Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Manuel Garcia, Cam Smith, Marc Deering, Roberto Poggi, Guru-eFX, VC’s Travis Lanham, and Dave Rapoza
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 7th, 2021
Phillip Kennedy Johnson expands on the future of the symbiotes in this week’s EXTREME CARNAGE: ALPHA #1 after the fallout from the KING IN BLACK event. Now, readers have seen where Eddie Brock stands since Knull’s demise. In so many words, Brock has basically taken over the thrown as the “god” of the symbiotes. However, where does that leave Flash Thompson? Is Cletus Kassady still around? And what about the leftover rogue symbiotes flooding the Earth after the massacre that was the KING IN BLACK invasion? Let’s dive into EXTREME CARNAGE: ALPHA #1 as Johnson continues to flush out so many of these questions as well as the fate of the Alien symbiotes moving forward.
After any large event, I always have the same questions. What’s the status quo? How was the world affected? Not just our heroes but the entire population. Who died? What impact did this “so-called” devastating threat have on the world at large? It’s actually quite exhausting. I think you’ve heard the story: big bad wrecks havoc on the world. Our heroes can’t stop the big bad. However, they find a way to overcome and defeat the world’s cataclysmic threat. Yet afterward, everyone pretends like it never happened.
Now, I bring this all up because that’s exactly what Johnson is NOT doing with EXTREME CARNAGE: ALPHA #1. Readers will find out who‘s died, who was affected, and the reverberations that trickled out after the KING IN BLACK event. Plus, Johnson finds a path that weaves together events from KING IN BLACK as well as the HELLFIRE GALA. And ultimately, he’s driving the continuity straight through this series elevating the importance of the story and issue.
Readers will leave EXTREME CARNAGE: ALPHA #1 with answers as to what Flash Thompson is up to, where and what Cletus Kassady is doing, and the impact Knull had on the planet. Furthermore, there was an aspect of the KING IN BLACK event that this reviewer really wished was delved into a bit deeper that Johnson picks up and runs with. The only clue I’ll give is that it involves IRON MAN and it’s pretty dang exciting. I sincerely hope Jonhson runs with this “ironclad” plot thread because it has so much potential to be something creative and special. When and if you know what I’m talking about, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Moreover, Johnson takes the events following the KING IN BLACK and uses EXTREME CARNAGE as the next logical step. Readers, this issue just makes sense and it’s so simple to follow. The puzzle pieces fit together well and the direction of the series seems seamless while getting Flash back into the mix. If you’re an ANTI-VENOM or even a symbiote fan, this series is for you.
Additionally, if you’re super into graphic and gory action, Manuel Garcia, Cam Smith, Marc Deering, Roberto Poggi, and Guru-eFX don’t hold anything back. Together with Johnson’s tale, this team adds an aura that’s creepy, raw, and real to a story that has so many possibilities. Garcia and his team help expand the story and add a layer of terror that even the KING IN BLACK event felt like it was missing.
EXTREME CARNAGE: ALPHA #1 begins to answer the questions that remained after KING IN BLACK while expanding and capitalizing on the story that was left behind. Johnson, Garcia, and the rest create an inventive and logical tale that gels cohesively within the confines of the current Marvel landscape that’s exciting, terrifying, and dynamic. Plus, readers get to see how the common man reacts to a world-ravaging event. It’s not skimmed over or forgotten. KING IN BLACK left a sting that Johnson and his team are ready to explore in the pages of EXTREME CARNAGE as well as its tie-ins. As stated above, I highly recommend ANTI-VENOM, VENOM, and CARNAGE fans picking this series up as well as Marvel fans looking for something substantial, thrilling, and raw. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God bless!