Writers: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ram V, Ty Templeton.
Artists: Egar Salazar, Salvador Larroca & Ty Templeton.
Color Artists: Rachelle Rosenberg, Rain Beredo & Ty Templeton.
Cover Artist: Kendrick “Kunkka” Lim
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, is one of the biggest and most notorious supervillains in the Marvel Universe. He’s got a kill list that just keeps on growing and the man himself keeps on getting meaner and badder every year. Now, Marvel Comics is releasing a comic to celebrate the crimson symbiote villain’s thirty years in comics that explores his past, present, and his potential future in Carnage Forever #1!
There is an irony to this comic. It’s supposed to be a “celebration” of thirty years of the character Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, and yet it doesn’t live up to that hype. That will be the first partial spoiler for this comic. So, this comic is more or less an anthology book of sorts, with three stories from three different creative teams, with only one of them leading into an actual ongoing book. I will let you know which one in the review. So, let’s get started.
Like the Carnage: Black, White, and Blood series, this comic features three stories about Carnage. The first story is called “Homecoming” written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson with Edgar Salazar as the artist, and Rachelle Rosenberg as the color artist. This story is about a little girl living a destitute life who encounters Carnage himself, or the Carnage symbiote, and murder ensues. This story’s feels like a solid short horror film with the girl as the main POV, and Carnage as the monster star. The art is pretty good, it’s a solid standalone story, and it’s the best of the three.
The second story is “Unmade in His Image” by Ram V as the writer with Salvador Larroca as the artist and Rain Beredo as the color artist. Now this story is the one that leads into another book, an ongoing Carnage series simply titled “Carnage #1.” Creative, I know. The story is essentially the Carnage symbiote breaking into a prison, but who is it breaking out and why is the question and I won’t spoil that.
Ram V does a fine enough job with the setup and nails the characterization with Carnage when he shows up in the story. However, the characterization for the person he’s in the prison for doesn’t exactly match up with their other appearances. Larroca’s art is actually pretty good here. Usually, his human characters are hit or miss, especially when it comes to facial expressions, but he does a far better job here to express emotions like fear and terror. The standout of course is when he draws Carnage with Beredo’s colors that makes every shot with the villain memorable or at least cool.
The third story is not really a story but a couple of mini comics drawn by Ty Templeton. If people enjoy this section, that’s fine and they would likely be okay on their own. But they’re completely out of place in a comic about Carnage and feel shoehorned in for kids, missing the point that the target audience for a Carnage comic book are not little kids. It’s definitely the weakest part of the comic. However, since the first story was basically the lead, it got to have far more pages to tell it’s story than the last two, which feel more like backups than anything else, especially the “Funnies” section.
Carnage Forever #1 tells a couple of good dark stories with Carnage to celebrate the character. The first story is good, but the others feel more like backups, so mileage will vary. The artwork and colors for the first two stories are good all around, so readers can expect Carnage in the book to look good.