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.”
The world's a diverse place, full of interesting people of all backgrounds, so why shouldn't comic book worlds be just as varied?”