This is an event I've been waiting for ever since we saw Flash Thompson become Venom and the return of Cletus Kasady. With Kaine now under the guise as Scarlet Spider, it was inevitable these three would clash. The only person missing is Spider-Man but it's better this way. We now have more a sense of the unexpected.
The story begins on a great note with Venom investigating the escape of Carnage from Thunderbolts Mountain Maximum Security Prison. Who better to bring Carnage in than the person in possession of the Venom symbiote. Kaine being thrown in is a nice touch and adds a wildcard factor to the story.
As the events unfold, there is a sense of mystery as we don't get all the information immediately. This might be a little frustrating but offers the opportunity to keep readers guessing what might happen next. By the time the issue ends, the set up is complete and we're left with a typical cliffhanger that will fill you with anticipation for the next issue.
I was torn with the art. Venom looks great. I love the spikey shoulder pad look. Cleatus looked a little odd. It might be that we've gotten used to Clayton Crain's take on him. When he first appears, he's almost unrecognizable. As Carnage, something felt off as well. There's almost too much red and he seems to be missing that horrific touch (plus his first full appearance as Carnage has him missing a foot).
How Carnage escaped and who helped him is the big mystery. I was stumped for sure. There wasn't really anything appealing about the individuals involved that got me excited to find out more about who they were.
Carnage and crossovers feel like a natural fit. With the new VENOM and SCARLET SPIDER series, it's great to pit these three against each other. The decision not to included Spider-Man here was the right choice as well. It's hard to say what will happen next and that's important to get readers to want to come back for more. There were some issues with the art, in particular the way Carnage himself appeared. We also have some mystery characters that looked a little familiar but will leave you scratching your head. There definitely is the potential for this series to blast off. You'll want to see what happens next to see how the coming encounter plays out.