Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

This is a comic that exists in the world


My friends, these are trying times, I know. The world is topsy-turvy, nothing makes sense, and we’re left scrambling for answers, for explanations, for a raison d’être, even. Our heroes are shams, our role models are horrid, the foundations of our society are crumbling, and our world itself is rebelling against our abuse. Our anxiety permeates every aspect of our existence, making us fear for our very souls. A confirmed sociopath is running for the highest position in the country, and she’s the sane choice. The ugliness infects everything. The Dallas Cowboys, the very embodiment of soulless evil, are good again. The Chicago Cubs, who provide all non-Chicagoans with limitless schadenfreude, will probably win the World Series. Nobody can beat the motherfucking University of Alabama football team. Ghost Rider is now Ghost Driver, and how does that even make sense? Brad Pitt is lonely, and if Brad Pitt is lonely, what hope do any of us have? The world is crumbling – there are long lines for bread in Venezuela, neo-Nazi groups are rising in Western Europe, who the hell knows what’s going on in North Korea, and somehow – deal with the devil? elephant sperm injections? bathing in the blood of virgin boys? – Robert Mugabe is still alive. How is Robert Mugabe still alive?!?!?!? One can understand if some of you are giving in to despair. But please don’t, because one phrase can ease your suffering. One phrase can give you hope for a bright future. One phrase can make you forget that Marvel hired a certain artist to draw a 15-year-old girl like this. One phrase can put that little extra spring in your step that makes you think, “Hey, maybe things aren’t really that bad.” That phrase is:

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.

The power! the glory!
The power! the glory!

Roll the phrase around on your tongue a bit. Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. It feels good, doesn’t it. Like it belongs there, like it’s always belonged there, like you’ve been searching all your life for a phrase to fit so well in your mouth. Stretch it out a little. Caaaaaave Caaaaarrrrrrrson Has a Cyyyyyyybernetic Eyyyyyyyyyye. It flows, like a mighty river, like fine Scotch, like fiery lava down the slopes of Mt. Etna. Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. Where has this phrase been all your life? Here you’ve been repeating bland, trite phrases like “I pledge allegiance to the flag” and “Our father, who art in Heaven” and “Do you know the way to San Jose?” and “Where’s the beef?” all that time, when you could have been using this perfect, ultimate phrase. Will it change language itself? Will you forever now look at your soulmate and instead of saying “I love you,” you will say “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye” and they will understand completely? I think you will. Instead of telling your child you’re proud of them, will it be sufficient to say “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye“? I think it will be. When President-Elect Clinton takes the oath of office in January, will Chief Justice Roberts say, “Repeat after me: ‘Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye‘” and even crazy Donald will be forced to accept that she is the rightful president? I imagine it will be so. Such is the power of the phrase. Say it with me:

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.


What can we glean from our new holy text? Does it star Cave Carson? Does he have a Cybernetic Eye? Yes, a thousand times yes. Our new holy text will not toy with you, will not tease you with opacity, will not be coy with its tenets. It will be called Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye and it will star Cave Carson, who has a (always capitalized) Cybernetic Eye. Does our new holy text begin with a funeral, because it understands that life is transitory and we all must accept death? And then does it immediately undercut that somber tone by showing us one of those pens that, when you turn it over, exposes the naughty bits of the image inside, because it understands that even in the face of death, life is absurd and glorious? Of course it does! Such is the trenchancy of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye. It feels the pain of loss, but it provides the silliness of a man’s buttocks when a pen is tipped upside down. Cave Carson’s life has been turned upside down. His metaphorical buttocks have been exposed. Does our new holy text show that our hero, long before he was equipped with the artificial orb that would define his new life, was stern but not fair, caring but unfeeling, blunt but not tactful, a man searching for purpose and alienating his daughter in the process? And does it show that Cave Carson, recognizing (or perhaps being shown by his new ocular apparatus?) that he was not the perfect father all fathers like to believe they are, is attempting to reconnect with his daughter and make it clear he is a new man? Of course it does! Our new holy text knows that man (and woman) cannot live on action alone, but craves the beauty of real human interaction. Such is the power of

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.


But hark! Our new holy text also understands that readers crave more than that. They crave mystery, intrigue, foreshadowing, and action!!!!! Therefore, we must ask more questions of our new holy text – say it once more, in hushed whispers: “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye” – and trust that it will provide the answers. Can you, we timidly query our new holy text, can you give us monsters? Disgusting, oozing monsters from Hell itself (or Camden) that threaten our hero, who is armed solely with household implements and righteous fury? But of course, the text thunders back, and so it is done. Can you, we hear ourselves bleating, give us a mystery along with our action? Can I ever, the text responds, and offers Cave Carson having a complicated relationship with his Cybernetic Eye, which gives him horrible, tragic visions of a past he can no longer live in. Please, we say, can we also have winks and nods to that vast DC tapestry of weird and wonderful characters that we love so much? Oh, you bet, says the text, pushing us to the last page, which should give everyone shivers for how awe-inspiring it is. And, if it’s not too much to ask, we say, taking one more chance with our new holy text, might we have a back-up story by Tom Scioli that stars, yes, the Wonder Twins? DON’T FUCKING PUSH IT our new holy text rages, before softening and saying, Oh, what the hell, here you go. Such is the generosity of

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye.


