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Absolute Carnage 4 Main

Absolute Carnage #4" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics


Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Ryan Stegman
Inked by JP Mayer, Jay Leisten, & Ryan Stegman
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 32 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on October 16th, 2019


In an effort to stop Carnage's killing spree, which could lead to him waking an evil god, the Venom symbiote has deemed Eddie Brock unworthy and jumped to a new host: The Hulk. Meanwhile, Captain America, Wolverine, and the Thing are in suspended animation, getting the symbiote codices removed from their bodies as Carnage's horde descends upon them. They're helpless. Eddie Brock has to step up, but will it be enough.

Absolute Carnage works on so many levels. It's a great super hero story, a terrifying horror tale, and an inspiring journey of one man who just figured out his life is worth a damn. Eddie has been beaten and battered for as long as he can remember and now that he's found out he has a son (Dylan), he has something to live for. It's changed his attitude and his outlook.

This leads to one of the best sequences in the series to date, if not one of the best I've seen all year. Do you remember in Avengers: Endgame when Captain America picked up Thor's hammer? This creates a similar tone as Eddie picks up Cap's shield and runs into battle. When his eyes fell on the shield, my heart jumped. I started screaming, “You can do it, Eddie!”

Click images to enlarge

Eddie's journey has been fascinating to watch. Writer Donny Cates has taken him to the lowest of lows and has raised him up through this arc especially. It's a little funny that it happens amidst all of this chaos and bloodshed. We see these ups and downs in this issue as well, with Eddie pleading with Spider-Man in the beginning of the issue to stay and protect his son as he heads out to face certain doom, only to rise up and do something so awesome to take control of his destiny.

There are two endings to Absolute Carnage #4. By that I mean there's a moment about halfway through that could have been a helluva cliffhanger. It's a big turning point. Then you realize there's still a big chunk of the book left and the roller coaster ride continues.

Artist Ryan Stegman has done such an incredible job with this book. This is the best of the best artwork, mixing bright, hopeful super heroics with the down and dirty horror. A great example of this is the fight between Carnage and Venom Hulk. This is an insane battle. I love how the symbiote isn't big enough to cover the Hulk's body. Stegman frames this like the big, crazy fight it is with a varied layout. There are nice touches too, like when Carnage reaches into the Hulk's brain there's a cutaway panel revealing how the tendrils are piercing within. Gah! I love this so much.

Click images to enlarge

Then there's the design for Carnage, which is already terrifying on its own. The guy is one step above a skeleton. I have a hard time looking at his torso because it's little more than a spinal column. It creeps me out. There's a new twist to this look that makes him even more fearsome. Colorist Frank Martin adds an eerie glow to Carnage, like he's pulsing with pure evil energy, cutting through the darkness around him like Hell itself clawing up from below.

Letterer Clayton Cowles adds to this sinister look with a haunting font. You can imagine the insane, gravelly voice that comes out of this monster, toying with you before he rips your spine from your body.

Absolute Carnage has quickly become a standout Marvel Comics event and not just because it's full of frightening horror. It is an incredible story full of jaw-dropping moments, awesome artwork, and a villain that would scare even the fiercest killers of the horror genre. It also happens to redefine and elevate Venom to levels heretofore unseen. People will be speaking about this character in the same breath as Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Captain America by the time this series is through.


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Overall: 5 Star Rating

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About The Author
James Ferguson
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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