Weekend Binge Read: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye
Do you like super science teams like Fantastic Four or Challengers of the Unknown? Do you like exploring classic concepts with modern story telling? Do you like mature stories that deal with actual mature concepts like death, fear, and reconciling the past with the present? Do you like psychedelic art? Then, I have the series for you.
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye was a Young Animal comic published by DC Comics back in 2016. It ran for twelve issues before being relaunched into a sequel series called Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye. The Cybernetic Eye takes classic, obscure DC Character Cave Carson and explores his struggle with the death of his wife and the fallout that includes the release of an ancient multiversal demon, the Whisper. You know typical superhero stuff.
Now, let me tell you why I loved Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye so much and while it may not be for everyone, that it is worth a weekend binge.
1. The art is stunning
Michael Avon Oeming is the star of this book for me. Oeming’s art in Cave Carson is nothing short of fantastic. The comic is kinetic and wild from the panel composition to the layouts themselves. Pages will range from traditional grid to massive trippy two-page spreads full of vibrant colors and energy.
Oeming is willing to distort character anatomy and proportions for the dramatic effect. Cave Carson is a dynamic comic from the onset. That energy on the surface with a contrast with a character that fits more with the Challengers of the Unknown and Jonny Quest than with the trippy cosmic world. Truthfully, this fits the character well. This is a high energy story about saving the universe from an ancient demon.
Nick Filardi is the colorist here and does a phenomenal job. Every page pops off and sells the psychedelia of the series. The book leans into the notion that Cave Carson being a young scientist from the 60’s and likely would have been into hallucinogens. Filardi captures that pop culture notion of tripping through these wild colors.
2. Themes of fear, grief, and loss
The story by Gerad Way and Jon Rivera is about a man coming to terms with the death of his wife and figuring out how to reconnect the daughter he alienated years ago. This story also deals with a cave scientist trying to save his wife’s race of underground people and ultimately the world from a demon that can best be described as the literal concept of fear itself, the Whisperer. This demon isn’t the same fear entity such as Parallax from Green Lantern, but it’s a whole lot more effective and terrifying. What I am saying is that there are layers here, but it ultimately comes down to Cave Carson struggling to cope.
It is an oddly realistic take on grief presented here as we see Cave just trying to not only save these people and the world but his own sanity. He is absolutely crushed from his wife’s death and it affects every one of his actions. Eventually he learns to meet the fear head on to save those that he loves. It is a rather grounded piece of storytelling that anchors the comic to something real even when the world warps around itself in the wildest of ways.
3. Wild Dog
The story is fun. It is profoundly serious at times and the stakes feel high, but the comic knows to have fun. The character Wild Dog is apart of the cast. He is a vigilante character and ultra-violent in his methods. He is not a great dude, but he is a fun character. There is a distinction there that needs to be made. It is obvious Wild Dog is trash person, but he gets many of the greatest moments of the series. I will not post some of the crazier scenes on here but just know he brings out a chaotic energy to the comic. It is enjoyable and brings the book to another level with his absurd and over-the-top antics.
In issue #7 of the series, we get to see an altered version of the time Cave and his team saved Superman. Throughout the story we here frequently that Cave saved Superman one time and even carries a Superman signal of sorts. Well, we are given a flashback that was induced from traumatic energy and likely left-over hallucinogens in the system. We get to see Superman.
Now, what we are seeing is not accurate. Cave, himself, says so. Yet we get a couple pages where Superman is talking about fear with Cave. This is the turning point for the character but also it manages to capture the ideals of Superman in a way few writers can. It nails down perfectly how Superman views his immense powers and gifts in the world but also how to confront the fear that can entrap us. It is easy to get lost in fear. Yet, in just few panels Superman shows us why we shouldn’t.
5. It’s unique
You may not be one for wild art and designs, but I love bizarre comics. I love comics that are offbeat as much as the market defining books. I do enjoy comics from the Big Two but Give me a comic that explores the medium of a comic and breaks trends over some of the run-of-the-mill comic they would put out. Cybernetic Eye is visually distinct from most every comic put out in the last few years. It fits in with the Young Animal imprint that DC was publishing. I appreciate when comics break from the house style especially when it fits the tone of the story. If you like the fantastical and bizarre, check out this comic!
I enjoyed Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye immensely. I binged the series in one weekend over on the DC Universe Infinite service (Seriously, fix the name). It was that good. You can find the comic in trade form (In two volumes), but I hope DC will put out a deluxe collection of the series so I can have it in print. There is a lot here that isn’t for everybody. The comic features nudity, adult language, and graphic violence. I know that will be off putting for some readers. Yet if you don’t mind that, I think you will find an excellent comic series that is worth reading. Check it out on DC Universe Infinite today.
Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye
Writers: Gerard Way and Jon Rivera
Artist: Michael Von Oeming
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Letters: Clem Robbins
The Weekend Binge focuses on comic series that can be accessed on the various Unlimited-style platforms (Marvel Unlimited, ComiXology Unlimited, DC Comics Universe Infinite, Viz, etc.). The articles are largely spoiler-free.