Review by Karl Verhoven
With Every Me, Every You, Cave Carson and pals drop into a full scale hallucinogenic nightmare during the course of which we learn why he has a cybernetic eye, and what it’s been up to. There’s also the threat of an ancient subterranean demon, the Whisperer, whose strength derives from feeding off the self-doubt and fears of those it encounters. Its base of operations has been expanded to the multiverse, aided by corporate executives in thrall to greed. Yup, that about covers it.
“Superman isn’t my name Cave, it’s my challenge. It’s something to live up to.” That’s a considered definition of how Superman sees himself when he drops by for a motivational speech in the opening chapter, but the remainder of the chapter doesn’t live up to that, and the remainder of the book also lacks the freshness and gosh wow sense of Going Underground. Instead of being underground with a distinct purpose, Cave and crew jumping through other dimensions after a gloopy monster retains a purpose, but removes any structure. It enables Michael Avon Oeming to produce some spectacular art, as one page he can be illustrating Crusaders storming a castle, and on the next a reality storm. He’s well helped by the vibrancy applied by colourist Nick Filardi, but plotters Gerard Way and Jon Rivera have really dropped the ball by taking an easy and clichéd option.
Gruesome content has been amplified to complement the swearing to ensure this justifies an adult rating, but someone shouting “fuck” a few times and eviscerations add nothing of value, and they’re hardly subversive in this day and age, so come across as juvenile posturing. The most ridiculous aspect is that the indulgence restricts the market for a story that could have wider appeal.
The explanations provided in the penultimate chapter pull everything back on track. They’re perverse and disturbing, but also too little, too late, as by that stage it’s difficult to dislodge the feeling the entire story has been artificially extended to fill two graphic novels, resulting in a really saggy middle section. And as for an ending that relies on the power of love conquering all… really? Much of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye is the result of recycling influences, but the trick is to mix them to provide a level of originality, which was the case in Going Underground. Most of Every Me, Every You is plain ordinary. The cast meet Swamp Thing in Milk Wars, then return in Cave Carson Has an Interstellar Eye.