Writers: Donny Cates, Chip Zdarsky & Ram V
Artists: Kyle Hotz, Marco Checchetto & Javier Fernandez
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Cover Artist: Marco Checchetto
If you enjoyed Maximum Carnage, Carnage U.S.A., Absolute Carnage, then this series will have even more bloody mayhem from the crimson symbiote super-villain. Carnage is the star of this anthology series, spotlighting the murderous killer and his dark exploits. Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 puts the gruesome symbiote super-villain on full display.
If you’re interested in this comic or any of the others mentioned, simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon.
Now this is where Carnage: Black, White & Blood really kicks into high gear and shows what could be done with a Carnage anthology series. The stories, art, and depictions of Carnage are just incredible and fit with the black & white style with Carnage being the only colored character covered in red from head to toe.
The first story is by Donny Cates and illustrated by Kyle Hotz and it’s amazing to look at, which makes senses since this isn’t the first Carnage story Hotz has illustrated, though it’s not exactly better. Carnage looks amazing, and the red coloring from Rachelle Rosenberg makes him a sight to see. Cates writes this story as a continuation of his King In Black event, showing where Carnage was during all the chaos and what happened to him after it was all over. It’s not the most exciting story, and surprisingly, it’s the weakest of the three. It could technically be canon, but we’ll see. The story’s only half as fun as you’d think it will be.
The next story is by Chip Zdarsky and drawn by Marco Checchetto. The story follows a young boy, Brandon, living in an abusive household out in the country, and he finds a mysterious stranger to confide his problems to. Brandon comes across as a bitter young boy filled with anger who wants to spill his guts out to anyone willing to listen, and he finds the worst person who can do that. He even gets his own character arc in the story. Chip Zdarsky really nails down the characterization of Carnage in this story, not just the symbiote, but Cletus Kasady himself. Zdarsky balances out Carnage as a bogeyman-like serial killer and the murderous super-villain we all know.
Checchetto’s artwork is amazing. How he draws the characters and their facial expressions, uses shadows to emphasize menace, and, of course, his depiction of Carnage. This entire story reads like a horror story befitting Carnage and has a solid ending to it. It even has a guest appearance from a major Marvel character. You’ll know ’em when you see ’em. The best thing about this story is that it works on its own as a standalone Carnage story, but it can also fit into the wider Marvel Universe with little to no issue. You get the best of both worlds with this one.
The third and final story is written by Ram V and drawn by Javier Fernandez. Now this story shares more in common with the other stories in the first issue. It is a standalone story that has little connection to the symbiote’s origins or Cletus Kasady. It has its own rules and history but keeps true to Carange’s murderous nature. Essentially, it follows a H.A.M.M.E.R unit on a science expedition into the cold and snowy tundra that goes downhill real bad. Here, Carnage is depicted more like a mythic beast of legend, haunting the wilds and slaying whoever comes too close to its territory.
Out of the three, my favorite is the second story by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto, who also made the excellent primary cover for this issue.
Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 lives up to the potential of this series. Each writer delivers a dark story surrounding the crimson, symbiote villain and the artists all deliver spectacular illustrations that highlight the horror and menace of Carnage in the black & white style. This is a strong recommend to Carnage fans and horror comic book fans.