When we last left Carnage, he was being roasted alive by a bunch of Demon Lizard Gerudos called the “Broodlings of Chthon” while poor, innocent Jubulile suffered the same pain as Cletus did due to their mental link. How will the Children of the Midnight Sun deal with such a conundrum? Click and cringe as potential conflict is smothered by one of storytelling’s greatest nemeses: the Plot-Device!!
WRITER: Gerry Conway
ARTIST: Mike Perkins
COLOR ARTIST: Andy Troy
LETTERER: VC’s Joe Sabino
COVER by Michael Walsh
EDITOR: Darren Shan
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Nick Lowe
STORY (with commentary): Jubulile and Carnage’s mind-link causes her to vividly endure some of Cletus’ memories as he’s being cooked by the Broodlings of Chthon.
She witnesses Carnage’s first murder: pushing his abusive grandmother down the stairs as a boy.
She sees Cletus’ father kill his mother for trying to save Cletus from a beating. (Continuity alarm! Cletus, in one of his early appearances [a No-Prize to whoever finds the reference in the comments!], mentioned killing his mother for killing his father for trying to kill him)
And she sees Eddie Brock beating on a weeping Kasady when they were cell mates together after Styx “killed” the Venom symbiote. (This seemed out of character: I don’t see Kasady begging Brock or anyone for anything – he’s too much of a sociopath to behave like a victim)
The Children of Midnight make a move for the tent with the Darkhold, while Toxin tries to save Carnage to stop Jubulile’s suffering (which would have been a more potent moment had Conway not held our hands and explained the irony of it in Brock’s narration). However, Raze beats the cast to the punch in both respects, grabbing the Darkhold, then throwing Brock to the Broodlings and rescuing Carnage.
Carnage and Raze are led by the Darkhold deeper into the island while the Children of Midnight deal with the Broodlings of Chthon. The cast continues to use Jubulile as a human Carnage Tracer, despite Brock’s protests, to follow Carnage to the altar of Chthon. To be continued…
ANALYSIS: What I assume was meant to be an issue that catches people up on Carnage’s character history ended up falling kind of flat. And it’s not just the continuity fanboy wh*re in me, who points out the dismissal of Michelinie’s characterization (an ever-growing trend with the symbiote characters since the Burne/Mackie Reboot) of Carnage who says that. Carnage is a sociopath. Don’t try and make him sympathetic by turning him into a victim in these memories. Cletus Kasady is and always has been a despicable predator.
All this did was create tension between Jubulile and Brock, which could be an interesting development as Brock seems to regard Jubulile as one of his “innocents” that need protecting, and Jubulile is now going to question Brock’s integrity after having suffered through those visions. But couldn’t we have reached that point in another way? It would have been more potent a moment, and shown more of the complexity of Brock’s character, should Jubulile come to question his integrity for something that she herself witnesses in the present.
Frankly, there is not much else to say about this issue. The team bickers amongst themselves. Carnage is rescued by Raze, the fem-alien plot device. More bickering. And the race to the Chthonic altar continues. *yawn* Still, my gratitude still goes out to Conway, Perkins, and co. for getting this book out. I do sincerely love having a Carnage story to read and talk about every month, even if there is little to say on occasion. See you all at the end of October for “What Dwells Beneath” Part 3.
below average (a somewhat boring misfire of an issue in a consistently well-written-and-drawn series)