix can eat and digest human food, but she derives but a tiny amount of sustenance from it.
After a day without fresh substance, she starts weakening and quickly lose her strength and speed. Later models have greater endurance than Cybersix does, as they have a larger inner reservoir of the substance.
Apparently, Cybersix needed much less substance to function as a child. This might simply be proportional to the square of her body weight, or some such formula.
Cybersix apparently uses a small blade (a switchblade ?) to precisely pierce a genegineered person’s built-in reservoir and slurp their ichor. She can also suck sustancia from open wounds.
The advantage of going for the reservoir is that it induces bodywide shock and retrograde amnesia. So the victim cannot resist Cybersix drinking, and won’t remember how they were attacked or what happened. Being “vamped” by Cybersix isn’t fatal, unless her victim is abnormally low on substance.
Cybersix is intelligent, observant and well-read. She’s an accredited teacher in Anglophone, Lusophone and presumably Hispanophone literature.
She also has a good understanding of general genetics and biological engineering.
Picking a smooth, retro-futuristic Argentine tune is easy :
Gotan Project is a French/Argentine/Swiss band recreating tango classics with a drum-n-bass style. This concert was at the Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires. It’s actually two songs – Vuelvo al sur is the softer ballad (and a classic, hence the public’s “olé”) and El capitalismo foráneo follows seamlessly, with the tighter beat.
On Cybersix’ Earth, numerous experiment in human genetic engineering were done during the second World War – primarily by the Nazis. Apparently, the lead researcher went by Herr Doktor Von Reichter.
After the Reich’s defeat, Von Reichter managed to flee to Brazil. Hidden deep in the jungle, he built a full lab and continued his research into vat-grown, enhanced humans. He also transferred his consciousness into a younger copy of his body.
Criatura nùmero 6 de la serie Cyber
In 1968, Von Reichter cranked out a new series of vat-grown people, the Cyber series. The series ran until 1970, producing 5,000 subjects.
As a tiny girl, Cyber 6 would often play with Cyber 29. The pair got into trouble for recklessly disobeying their handlers. The moody, unstable Von Reichter had Cyber 29 murdered. He then whimsically transplanted the intact brain into a panther that was kept nearby.
By 1970, Von Reichter had to admit that the entire series was flawed. They were supposed to be dutiful and obedient, but an ARN glitch meant that they had Human-level independance.
Von Reichter had the entire series massacred. However, a Black janitor couldn’t bear it, and managed to save Cyber 6. He also stole many litres of substance. He then quit his job and returned to his small, impoverished fishing village. The anonymous fisherman raised Cybersix (whom he presumably called Cyberseis) as his daughter.
When Cybersix was aged 7 or so, Von Reichter’s goons found the fisherman. But they missed Cybersix, who was playing on the beach. Even under torture, her papá convincingly lied. He told them that the girl was uncontrollable (as the Cyber series supposedly was) and had long since fled.
They executed him, but he had saved his adoptive daughter.
Don’t cry for me
Carrying a big case full of substance jars, Cybersix fled hobo-style on a train. It took her two months to reach the border (implicitly, of Argentina). Shortly after sneaking South, she stumbled upon a bad car crash. Everybody was already dead, and she only had time to get one corpse out before the car exploded.
As it happened, the body was that of a boy her age. They had roughly similar features. Cybersix buried the corpse far from the crash site, took his passports and glasses, and stole the late Adrián Seidelman’s identity.
“Adrián” came to live in Meridiana. This impoverished, squalid, old city was large enough to live anonymously. He worked as a messenger to pay the rent, studied literature, and became a high school teacher. Cybersix aimed to remain as anonymous and forgettable as possible.
She wanted to finish growing up so she could avenge her papá. But by this point, she had very little substance left, and thus seemed doomed.
However, she discovered that Human society had been infiltrated by Technos. These were the series that succeeded the Cyber series. Thousands of Technos were discreetly working as part of Von Reichter’s master plan to take over.
Spotting one such infiltrator working as a prostitute, she knocked her out and drank her substance. Since the Cyber’s substance reservoir was smaller than the Techno’s, the prostitute wasn’t really harmed. But she was left severely dazed by the sudden loss of substance.
The city’s architecture (and cafés !) is quite European. Think Second Empire Paris with a good dash of Italy. This is much like the original buildings in the Central District of Buenos Aires. Yet some details and public buildings are more reminiscent of classic American architecture, as can be found in the old central neighborhoods of Boston or New York City.
The streets are often cobbled, the cars are from the early 1970s (say, a VW Beetle), and the small TV in Cybersix’ studio evokes the early 1980s. The clothing frequently evokes the 1970s with generous splashes of the 1940s. For instance it’s not rare for people to have a hat on when outdoors.
Which is likely related to the fact that it’s usually raining. The climate is also hot enough for most apartments to have a ceiling fan, though the winter will have people wear trench coats and sweaters.
