IN ThE NAME OF CARNAGE

Feb 21, 2022

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An obvious sign that Spring isn’t far is the amount of activity in the insect community. Look no further than Marvel Comics right now and you’ll notice the spider family is stirring. Not only do you have the original but also his clone over in Amazing, plus a new series for Silk and Venom has joined Conan’s quest. However every family has a bad apple, and this one is truly rotten, beyond the core. So what happen’s when you take the host away from the symbiote. Writer’s Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Ram V deliver two tales that eerily introduce us to that reality in the pages of Carnage Forever # 1.

Carnage Forever # 1

Marvel Comics

There are two parts to most heroes (or villains). The identify and the ability, which may create a whole new identify for the individual. Since his introduction, the character Carnage has adhered to this standard principal. Whenever he would show up heroes would alternatively address him by his host name of Cletus as much as they would call him Carnage.

However, since thee events of King in Black, Cletus and Carnage are no longer bonded. Two talented teams deliver stories that pave the way for the possibilities that await these two characters. Can they get the band back together or has one party grown beyond their partnership?

Homecoming:


Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Edgar Salazar
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino

In the issues first tale, Homecoming, we are introduced to a man named Jerry. Friendly sort of fella, average guy. Clearly he is a caring individual as he takes a special interest in a young woman named Elsie. Actually, he is more concerned about where he finds her coloring, outside the abandoned wreckage of St. Estes. Jerry’s past with this place clearly pains him, as he warns Elsie that people end up disappearing from this place.

This story deals with retribution and even toys with regret in a remarkable way. Elsie comes from such pain and suffering that you wish something would change in her life. That a “hero” would come to take her away or that she would find the “power” to stand up to her tormentors. Meanwhile, Jerry seems like someone who has never escaped his past. Rather than leaving the place he grew up he remains shackled there for some reason. In a sinister twist writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson manages to place both individuals in the midst of the current Carnage breakup.

Unmade in His Image:

Writer: Ram V
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letter: VC’s Joe Sabino

While the first story gives the impression that Carnage is longing for what he has lost, the second one shows he may just be ready to move on. I found myself noticing how the fallout of King in Black was still affecting Carnage. But while the first tale saw him struggling with his powers limitations, this one saw him opening up to new possibilities. Another Parker product makes an appearance to offer Carnage an upgrade. No longer needing a host to avoid extinction, it now seems the nature of Carnage is headed for an evolution. Ram V delivers a story that is a few splatters shy of a blood bath with Rain Beredo filling the pages with red.

Funnies:
Writer, Artist, Color Artist, Letter: Ty Templeton

Ty Templeton brings a short page for anyone like me who grew up knowing only one section of the newspaper. From the Circus to the Menace, Carnage embraces the role of tiny terror. If we can have Spider-Ham and Gwenpool, I am all for a little Childhood Carnage. Perhaps we already have met the candidate?

Carnage Forever # 1

This book has the feel of a graphic novel. The artist do a tremendous job of giving it a darker feel, especially since there are no heroes here. This is a look at a serial killer. Even with Venom there was someone behind the scenes who had notions of heroism, even if it was Flash’s ego driving him. But Cletus always was a killer, Carnage only made it easier. Now the symbiote is away from the only shell it’s ever known. Given the creatures limitations that would be a good thing but something has changed. And while I won’t go as far as to suggest that Red is about to be the new Black. After this issue I can state that much like diamonds….

Carnage is Forever.

Score: 8.7

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