Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye #4 – Jon Rivera, Writer; Michael Avon Oeming, Paul Maybury, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Corrina: Cave & Chloe
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: As the final Cave Carson story (for now) enters its second act, the issue seems a bit bogged down with the cosmic nature of everything that’s going on. This series has been fantastic with the bizarre, surreal visuals, but it also doesn’t seem quite as grounded in the relationship between Cave and his daughter as the previous twelve did. This issue does seem to fix that issue a bit, but not until we’ve been thrown through a kaleidoscope of visuals once again. As the issue kicks off, Cave, Chloe, and Bartow are still stranded in space, trying to repair their ship. As Cave and Chloe work, Bartow samples some of the local fungi and winds up going on a fever dream. There, he encounters the story of the Bari, the previous species that inhabited the world and wound up setting it on the path to destruction. These themes have popped up quite a few times in this latest run, but Rivera seems to really be doubling down on the concept that alien species are just as capable of being stubborn and self-destructive as we are.
However, in the middle of an issue filled with monsters, terrible alien fathers, and a lot of close escapes, there’s a great look into the history of Cave and Chloe’s relationship. Cave as essentially a stage father, using his podcast as a way to make his family famous and ignoring that Chloe was often deeply uncomfortable, makes a sad amount of sense when you think of the past issues. It’s that strong mix of absurdity with the emotional truth that makes the series work so well, and you can see that while the issues are finally out there, the old wounds are far from resolved. I’m not sure how the cosmic story is going to resolve itself in two issues, but I’m hoping we get some real closure for Cave and Chloe. The backup, with art by indie artist Paul Maybury, is strong as well. It’s essentially a flashback segment that shows what came after Cave’s greatest failure, and like the Shade backups, it adds some flavor to what came before.
Corrina: There is a ton of weirdness in this book but it’s always been nicely grounded by Cave and Chloe’s relationship. I love that this arc concentrated on that, more so than any arc since the beginning. So while the trio is picking over the remains of a long-destroyed civilization, Cave and Chloe are picking over the remains of their relationship.
It’s a terrific metaphor. It even offers hope for father and daughter because new life is forming from the remains of what came before and that means Cave and Chloe have a chance to form a new type of bond now that Chloe’s an adult and Cave can not only admit his mistakes but wants to change for the better.
Oeming is an artist who can handle the surreal and the deeply personal well, and it’s his visuals that will stick with me more than anything else from this series.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this issue for review purposes.