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Carnage Black White Blood 2 Main

"Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

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Written by Donny Cates, Chip Zdarsky, and Ram V
Illustrated by Kyle Hotz, Marco Checchetto, and Javier Fernandez
Colored by Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettered by Joe Sabino
2021, 32 Pages, $4.99

Review:

No one does symbiotes like Carnage. Sure, Venom is cool and all, but Carnage is extreme. The symbiote bonded with a serial killer and it was a match made in Heaven...or rather Hell. This issue of this anthology series featuring three frightening tales of bloodshed as only this character can deliver.

What immediately stands out in Carnage: Black, White, & Blood is the art style, particularly the colors. The only shades used are literally, black, white, and red. It creates a dark tone right off the bat that highlights the dangers of Carnage whenever he pops on the page, not to mention all the blood that's splattered when he gets into action. There have been a few of these types of anthologies lately and they work very well to focus on the essence of the character. This one is no exception.

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There is not a bad story in the bunch in Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2. It makes it tough to pick a favorite, as they each scratch a different itch. The opening tale, “Carnage Shark” from writer Donny Cates, artist Kyle Hotz, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg sets a great tone right out of the gate, looking at what the Carnage symbiote was doing as King in Black was wrapping up. It was taking over a shark.

Unsurprisingly, this creates some great visuals. Hotz excels at unsettling details and those are on full display here. There's one shot in particular, when the symbiote first bonds with the shark, that really stands out. This animal is already scary on its own, but it ends up with more rows of teeth, all capable of tearing you apart. This is followed by a creepy human-like form as the symbiote tries to claw its way out of the murky depths.

My Red Hands” from writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checcchetto looks at Carnage more as a diabolical villain, keeping Spider-Man imprisoned on a farm out in the countryside while playing the boogeyman for the young boy who lives there. Checchetto's artwork is absolutely haunting. It's full of looming shadows in a quiet black and white that are pierced by the shock of blood splattered in the snow. Spider-Man is shown without color too as the focus is on Carnage and his heinous actions.

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Finally, there's “My Name is Carnage” from writer Ram V and artist Javier Fernandez, which tells the tale of some explorers looking at a meteorite crash only to find the Carnage symbiote instead. I'm a little confused by the timing of this, as I'm not sure when this creature really popped up. It's spawned from Venom, but there are times it appears earlier than that. In any case, this is a terrifying story that has a bit more red than the others, as these folks are turned against one another.

Joe Sabino handles lettering for the entire book and totally nails Carnage's signature speech patterns in the blood red word balloons and creepy font. It's amazing how much this has helped define the character and send a shiver down your spine.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood is a solid anthology through and through. Its focus on such a terrifying character makes for some crazy stories and this issue is a perfect example of that. I hope we get to see much more of these kind of books in the near future as the Marvel Universe embraces horror.

Grades:

Story: fourandahalfstars Cover
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Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

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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