Superior Carnage #1

by mahargen on July 17, 2013

The Creative Team:

Writer:  Kevin Shinick

Art:  Stephen Segovia, Jay Ramos

Get Caught Up...

When last we saw Carnage, his host Cletus Kassidy was seemingly lobotomized by Spidey clone Kaine, the Scarlet Spider.  This occurred in the underwhelming Minimum Carnage crossover between Scarlet Spider and Venom.

What’s Good?

Carnage.  Say what you will about him, he’s a force to be reckoned with.  My favorite of all of Venom’s various symbiote spawn.  The symbiote itself is insane, but mixing it with Cletus Kassidy, a psychotic in his own right, brings it to another level.  Sinick doesn’t pull any punches in this book.  He gives us Carnage, the unrelenting killer.  He doesn’t retcon Kassidy’s lobotomy, instead he plays that into the story.  We’ve always seen the symbiote and Kassidy as a team.  What happens when it is just the symbiote in charge?  

I liked the characterization of the Wizard.  He played up the cheesy to the right degree.  I enjoy when writers use underutilized properties in their stories.  Bringing up some B-tier baddies from Fantastic Four history and putting them into this story was a great move.  There is a lot of history out there in the Marvel Universe, so I’m glad someone is taking advantage of it.

Segovia and Ramos’ artwork is brutal.  You feel the terror that our narrator is feeling.  I really enjoy that they can show the destruction and the killing without crossing too far into “horror” territory.  The prison is a pretty bleak place and the art nails the atmosphere.  I like it when Carnage’s body is not well-defined.  That really makes the character for me.  Part of the dread is that he could be going anywhere.  With all the tendrils lashing out from his body he could be killing you without even looking at you.  I’d like to see more of that as this goes on.

What’s Not So Good?

While I enjoyed the “everyman” aspect of the narrative from Kassidy’s white-collar criminal neighbor, it didn’t make sense that he was there.  We needed that character to be there so the narrative would have it’s desired effect, but I would have preferred a more believable insertion of the character.

The Verdict.

Where this is going is anyone’s guess.  This appears to be another “monster unleashed” Carnage story.  That type of story, while always fun, is hard to handle without becoming boring or repetitive.  Shinick’s debut leaves me optimistic that he can tell more than just another Carnage story.  

Oh, Yeah, And...

It’s totally random that the Frightful Four should pop up in this book.  I finally just started watching the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series two days ago, and the Frightful Four were the villains in the first episode.  Spooky.  If you haven’t seen the animated series, check it out.  It’s fun.

Our Score:


A Look Inside