Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye #4 Review and **SPOILERS**

Memory Shrooms

Writer: Jon Rivera
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Back-Up Art + Color: Paul Maybury
Letterer: Clem Robins
Editor: Molly Mahan
Executive Editor: Mark Doyle
DC'S Young Animal Curated By: Gerard Way
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: June 20, 2018


Everything's been put right between the Nejire and the Lazer Monks...I think, so it's time for Cave and the gang to have a new adventure! Only three issues left in the series to go, so I hope it doesn't turn into a compressed mess. Only one way to find out, and that's by reading my review of Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye #4, right here! Or you could read the comic yourself, there's always that.

Explain It!

Having taken magic mushrooms myself plenty of times in my younger days, I can tell you that one of the more unique effects is a deep sense of empathy. While probably untrue, you get a succinct sense of understanding other folks, whether they are high on psilocybin or not. I have had a few experiences where a companion and I seemed to share some kind of hive mind, leaving sentences half-finished and passing information between ourselves with knowing looks.
What if--stay with me now--what if it was the fungus itself that contained this very information? That it wasn't something borne of one person and transmitted to another, but existed within the stem of the very mushroom itself, waiting to be revealed by ingestion. This is sort of what Cave, Chloe and Dr. Barstow encounter on a desolate, crashed ship, filled with colorful mushrooms and antagonistic creatures. By eating the mushrooms, Dr. Barstow puts together a picture of mutiny; that the ship's hyperdrive engine collapsed, and the crew rushed the bridge, only to be taken out by the ship's security. But one person was able to kill the captain, freeing (and thereby) dooming the rest of the ship: his son.
It's a pretty cool story, but I can't help that it came down rather quickly, from inception to resolution. If I didn't know better (and I don't), I might surmise that this story was meant for a few issues, but got jammed into one. Still, at a one-issue story, it's pretty entertaining, and it allows Cave to reflect on his own shitty fatherhood, which involved a lot of neglecting Chloe while he gallivanted around caves and such. It brings Cave and his daughter closer together, which is always nice. And at the end, it looks like Cave Carson's Mighty Mole is being pulled over by the Interstellar five-oh!
Cave's regret is even tied into having left one of his Silver Age-era teammates behind during a mission, something we've dealt with in the back-ups (where Cave and Chloe are recording their podcast.) It's a nice bit of narrative synergy that implies there is some kind of plan, an overarching story that has been pre-determined and not made up as it goes along. Perhaps for this reason, this issue didn't seem to suffer from the same story compression as the recent issue of Shade the Changing Girl; but still, some of the artwork looks half-finished by Oeming's standards, and the story does seem to conclude in a big chunk of exposition near the end. I did enjoy the issue, and if this title becomes Creepy Space Adventure of the Week, that works fine for me. I'll be sad to see this one end a little prematurely.

Bits and Pieces:

A one-off adventure of Cave and company is more than welcome, being that there's only three issues left to the series. There's a nice father-daughter moment, but you know we all come to look at the colorful psychedelics, and you get plenty of 'em here.


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