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Oklahoma native shaking things up on DC Comics' 'Vibe'

Native Tulsan Sterling Gates is generating a new buzz with coming-of-age story.
by Matthew Price Modified: May 15, 2013 at 11:28 pm •  Published: May 17, 2013

University of Oklahoma graduate and Tulsa native Sterling Gates is creating the stories of a Hispanic comics hero for a new generation with “Justice League of America's Vibe,” a DC Comics series.

Gates, who previously wrote “Supergirl” and co-wrote “Superman: Last Stand on New Krypton,” among others for the publisher, is bringing Vibe into DC Comics' “The New 52,” a relaunch that started in 2011.

“The pre-New 52 version of Vibe was created in the early 1980s and oftentimes was played as slightly more of a stereotype than an actual character,” Gates said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “Vibe's introductory scene started with him break-dancing and ended as he beat up some local gang members! It played differently in the '80s than it does now; now it reads as more comedic and antiquated than heroic.”

Writers Geoff Johns and Andrew Kreisberg changed Vibe in the first two issues of the series. Cisco Ramon is a teenager from Detroit who gains vibration-based powers when the villain Darkseid attacks from another dimension. Vibe works for a secretive government agency attempting to prevent more extradimensional attacks. Meanwhile, he's also a member of the Justice League of America, a team of mostly young heroes selected by the U.S. to protect the country and world.

Gates took over as writer with issue No. 3.

“Geoff and Andrew introduced a much different version of the character, updating Cisco Ramon and playing the story straight, giving Vibe pathos and a reason he's put on the Hero's Path,” Gates said. “Cisco's family plays such a big, immediate role in his story, as well — his eldest brother was killed in the same accident that gave Vibe his powers — and the relationship he's developed with his other brother, Dante, is something I hadn't seen in a comic book recently.”

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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The world's a diverse place, full of interesting people of all backgrounds, so why shouldn't comic book worlds be just as varied?”

Sterling Gates,
‘Vibe' writer


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