Wednesday 26 July 2017

Review! (Graphic Novel Edition!) - Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Vol 1: Going Underground

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye title image

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Title: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, Vol 1: Going Underground

Author: Gerard Way; Jon Rivera

Artist: Michael Avon Oeming

Contributors: Nick Filardi; Clem Robins

Genre: Graphic Novel, Sci-Fi

Series: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye (#1-6)

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I received a free digital review copy of this book via Edelweiss. Edelweiss provides review copies from publishers in exchange for the opportunity to write fair and honest reviews.

This is one of two titles I received for review from DC's* Young Animal imprint.

*Check me out, moving up in the world! Lol.

Both were written by the beautiful human being Gerard Way, and, as with Doom Patrol, I'm going to be totally honest, fair, critical, and professional – despite my fangirling tendencies.

(*resists urge to start singing 'When I was/ A young boy/ My fa-ther/ Took me into the city...' and offering to sacrifice my Killjoy soul to Gee, Queen of Sass*)


It probably won't surprise you to learn that Cave Carson has a cybernetic eye.

Does what it says on the tin and all that.

What may surprise you is the underground civilisation, the corporate plot, and the fungus-monsters.

Strap in to the stolen Mighty Mole, and brace yourselves – things are gonna get weird...

Best bits:

Cave Carson, as mentioned, has a cybernetic eye.

Which means that we have a main character with a disability – 'cos dudes, though the eye has the benefit of allowing Cave to scan cr*p, this eye has some issues (and not of the comic book type!.)

And of course, this eye is a replacement for the original.

I'm not going to say what happened to the original eye because, well, spoilers. But it's... probably nothing you would guess, to be honest.

eye pic

The art style of this book is great!

It's kind of psychedaelia combined with this indulgent retro-comic/pop-art style that creeps in for a little extra edge every so often.

You can tell that the creators enjoyed making this comic!

eye pic

The plot here is off-the-wall (in a good way,) and kind of anti-corporation and development, which is kind of cool.

I actually also liked for once that there are limited 'powers' in this – there's Cave's eye, but even that had its limitations.

It actually led to things being more interesting, because there was no metaphorical 'magic wand' (power) to fall back on.

eye pic

This book also had people of colour (PoC) side-characters who were given limited development here, but they seem pretty cool, and there's potential for them further down the series.

eye pic

One of the bad-guy characters looks like Lucius Malfoy! True, this was probably unintentional – but it made me laugh ;)

eye pic

And a reminder to support diverse creators my nerdlets!

Gerard Way has experienced mental health and addiction problems, including depression, and has discussed that he (while preferring he/him pronouns,) has struggled to define his gender, often feeling more female than male.

Not so great bits:

Potentially distressing content includes:

- grief/loss of a parent

- strained family relationships

- massacre of indigenous people (see below)

- violence against indigenous people (see below)

- racial slurs (see below)

- references to death from cancer

- gore

- murder

- violence

There's also much swearing and some actual nudity (and as this is a graphic novel – it's actual nudity.)

eye pic

If there's one big, questionable, uneasy factor to this book, it's in the depiction of the Muldroog.

The Muldroog are a fictional race who live underground – and there are both good things and bad things about the way they're represented.

Certainly, there's some things that are laudable about the rep here – their technological advancement, for example.

And I can't say, for sure, what cultures the Muldroog are reminiscent of.

There's an influence of the Celtic and of the Nordic to them, but the very fact that they live under the USA brings other factors – like Native American representation - into play.

But I need to make something clear right now: I DO NOT HAVE THE SKILLS TO FULLY DECONSTRUCT THE REP. HERE.

I simply don't know enough about the cultures of various indigenous and native peoples to do this justice.

If there are any indigenous writers/bloggers/whatever who have written about Cave Carson, PLEASE let me know – I would love to link to your work, and hopefully learn a few things.

There are however some warning signals that should make any reader at least a little wary (spoilers are marked with square brackets and written in white [] ):

  • [Chloe] one of whose parents was Muldroog, is referred to (by a bad guy,) as a half-breed. This is a) a slur, and b) an offensive trope.

  • A kid is not told of their heritage by their Muldroog mother so that they can have 'a normal life.'

  • There is a massacre of the Muldroog [by EBX, the company Cave works for] – including graphic images of many dead Muldroog people.

  • There are also other Muldroog deaths, several violent.

  • There is an association of the Muldroog with hallucinogenic drugs.

  • There's a hint of the White Saviour trope – not straightforward (there's a lot of stuff going on here,) but definitely something to be wary of.

eye pic

Much like Doom Patrol, Cave Carson does require a degree of surrender to the wackiness of the plot/world that not all readers are going to be happy going along with.


I have BIG concerns over the indigenous representation (*squints at book*) but overall, a good start to the series.

Of the two Young Animal titles I've reviewed, I'd definitely prefer Doom Patrol, but this one's fairly cool too.

If I hadn't read Doom Patrol, I'd probably be bubbling over with excitement about Cave Carson; as it is, though, I couldn't help but compare the two.

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  1. Glad to hear that even though the disability was fixed w/ something high tech, it still had limitations. That's unfortunate about the indigenous rep, but otherwise it sounds good :-)

    1. Yeah... that's a complex (and weird!) storyline, lol.

      The indigenous rep. was soooo disappointing, because, even though it's a fictional race, it fell into a lot of the negative tropes and portrayals that should be avoided. :/

      Thanks for the comment :)


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