Writer: Frank Tieri
Colors: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Release date September 18, 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Misty Knight is currently traversing the sewers underneath Ravencroft, which has been overtaken by Dark Carnage and his cult. Cletus sends Demagoblin (previously Shriek) and John Jameson, a werewolf now wearing a Carnage symbiote, to track her down. While this is going on, Carnage’s horde has started spilling out into the city streets and Iron Fist is containing the situation. Misty manages to get a call out to Iron Fist, telling him about the situation, and Iron Fist gathers what heroes he can, Cloak & Dagger, Morbius, Firestar, and even Deathlok.
Recently, the tie-ins for Absolute Carnage have been a lot of hit-or-miss. Most of them aren’t essential or even remotely close to necessary to read and don’t really improve too much, if at all, on the main event book. I enjoyed the previous issue of Lethal Protectors enough and felt it fell in the middle, quality-wise. I am a fan of the art still. Flaviano has a nice animated style that pairs nicely with the colors and use of shading.
One thing that really took me out of this was just how pathetically frail these symbiote doppelgangers are. A one-armed, non-superpowered woman was able to fell a few of them simply by smacking them with a severed limb? I want to emphasis something. They make their hosts superhumans with a number of abilities. Symbiotes are supposed to be extremely durable, save for being exposed to one of their weaknesses. Typically, their bullet-proof costumes from head to toe, and any injury that can penetrate them, the symbiotes can patch up and heal quickly. While I was invested in seeing how someone like Misty could brave the impossible odds she’s presented with, it takes me out of the book with she’s able to knock them out like this. Additionally, when Deathlok puts several of these guys down with nothing but bullets, where again, these are supposed to be inhumanly strong symbiotes…
I think the reality of this book is its purpose is to serve as a treat to those who liked Maximum Carnage, and to create a connective tissue with the 1st ever Carnage event while this new, current event is unfolding. You get to see many of the heroes and allies who helped fight against Carnage in back then reunited here, a fact that’s even referenced a few times between the dialogue of the characters. Now, is that enough to warrant this books existence, I don’t think so…then again I was more invested in seeing Misty put through the wringer, but the stakes seem less indomitable when the horde of monsters she has to handle are so paper-fragile, so maybe the book transitioning into a B-listers Maximum Carnage reunion isn’t necessarily the worst thing.
Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #2 actually gets around to bringing in the heroes we were teased to see on issues 1’s cover. This book is an extra chapter for those who want to see some of the lesser Maximum Carnage heroes get enrolled in its spiritual sequel event, but it continues to be middle-of-the-road in the overall expansive Absolute Carnage tapestry.