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"Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Marvel Comics

Web Of Venom Cult Of Carnage 00

Written by Frank Tieri
Illustrated by Danilo S. Beyruth
Colored by Andres Mossa
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2019, 36 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on April 10th, 2019

Review:

Carnage has returned and there's an uneasy feeling across the Marvel Universe. This isn't the first time he's popped back up on the radar and this time he's gone back to the town of Doverton, Colorado, where he had once taken over every living thing in the area and forced them to do his bidding. What horror is he planning this time? Well, Misty Knight and John Jameson aim to find out, but they might not be ready for what they discover.

There's an intense feeling of dread in every page of Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage. You know that something horrifying is brewing here, but you just don't know what yet. Misty rolls into town in search of her lost partner and finds...nothing. The town is abandoned. John does turn up, but he's without clothes or any memory of how he got there.

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While the tone is so perfectly foreboding, Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage is pretty exposition-heavy. Writer Frank Tieri has the unenviable job of reminding people who John is, what Carnage did the last time he came to Doverton, and filling us in on all the gruesome details as John puts his recent past back together. The book bounces between the past and the present and every time it does that, it loses some momentum. Granted, a lot of background is helpful in fully appreciating this story, but it wasn't all required.

The real horrors come when Misty and John find what's left of some townspeople and the animals in the zoo. This is where artist Danilo S. Beyruth delivers some truly unsettling imagery, driving home just how dangerous Carnage is. I debated whether or not to spoil this, but it's too gruesome not to share. The spines have been ripped out of these people and animals. Think about a giraffe and how big that is. Now think about the force required to tear out its spinal column.

Colorist Andres Mossa shows these atrocities in a dark red, like the corpses have been covered in their own blood for some time. It casts an eerie shade on the entire scene, complemented by the quiet stillness of the morning sky.

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Of course, Carnage does show up later on and he's just as sickening as ever. He manipulates his symbiote such that it becomes this ever-moving semi-liquid entity, capable of surrounding victims and suffocating them in moments. Imagine being covered in blood and sinew from your head to your toes. That claustrophobic feeling is driven home in the looks of abject fear in the victims.

Then Carnage opens his mouth, delivering a sickly and demented voice to his loyal followers. Letterer Clayton Cowles uses a rougher font, encased in blood red word balloons for the villain's speech. It's like a sweeter version of nails on a chalkboard.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage is another step towards Marvel's summer event, Absolute Carnage. I was already excited for it and this book only added to it. This is horror in the truest sense of the word, brought into the Marvel Universe in a big way. Carnage is unlike any villain out there. He's not trying to rob a bank. He wants to see the world burn.

Grades:

Story: Threeandahalfstars Web Of Venom Cult Of Carnage Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars

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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