DC’s Young Animal 2018
Written by Jon Rivera
Illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming
Coloured by Nick Filardi
Lettered by Clem Robins
When you’ve got a cybernetic eye infected with madness, anything can happen! But even an eye of infinite capabilities needs to recharge once in a while. Finding a seemingly safe planet (at least in terms of atmospheric make-up), Team Carson takes a brief detour in their space odyssey, only to find themselves recruited into a never-ending PoliSciFi battle.
I have no idea what it was like to try to pitch this for the first time. The first volume welcomed us back into Cave’s life after so many years had passed. Kind of like a natural time progression one might say. Without the Challengers Cave has had quite the illustrious career but his friendship with Wild Dog was one of those unexpected surprises that I love and look forward to seeing similar relationships, with not well known mainstream DC characters, come about time and again. Though this one doesn’t give me much hope for that but I’ll live.
I do like how the first issue in this volume led to them being where they go to here. Sometimes being vague is easy other times it’s really not. I haven’t the foggiest clue to what is going on but his Cybernetic Eye well it keeps expanding and now needs to recharge after the events of last issue. There is something about the fact that as they travel through space they are inside some kind of pocket dimension inside the eye that I find both fascinating and extremely unsettlingly creepy. It is totally cool in concept but this is Cave’s eye and the three of them travelling in it well gives me the heebie jeebies.
The way Jon structures the story is fantastic and the way it all flows from introduction, which was nicely handled by the way, to Cave’s appearance onto the scene and the dramatic ending that is what I hope it is should prove shudder inducing anticipation but that’s later. The flow through the pages here is great and the transitions are smooth as silk and just bleed into one another perfectly. Plus as an added bonus the characterisation is just as good as the story/plot development is so it’s highly entertaining to see the dialogue and the interaction between all the various characters. Doesn’t hurt either that we get to meet new species and the introduction to them be done in a great manner such as this.
Michael’s work on the interiors has grown on me by leaps and bounds. I mean normally I want as much detail and focus as humanly possible but the style he has and brings to this is exactly the kind of work that the book needs. I love these new alien people who have this whole Tron kind of feel to them and the creativity and imagination that we see is just delightful. The utilisation of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels shows off a very good, solid and seasoned eye for storytelling. I am that crazy backgrounds guy and the work here while not always using them has something unique in them so while not busy the eye always has somewhere to look.
Of all the Forgotten Heroes around I never would have dreamed that Cave Carson would be the one to make a comeback and be on the most talked about books that DC currently has on stands. With it’s incredible writing and fun interior artwork this just takes the character to the next level of greatness and does it with such aplomb .