Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on November 27, 2019

Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Chris Mooneyham
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit

Reviewing a first issue of a new ongoing series is difficult. For starters you’re not just looking at the issue, but the potential for the rest of the series. And since a large part of the issue is focusing on setting up the characters and the storyline it’s not necessarily the best representation of how the rest of the series is going to turn out.

Scream: Curse of Carnage directly follows on from Absolute Carnage: Scream, a three part tie in to the Absolute Carnage event. The tie-ins were an unnecessary addition to the main Absolute Carnage, and really only served to introduce this series. This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because any readers who have come from that event will understand what’s going on. A curse because it means there’s a lot to recap at the beginning.

It follows Andi Benton, who long time symbiote fans will know as mania, who (following the events of Absolute Carnage: Scream) is the unwilling host to the Scream Symbiote.

There are some really strong moments in here. I particularly liked the intro, it had a nice Noir feel to it. There is a minor cameo from a well known Spider-man character which is sure to get a smile from Spidey fans. There is a growing horror element too, few details are known but it feels like something that belongs in Hellboy rather than your typical Marvel fare, which I quite liked. Something connected loosely to symbiotes.

But for all these good moments there are just as many weak ones. The story telling feels a little disjointed at times, it appears to jump around with little warning. I suspect this is supposed to reflect Andi’s sleep deprived mind, but it can be a little jarring and a couple of times I stopped and went back, wondering if I’d missed a page.

Then of course there’s Andi. She’s in a bad place, mentally. That can make for some great storytelling. The problem I had though was as an protagonist I don’t care about the character yet, which makes it hard to sympathise with her. Hopefully as the story continues I’ll find myself caring more for her, but at the moment I’m fairly indifferent towards her.

It’s early days, and while the storytelling hints at moments of greatness they don’t last long and I suspect I won’t know until a few issues have debuted whether or not this series will be great, or just a cash in on Venom and Absolute Carnage’s success.

This was my first encounter of Chris Mooneyham’s art and I really liked it. I am a big fan of the Mignolaverse and I think he would fit in so well there, I would love to see that at some point in the future. But going back to Scream, he does an outstanding job here. His New York at night is great, the horror elements work incredibly well, even minor characters have a real attention to detail and look like real people. I like his art enough I will be seeking out some of his other work in the near future.

Rain Beredo’s no stranger to coloring symbiotes, having recently taken over Color duties on Venom during the Absolute Carnage event. The colors really add to the tone of the comic, and shine in particular when we see the Scream symbiote, the red’s and yellows contrasting nicely with the rest of the comic which is deliberately dull in color.

A promising start, if nothing outstanding, to a new series. Time will tell whether it’ll be good or simply a cash in on Venoms success, in the meantime good art and colors make it worth picking up. I have high hopes though.

Our Score:


A Look Inside