Carnage #1 Review

Writer: Ram V

Artist: Francesco Manna

Color Artist: Dijjo Lima

Cover Artist: Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reviewer: StoryBabbler

Not too long ago, Cletus Kasady died and was resurrected as an agent of Knull, God of the Symbiotes. Everyone thought he died during the events of Absolute Carnage, but he survived in the Symbiotes’ hive. This left his original Carnage symbiote alone, but it won’t stay so forever and it is already forging a new bloody path in Carnage #1.


Initially, this comic seemed like a gamble to have the Carnage symbiote without a host in the Marvel universe. It’s not a bad idea actually, but it’s one that can be easily screwed up. What we get here is the making of either a pretty good comic or a bad one. We’ll see. The comic is mainly about the Carnage symbiote looking to do its own thing, but what that is has yet to be seen.

The comic continues from the small story in Carnage Forever #1, and it does a bit of a roll call of the three main characters: Jonathan Shayde, a lone police detective who always gets his man, serial killer Kenneth Neely, aka “The Artist”, and the star, the Carnage symbiote. Detective Shayde is chasing down “The Artist”, no weird edge or ability, just skilled deduction. Kenneth is the killer he’s chasing, a serial killer with a morbid perspective on life murdering people in a grotesque fashion. However, at the center of this killer’s obsession is the Carnage symbiote. Now, the Carnage symbiote throws a bit of wrench into things as it keeps you guessing on just what the heck it wants to do.

Right out of the get-go, Ram V does his best to establish the tone, characters, themes, and story direction for this series. He writes the story to work to the strength of these characters and their archetypes instead of against them. The same goes for the art by Francesco Manna, which establishes this slanted and twisted angles for shots in the comic, especially when the Carnage symbiote is around. And thanks to Dijjo Lima’s colors, the art makes Carnage synonymous with blood, madness, and murder whenever it’s on page. This comic feels right at home in a series like the Hannibal or Dexter TV shows.

There are also two back up stories, but they’re not all that great. The first one is “A Lesson in Blood and Bone” written by David Michelinie, drawn by Ron Lim, and colored by Israel Silva. The story starts with Carnage about to kill a teenage boy squatting in his home who was released from Juvie who surprises the villain by asking him for a favor. What unfolds from there is fun and twisted but nothing to write home about, with Ron Lim’s art and Silva’s colors being the big takeaway here.

The second backup story is a short little comic by Ty Templeton that once again feels totally out of place in a Carnage book. It’s weird to me why Marvel would publish this in the comic, especially when this is not for little kids. However, I imagine it’s meant to deliberately contrast with the main story and the first backup story to stand out. Who knows, maybe readers will like Templeton’s shorts in this series if they keep them in for the following issues.

Final Thoughts:

Carnage #1 has a solid start to what can possibly be a good Carnage series. The story and characters feel like something out of a show like Hannibal or Dexter, but with the Carnage symbiote as the star, and the art fits the twisted and dangerous nature of the villain. Hopefully the series keeps it up and delivers on its dark hook for Carnage.


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