Review: Absolute Carnage #1

Absolute Carnage #1

There’s been a longtime build-up to this opening salvo of Marvel’s latest event. Absolute Carnage #1 delivers in every way.

I’ve never been a fan of the character Carnage but writer Donny Cates is slowly turning me into one.

Absolute Carnage #1 picks up on Cates’ epic Knull storyline as the back from the dead Carnage wants to free the symbiote god. Cates has been laying the groundwork for this for some time. Venom has seen most of the focus when it comes to this new depth for the symbiotes and their alien kind.

Here, tension builds as Eddie seeks out Spider-Man’s help. The two realize what is happening and decide to team-up to figure out how to stop Carnage.

Cates is able to deliver foreboding dread throughout the issue but also adds in the expected humor when it comes to Spider-Man. The story is serious but never crosses the line to the horror it should be. It comes close though.

What’s most impressive about Cates’ writing is he’s able to sum up most of what readers need to know. It’s all packed into the issue and in a way that feels organic. It’s not just Eddie recounting where we’re at, it feels important as he gets Spider-Man up to speed on the situation. It creates a comic both new and old readers alike can enjoy.

The art by Ryan Stegman is amazing. Along with ink by JP Mayer, color by Frank Martin, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the issue is fantastic to look at. The art team delivers on the horror vibe of it all. But, they do so without diving into gore. Instead, the colors chosen and shapes of Carnage play and deliver on the vibe of it all. It’s supposed to make you uneasy and fill you with dread and it does. Even the page layouts and small details around the edge of some pages add to the emotion of it.

The issue is a hell of a start and how you do an event. There’s more than enough there to be inviting to new and old readers and it delivers a hell of a punch.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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