[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jon Rivera
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colorist: Nick Filardi
So far, Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye has been a bit of a mixed bag. There’s some really far out ideas that clearly are drug analogs. This issue starts that way, but then finds its footing in the relationship between Cave and his daughter Chloe. This was the strongest part of this series predecessor, Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye.
Cave, Chloe and Bartow are trapped in a ship that’s been adrift for years. They are running out of food and gamble on being able to patch a hull breach with their empty ration cans. They quickly discover an edible fungus that they sample, having become tired of the canned ham. They get a little bit more than nutrition initially.
While Bartow goes to town on it, Cave reveals to Chloe that he’s aware of her desire to return home. Chloe denies it to an extent, but it leads to a true heart to heart between father and daughter. At this point the issue finds its soul as the two discuss what’s been troubling them. Cave admits his mistakes over the years as Chloe addresses those times when she was hurt. And she attempts to help Cave understand by suggesting he lost perspective and was not really that bad a father.
Meanwhile, the fungi is not actually giving Bartow hallucinations, he’s experiencing the memories of the race that had previously occupied the space craft. This changes the direction of the issue once again. The three come to understand that the occupants were in a war against another race and upon defeat, father turned against son, leading to an unthinkable finale. As Cave realizes that the father had “lost perspective,” they all decide to commandeer the the craft and get it going again. They try the radio only to find themselves about to be arrested by space cops!?!?!?
While the concepts are hit or miss with this series, when the emotional arc focuses on Cave and Chloe’s relationship, the book simply sings. Parents always want what’s best for their children, and when parents err, it hits them as hard as it hits the children. Parents are supposed to have all the answers, and to be wrong is difficult.
Connecting the previous occupants of the ship to Cave and Chloe’s relationship dynamic works really well. It expands the specific relationship to a universal one that many parents and children will experience. Despite Cave’s flaws, there’s always the sense that he loves and values Chloe, and not just because she’s a reminder of Mazra (Cave’s deceased wife).
Michael Avon Oeming and Nick Filardi continue to give this book a distinct look with great emotion conveyed in the facial expression, design and a unique color palate.
Not really connecting with the drug analogs. The high concepts are not always on target. It’s almost as if part of the issue works amazingly and the other part feels disconnected.
The father/daughter dynamic is worth sticking around for. This series will most likely end up on a satisfying note. The journey may be a bit of a struggle. As long as the focus remains on Cave and Chloe’s relationship, this series will be a great read.