Deadpool vs. Carnage #4 Review (Spoilers)


CVD CoverRead the following in a sarcastic manner: A book so good, I put off reviewing it because I couldn’t be bothered to finish my review of this series, just like this series couldn’t be bothered to end.

Deadpool vs. Carnage: Round Four

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Salva Espin
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Glenn Fabry & Adam Brown
Editors: Mike Marts & Jordan White & Frankie Johnson
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso

 

The Plot (If you could call it that): Carnage is killing people, Deadpool shows up with symbiotes, they fight, Deadpool tricks Carnage into nearly killing Shriek, and then Carnage just gives up, refusing to do anything so chaos can never control his life again.

Thoughts: Just stop throwing Carnage books out there, okay Marvel? You haven’t had a good one since Zeb Wells was writing Carnage and even that divided fans. But at least Wells stuck to an idea and mined it for what it was worth. Kevin Shinick and Cullen Bunn have come up with a plethora of ideas both interesting and stupid for the character over the past year, things like: lobotomizing Cletus Kasady, taming the symbiote with mind-control, bonding the symbiote to a cripple (ala Agent Venom style), having symbiotes restore fractured minds (but they still cause Cancer),  having Carnage find out the truth about SpOck, killing Kasady and Carnage so they can morph into one and no longer be separated again, and then having Chaos control their life. But no idea has stuck or mattered really in the long run of things, despite Carnage pretty much having a monthly for the year. And the execution of these ideas has been polarizing. There was no consistent tone, no consistent idea, no consistent arc. The best issues were the self contained stories or ones that played off characters all around Carnage like the Klaw focused issue in Superior Carnage. 

CVD 2And Deadpool vs. Carnage was the worst of the lot. It was unoriginal, it was pointless, the fights were bland, it felt bizarrely out of character and it tried to so hard to be funny but failed. Kasady just gives up after nearly killing Shriek, who was earlier established to be a means to an end. Pardon? Carnage, the sociopath killer of the Marvel Universe, gives up because he nearly killed his main fling? Sure, Bunn tries to play it off as he doesn’t want chaos to rule his life anymore, but there was no sense of conclusion to this at all.

Last review, I gave it some leeway for being a comic that was able to make sense out of chaos. I retract that statement… I feel like Bunn had no idea what he was doing here, having Carnage bounce back and forth between whether Chaos controls his life or not. And Deadpool has a little speech about how Chaos connects them all, but it read like Bunn grasping at straws to make this story have a point.

Despite having some weak story lines this year, Carnage has had several great artists working for him. Stephen Segovia started the year off on a strong, disturbing note with Superior Carnage and did a good job playing around with new forms for Carnage in the mini-series. For the annual, he passed the torch over to Kim Jacinto and Mike Henderson for a more sketchier, gritty style that suited the story being told. And then for Deadpool vs. Carnage, we had Salva Espin step up to the plate. Although I found him the weakest artist to handle Carnage this year, his cartoonish style suited the more bizarre tone of this mini and he did a commendable job. Sadly, in this issue he basically made Deadpool into a colorful Agent Venom and didn’t get the chance to deliver anything new to the table.

Future: We already know when Carnage will be returning to the playing field thanks to the AXIS announcement. As well as appearing in the main book (which rumor has it will feature a mind swap between villains and heroes) he will get a three issue mini, written by Rick Spears and art by German Peralta (anybody else find it funny that a German is headlining an AXIS book?) I’ve seen little from either of these guys, but Spears has been described in ways similar to Shinick and Peralta has a gritty tone to his artwork. I wish I was optimistic, but I’m really just expecting them to somehow rip apart Kasady/Carnage again and create some new status quo for him.

Verdict: This mini-series was all over the place and I wish I could say that it ended on a good note… or even felt like it ended at all, but it didn’t. It just stopped after delivering us four issues of inconsequential, unoriginal crap. I hope Marvel can get their shit together when it comes to Carnage and stick with something for the guy. I’d love to see Wells come back to Carnage, but at this point I’d be happy with getting a status quo for the guy.

CVDPros
Things that didn’t suck:

  • The art

 

Cons:

  • Unoriginal
  • Bland
  • Doesn’t feel like an ending
  • Not funny

 

F

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(9) Comments

  1. Jesse

    Pointless eh? Let me ask you something Shaun, is sports pointless? is TV / entertainment pointless? Seems like you are expecting something that will never exist. If you want philosophy or life lessons...read a novel. Comics are supposed to be fun buddy!

  2. Jesse

    There WAS indeed a consistent idea in this arc. The idea being that Deadpool was the only 1 qualified enough (psycho) to understand Carnage's MO and get into his head and mess with his whole purpose / belief system. A clever reader would have been able to pick up on that better, even though the writing admittedly wasn't fantastic.

  3. FT95

    @5 I didn't know that. F$%#ing symbiote. At least Peter is safe. Also, yeah, the mini was entertaining but it had no point, no goal, barely touched on each character's baggage... You could've done this as a one-shot and it would have the same amount of story. Carnage surrendering isn't so much the problem, it's Deadpool not following up on his promise of putting him down that irks me. Also, given the resolution of Superior Carnage Annual, I was thinking. Kasady died, and the symbiote was on the verge of doing the same, but they "resurrected" as one. Sounds overly convenient doesn't it? Am I the only one suddenly considering that the symbiote is wearing Kasady's dead body as a meat puppet, essentially making him a zombie?

  4. Iron Patriot

    @Shaun - Spectacular Spider-Man #1 from 2004 established that Eddie already had cancer. With Mac Gargan it was the removal of the symbiote, along with the genetic altering already done to his body, that was killing him.

  5. AmFan15

    I enjoyed the first three issues of this series. It was fun seeing these two nearly indestructible psychopathic maniacs going at each other...Kind of like an old Looney Tunes cartoon in a way. But I definitely agree with you about the final issue...Seriously? You mean to tell me that after all that build-up, and even giving Deadpool a symbiote of his own...that Carnage just surrenders and turns himself in? CARNAGE??? Man, talk about a let down. Makes me think they didn't know where the story was going, and just totally made it up on the fly.

  6. Shaun Martineau

    @IP: I thought both Brock and Gargan got cancer after being separated from the symbiote for too long a period? @BJ: I've seen other reviews favor this mini too, I seem to be in the minority here but I want sinister Carnage not funny Carnage. I thought Bunn had a decent grasp on both characters at the start, but we've seen so much better for both characters in recent years. Where he leaves Carnage felt wildly out of character though.

  7. Big John

    I actually kinda liked this mini. I don't have super high expectations for Carnage, just give me an indication that you understand and respect the character and I'll be fine with it. I honestly thought the Deadpool-being-able-to-read-Carnage's-patterns thing was executed pretty well and that the story had some fun twists along the way (Deadpool combining with the Hybrid symbiotes), referenced past Carnage stories (Doverton & Shriek), and even tied up some dangling plot threads (Mercury Team). I'm hoping Remender doesn't divide Kasady from the symbiote again and am with you in hoping Wells will come back to write him.

  8. Iron Patriot

    Not related to the book, which I haven't read, but your comment on the symbiote causing cancer. Is that a plot line from another character or are you referring to Eddie Brock? Cause it was stated that Brock had cancer prior to the symbiote and it was only Venom keeping it at bay with its healing ability.

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