Cave Carson is going through a rough time in his life. He recently lost his wife. His daughter has gone off to college. He is depressed. He has hallucinations. Why? Because he has a cybernetic eye. Cave’s isolation and bubble of a life are about to change, though, when he encounters something rather surprising. He calls a friend to help him out, and this is where the chaos begins—and the first issue ends.
Writers Gerard Way and Jonathan Rivera have created a work of art here, with the potential to become one of the most emotional stories that DC has released in a while. With a character as vulnerable as Cave, his entire perception of his life—and the world—could shift in an instant, especially with that eye, which is mysteriously made of some unidentifiable metal. Way and Rivera have started to characterize Cave really well, and in a way that we can understand—using loss, depression, and simple confusion as a way to make him relatable.
One thing that gets in the way of the first issue’s purpose, though, is the introduction of supporting characters. I understand we need to know everyone, but in the first issue, there should be a little more focus on the protagonist. Introducing Doc Magnus and the Metal Men and such is a bit distracting, and takes away from the dramatic tone of the issue. Thus, we don’t have all too much time to get to know Cave as a person or even sympathize with his character. What the writers do make us feel is pity. This guy’s life is currently crappy and he is about to experience the loneliness that he fears.
Artist Michael Avon Oeming’s illustrations are perfect for the series. DC’s Young Animal imprint encompasses a lot of emotion and diversity in its character list, and this issue is no exception. Oeming’s angular lines and cartoonish style help the issue stay interesting as opposed to the gloom and darkness that Cave’s life brings to the book. Cave’s hallucinations have plenty of color and imagination to them, as well as the alien at the end of the issue. Nick Filardi’s colors help bring an upbeat tone to the book while still maintaining the grave ambience that this issue creates.
Young Animal is still a fairly new imprint under the DC Comics umbrella. The entire purpose of an imprint is to push the limit, start something new, and expand on a label that has profound energy with limitless creativity, passion, and drive—while still keeping one foot in the company that started it all (in this case, DC Comics). If Way and Rivera can bring Doom Patrol’s energy and solid structure to Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, this is going to be one amazing series.
Written by: Gerard Way & Jonathan Rivera
Illustrated by: Michael Avon Oeming