4thletter’s Guide to Carnage USA #1’s Cliffhanger

December 15th, 2011 Posted by Gavok

This week marks the release of the first issue of Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain’s Carnage USA. This 5-issue series is a sequel to last year’s Carnage. Originally set to be called Astonishing Spider-Man/Iron Man, Carnage told the story of how Cletus Kasady and his alien costume came back from having the Sentry tear them in half in space back when New Avengers was first starting up. Cletus was shown to be alive, albeit with a robotic bottom half and proceeded to give both heroes a headache while unintentionally creating a new hero with a living costume.

As a guy who never cared for Carnage and had no desire to see him come back, I consider the miniseries shockingly good. It’s definitely worth checking out. The end showed that Carnage was biding his time for his next move while keeping his mindless and loyal pet Doppelganger on a leash. That leads right into Carnage USA where the serial killer has manifested his powers in a scary way that makes him more megalomaniacal than he’s ever been shown. He tussles with a couple members of the Avengers and the fact that this is the first issue should tell that it doesn’t work out so well for the good guys just yet.

It’s the final page that sells me on the series. For the sake of spoilers, I’ll blot out the bottom part in the preview, but click to see the full glory.

Hey now! Someone call the doctor because it’s been well over four hours! Zeb Wells obviously wrote this entire comic for me specifically. I’d imagine that there are a lot of people confused by some of the names here, so as the world’s foremost expert on all things Venom, I thought I’d give a quick who’s who.

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We Care a Lot Part 16: Toxology Report

September 1st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

Venom was certainly making himself known in late 2004. Not only did he have his ongoing series and his role in Marvel Knights Spider-Man, but Marvel decided to give him top billing in yet another miniseries! This time, we got Venom/Carnage, or Venom vs. Carnage. At least, the latter is how it appeared in the solicits, but the former is how it shows up in the book. I mean, I guess the slashed one makes it easier to type, but adding “versus” makes anything sound cool. Would people be that interested in “Freddy/Jason” or “Aliens/Predator”? No. Not at all.

Venom/Carnage came out in September, 2004, only weeks before the Venomous storyline, which would seemingly kill off Eddie Brock and make Mac Gargan the new Venom. A couple months later, Carnage would be flown into space and torn in half by the Sentry in the pages of New Avengers. So why would they be making a miniseries about these two characters who are about to be changed so radically? Why, it would be for an introduction!

The series is written by Peter Milligan with the art by Clayton Crain. Crain’s style is very unique, looking like an ultra-glossy wax museum made of CGI. His human characters can look very off at times, but when someone’s face is covered and they’re in costume, they look pretty rocking. This goes double for the symbiote characters, such as Venom and Carnage on that above cover. The symbiotes get by on being made to look cool and this guy makes them look cooler, so give them a minseries, why not.

From writing up these articles and having to reread these stories, I think I’ve noticed a hiccup in the storytelling process. In the Spider-Man story The Hunger, it ends with the Venom symbiote saying that it’s pregnant. Daniel Way’s Venom series ends with Venom becoming a huge monster that’s meant to unleash some kind of world-ending output that can’t be described. My own educated guess would be that Toxin, the character this installment is about, was meant to be that offspring. Only, Peter Milligan was plotting Venom/Carnage and thought, “Eh… fuck it, we’ll make it Carnage’s kid.”

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Corbett Hits Me Off Guard

October 23rd, 2008 Posted by Gavok

So there’s this comic character I liked from a couple years back who I knew wasn’t long for the world. True to my prediction, he didn’t do anything outside of ten issues worth of appearances, outside of appearing in the background. I knew that the guy was completely gone from everyone’s mind and would MAYBE appear in an issue of Avengers: The Initiative, if that.

When Rifftrax released their sample for their take on The Happening, I found myself taken aback.

It’s about 18 seconds in.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that reference so surreal.

I understand this post may have completely wasted your time, so enjoy this as well.

You have no idea how many times I’ve watched this thing.

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