DC Rekindled a Beloved Justice League Bromance With a Touching Goodbye

Warning: Contains spoilers for Batman: Fortress #2

The Justice League has a number of close friendship within the individual members of the squad, with few as interesting as Batman and Cyborg's. Two of the most intelligent members of the League, the pair makes for a natural and unique partnership. Batman: Fortress #2 brings the duo back together to revive this friendship, though the reunion comes at a tragic cost.

In Batman: Fortress, the world is sent into a spiral after an unknown alien ship enters the atmosphere, with darkness spreading and panic spreading across the globe. As the vessel disrupts the world's power, Batman and the other available members of the Justice League join a counter-offensive effort with many of the world's dominant countries. Superman, unfortunately, is nowhere to be found. When the Earth forces' attack fails, the invading forces capture Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Hawkman and Aquaman, while Flash gets debilitatingly injured. During the fight, Cyborg, who recognized the alien technology to be of Kryptonian origin, falls into the ocean after being cut in half.


Related: Batman's New Reason For Not Killing Joker is His Worst Yet

Writer Gary Whitta authors Batman: Fortress, an 8-issue miniseries with art by Darick Robertson of Transmetropolitan and The Boys fame. Though not part of DC's Black Label, the series appears to take place outside of the main DC continuity, allowing a more liberal use of characters and their deaths. Regrouping after the attack that kicks off Batman: Fortress #2, Batman retreats to a US naval vessel with a recovered Cyborg. As Batman and Cyborg discuss the attack, fans get a touching moment reminiscent of the pair's friendship before Victor Stone succumbs to his fatal injuries.

Cyborg and Batman talk before he dies in Batman Fortress #2.

Batman and Cyborg have a history of being close friends within the Justice League. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's Justice League run during DC's New 52 era heavily featured the duo as confidants on the team. Johns highlights the fact that both men are extremely intelligent and strategically-minded, with Cyborg's vast database of information complimenting Batman's acumen as a detective. It's a nice relationship that allows these two men, sometimes isolated by their own tragedies and highly active minds, to naturally gravitate toward each other as kindred spirits. This kinship makes Cyborg's final moments all the more heartbreaking, as his final words are dedicated to his faith in their partnership: "You need to focus now on what you can still save," Victor says. "Our friends. This planet. If anyone can, it's you..."

This tragedy is underscored by what follows, as Batman breaks down in the Batcave, lashing out at Alfred over his own feelings of helplessness for his friend. When Bruce reveals he kept Victor's head for some sort of strategic or informational advantage, he clearly regrets the necessity of not allowing his friend to rest. This showcases the inherent sadness that comes from the world's greatest detective's inability to stop planning for the next threat: he's rarely, if ever, allowed to stop and mourn. Batman and Cyborg's friendship remains a highlight of the New 52 Justice League run, and Batman: Fortress revives it in a beautifully tragic way. By having Batman and Cyborg share Victor's final moments together, strategizing and trusting each other to the end, Batman: Fortress allows one of the Justice League's best friendships to momentarily conclude on a touching, poignant note.