By Gerard Way, Jon Rivera, Michael Avon Oeming, Nick Filardi
DC/Young Animal’s third series debuted, giving us possibly the strangest one yet.
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #1 (CCCE), like Doom Patrol and Shade, the Changing Girl, follows a previous continuity that the reader’s may or may not be aware of. This is something of an unusual problem for the reader, as CCCE was chosen as a series because it was an obscure property.
Cave Carson, like the title says, has a cybernetic eye. What the reader wouldn’t know until they read the book is that he has a college age daughter, a recently deceased wife and a former career in subterranean exploration. He makes his living giving consultation to his former employer, while Cave deals with depression and strange visions brought on by his eye. By the end of the issue, Cave’s past adventures intrude into his life and force him back into action.
This is the third comic I’ve read that has Way’s name on the credits, even though Jon Rivera co-wrote it, but I’m starting to pick up on some of his writing sensibilities. Although I found this more accessible than the first issue of Doom Patrol, I’m not quite sure I liked it more. The story is more linear, by modern standards, and Cave’s emotions over his wife’s death and his daughter’s distant relationship are apparent. The backstory is one that’s not totally new in DC Comics lore (Challengers of the Unknown and The Atom both had similar ideas), but the previous continuity is something of a handicap for me.
Oeming’s art, having its own eclectic charm, is more suited to my tastes. Oeming’s style is cartoony, yet he lets the storytelling in the early pages is very fluid with characters moving across the page in short space like Will Eisner’s The Spirit and rarely makes use of traditional panel composition. The designs and fashions remind me of the late Darwyn Cooke, and the “comic dots” in the background of some the pages give this issue a nice retro feel. Ironically, I don’t care for his designs of the Metal Men but everything else gives the book a distinct vibe that sets it apart from others.
In the end, CCCE fits the very weird mold of the other Young Animal books. Mileage may vary, although its Silver Age leanings may help it be the most “normal” of YA’s offerings so far.