Book Review – Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye vol. 1

  • Title: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye Vol. 1: Going Underground
  • Author: Gerald Way
  • Artists: Jon Rivera, Michael Avon Oeming
  • Line: Young Animal
  • Characters: Cave Carson, Chloe Carson, Mad Dog
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 07/13/2017

**Spoiler Alert** Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye is one of four books in DC Comics Young Animal Imprint. I’ve read two other books in the imprint since the beginning in softcover: Mother Panic and Shade, the Changing Girl, both of which are excellent. Cave Carson is just weird. The colors are psychedelic and jarring. The basic plot is actually pretty simple: Cave Carson was a famous spelunker and adventurer. He discovered a underground civilization, and we’re not talking a political movement but a literal civilization that’s underground – like something out of Jules Verne novel. He meets and falls in love with the civilization’s princess, makes her his wife, and the two have a daughter. After a few years of continuing their underground explorations and adventures, the three settle down to a “normal” life on the surface.

But all this is backstory – the graphic novel opens with Cave’s wife, Eileen, having recently died from cancer and her loss ironically reuniting the estranged Cave and his college-aged daughter, Chloe. But no sooner than they reunite than there’s trouble. Cave steals his mothballed Mighty Mole machine and returns to the underground civilization, only to find the civilization’s been attacked and most of the people killed. Cave explains to his wife’s parents that she’s died – which is bad news as she was the royal princess. But as that is going on – things get really weird. There’s a underground monster that the civilization has been imprisoning in a crystal, known as the Whisperer – for it’s ability to psychically manipulate people. There’s a corrupt corporation that, after years of stealing crystals from the underground civilization has been influenced by the Whisperer to launch the attack and free the whisperer. It gets weird.

Overall, I’d give this book a 3.5 stars. One of the major characters, besides, Cave Carson, is Mad Dog, whom I really can’t stand. He’s just not a character that I like at all. I know (or hope) that some of his statements are for ironic effect – but he’s still rude, stupid, and sexist – and I don’t like him at all. Second, Cave himself, feels like a “hero” from the 1970s – this is a very “male” book, and it’s like no one’s ever considered women to be human. Considering the strong and unique female characters in the other two Young Animal books I’ve read (not only the title characters in Mother Panic and Shade, the Changing Girl but secondary characters as well), Cave’s pulp all-male attitude is annoying at best. The story is actually relatively simple. The only thing this book has going for it is the art and colors – which is out there – way out there. It’s definitely a unique look, that’s for sure. Overall, not really recommended. I didn’t totally hate it – but I didn’t like it all that much either. I’d rather recommend the other two Young Animal books. (Oh, and I haven’t read Doom Patrol at all in either softcover or as a collected graphic novel.