CARNAGE #2 Review


Carnage Part Two

Writer: Zeb Wells

Artist: Clayton Crain

Cover Artist: Clayton Crain

Variant Cover: Arthur Adams & Laura Martin

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Warning – SPOILERS below may cause people to start creating total carnage in the streets

First off I just want to say how much of an honor it is to be reviewing now for the Spider-Man Crawlspace. I didn’t actually think I’d get a part but look where I am. Goes to show, you’ll only go as far as how much you’ll suck up to Brad Douglas. Joking aside, thanks again for giving me a chance to join a group of spectacular reviewers on this site and the other soon-to-be amazing reviewers. Secondly, curse you Jon M Wilson for making me slave over creating another Carnage #1 Review when a while back you already did one! (You can find his review on the first issue a page back in the Reviews section). One of these days, one of these days… *AHEM* NOW with that said it’s time to open a bag of Doritos, a bottle of Powerade, and start reviewing this thing.

The Plot
Eight months ago the S.B.S.S (Space-Based Space Surveillance) managed to detect something heading towards a collision course with one of their satellites which so happens to be owned by Michael Hall. In space, the torn apart Carnage symbiote; which looks pretty dead; comes crashing through the satellite and reenters Earth’s atmosphere. Back on Earth inside a facility; possibly Ravencroft; Shriek is shouting that “He’s Coming Back!” and has to be restrained by officials by being tasered. As the officials leave, Dr. Tanis Nieves is left with taking care of an unconscious Shriek. Back in the present; three weeks after the incident with Doppelganger to be exact; we find Spider-Man visiting Dr. Nieves in the hospital questioning her about the recent events that have occurred. She tells him that Shriek was her patient and also says that the men who took her planned on transferring her somewhere else. Spidey then brings up about her losing her arm and says he’s taking responsibility for what happened to her, to the point where he’s talked to Tony Stark about designing a prosthetic arm free of charge.  To Spidey’s surprise she’s already been given an advanced prosthetic arm by the people she didn’t know she was working for until recently. Just as Spider-Man is about to ask more questions two of Michael Hall’s employees enter the room and tell the web slinger their going to call the cops, but before getting the chance, Spidey has swung out of the building.

In one of Stark’s labs, Tony is analyzing one of the strands of the net that Royal Blue used on him and Spider-Man during the mob incident (last issue). Tony tells Spidey over a com piece that the strand contains organic material, similar to a symbiote. Just hearing the wall crawler’s voice on the com link causes the strand to lose its form and become agitated. Later, Dr. Nieves is in a limo with the two employees but begins to see things such as the two employees dead and blood everywhere in the limo. It could be side effects from the prosthetic so she’s told. Soon enough Spidey shows up in Stark’s lab to see the sample of the net for himself. He tells Tony that Dr. Nieves was already given a prosthetic arm that looked state of the art. Instantly Tony remembers Michael Hall’s demonstration a couple weeks back about his new prosthetic technology and decides to head to Hall Industries. Of course, Spidey incinerates the sample first before leaving. At Hall Industries, scientists including Dr. Nieves are looking on at Shriek in a chair inside a globe with the Carnage symbiote hanging above her in a separate globe, feeding off the negative emotions Shriek is giving off. The scientists explain that the symbiote gobbles up the negative emotions Shriek is giving off and converts it into biomass, which they siphon off to study and adapt it to their technology. While watching Dr. Nieves is unable to remove her prosthetic hand from the glass.

Outside Iron Man and Spider-Man arrive, Stark telling Peter that their guy is Michael Hall. They are spotted by the security system and it notifies Royal Blue and his group of product line men to deal with the two Avengers. The group consists of Royal Blue, Firebrick, Paris Green, Burnt Orange and Gun Metal *SIGH*. Back in the lab Dr. Nieves kills everyone in the room with her prosthetic arm that she has lost control over. We look back outside to pretty much have a confrontation between the two heroes and the product men about who has the higher authorization; technically Iron Man and Spidey don’t have permission in being on the premise. It doesn’t matter as the two sides engage one another in battle.  In the lab Tanis Nieves’ uncontrolled arm breaks the dome containing the symbiote. As the symbiote fuses together with the prosthetic arm it also begins to attach itself to the good doctor. The battle outside stops when Royal Blue gets reports of a situation in the production wing. The marketing team flies off leaving Spidey and Iron Man wondering what got their attention. Inside the building is the new Carnage and SHE’S taking down anybody in her way.

The Good
First off I want to say the artwork is great. I personally digged Clayton Crain’s artwork on his run on X-Force so seeing it here is again, great. He really knows how to draw in his figures and show his different coloring talents whether it be having an armor looking surface to a symbiotic texture. It’s very well done so far in this mini series.

