By Cullen Bunn, Kim Jacinto, Mike Henderson & Jay David Ramos
Cletus Kasady and the Carnage symbiote’s story continues after the events of Superior Carnage. This annual chronicles lives without the symbiote. He’s been transferred to a general population penitentiary and has become a model prisoner. Meanwhile, the Carnage symbiote has had samples shipped to various research facilities to be studied by Spider-Man. Seems scientists never learn, it escapes and begins a long trek to find its true host…
As much as I love the character Carnage, this was a very disappointing narrative. What transpires in the comic could have been shortened immensely; instead it was drawn out with cliches and generic tropes. It was definitely an interesting idea to explore what life is like for the violent symbiote and its predominant host when they are not bonded, but that concept is basically overshadowed by how Carnage escapes and journeys to the penitentiary. Just too much fluff and not enough substance. Writer Cullen Bunn’s handle of Carnage’s dialogue is spot on and he understands the character; it would be interesting to see him write for the villain more.
Considering this is a Carnage story, there is a certain level of gore to be expected. For the majority there isn’t, but in the final act the art team delivers. The depictions are not too graphic, but they, without a doubt, show the true malevolence of the monster. Also, Mike Henderson’s design for Carnage is strong, but I prefer Kim Jacinto’s interpretation in this book.
There are some nuggets of good in this annual, but to be a strong comic it needs to be consistent throughout. Die-hard Carnage fans should buy this if they want to continue following the storyline, but it’s not necessary. Let’s hope Deadpool Vs. Carnage delivers in April!