Rating: 5/5 – There’s a Lot of Cave Carson Backstory to Discover!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall
Cave Carson debuted in 1960 in the Brave and the Bold #31 and has been on the periphery of the DC Universe ever since, showing up occasionally as a guest star in other heroes books as well as making appearance in the various ‘Crisis’ events. Now Cave is back and starring in his own book after over 50 years thanks to Gerard Way, curator of DC’s Young Animal imprint and co-writer of this book with Jon Rivera and artist Michael Avon Oeming.
I’m going to talk about the visual style of the book first. It’s classic Michael Avon Oeming (who you may recognize as the co-creator and artist on Powers). His style is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. His style and design sense meshes perfectly with the slightly off-kilter nature of this story. Since Cave has been wandering the edges of the DCU for 50 years it’s only right that he is acquainted with other C-list DC characters, who are no less fun even though they’ve never been super-stars. When he has to have his cybernetic eye checked out who should he look up? Why, Dr. Will Magnus, of course; which also gets us a 1-panel cameo by the Metal Men! And a final page appearance by a second stringer who starred in a book in the late 1980s but who hasn’t been seen in the DCU more than a couple of time since 1999.
What about that Cybernetic Eye? Totally new for this series and a fascinating mystery that is sure to drive this tale forward and seems very appropriately featured in the title. One exchange between Cave and his daughter Chloe sold me on this book. Chloe asks Cave if the eye is scanning her. His response: “Yes, Chloe, it’s scanning you, OK? Once again, it’s always scanning! Your tires are low by three PSI, you snuck a drink while I was in the bathroom…and there’s residue of some pretty pedestrian marijuana on your jacket!” Beautiful!! This is a great example of why I love comics.
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye is series that is quirky and promises to feature lots of characters who haven’t gotten a lot of screen time in the comics but also doesn’t require an encyclopedic knowledge of DC to enjoy. In addition to the references to little used DC characters, settings, and paraphernalia, there are new creations made up for this series that are filling in the 50+ years of backstory for Cave who has not appeared in many more than 50 comics over the course of all those years. The result is a comic that is entertaining for a reader who is familiar with the obscure stuff, but seems like it should be just as entertaining for someone who has had no exposure to the character because the stuff that is truly intriguing about this story is all the material that is being made up by Way and Rivera to flesh out Cave’s backstory and introduce him to a new generation of readers. I’m looking forward to learning more about a character who I’ve know for decades, but at the same time not really known very much about.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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