The pulp-tastic Cave Carson gets another issue this week and it includes underground monsters and a car chase too! Lots of action, but is it good?
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #3 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Cave and his ad hoc team of spelunkers (his daughter Chloe and best-bud mechanic Jack Wheeler) have answered the call to adventure! But as they search for the lost city of Muldroog, Cave’s employer sends a crack team of his own in the latest in subterranean transportation: the Mighty Mole MK 2, led by a famed explorer from Cave’s past. And it looks like they’re out for more than just the return of EBX property…
Why does this book matter?
Jon Rivera and Gerard Way have created a very fun series so far with a clever amount of adult themes thrown in. The art by Michael Avon Oeming has offered an old school feel with the eye catching colors of modern days from Nick Filardi. All together, this series has been a wacky and plain fun.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The dots, the dots I say!
This issue is mostly one long car chase sequence that comes with lots of monster action and fun as hell art. Oeming kills it in this issue with so many cool techniques and images I had to read it twice. Take for instance a quiet scene with the bad guy (it’s not all a car chase!) where the shadow is drenched in Ben-Day dots. It’s a rather cool effect that adds a bit of pop. The issue is littered with Ben-Day dot effects, be it backgrounds, used in shadows, or in the gutters too. It adds a texture to the cartoon look and feel of the characters, but also a heavy dose of kinetic energy.
There are so many cool scenes in this book it’s hard to list them all (and I won’t to avoid spoilers); monster dragon beasts being torn in half, awesome 2D double page spreads of a chase through the Earth, and psychedelic showers in waterfalls are all within this issue. I’ve liked Oeming for what feels like ages now, but dammit this is quite possibly his best work yet.
Pacing wise, this issue is spot on too. It hits the pedal to the metal for a good portion, allows the characters to take a break and the writers to explore the characters, cuts away to some bad guy plot development, and closes it all out with a fitting cliffhanger. I didn’t realize this would be such fun going into it and since its introduction the pace has picked up and the story gets more wild in every installment.
The issue closes out with a backup from Tom Scioli and once again his one page focus on a main player hero in the DCU is the stand out. This time he focuses in on Green Arrow which is funky, funny, and just great. There’s a good use of swearing for comedic value and the smaller panelled and unique art sets it apart.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though the bad guy check-in is welcome, I did find myself wondering what is going on with the bigger picture. That said, Cave and his daughter’s well being is more important anyway so it takes precedent here and in the reader’s mind.
Hero wise, Cave continues to be more of a passenger in his own story. The turmoil of losing his wife clearly is a resounding element of the character, but for a guy who has met primo heroes in the DC universe he doesn’t do a heck of a lot. He drives in this issue, and by that account he’s heroic, but so far his eye hasn’t played much part in this series. Shocking!
Scioli also has a Wonder Twins backup story which, while it looks good, didn’t do it for me this time around. The story is confusing and too obtuse to really hit home its point nor does it contain any comedic value.
Is It Good?
Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye is the prettiest, high octane pulp comic you could ever dream of. It’s quite possibly the most psychedelic looking book in ages and is well worth a look for its imagery alone.