One of the highlights I like here is seeing how Peter and Tony are working together. When I first heard the news that there was going to be a Carnage mini series with Spidey and Iron Man teaming up I was thinking “Carnage, AWESOME! Spidey, COOL! Iron Man, WHY IS HE SHOWING UP?!” But from how Zeb Wells has written these two characters into the story and how they connect to one another is a pretty cool idea. Technologically advanced prosthetic replacement limbs with the help of the organic nature of the symbiote. And of course of all symbiotes Carnage? The one symbiote that is wacked out the most? There are positive and negative aspects about it but I won’t get into it right now.

Spider-Man’s bantering here… their actually a bit humorous here. For example:
-Back at Tony’s lab as he tests the strand from the net he got from Royal Blue last issue which he believes it’s symbiote related-
Spidey: “If you even suggest we’re dealing with an imbiote-say, I’m spinning myself a web-noose.”
Tony: “Wha–? That’s funny…”
Spidey: “I’m serious. It’ll dissolve in an hour so no one has to know I took the easy way out. I’m counting on you to keep my secret.”

When Spidey said that when Dr. Nieves’ lost her arm it was his responsibility he would help her, I instantly had a glimpse at the Spider-Man I grew up knowing. Even when something bad happens and it’s really not his fault, he takes RESPONSIBILITY, something that we almost haven’t seen in the main title for a while now. Right there, that’s the Peter Parker I grew up liking.

Do I miss Cletus Kassidy? Yes and no. Is he really dead? Comics have pretty much shown that characters who do die don’t stay dead forever, even the ones that are dead somehow make appearances still (look at X-Men: Necrosha and Chaos War for example). So far I’m interested in the direction Wells has taken with this new character becoming Carnage. What will this mean for Spidey in the future? Could this even have possible effects for the upcoming Venom ongoing series in the near future? My magic eight ball says… focus and ask again?? *SHAKE* *SHAKE* *SHAKE* Try again later??? Oh well, I guess we’ll see next issue fellow web heads.

The Bad
Bi-Monthly title. How can a mini series be a bi-monthly title? Let’s just be glad this mini hasn’t had any delays yet like Ultimate Comics X… that’s a different story though.

Some of the panels in this issue, like the previous one, look messy or even how Jon M Wilson pointed out in his review of the first issue “muddy”. It looks like I’m doing an eye sight test and all I see is grey blobs; but in this case; with pretty colors.

The man and woman in the beginning issue (Michael Hall’s employees who visit the hospital and tell Spider-Man to go f– I mean, leave before they call the cops) aren’t even named in this issue. Are they important? Currently from what I’ve seen not really.

Seriously, what the heck is with the product marketing crew? Royal Blue and Firebrick are joined with Paris Green, Burnt Orange and Gun Metal to take on the super market! Step aside Avengers, there’s another group of lame names that are probably never going to be used after this mini is over with! I like how their armors work and I know this is a joke but we really need better names than “Paris Green” and “Firebrick”.

Since we’ve already noticed that whatever technology is using strands of the Carnage symbiote can be controlled by the alien, what do you think will happen when the new Carnage comes into proximity with the marketing crew? Their either going to get killed off or be controlled by the symbiote. Do I hate the idea? For the moment I’m undecided but it’s just too obvious, even for me.

And another thing, how long has the Carnage symbiote been in Earth’s orbit? How could it have lived this long without a host? How the heck could a symbiote survive reentering Earth’s atmosphere? And no, the symbiote didn’t have any kind of shield around it probably except for it having a layer of ice all over it. My opinion, it would not survive reentering the atmosphere.

Additional Notes
This mostly relates back to issue one but is it just me or do you think they should have gone with the other Clayton Crain cover with Carnage on it instead of Iron Man and Spider-Man being on it? I mean the series is called Carnage so you’d think the first issue would show Carnage on the cover. Did they not think that because they wanted two movie characters on the cover instead? (That’s what it came off when I read the back page of issue one). This is not a movie, this is a comic. They should have gone with the other Crain cover as the main cover instead since it has the title character on it, but that’s my opinion.

Favorite Spidey Line
-While fighting off the marketing crew with Iron Man-
Spider-Man: “I need to call Rocket Racer and apologize for making fun of his name…”

That you should Spidey, that you should.

Even though this issue has a few flaws to it, it doesn’t out beat what was good about it. Zeb Wells has me interested in where he plans on taking the Carnage symbiote. I mean who knows since this was just the second issue, the host may even change. 3.5 out of 5 webheads.