King in Black: Gwenom vs Carnage #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 03, 2021

Writer: Seanan McGuire
Artists: Flaviano & Ig Guara
Colours: Rico Renzi
Letters: VC’s Arain Maher

The big reveal at the end of the last issue is that the so called Carnage that Gwenom is facing off against isn’t the familiar, Cletus Kasady, that readers know, rather it’s Earth-65’s version of Mary Jane, who’s been taken over by one of Knulls symbiotes and named Carnage in memory of the, now deceased?, character. Admittedly it’s a bit of a stretch but setting Gwen up to fight a symbiote M.J. is a stroke of genius. So while the first issue was focused on setting this fight up, the second issue really focuses on the promised battle between the two heroes.

And that’s where the heart of this issue lies, in the conflict between M.J. and Gwenom. Sure, M.J. may be possessed by a symbiote who’s twisting her feelings and emotions, but there is a truth to her words which cuts Gwen deep. It’s more that Carnage gives M.J. the opportunity to lash out and speak harsher truths than she would normally air. It’s clear there are deep, underlying cracks to their relationship which are being brought to the surface. Fans of Ghost Spider will absolutely lap this issue up. For exactly the same reasons that the first issue worked so well, this issue is a great tie-in because it’s a story in the Ghost Spider series that was needing to be told, and the King in Black event was an excuse to tell this story in a unique way.

Flaviano & Ig Guara do an excellent job on the art, they give Gwenom vs Carnage a very unique look and style that fits in perfectly with the Ghost-Spider series. Symbiote fights are always a delight and their take on them is particularly effective. The final touch is the bright colours from Rico Renzi, which work to be the final touch in a very unique looking Marvel comic.

This is a series written for fans of the cancelled Ghost-Spider series, who will absolutely love not only the return to that world but the opportunity to really explore the relationship between Gwen and M.J., which serves as a good look at the character of Gwen in great detail. It’s clear that however this series pans out Gwen won’t be the same again. The art is very unique and stylised and is a great match for the story being told.

Our Score:


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