Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye #4 // Review
In Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye #4, by Jon Rivera, Michael Avon Oeming, Paul Mayberry, Nick Filardi, and Clem Robins, Cave and company come across a derelict ship. What dangers await them as they search it? So far, this book has been a visual treat while being a little sparse on story and character development. It’s still an enjoyable read, but it has needed something more for a while now. Well, this one delivers that.
Cave, Chloe, and Bartow find a derelict ship and begin exploring it, foraging for supplies while there. They are attacked by beings who live on the ship and discover a strange propaganda broadcast echoing throughout. As they get closer to the bridge, they discover signs of mutiny and once they get to there, find out why the mutiny occured. They decide to use the ship to get home faster, but before they can leave, they’re pulled over by space cops. In the back-up, Cave goes back to the alien ship to get Bully’s body and discovers the engine explosion tore a hole to outer space.
There’s a lot of the tropes that the series has been using repeatedly in this one. There’s the madcap humor, Bartow making a discovery while tripping on some sort of substance, and the hallucinogenic visuals. However, where this story differs from the others is it focuses on the relationship between Cave and Chloe more than before. Cave wants to use the ship to help get Chloe home, but he’s also been loving all the time he’s been spending with her. Chloe, even though she’s not a geologist or an adventurer, has also been enjoying her time with her father and becoming, as she puts it, a “plucky action hero”. Both characters have trouble communicating their feelings to each other for most of the book, dancing around the whole thing. It’s a very nice touch. People that love each other can often have a hard time communicating in spite of that love, and it’s evident here. Cave opens up to Chloe about how badly he’s felt for sometimes being distant and thoughtless in his life, and the two finally break through to a healthier place in their relationship.
This theme of familial love and communication goes further in the book, as they find out the ship’s mutiny was lead by the captain’s son and the steps the captain took to end it. It’s easy to see that Cave sees a bit of himself in that situation, or, at the least, the person he used to be: a man who was so obsessed with own life and goals that he would overlook the feelings of others, including the ones he loved, to achieve them. It’s all a nice touch in a book that has so far been rather empty of emotion, other than the back-up story.
The best parts about the art are the flashback sequences that Bartow experiences to discover the mutiny. They have a Yellow Submarine feel to them, which is a good contrast for the heaviness of what’s happening. Using a cheery, trippy sequence to illustrate a mutiny is rather novel. Other than that, Oeming’s art is its usual brilliant. Paul Mayberry’s art on the back-up is very different from Oeming’s more cartoonish style, with heavier line work, but it fits the tone of the story being told. The heavy black lines underscore the somber nature of Cave searching the wreckage for the body of his friend.
Cave Carson Has An Interstellar Eye #4 takes everything the book has done well so far and adds to it by giving it an emotional core. By putting a focus on the relationship between Cave and Chloe, it gives readers something that was missing and makes the whole thing more realistic. It also casts the series in a whole new light. It’s not just a bunch of trippy sci-fi adventures, it’s a journey of discovery for a man and his daughter as they learn to be better to each other. It’s nice when a book can transcend what it was while keeping the same entertaining flavor, and this one achieves that admirably.