Superior Carnage #1

Posted by Undeadpool (716 posts) - - Show Bio

The Good

Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain left one helluva mark when they took one of Marvel’s most one-dimensional, dull villains (Bendis even claims he had him torn in half at the beginning of New Avengers because of what he represented in terms of comics) and turned him into a genuinely terrifying force of evil and malice, one of shocking power and depravity. So a new creative team picking up where they left off had their work cut out for them, but Kevin Shinick and Stephen Segovia seem to be up to the task, even if their first effort is a little by-the-numbers. The issue picks up being narrated by a new inmate in an undisclosed metahuman prison. Since the Raft’s closure, apparently there’s been a prison overcrowding problem, so while our narrator has no powers to prop him up, he finds himself surrounded by admitted B-listers, but B-listers who are still super strong and/or indestructible. When Cletus Kasady, comatose after a dose of Scarlet Spider’s paralytic poison, is wheeled in, things quickly degenerate from bad to worse. A quick round of mind control from a source I won’t name, and suddenly Carnage is back and on the loose, but without even Kasady's twisted desires to keep the raging symbiote grounded.

I like how the characters in this book are written, the mastermind behind the plot makes sense (even if the plot itself isn’t quite foolproof) and the dialog is well-realized and characterizes the fear that must come with being in a situation like this well. Carnage has been a true force for terror and evil ever since his return and reappearance in Carnage USA and Minimum Carnage, so it’s interesting to get the voice of an outsider, someone with no powers nor a stake in what’s going on. Needless to say, our less-than-intrepid narrator doesn’t last very long, but he’s nice to have as an introduction to potential new, or unfamiliar readers.

Stephen Segovia’s pencils and inks, along with Jay David Ramos’ colors, are very reminiscent of Stefano Caselli’s without being too directly derivative, and if there’s anyone to be similar to with a book I’m reviewing, it’s Caselli. The characters are cleanly defined, the action is brutal and tweaks something directly in the gut, particularly the panel on which the narrator is dispatched. Once you realize what’s ACTUALLY happening, it’s a very stomach-turning event, but it’s far from the only notable one. Carnage himself has adopted a somewhat new look in the wake of the ubiquitous Maximum Carnage, a much more sinewy, skinless appearance and I like it. It makes the horror of what he is more apparent as there’s nothing about a character like Carnage that should be subtle, this is a case where more is definitely MORE.

The Bad

This book is somewhat rote and by the numbers, and not just because it relies on the people guarding superhuman monsters to not only be bottomlessly stupid but to have absolutely no contingency plans. I get that security on these kinds of facilities has been reduced to LITERAL jokes at this point, but it’s a little tough to believe when we’re actually treated to these escape attempts and how easy they are in a world where things like mind-control, possession or even good old-fashioned blackmail are SO ubiquitous. The book is definitely an issue that sets up bigger and better things happening in the future, but judges on its own merits, very little actually happens.

The Verdict

It feels strange to criticize a #1 issue for being too introductory, but this issue manages. I don’t want to harp on that fact too much though, as it’s still a great issue and well worth reading if, for no other reason, than to see villains try to tame the savage beast that Carnage has become. The final page even makes a villain who is C-list at best look threatening, menacing and a powerhouse villain, so that deserves some definite credit. I’m very, very interested in seeing where this book is going.

Staff
#1 Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo (368 posts) - - Show Bio

I always found the idea behind Carnage a great one. "Imagine a serial killer like psychopath gets the power of the venom symbiote"

Maybe they can finally realize the potential.

#2 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (33620 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder why Marvel are giving Carnage such a big push, I mean he's a really cool character but shouldn't they just have a big event surround him in Spider-Man rather than have a bunch of mini's?

#3 Posted by WWAJfan (242 posts) - - Show Bio

it was good,3/5 for me. Looking forward for next issue

#4 Posted by HollowPrince65 (143 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved this issue. I admit that the security detail was really laughable but hey....its just comics. Anything is game in there XD It was very fun and I'm very interested in seeing the next 4 issues continue.

#5 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29501 posts) - - Show Bio

When Cletus Kasady, comatose after a dose of Scarlet Spider’s paralytic poison

Uh... he was lobotomized, dude. Unless that's just wordplay. In which case, nice. Flows off the tongue well.

Anyway this issue was pretty lackluster.

#6 Posted by BattheMan008 (309 posts) - - Show Bio

This is a miniseries?

#8 Posted by ravisher (692 posts) - - Show Bio

carnage get miniseries every couple of months

#9 Posted by WWAJfan (242 posts) - - Show Bio

compared to 1st issues of recent Carnage Mini, this was pretty average compared to USA 1 and Alpha

#10 Posted by Revendawn (45 posts) - - Show Bio

Carnage gets looked at by a lot of people as a throwback to the 90's era of comics and kind of a silly character as a result. I feel like there is so much potential with this character that instead just turns into "he's a dude that really likes to murder people".

When the Sentry tore him in half and left him in space I really felt like it was a perfect opportunity to take the character in a new direction for the inevitable return. Ultimately we kind of ended up back in the same place.

Again when he was lobotomized I hoped it was another potential fresh start for him, but I'm not 100% sure if this is going to bring it. Marvel's best work as of late is when they take bold chances. Hawkeye is currently one of my favorite books and they devoted a whole issue to a dog.

We'll see though, I'd like nothing more than to see more of the iconic (for good or bad) villains in Marvel to get some attention thrown their way and be spruced up a bit.

If I can be allowed one final SUPER tiny gripe all these "Superior" branded books don't seem to connect to Superior Spider-Man or its continuity very well. You might think that is good or bad depending on what you think of the current state of Spider-Man, but regardless it seems weird to put off people that maybe aren't into it and also put off people who are by having some stuff that doesn't jive with what's going on in those books.

#11 Posted by CaptainHoopla (1046 posts) - - Show Bio

I came close to picking this up but my wallet decided against it. If it holds up after a few issues, I'll get the trade.

Big question, I thought this is supposed to be a full fledged ongoing and I'm seeing a lot of mini series talk here, anybody know which it is?

#12 Edited by WWAJfan (242 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainhoopla:

the last 4 Carnage Series (including this one) have all been Miniseries.

-Family Feud

-USA

-Minimum

-Supes

Btw I like ur avatar ; )

#13 Posted by GraniteSoldier (7966 posts) - - Show Bio

Carnage has always been a villain I have enjoyed, even if he's always written somewhat with somewhat lackluster. He's a perfect example of a character of what could have been. I thought he'd be a bit more of a superpowered Joker type character. A bit more cerebral than simply "kill kill kill". You can be a horrendous serial killer character and still be multi-dimensional. Nice review, though, I'll be getting this this weekend and I hope it pans out to be enjoyable.

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#14 Posted by dbatdog (541 posts) - - Show Bio

whats next Superior Avengers? or Superior Wolverine and the Amazing X-Men

#15 Posted by kriminal (646 posts) - - Show Bio

@dbatdog:

i want to see superior doctor octopus. that would grind ottos gears

#16 Posted by LordRequiem (1315 posts) - - Show Bio

Carnage USA was such an exceptional story. Cletus was hilariously villainous, it was truly excellent.

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