Carnage #1


Capsule Review

Writer Gerry Conway doesn’t sugarcoat a thing in this story — Carnage commits mass-murder by the third page, and artist Mike Perkins makes sure we don’t miss a detail. What follows is murder of another kind — a half-dozen pages of talking head backstory set around the lip of an old mine, which is every bit as visually riveting as it sounds. But you know what? Conway pulls it off, showing how the authorities are setting a trap for Carnage, while introducing the supporting cast and offering up an explanation of the Spider-Man/Venom/Toxin/Carnage relationship that couldn’t be more clear, but still set my head spinning. The carefully constructed plan goes wrong, of course, reminding a bit of military vs. monsters movies like Alien 2, and Perkins pushes our horror buttons with page constructions that are all jumbled panels of panicking soldiers and swirling red tentacles. It is true that this issue is largely scene-setting, but I was entertained along the way, and the scene that is set has promise. As Colonel John Jameson says at the end of the book (yep, that John Jameson), “Alone, underground, in the dark, with a super-powered mass murderer … what’s the worst that could happen?” I’m ready to find out.

Approachability For New Readers

Pretty good. The background is complex but it’s all laid out for us.

Read #2?

Sure. I wonder what will happen down in that mine?

Sales Rank

(#19 November)

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Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.


Carnage #1


About Paul O'Connor

Revelations and retro-reviews from a world where it is always 1978, published every now and then at!

Posted on December 17, 2015, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. That is such a terrific cover.


  2. I was hoping you’d like this. I admittedly haven’t read a lot of Marvel’s post comic code monster mags but Carnage had a very Bronze Age tone and aesthetic and I kinda pegged you as a fan. Conway is essentially just writing his own take on Carnage without giving in to what’s been done in the past with the character and Perkins’s art is a revelation.


    • The book registered Top-20 sales for the debut, hopefully it can hold onto enough of its readers in the inevitable post-first-issue drop-off. Nice to see Gerry Conway having (continued) success. The heartless monster may have killed Gwen Stacy, but he’s one of the titans of Spidey’s oeuvre.


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