Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 14, 2021

Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Chris Mooneyham
Colours: Marcio Menyz
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham

The second part in the summers symbiote event, Extreme Carnage, feels like a real throwback to the original Maximum Carnage event. From the logo on the front cover of the comic, to the inclusion of some classic and unexpected characters from that event, Clay McLeod Chapman manages to really capture that feeling of nostalgia. The concept behind the event is interesting, different writers tell a different chapter of the story, focusing on a different character, to tell an overarching story. The challenge with reviewing the early parts like this is it’s incredibly difficult to know how it will all come together at the end. Will it tell a complete, coherent tale? Or will it end up a disparate series of chapters which don’t form a particularly well told overall narrative? Only time will tell.

For this second issue Clay McLeod Chapman returns to the Scream fold to tell the next chapter in Andi Benton and her symbiotic others life. What’s been frustrating with Chapman writing Scream is that he obviously had big plans for the character, but after the premature cancellation of the ongoing Scream comic it’s meant that the story is only continued within larger events, where Chapman gets the opportunity to return to continue Screams tale.

This issue doesn’t feel like it has too much of a connection to the previous issue, instead this story focuses solely on Andi Benton and Scream, who’s relationship has been through the ringer in the past but they’ve reached a good point now. Until Carnage enters the scene. He has power over Scream and it drives a deep wedge between the symbiote and her host. It works really well in the context of telling a good Scream story following on from Chapman’s previous storyline and fans of that series will love the story that’s being told here. At the same time it also raises the question of how effectively the overall story will work if this is how each writer tackles it. Either way it’ll be an interesting experiment to find out.

One aspect that Chapman didn’t cover in too much detail during his time with Andi Benton was her Hellfire. It’s been present in the background but Chapman hadn’t spent any real time exploring this aspect of her, which is a key part of her character. That changes here, and takes their story in a different direction. It really is a shame that Chapmans time on the character was cut short because it would have been interesting to see what he could have done if left to it for longer, but at least as a consolation prize this issue and other similar tie-ins work wonders.

Chris Mooneyham did a fantastic job on the art during Chapmans run on Scream, so it’s nice to see them pairing up again here. Mooneyham manages to bring an almost primordial horror to the symbiotes that not too many other artists capture in the same way, it makes them feel much more alien and terrifying as a result. There is a scene where Andi finds herself trapped, and the way that he draws her really captures the claustrophobia and looks incredible. It’s pages like this that remind readers what a crime it is that Mooneyham and Chapmans time with Scream was cut so short.

A fantastic next chapter in Chapmans run on Scream, if this is the only way that readers get to experience what happens next for Andi Benton and her symbiote then fans will love it. As the second part of the Extreme Carnage event it’s still unclear how the entire series will come together but the pieces are there for an entertaining story, and hopefully this finished event will read coherently despite the different creative teams taking over the reigns as the series progresses.

Our Score:


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