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"Absolute Carnage #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Absolute Carnage 1 00

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 60 Pages, $7.99
Comic released on August 7th, 2019

Review:

At long last, Absolute Carnage is upon us. Is the Marvel Universe ready for this chaos? Carnage is back and he aims to kill everyone who has ever touched a symbiote. If you're keeping track at home, that includes Venom, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and dozens of other characters. Seriously, those things get around. If Carnage can absorb the remaining bits and pieces the symbiotes left behind in its hosts, he'll grow in strength and wake up the god Knull and wreak further havoc.

I have been anxiously awaiting this event for some time. Everything that writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman have been working towards in Venom comes to a head here and boy, does it pay off. This oversized first issue wastes no time getting to the action, putting Eddie Brock right in the thick of things with an immediate encounter with this new and terrifying version of Carnage.

Let's talk about this for a minute. If you had any doubt that this was a horror book, just take a look at Carnage's new appearance. He's essentially a walking corpse covered in a symbiote. Actually, he's probably less than a corpse. He's more like a skeleton. Cletus Kasady doesn't have a waist. You just see his spine and pelvis. His limbs are just a bit too long, adding to his gaunt look.

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Despite his sickly nature, Carnage is more frightening and powerful than ever. Stegman has outdone himself here, creating a true monster. Inker JP Mayer adds some nice depth and tone to Carnage, emphasizing the darkness that seems to radiate off of him.

Colorist Frank Martin gives Carnage a fiery and deadly tone. Imagine the color of violence, blood, and hatred. That's the color of Carnage. The first fight with Venom happens in a subway surrounded in flames. They add to the chaotic nature of Cletus' attacks and the intensity of the scene.

Absolute Carnage finally reunites Eddie Brock with his symbiote, allowing Venom to rise once again. This relationship has been a rocky one as of late, however, they need to work together if they have any hope of surviving Carnage. Despite the horrible things the symbiote has done to Eddie over the years, you get the sense that it really cares for him. The reunion happens in a pretty awesome and bombastic way, giving you a good idea of the blockbuster level action you can expect from this series.

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Click images to enlarge

Everything I've talked about so far happens within the first third of the book. This thing clocks in at over 60 pages. I didn't even say anything about Spider-Man, The Maker, or any of the other characters that pop up later. Yes, this book costs $7.99, twice what your average comic costs, but you're getting at least three times the story.

The interactions with Spider-Man add a bit of comedic relief to Absolute Carnage. I love how Stegman uses Spidey's eyes to convey emotion and accentuate his humor. I feel like this isn't done as much as it once was, so it's a welcome sight.

As Absolute Carnage #1 continues, things get crazier and crazier. By the end, the panels are literally dripping blood. This is a fantastic effect that adds to the overall terror. You know that something big is coming, but you're not show where or when, so this uneasy feeling settles in. This feeling is where the best kinds of horror live.

I could spend hours singing the praises of Absolute Carnage and still wouldn't get to them all. This book is absolute dream for any Venom or Carnage fan. If you haven't been following Venom since its relaunch, shame on you, but this is a great way to jump in and quickly get up to speed. Absolute Carnage is hands down the best horror I've seen in super hero comics.

Grades:

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About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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