Writer: Ram V
Artist: Francesco Manna
Color Artist: Erick Arciniega
Cover Artist: Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Carnage is loose and spreading chaos and madness wherever he goes! However, it’s not Cletus Kasady in the driver’s seat, the symbiote is the one calling the shots now, with a serial killer acolyte in tow. But a detective called Jonathan Shayde is on their trail, and he’s got some extra company. See what Carnage gets up to in Svartalfheim of all places, home of the Dark Elves, in Carnage #5!
So last time, Carnage had dragged Kenneth Neely to Svartalfheim of all places, while the resident Dark Elves were in the midst of their bloody coming-of-age trial. From here, it became a quick bloodbath as Carnage mopped the floor with most of the young Dark Elf warriors. Whereas Kenneth was dealing with his own problems with a Dark Elf who caught him by surprise.
From there, the story picks up with Kenneth and this Dark Elf essentially teaming up while Carnage deals with the young warrior’s competition. During all of this, the comic focuses on the theme of legacy and people growing beyond their predecessors to create their own stories. And since it’s a Carnage book, this is taken to the dark, PG-13 level as you could possibly imagine. There’s some insight delivered into Kenneth’s past, personality, and motivations for why he kills and how it even connects to the Dark Elf he’s paired with.
Things end in a bloody manner, there are a few cool surprise twists but nothing that could be spectacular or interesting. The dialogue and pacing by Ram V are good, but the momentum in the overall story is a bit lacking. The art by Francesco Manna is incredible, bringing the warped nature of Carnage and Kenneth to life while mixing it all up with the dark fantasy nature and tone of the Dark Elves and their home realm. The colors by Erick Arciniega continue to be indispensable as they shine through here with Carnage, Kenneth, and the Dark Elves.
It also helps that there’s a consistent through-line with the trajectory of where Carnage and Kenneth are going in the story. It doesn’t feel too aimless considering the dark logic behind Carnage’s actions in past issues, but the series keeps those secrets close to the chest to keep readers in suspense as to what happens next. But it’s understandable if some readers feel the book is just going all over the place when it could’ve just stayed on Earth.
Carnage #5 continues where it left off with Carnage wrecking shop at the realm of the Dark Elves. With the dialogue and pacing by Ram V with the art by Francesco Manna and Erick Arciniega’s colors, the comic looks great to read. It also gives a sort of spotlight on the character of Kenneth while finding some way to tie it all back to Carnage.