Writers: Dan Slott, Karla Pacheco & Alyssa Wong
Artists: Greg Smallwood, Chris Mooneyham & Gerardo Sandoval
Colorists: Mattia Iacono & Erick Arciniega
Cover Artist: Greg Smallwood
Carnage is back in black, white & red! We get three more stories featuring the blood-crimson symbiote super-villain. Horror, death, murder, and blood splatter await all who read these anthology stories. Carnage: Black, White & Blood #3 shows more of the bloodthirsty villain in all his potential.
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It’s the third issue in this Carnage analogy series, and it feels like a step down from the last issue. However, it’s still surprisingly well in some areas and but not in everything.
So, the first story comes from Dan Scott and Greg Smallwood, and it’s actually pretty good. Dan Slott, however you feel about his recent work, was able to deliver a solid horror story here with Carnage. It follows Blake Bellman, the sole survivor of a heavy metal band that was attacked by Carnage, but Spider-Man and the Human Torch stop him. But the story focuses on Bellman’s downward spiral ’cause he can’t get Carnage out of his head.
Slott really nails Bellman’s breakdown as he feels haunted, or rather marked by Carnage. The dialogue and pacing come at a good steady pace, and it really makes you feel like this man is losing his mind but is trying everything within his power to fight Carnage’s influence. The art by Greg Smallwood is great. He manages to depict this gritty and grounded level for the story in black and white, while using red to evoke moments of raw emotion and horror that signify Carnage’s influence on the story and Bellman.
The next story comes from Karla Pacheco as the writer, Chris Mooneyham as the artist, and Mattia Iacono as the color artist. This story is a re-imagining of Carnage and other familiar Marvel characters as pirates on the high seas. Cletus Kasady leads a marauding pirate crew including Shriek as his First Mate, Hobgoblin, and some others.
They’re looking for treasure, and that treasure is a familiar red symbiote. From there, blood, murder, and mayhem follow. Seeing Carnage and the other characters illustrated as pirates was fun for a while, but it doesn’t have the strongest story. Once Cletus gets the symbiote, things go south for everyone, as it should, and it unfolds with some cool action in this pirate setting.
The third and final story is written by Alyssa Wong, drawn by Gerardo Sandoval, inked by Victor Nava, and colored by Erick Arciniega. This story feels like a mix of the previous two stories, it has some tangible fear and horror that you’d have with Carnage at play, but then it goes off the wall with some of its developments. Essentially, the story takes place in Comic-con and it follows a Carnage cosplayer. Anything else after this is a huge spoiler.
So, the guy is at the convention, taking in the sights, and hanging out with Spider-Man cosplayers. But he’s really here to join the Cult of Carnage. If you remember, Carnage actually had a cult during Absolute Carnage who worshipped Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, and revered Kasady as his prophet and harbinger of doom. We haven’t seen them in action during the event or afterwards, and now we’re seeing a handful of members here. The cultists themselves look straight up sinister on every page and every panel they’re in.
This guy is their latest initiate with other Carnage cosplayers, but in truth he’s their sacrifice to Carnage. They all are, and the cultists get underway with the bloody ritual starting with the main cosplayer. The problem? The man is actually the genuine article, Carnage himself. The real star of this story is the artwork, from Sandoval’s illustrations to Nava’s inking, and the blood-red colors from Arciniega are amazing. They really bring Carnage to life when he’s in action. If you don’t like the story, you’ll love the art.
Carnage: Black, White & Blood #3 shows some more bloody stories with Carnage as the star. Some are better than others, the art is all around pretty good and really compliments the stories they’re illustrated for. It’s not better than the second issue, but it’s a nice read if you like Carnage stories.