Despite what the premise claims, this comic is mostly an excuse for Spider-man and Iron Man to team up. Both have had experience with this villain in particular, and others of its kind, in the past and it’s fairly obvious from the start what’s going on. But Marvel stretches it to a five issue plot because the two make a good team.
The comic starts off with the CEO of a medical company sending a probe into space to retrieve Carnage, a member of the alien race known only as the Symbiotes, because Symbiotes have extraordinary regenerative capabilities. One of the things I found most interesting about the comic is the CEO that they’re playing up to be this big, evil, stereotypical jerk isn’t. He truly does want to help people. He prevents Spider-Man and Iron Man from helping because he knows that Iron Man runs a rival company. Sure, he wants to make a profit, but his main motivation honestly seems to be to use the Carnage symbiote to help amputees. Sadly, he meddling with forces he can’t control. Lots of people die and at the end of the series one of Spidey’s big villains is back.
I’m of two minds on the art here. On the one hand, it’s nice looking. All of the characters are drawn in bright, vivid colors and the characters, both new and old, are well designed. On the other hand, all of the backgrounds are in shades of grey or white and don’t seem to be fully sketched out; they blend together, which is really boring. I get that this is supposed to be a dark comic, but some color would be nice, especially since it’s a comic with the ever-jocular Spider-man in it. On the whole I think it would work better with a grittier hero like Punisher, Batman, or Hellboy.
This comic isn’t bad, exactly, but neither is it good. It’s just kind of pointless. The end result of this five-issue mini-series is the sort of thing that could easily be explained away in a panel or two of the next book Carnage appeared in. I’m just not sure this comic needed to exist.
Due to excessive carnage (pun intended) and gore, this book should be treated as a 15 and up.
Carnage: Family Feud
by Zeb Wells
Art by Clayton Crain