Writer: Ram V
Artist: Roge Antonio
Color Artist: Erick Arciniega
Cover Artist: Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Carnage is on the loose and off the leash! Without Cletus Kasady behind the driver’s seat, the Carnage symbiote is acting on its own mission for power and bloody murder, and has went on an Asgardian scavenger hunt for the pieces it needs. But Detective Jon Shayde has beat Carnage to the punch with his target – Malekith The Accursed. But now in Carnage #7, Shayde and Malekith fight their way through Niflheim, realm of Hela, with Carnage not far behind.
With the big cliffhanger last issue, this issue has plenty to work with but half of its potential is underutilized. We start with Detective Shayde and Malekith working together to get out of Niflheim by fighting through a fortress run by giants. Sounds cool. And once they find a key, or boat, they can swim right on out of there. Great setup for some cool storytelling as Shayde, an upstanding detective, works with the nefarious Malekith to escape not only the Norse underworld but the clutches of Carnage.
All of that sounds like great material for a good story, but what we get here is merely half of any of that. There’s a bit of that in the first opening pages, but after that there’s not much. Plus, the portions with Carnage are also a bit underwhelming as well until you get to the ending. While Ram V tries to explore the nature of Hela and Niflheim, the comic doesn’t really do much with these ideas which seem to contradict with the character’s general history in the past or in recent years.
However, things do get back into gear near the end and that’s when a major development finally occurs that makes this whole chase more interesting. I won’t reveal much, but when readers get to the end, it’ll all make sense why Carnage is chasing after Malekith this whole time. Now, it won’t explain everything and excuse any flaws but it will make things click into place a little with what we know of Carnage’s goals at the moment.
Sorry to say, but Shayde and Malekith don’t get much time to establish any kind of dynamic with each other beyond a couple of pages. This is a problem because about two or three issues ago, Ram V had the serial killer Kenneth Neely spend an entire issue bonding with a murderous dark elf warrior, a disposable character by all accounts, trying to pass a coming of age trial. Ram V gave this duo an entire issue to build an interesting dynamic, highlight their wants and fears, and have it conclude in a way that felt right for both characters and developed Neely as a killer.
Whereas here we have Detective Shayde, the main hero, working with Malekith The Accursed, a high-profile Marvel Comics Thor supervillain. And they barely get an issue together to do anything but fight generic giants and we barely see that. There’s little dialogue, no rapport, no fun back and forth, nothing. Some might argue that of course it doesn’t work because Malekith is just that treacherous, but none of his deceitful personality actually plays a part in the story at all. It’s just plot convenience that it falls apart before Ram V ever does anything with it. Granted, they’re not out of Niflheim yet, so there’s still a chance Ram V will do something with both of them. But going by the ending, I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Carnage #7 picks up where it left off with Detective Jon Shayde working with Malekith The Accursed to escape Niflheim and keep him out of Carnage’s hands. Sadly, the comic doesn’t do much with this interesting duo, and the two barely do anything together as a team other than fight nameless, generic giants. However, there is a development in the end that makes Carnage’s chase for Malekith make sense, and it leaves some promise for the next issue.