REVIEW – Absolute Carnage #1

Absolute Carnage #1 - Marvel Comics

Written by Donny Cates

Art by Ryan Stegman

Colors by JP Mayer

Letters by VC's Clayton Cowles

If you've ever read a Spider-Man comic, you know how much Carnage is feared.  Now that fear is in over drive and it might take another team-up to take him down.  It's time for Absolute Carnage from Marvel Comics.

In this 60 page epic, we get to see a very scared and paranoid Eddie Brock.  To be fair, he is dealing with an insane amount of pressure.  He has the kid with him (Dylan), he knows Carnage is on the loose and something else happened along the way to further complicate thing.  It's pretty clear that Eddie can't handle this on his own, so he ends up asking a familiar hero for help.  Yes, it's exactly who you think it is and things pick up pretty much right where they left off between the two of them.  They know Carnage's plan, what he's after and that he will do anything to get it.  His enhanced powers certainly makes that even more complicated.  Our heroes decide to make a bold move to save one of the Carnage targets.  The one that Carnage is after is a name that all Spider-Man fans will know.  In case you didn't know, there is also a twist to his story.  The fact that Venom and company have to save this person really hammers down the  unpredictability.  The surprises don't end there, as the final couple of pages reveal that the story has taken a far different turn than our heroes have expected.

This supersized issue gives you the first few chapters of this story.  This was really necessary to lay the groundwork of what is to come.  Sure this could have been broken up into three single issues, but putting it in one supersized issue really increased the sense of urgency for me.  Seeing Eddie Brock in the state that he is in throughout this story also did the same.  Cates really does a good job of making things seem overwhelming for him, and presenting multiple struggles that Brock is dealing with all at once.  Even when he gets help, that still doesn't seem to ease that anxiety.  I mean, that's for good reason, but it's odd to see Venom as the level headed personality.  There are a lot of moving parts here, especially in a couple of the action sequences.  Kudos to the art team for doing a great job of keeping things clean and not looking jumbled up.  When you have these symbiote battles, and a lot of moving parts around that, it would be easy for the pages to feel cluttered.  That was not the case here at all.  Carnage also looks completely terrifying, which is a nice to see after the Carnage we had been getting the last couple of years from Marvel.  There was a lot of hype surrounding this book, and a lot of build up.  I feel like this creative team more than lived up to that.  This isn't just a heavyweight battle with a lot of big action and no substance.  There are other deep and meaningful storylines at play here that matter in the scope of the larger story.   New readers shouldn't be afraid to jump in with this book either.  That is all very hard to do, and yet, they really pulled it off.  I can't wait for the next issue!

RATING:  PULL / BUY

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