At the end of “Seaguy” #3, there’s a caption that reads, “It can’t just be over, can it? Demand… the return of Seaguy in: Slaves of Mickey Eye!” Almost five years later, Seaguy has returned in “Slaves of Mickey Eye” and it was worth the wait. A smaller, cult hit for Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart, “Seaguy” told the story of the eponymous hero as he undergoes a quest to prove his worth in an effort to win the love of the mighty She-Beard. But, in a world where heroes aren’t necessary any longer, what could he do? Only small things like discover the lost city of Atlantis, help rescue a living foodstuff, and visit the moon. That series ended with Seaguy back where he began (albeit with a new partner), living his ‘perfect’ life and playing chess with Death.
“Slaves of Mickey Eye” picks up on that, mirroring the original series’ beginning with small changes. Seaguy finds himself bored and lethargic, unable to enjoy the things that used to bring him pleasure, and distant from his best pal, Lucky El Lorro the parrot. He struggles with a general feeling of unrest, as if something were wrong with the world. When he encounters Death, he doesn’t just dismiss the chess game as boring, he questions why Death would spend his time playing chess with anyone who happens by. Morrison has said in interviews that if the happier, more adventuresome Seaguy of the first series was a child, then the uneasy, questioning Seaguy in this series is a teenager, and that really comes across.
As Seaguy begins to question the way of the world, he encounters answers, both real and false, that cause him to pause. When a former supervillain, now working for Mickey Eye Park, shows him a new exhibit showcasing the fossils of Cryptosaurs (part dinosaur bones, part broken pieces of machinery), Seaguy reacts with disbelief, unable to fully break free from the worldview he’s been taught. He struggles to move past his limitations, but is constrained by them at every step — and by those who run the world. A brutal scene with security forces gives him a glimpse of the way things actually are.
Morrison and Stewart are in top form here. Morrison throws out dozens of insane, off-the-wall concepts that Stewart draws with seeming ease. However, the mad ideas are just the window-dressing for what looks to be another story focusing on Seaguy’s growth to maturity. A large part of Seaguy’s unease comes from Stewart’s art, which captures the struggling teenage-like mind of Seaguy as he comes to grips with who he is and the world around him. It’s rare to see a character’s eye have a longing need behind them, but Stewart gets that across.
Fans of the original series are treated to numerous, small callbacks (Doc Hero finally gets that beer he asked for!), but “Slaves of Mickey Eye” is new reader friendly, too. Without the constraints of corporately-owned shared universes, Morrison and Stewart deliver an absurd and insane comic with just about the strangest (and yet most earnest) superhero of the twenty-first century. Here’s hoping it won’t be another five years until this trilogy concludes.