'Minimum Carnage' comes to an end and the conclusion is filled with thoroughly entertaining action. After all, a sea of Carnages is slaughtering Houston's citizens and someone's gotta stop it. That someone happens to be Venom and Kaine, and they're going to put an end to the rampage with a lot of bullets, kicks and stabs.
Having the entire event unfold via Katy Kiernan's article is a really nice touch. Her report ads an extra layer of insight to the adventure without making it feel like blatant exposition. This proves to be an especially useful and efficient method towards the end of the issue as we observe the status of the primary players in the event. The moral conflict surrounding Kaine and Venom towards the end is an often heated debate among comic fans and it's handled quickly but effectively.
Despite the bloodshed and overall bleak situation, there's still a few scattered moments that'll make you smirk. Venom and Kaine are terrible teammates and the result is some very amusing banter between the two. Once again, Bug manages to steal my heart with a mere line. One day, he shall have his own series!
While I now view Declan Shalvey as the go-to symbiote artist (seriously, did you read the last chapter?!), Lan Medina does a more than capable job, skillfully sketching a daunting amount of Carnages. As Cletus grows he becomes more and more intimidating and Medina illustrates that well, especially as the symbiote begins to grow additional mouths. Speaking of Shalvey, he does pop in to draw the epilogue. While it doesn't grant him much of an opportunity to create creepy symbiotes, he does have the honor of ending the entire run with an incredibly spooky and haunting panel.
After so many superb fights in the event, the action in this last issue simply pales in comparison. It's stimulating, but feels generic compared to everything we've seen so far. We've already witnessed Kaine and Venom taking on smybiotes and this encounter didn't really bring anything new or truly exciting to the table in that regard.
The inconsistencies with Carnage's eyes distracted me a bit. Sometimes they're flat on his face (as they usually are), but other moments portions of his white eyes were flailing off of his head, just like the rest of the symbiote. That's something I don't recall seeing before.
While this does wrap everything up, I still felt as though there was a lot left to be desired. The final battle is alright, but why not use the disruptor right off the bat when they're back to their full size? Sure, it would have made matters less amusing, but it seems more logical to me than asking tactical advice from the guy whose plan always seems to be "punch! kick! stab!"
I would have loved to see something with Radu. After all, he was built up as the big bad and to him have flee and not get a final word in the very last issue was a little disappointing to me. I understand The Enigma Force gives us an update, but I would have preferred to see something from his perspective as well. He was definitely an interesting villain and I'd absolutely be all for seeing more of him.
This was by no means a bad conclusion, but the build up and insane action over the past few issues had me expecting more from this final chapter. Everything comes to a clean conclusion and, despite not dropping any jaws, creates engaging action throughout.
One thing I did like is that Carnage is now more dangerous than ever. Somehow, that psychotic murderer that took on Spider-Man and Venom back in the day was tame compared to the man (or should I just say symbiote) that he is now. Carnage now has the ability to unleash his true potential and there's a lot of room for this new and deadlier symbiote to appear down the road.
In the end, this is an alright ending for a very entertaining event. The opening chapter didn't blow me away nor did the conclusion, but the core was tons of fun. If you missed out and you're a big symbiote fan, I'd definitely recommend checking it out when the TPB eventually hits.