Does this comic push all the right buttons? Is it beautifully drawn and dazzlingly colored? Are there Benday dots? Does it feature a Joker tank and Batgirl riding a Schwinn ten-speed? Is the Cybernetic Eye the right mix of wonder and malevolence? Would I be asking these questions if the answer to all of them wasn’t YES? Will you run out and purchase your very own copy of

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye?

Well, you should. In a world gone mad, only the truly mad can offer a solution, a way forward into a glorious future. You can turn away, you can shield your (non-Cybernetic) Eyes, you can follow the dark path to the end and live an empty and turbulent life. Or you can join those whose (soon-to-be Cybernetic) Eyes are open, striding hand-in-hand confidently across a bright and shining landscape. Can you afford to pass that up? All I know is, many things can change your life for the worse. Only one can change it for the better. Yell it with me:

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye!


Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye!!!!!




(I should point out that this is written by Gerard Way and Jon Rivera, drawn by Michael Avon Oeming, colored by Nick Filardi, and lettered by Clem Robins. The back-up story is all Scioli.)


  1. tomfitz1

    Mr. Burgas, I think you need “CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE!!!!!!!!!” therapy.

    That gum you like is “CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE!!!!!!!!!” going to come back in style!

    In 2017. That’s damn “CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE!!!!!!!!!” good coffee!

    (I don’t drink coffee!!!!!!!!) wa wa wa wa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Trump lost the third debate “CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE!!!!!!!!!” and he blames everybody for it!!

    Whatta chump. Not owning up to it.

  2. Louis Bright-Raven

    This one of the few current DC books I’m getting. Somehow my store gave me one of the variant covers instead of the Oeming cover, despite the fact that I’d pre-ordered, which is kinda sad. Oh well.

    I’m not as head over heels for it as you are, Greg. I think Oeming is brilliant with it, but the story is… too somber? I was really looking for this to be the “fun” type of comic that MacQuarrie was talking about this past week. There’s a visual dynamic to Oeming’s art that fits that criteria, but there’s a dark, depressive tone to the story due to the circumstances around the story… it’s an interesting dichotomy that Oeming (and his colorist Nick Filardi) are able to play off of – like the ‘real world’ stuff is sort of dark and drab, and the stuff he sees through the eye is all pop colors and 60’s LSD trip dynamic. It’s very well thought out and crafted.

    But I was really, really hoping for that over the top “Wow fun” factor, and that hasn’t quite shown up, yet. I’m going to give it another issue or two and hope that it does.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Louis: Yeah, I see what you mean, but I’m not as enamored of “fun” comics as everyone else is, I guess. I mean, I like them, but I don’t need this to be fun (Doom Patrol and Shade, so far, are more “fun” than this one). You’re right that it’s lovely, and I like the somber tone, but I can understand why, perhaps, it might not be for everyone. I’m on board, though!

      I got the Sienkiewicz cover because I dug it, but I didn’t use it because of the spoiler on it!!! 🙂

        1. Greg Burgas

          Jeff: Sure, that’s true. I dig me some weird comics! This comic, however, is definitely not very fun, but it’s also not grim-n-gritty, which is nice. Oeming’s art helps in that regard, but even the sad parts aren’t teeth-clenchingly grim.

  3. Simon

    That top illo didn’t scream “DC” at all.

    – “and she’s the sane choice”

    Ha! …Though I’m unsure how fully I can agree.

    Facing an unredeemable hydra of sociopaths, couldn’t the least unsane choice be the disbarred surgeon that can cut all its heads at once? And get rid of said surgeon later? After all, which countries were most successful after WW2? Wouldn’t that be Germany and Japan — the two that got rid of their own hydras, then their own demons?

    Sixty million dead, though. But Adolf had spent twenty years raising and training the SA then the SS, his own armed militia and pretorian guard, then the Gestapo, his own secret police, and Donald owns none of that. Wouldn’t he have to behave to be obeyed by the regular police and army, lest they turn on him like the Wehrmacht?

    Food for thought police.

    – “neo-Nazi groups are rising in Western Europe”

    So do Jihadist fifth columns. Causes and effects, right?

    – “who the hell knows what’s going on in North Korea”

    Maybe the closest guess? http://broaderhorizons.com/north-korea/

    “Some of what we are told during this tour is simply a lie. Other things are hard to verify and many are hard to believe. (You quickly develop a neat line of ironic exultations to answer your guides’ enquiries as to what you thought of such-and-such: it was “incredible” or “fantastic”, you will say, gomabseubnida.) I have faithfully reported here what we were told and shown.”

    – “It flows, like a mighty river, like fine Scotch”

    Like a fine wine, but if you don’t go there:

    A fine Scotch whisky, like Glenfiddich, will flow.
    A fine Irish whiskey, like Bushmills, maybe more so?

    – “even crazy Donald will be forced to accept that she is the rightful president”

    People who blindly buy Loot Crates, don’t they seem crazy? People who blindly preorder from crooks, don’t they seem crazy?