Though some of the public architecture is imposing, the place seems impoverished. It’s not *poor* per se – but everybody seems to be working class and struggling to make ends meet. It feels like the place used to be rich, but is now somewhat run-down, old and uncomfortable. For instance it seems that the toilets for Cybersix’s studio are on the outside, on the stair landing for her floor.
I’d imagine that Meridiana is a noir-ified, perhaps Gotham-ified (or Dark City-ified) version of the old neighborhoods of Buenos Aires . The series’ artist apparently mostly lived in BA. But I’ve unfortunately never set foot there, so I can’t really say.
Dark avenger of the night
Cybersix stole clothes from the Techno sex worker, particularly a cloak and a hat. She used these as a costume for her new, nocturnal identity. As a mysterious rooftop runner, she preyed on Techno infiltrators and drank their substance.
She also located their secret support center on the docks, which she assumed held vast stores of sustancia.
The high school Adrián worked at was a tough one, mostly attended by angry punks. This eventually led to the teacher being assaulted, but a large and strong colleague was nearby and dispersed the kids. Lucas Amato was a former science journalist specialised in biology and genetics. He had become a science teacher since science journalism paid but a pittance.
Tudo vale a pena quando a alma não é pequena.
As he helped Adrián pick up his books, Lucas noticed that he was reading books about genetics, as well as the works of the great Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa . Pessoa was Amato’s favourite author.
The two colleagues became café buddies. Lucas would talk about the latest in genetics research, and Adrián would explain the nuances of Pessoa’s poetry from the original Portuguese. Lucas was apparently Cybersix’ first friend ever since her papá’s murder.
Coincidentally, Lucas was also keenly aware of Cybersix’s nocturnal activities. His cheap flat was high up a building near the docks, and he had noticed her rooftop patrols as she looked for the Technos’ resupplying base.
Lucas had used low-light photography to study the mysterious acrobat. With his scientific background, he deduced that she was either a genetic construct or a gynoid . He also had grown smitten with her graceful figure.
Since he was the only person she knew, Cybersix (in her nocturnal identity) told her life story to Lucas. After so many years she needed to talk to someone. However, when Amato asked to touch her cheek to understand how her physiology worked, Cybersix felt an uncomfortable sexual longing. She abruptly left.
Tying up loose ends
Unbeknownst to Cybersix, the obsessive Von Reichter couldn’t get over the fact that one Cyber series specimen was still alive. All his Techno infiltrators knew that there was, somewhere, a rogue Cyber to terminate.
This also became true when, during the 1980s, Von Reichter grew a new series. It was the Type series, which had far fewer specimens than the Cyber or Techno production runs. By coincidence, a young Type infiltrator was transferred to Adrián Seidelman class. They instantly recognised each other. Soon the boy attempted to terminate Cybersix.
As a Type series, he was more powerful than a Cyber. Furthermore, she was low on substance. However, Lucas came in and hit the boy from behind. Though the Cyber didn’t kill her opponent (at Lucas’ urging), the Type was accidentally slain as he attacked anew.
But by that point, Von Reichter had deduced that the Cyber survivor was hiding in Meridiana.
This lonely creature, hidden among the night’s darker folds…
Von Reichter sent two assassins to Meridiana. The first was a synthezoid from his Mindset series – a dedicated agent and fighter. The other was a Techno infiltrator disguised as Cybersix’s papá. The latter would wait in the shadows, pretend to help against the Mindset hunter, then strike the killing blow.
It was a good, cruel plan – and it probably would have worked. However :
- Cybersix was now becoming more assertive and focused. Her war against Von Reichter was beginning at last.
- Lucas Amato had fallen in love with Cybersix, and was willing to take grave risks to help.
- In Brazil, the Data-7 experimental panther saw a photo of Cybersix as the killers were being briefed. Albeit trained for years as a killing machine, the panther now dimly remembered being Cybertwentynine and that Cybersix was his friend. He escaped.
- A virus was spreading, turning some of the normally obedient Techno series into psychotic murderers.
- Von Reichter had just transferred himself to his third, very young body. His second one was getting too old for his liking.
Things were about to become way more complicated.
As Adrián, Cybersix is a slight and effeminate young intellectual. He favours 1930s-style broad trousers, suspenders, a business shirt, a loose tie (or semi-shapeless academic’s sweater), a dark trench coat and large round glasses.
As a nocturnal “vampire” she wears a tight leather catsuit, high-heeled tight leather boots, fingerless leather gloves, a dramatic Shadow-style opera cloak, and a classy bolero hat with a wide floppy brim. Well, it either classifies as a bolero hat or a sombrero cordobés. I’m not sure.
The night-time outfit was stolen from a prostitute. In appropriate circumstances (say, pacing by herself in certain streets) men will often assume that she’s a sex worker. Perhaps Meridiana streetwalkers favour cloaks and wide-brimmed hats due to the frequent drizzle.
