[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Written by: Jon Rivera
Story by: Gerard Way & Jon Rivera
Art by: Michael Avon Oeming
Colors by: Nick Filardi
So, there are many, many, many concerns voiced about diversity in comics. However, that term means different things to different people. For many, it simply means the inclusion of female and not white characters and creators. For me, it includes married characters, parental characters and unique subject matter. I’ve mentioned before in my reviews of Young Animal Comics titles how they go above and beyond the basic concept of the title and address a secondary theme that is more universal than, for example, exploring worlds beneath the surface of the Earth.
Cave has lost his cybernetic eye to the Whisperer. And it’s not going well. In his mind he’s reliving the tale of when he saved Superman. It doesn’t turn out quite like he remembered. And when he does, he comes to, but not after he imagines a Super-save of himself by the Man of Steel that gives him the emotional and mental strength to return to the fight. When he does, he reunites with Chloe, and they prepare to face their next challenge together. But, they have returned to the surface world and it’s not exactly the same….
It should be no surprise that I find character to be one of the most significant aspects of storytelling. Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye has been doing that since issue one, while at the same time breathing new life into a “Forgotten Hero” from DC’s past. With issue #7, the creative team gets to prove they know how to handle Superman as well as the regular cast. Inspirational. That’s about all you need to know to prove that they got Big Blue right. Michael Avon Oeming continues to provide dynamic layouts and expressive faces that keep the pace of the story as well as accentuate the character work by Jon Rivera and Gerard Way.
I won’t say this issue brought a tear to my eye, but it certainly made my heart skip a beat and tie into the love I have for my daughters. It’s this emotional quality that makes this title so great and important. When Cave is rescued by Superman and he heeds Superman’s counsel, it is possible to read this as a validation of humanity. We aren’t perfect, but there’s no doubt that Cave loves his daughter, Chloe and is willing to sacrifice himself to save her. Superman knows this, and he gives Cave the nudge he needs to overcome his own self-doubt.
The very fact that Superman shows up in this title is a great moment, not because Cave needs Superman to sell comics, but that it ties the title into the regular DC Universe. It helps expand the world and bring some perspective to both Cave and Superman.
If you don’t like good comics or emotional storytelling you won’t like this issue.
This issue truly lightened my heart. I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye and all the Young Animal titles address universal themes while ostensibly being super-hero or science fiction tales. This is not simply comics or great storytelling, but true literature and art. To the uninitiated, don’t let the format fool you!