    People who blindly accept an election’s result weeks before any independent reports about how it went, about how voters were treated, about how the machines behaved, about how it was counted, don’t they seem crazy?

    – “one of those pens that, when you turn it over, exposes the naughty bits of the image inside”

    Because there are two things you can’t escape in Disney-Warner comics, death and sex?

    – “this is written by Gerard Way and Jon Rivera”

    Like DKKK is written by “Frank Miller” and Mozzarello?

    – “winks and nods to that vast DC tapestry […] a Joker tank and Batgirl riding a Schwinn ten-speed”

    Doesn’t that make it like any other impenetrable Disney-Warner rag? So it goes.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Simon: The continuity stuff is pretty cool – you don’t necessarily need to know who the characters are, they’re just part of the scenery. One of them will be important, I know, but I assume we’ll find out more about that next issue. So I don’t think it’s quite as impenetrable as a typical DC comic, but I could be wrong. And everyone knows who the Joker is, so that doesn’t matter!

      1. Simon

        You live in hope, right? I guess my problem is how it’s just another #1 from an overall untrustworthy pub. With an illo of blood and guts. And already tied into other continuities, meaning it’s liable to be soon drenched in crossovers and events and editorial interferences.

        I mean, I found it a sweet column of nice writing — except for the very book you picked for it?

        I dunno, I would have thought you’d write all this about, say, some recent volume of BATMAN ’66? Or WACKY RACELAND? (Also being something more or less complete and assessed, that won’t let you down a few issues from now.) Or maybe after discovering the wonderful YOTSUBA vol. 13 (essentially a standalone GN), or PHILÉMON, or MY NEIGHBOR SEKI, or?

        1. Greg Burgas

          Simon: Well, I doubt if the Young Animal stuff will cross over with the rest of DC – maybe among their own titles, but it sounds like it’s going to be pretty separate from the rest of things. At least the first three titles. Mother Panic is set in Gotham, so we’ll see what’s what with that.

          Publishers in general are untrustworthy, because they all need to make money, so that’s the bottom line. Honestly, DC has done some very nice things recently, even if the “main” part of their line, and they’re getting Warren Ellis to “curate” WildStorm in the new year, so perhaps they’re getting back to being a publisher I can actually read with some confidence. We shall see.

          I wrote like this because I simply love the actual name of the comic. Plus, I thought it was really, really good. And I already wrote a paean to Wacky Raceland, if you recall! I’m going to write about the first arcs of the three Hanna-Barbera books when they finish in a month or so, so there you go!

          1. Simon

            Well, considering how even Gaiman’s SANDMAN or Moore’s SWAMP THING had to brush elbows with some DCU continuities, despite Berger’s comics-loving, and seeing how WATCHMEN and most Vertigo series have been dragged into the DCU, I harbor no faith, hope, or trust in today’s comics-hating Disney-Warner. (Thankfully, I don’t have to! I’ll just cherrypick whatever gets interesting reviews or best-of-year lists once completed, if there’s any.)

            Yes, I mentioned BATMAN ’66 and WACKY RACELAND because I remember you were reading them. (That’s not manipulative, that’s leading with mah best shots!)

  4. Filament

    What will we say when cybernetic organs and body parts become common?

    Honey, that color shirt is great with you’re cybernetic eyes.

    I’ve started working my cybernetic abs hard at the fitness club lately. Which brings up the age-old question “Shouldn’t Green Lantern be fat?”

      1. Filament

        Greg, which one? 🙂 The second one about Green Lantern was from a comic blog years ago, called Two Guys Talk About Their Comics, or something like that. It was one of the most hilarious blog articles I’ve ever read. The Silver Age Green lantern (as drawn by Gil Kane) was an epitome of a guy who worked out to maintain a muscular but slender physique…more of cardio guy rather than a muscle mass guy, followed by Spider-Man. Yet, with his ring there wasn’t much of a reason for him to get up off the couch to battle a villain. Actually, even to reach for his beer.

        Thanks again for another entertaining article, Greg. I hope the leaves are looking colorful this season where you’re at.

    1. Simon

      – “What will we say when cybernetic organs and body parts become common?”

      “Sorry, honey, it’s not you, it’s my iShlong, hang on while I reboot.”

  5. Louis Bright-Raven

    Greg: I enjoyed the book just fine. I got the Sienkiewicz cover, too, but I’d ordered an Oeming and a Matt Wagner variant and got neither. I wasn’t going to argue over it, because it’s just a comic, but I preferred the Oeming cover.

    I think for me, it’s more that I had a muted reaction because I was expecting something slightly different than what it is, more than anything else.

  6. Simon


    CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #4 is now credited to Jon Rivera sans Gerard Way. That’s according to the new Previews (and its Diamond page), as well as to DC’s ads on CBR.

    This would be reminiscent of Hickman baited on GOD IS DEAD or Alan Moore on CROSSED +100 before Avatar switching these titles to different creative teams — except for their actually completing an arc rather than dropping out mid-story. (Assuming Gerard Halfway is still on #2 and #3, and was on #1 beyond a “Frank Miller credit”.)

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