Superior Carnage: Project Rebirth 3.0
Writer: Kevin Shinick
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Inker: Dennis Chrisostomo
Colorist: Jay Ramos
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Clayton Crain
Editors: Devin Lewis & Sana Amanat & Stephen Wacker
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
You Know Why You Don’t Fight City Hall:
Issue 3: Dr. Malus is transformed into Carnage and The Wizard finds a way to control him. Mal-Carnage retains awareness and warns Klaw that The Wizard will slip up and when he does, he will murder the both of them. The Frightful Four (two members of which form Mal-Carnage) decided to attack City Hall and Mayor Jameson, tearing through their defenses with ease. Wizard briefly loses control of Mal-Carnage, but regains control of him just in time for SpOck to show up.
Issue 4: Spider-Man and his Spider-Troopers fight against the Frightful Four, but they are easily defeated thanks to the cunning mind under the Carnage symbiote this time. SpOck manages to take out The Wizard, allowing Mal-Carnage to go nuts. SpOck tries to revive The Wizard to control Mal-Carnage, but Klaw attacks him in defense of The Wizard. Mal-Carnage manages to pierce Klaw’s heart with Vibranium, causing him to explode. Carnage leaves Malus and slips on to the recovering Wizard.
Because City Hall Fights Back: Let’s discuss Issue 3 very briefly, because nothing really happens in it. I mentioned briefly in the previous two reviews that I don’t like it when the Carnage symbiote is taken from Cletus Kassidy, but this issue reminded me why I HATE it when they take the symbiote away from him. The personality of any other host is consumed by the symbiote and they got lost in an attempt to have a new take on “Carnage”. I don’t give a damn about Dr. Malus or this Mal-Carnage, it’s just a loose gun waiting to go off, which Shinick constantly reminds us in the issue. Issue 3 was awful, despite some pretty art.
But boy, did the series make a comeback with Issue 4. Otto is right pissed that Mal-Carnage has taken the moniker Superior and their fight is the highlight of the series, with the upper-hand switching sides constantly throughout the battle. And the conclusion, the explosive end of Klaw is a beautifully drawn and colored piece of art.
This is probably the most sinister portrayal of SpOck we’ve seen in a comic yet, as he’s a down right bastard, doing whatever it takes to maintain the upper-edge; he uses Bentley 23 to motivate The Wizard but has no intention of helping out a villain whose in the exact same position he was nearly a year ago. He’s a full on dick with his comments during the fight and his inner dialogue is a huge step above Malus’, who was a poor choice for the PoV character for the earlier issues for this story. This is what I believe Slott is trying to do with SpOck in Superior Spider-Man, but he’s got just too lighthearted of a take on the character to pull it off.
That being said, it still doesn’t fix a lot of flaws with this series. The tone is still wildly inconsistent, with some wonderfully sinister bits like what Mal-Carnage does with tongues, then some lame jokes that kill the mood. The Wizard has been reduced to such a joke, it’s hard to give a damn about his approaching death. Klaw was still a puppet up to his final moments and Mal-Carnage still doesn’t come close to touching Kassidy-Carnage. Character work is not the strong point here; come for the art… stay for the art.
Because that art, it’s beautiful. I think Segova and Ramos surpass the original one-man art team of Clayton Crain, who did Carnage and Carnage USA. My first take on the Mal-Carnage design was one of disapproval, but Segova and Shinick both have fun with the redesign and it goes a long way to redeeming it for me. I guess we’ll have to wait until the final issue to see what Wizard-Carnage will look like, but I think Segova will nail it.
Verdict: This series is all over the place, spending more time down in the dumps than rivaling Wells/Crain’s take on Carnage. They’ll need to pull off one helluva ending for this to earn my recommendation, but if you’re passing through a comic store, take a look at that wonderful art.
- SpOck vs. Mal-Carnage
- Carnage Got Your Tongue?
- Sinister Spider-Man
- Every Other Character
- Inconsistent Tone
- Poor Plot