She has “CYBER 6” tattooed in large letters over her inner left forearm.
While she has full comic book curves and a wasp’s waist, her considerable breasts inexplicably disappear when she wears her men’s shirts. Even though she apparently goes commando. My No-Prize Hypothesis is that she orders her bloke shirts from the same shop that sells Clark Kent his glasses.
(And her hair gel, I reckon. Slicking her hair back immediately genders her as a man, albeit an effeminate one.)
Cybersix is a fatalistic, melancholic, unusually lonely person. Treasuring her lost Brazilian childhood with her adoptive dad, she spends a lot of her time in a state of saudade .
For years, she was careful to be a non-entity, without any friend or even casual acquaintances. But though her life as Adrián is barren, it does help Cybersix feel less empty inside.
Avenging her papá isn’t a burning obsession. It is her life goal, but she is sensible and deliberate about it. And she’d also like to have some sort of life of her own, though she has little idea of what it could be.
Cybersix doesn’t feel like she’s a real person, with a soul. She tends to consider herself as a machine, a product. When alone at home she will often stare at her body in the mirror, as she has mild phobia of it turning into a mechanical construct without her realising.
Cybersix doesn’t have much of a gender identity. Thus, she doesn’t care whether she’s presenting as a man or as a woman. She spent years as Adrián. Her nocturnal identity is feminine simply because a woman’s clothes were on hand when she adopted it.
She does have romantic and sexual longings about men. But these are slight, and there was precious little to trigger these before she became Lucas’ friend.
Cybersix avoids sleeping. If she runs out of things to do during the night, she’ll just drink coffee and smoke until morning. This is because she often has nightmares about Von Reichter, or her dad’s murder.
Lucas: “But he’s a human being ! You can’t just kill him !”
Cybersix: “‘Human’ ? Him ? Don’t make me laugh.'”
(Lecturing in class) “Thus it is fair to say that the novella, the short story, is a signature format among North-American literature of that time. This ranges from Poe to Melville , or to typical works by Bret Harte . Then, as we enter the XXth century…”
DC Universe History
Artificial humans are not uncommon in the DC Universe – the Red Tornado or the Tomorrow Woman come to mind.
But Argentina barely exists in the DCU (with Super-Málon and Sebastian Ballesteros being the main exceptions), so nobody would notice. Von Reichter would be attempting to take over the country after a nasty clash with Scandal Savage (and perhaps Fire’s father) made taking over Brazil unworkable.
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Again, this only uses information from the early stages of the story.
|Dex: 06||Str: 05||Bod: 05||Motivation: Unwanted Power/Revenge|
|Int: 06||Wil: 06||Min: 05||Occupation: Literature teacher, vampire|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 04||Spi: 05||Wealth: 003|
|Init: 017||HP: 020|
Damage Absorption (Structural only): 02, Jumping: 01, Telepathy: 04, Telescopic Sight: 01, True Sight: 03, Ultra-Vision: 06
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Telepathy only with other Cyber series.
- True Sight is Always On, but it requires eye contact (though it can be fleeting). It is limited to perceiving that someone is a fellow Von Reichter construct.
Acrobatics: 08, Thief (Stealth): 04
Expertise (World literature, Genetic engineering), Headquarters (Confined), Languages (Spanish, English, Portuguese and perhaps others), Life Support (Nearly no need for sleep), MPR (piercing her substance reservoir would presumably induce shock and retrograde amnesia), Schtick (Gratuitous Fan Service – switching from being Adrián to her nocturnal identity), Misc: certified high school teacher.
Lucas Amato (High), Data-7 (High).
Secret Identity, Power Loss (if Cybersix cannot drink substance every day, her Physical Attributes and her Acrobatics start dropping. She may also lose an AP here and there if she exerts herself too much, burning through too much substance), SIA (Cybersix is highly attached to the one photo she has of her papá and will do anything not to lose it).
She may have a switchblade to gain access to substance reservoir. But it’s not used in actual fighting, only ambushes.
|Dex: 08||Str: 05||Bod: 05||Motivation: Unwanted Power/Revenge|
|Int: 05||Wil: 02||Min: 03||Occupation: None as such|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 02||Spi: 03||Wealth: N.A.|
|Init: 019||HP: 020|
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 04, Claws: 06, Directional Hearing: 05, Extended Hearing: 02, Jumping: 02, Running: 05, Super Hearing: 02, Super Hearing: 02, Swimming: 04, Telepathy: 04, Ultra Vision: 04
Bonuses and Limitations:
Telepathy only with other Cyber series.
Acrobatics: 06, Thief (Stealth): 05
Cybertwentynine is trapped in a panther’s body, and is dependant on the substance much like Cybersix is.
Source of Character: Cybersix comics.
Writeup completed on the 25th of November, 2017.