MILK WARS! Part Four! Cave Carson/Swamp Thing dives into Retconn, the corporation behind Milk Wars!
Welcome back to part four of Milk Wars, the wackiest event in the DCU. Today’s issue focuses on Cave Carson and his cybernetic eye, the latter of which has been seen throughout the previous three parts of the Milk Wars crossover leading up to this.
Before this title was announced I wouldn’t have thought to pair Cave with Swamp Thing in a book, but in hindsight it’s so obvious; Cave is an underground explorer and Swamp Thing is the representation of all plant life throughout the planet so who would be better to place together than the best explorer and the physical incarnation of flora? As he’s done with the Cave series, Jon Rivera writes a fun story here with plenty of weird elements while newcomer to the series Longdon Floss complements the story with bizarre visuals to match.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“MILK WARS” part four! Swamp Thing has detected a disturbance in the Green, and his hunt for it has led him to RetCo headquarters. There he finds Cave Carson and his crew struggling against being assimilated into RetCo’s diabolical narrative. Is it possible for Swampy and Cave to destroy the organization from the inside? Plus, find out how their efforts help Eternity Girl in the final installment of her backup story!
Tell me about it!
This issue tackles the idea of brand identity with Cave, his daughter and Wild Dog working in an office building where milk is regularly given out to the employees. Throughout the office are Pop! figure stand-ins called Retconn PopStars. Cave makes a comment on how due to their popularity he feels like a bandwagoner while Chloe disputes that the variety shown is great. Wild Dog also mentions multiple times the company’s motto of “the brand maketh the man.”
The inclusion and appearance of Swamp Thing is great and his entrance is one of the weirdest parts of this already weird event. His introduction is made even stranger by the art style — and that’s not a bad thing at all. This issue also continues the trend within the event of having one of the brainwashed good guys being surrounded by someone made of milk or just milk itself. There’s a lot of milk here.
Retconn’s whole work within the event to change the DCU to fit a cleaner, more brand and consumer safestyle universe is great and honestly is one of the most fun things DC has done in a while to me personally as it allows so much room for parody and making fun of anything they want that fits with the brand safe message that the antagonists are going for.
Rita Farr, one of the original Doom Patrol members and Beast Boy’s mother, seems to be a large part of the event too though primarily as a recurring ancillary character. The writers have been building to her return lately in both Doom Patrol and Milk Wars, the latter where she’s been appearing as a famous actress in each of the scenarios due to The Disappointment’s fixation on her (who has stated he wants to wed her in Doom Patrol). By the end of this event it is extremely likely that she’ll return and join the Doom Patrol full time. Here’s hoping.