[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
Cave dives in to save the robot Mazra. He’s able to help her up and lead her to the crystals, but her body is too weak to absorb the power which will stop the Whisperer. Just as the mutated Edward is about to end Cave and Mazra, the cavalry arrives in the form of Chloe, the rest of Team Carson and some Metal Men.
Chloe figures out that Mazra isn’t strong enough because she only has a self image through Cave’s memories and that she needs to have Chloe’s memories as part of her make up as well as those of the rest of team Carson. Doing this allows Mazra to absorb the energy from the crystals and finish the Whisperer.
Unfortunately, there’s more for this Mazra to do and though she seems to care for Cave and Chloe, she has a bigger responsibility to help the Muldroog recover. Cave gets a new cybernetic eye from his future self that will actually be a help to him and not a distraction. Future Cave and Cave, Jr. finally have a true father-son moment with some direction from the younger Cave. There’s a new vehicle for Cave and Chloe and the ability to travel time and space, so after coming to a new understanding of each other, they set a course for new times and destinations!
There’s a lot of emotion in this issue. It’s especially poignant when Chloe realizes this Mazra evokes the same emotional response from her that her actual mother would. The cold shoulder she showed last issue has been replaced with a burning heart yearning for another chance to interact with her mother. Cave is no different. The robot Mazra herself is able to understand that she is the memory of the actual Mazra, but we know that memories can be very emotional. This touches upon the notion of identity and what makes a person a particular person. This is a theme that we’ve seen addressed in recent issues of Shade the Changing Girl as well.
Chloe and Cave come to terms with some of their conflict and get a new perspective on things with the robot Mazra being the impetus for their emotional epiphany.
The importance of Michael Avon Oeming on this title cannot be overstated. Consistently, he evokes the emotions present in the script through his character’s facial expressions and postures. This is an example of the intimate. Just as evident is his ability to access the dynamic in his layouts, especially some of the single page and two page spreads. It compliments the intimate moments while also serving the pacing of the story. These are pages one can look at and feel the music behind the movement.
Let’s not forget Nick Filardi’s contributions either. We’ve been underground and extra-dimensional for so long, that it may not be evident that he’s used different palates for different locales. His colors make it clear not only where the action is taking place, but the emotions in the scene. There’s that music again.
It’s not easy imagining a robot replacing your mother, but this is how it would happen if it were possible.
It’s rare for a comic to bring a tear to my eye, but this issue did it. Not only was the Whisperer finished and put away, but the whole emotional arc came to a moving conclusion. I don’t believe Chloe and Cave are done with their father/daughter emotional hiccups, but it feels real. This family looks to move forward to even higher stakes in coming issues, and you’ll regret it if you miss it!