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"Absolute Carnage #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Absolute Carnage 3 Large

Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 33 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on September 18th, 2019

Review:

With the river of blood that Carnage has unleashed upon the world in his quest to eat the symbiote codices left behind in all previous hosts...by ripping out their spines, you'd think that things couldn't get much worse. You'd be wrong. Absolute Carnage continues to freak me out in the best possible ways. This time around, Captain America, The Thing, and Wolverine show up to lend a hand, but will that be enough to stop the onslaught? The short answer is no.

Just in case you had any doubt that Absolute Carnage is a horror book, there is a sequence in this issue that will chill you right to the bone. Carnage pulls a fast one on the heroes and the way it's revealed is pitch-perfect. This is how you do horror in comics, not just in the super hero world. You don't realize the ruse he's played until it's too late and by that point, if you're anything like me, you're screaming at the comic, hoping the other characters can hear you before things get too bloody.

Artist Ryan Stegman starts this slowly, building the tension steadily with some fantastic sound effects. These get bigger and louder over time, to the point where they literally made me cringe. Inker JP Mayer does some excellent shadow work here, showing Carnage in a menacing light, emphasizing the demented smile that spreads across his face.

Absolute Carnage 3 01Absolute Carnage 3 02
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This leads to an amazing transformation sequence, showing just how monstrous Carnage has become. You see the walking corpse that is what's left of his body twist and morph into the frightening undead monstrosity that's been terrorizing the city in graphic detail.

Letterer Clayton Cowles adds to this by changing Carnage's word balloons along the way. They start out normal and grow darker over time until they're the usual blood-red that we've come to associate with the character. You can imagine his voice shifting in tone as this happens and it's so creepy.

That sickening blood-red color matches up to the palette of Carnage's symbiote. Colorist Frank Martin creates a dark visage for this villain, like he's made of pure evil. His eyes and chest glow with an inhuman and eerie light, as if the fires of Hell are pulsing through him. It's some chilling stuff.

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Once again, Dylan comes close to finding out that Eddie is his father. I cannot wait for this revelation to happen. There's a heartwarming moment in the middle of this book as the two are reunited. Writer Donny Cates has built this up in an incredible fashion. I am more scared of the events of Absolute Carnage because of how invested I am in these two characters. I just want them to have something that passingly resembles a normal moment amidst all this chaos.

Absolute Carnage has been a roller coaster of terror. We're not strapped in with a secure harness; we're holding on for dear life and our grip is loosening with each twist and turn, ready to throw us into the abyss. The tail end of this issue provides a glimmer of hope with one of the best cliffhanger endings in recent memory. You know that moment in Evil Dead when Ash picks up the chainsaw? That's the feeling I got at the end of Absolute Carnage #3. We're in for some awesome shit.

Grades:

Story: Fivestars Absolute Carnage 3 Small
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Overall: Fivestars

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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