Carnage continues to stalk his way in the night, unluckily for him he is not the last known survivor. This series has been going from strength to strength for a few months now but could it keep it up for a fourth straight issue?
Last month readers were left on quite the cliffhanger as Carnage was led to an ancient door that held endless possibilities in terms of a new direction for this series. It is safe to say that what came of this development did not disappoint as a whole new level of terror has been unleashed on those hapless few who are left hunting Cassidy down.
The door, as it turns out, opened into an ancient temple where a holy text foretold of the coming of the ‘Red Slayer’. Of course this means that the inhabitants of this newly discovered place want to use Carnage for their own gain. As you may expect, this does not go well and their plan backfires horribly. What transpires will definitely have ramifications on this series for many issues to come and muddies the waters when it comes to capturing or even killing Carnage.
Once again Gerry Conway has done fans a great service with his moody, atmospheric writing that captures the claustrophobic nature of the title perfectly. He conveys the desperation of the situation and at the same time shows each person as having hope. It serves to add a human face to a book that is primarily about such an inhuman monster. Each character has a distinct voice and you will have problem picking favourite but also identifying with each of them in some way. The lead cast are not just a series of one dimensional people/Symbiotes but are instead a collection of layered, interesting personalities.
A running theme for the past few issues has been the putting off of the inevitable showdown between Toxin and Carnage. Rather than being irritating, as this could easily have been, this served to heighten the tension and anticipation for fans and now you can be sure the payoff will be more than satisfying. This issue took the biggest step towards that confrontation as Toxin was finally unleashed due to the fact that he is the only weapon left to combat the Symbiote nightmare. However, that battle may go down a little different to what was initially expected due to the way that this book ended and again that is a great thing. Firstly, it stops the narrative from becoming too predictable and secondly, it means that the logical endgame for this arc is no longer as clear cut so the series can survive much longer. Everyone should be grateful for that fact.
A staple of this title’s run has been the gloomy, suffocating art style that perfectly delivered the feeling of the script. Mike Perkins and Andy Troy continue that sterling work here. There isn’t too much new stuff to comment on due to the cast and setting remaining largely the same but they have depicted Toxin in a fittingly monstrous manner, making sure his fight with Carnage will look all the more epic when it finally occurs.
It will be of no great surprise to anyone that Carnage continues to be one of the best books in Marvel’s new line-up. The writing and art are both flawless and it makes for an enjoyable read with each passing issue. Fans can be confident that this talented team will only continue to deliver as time goes on.
Score: 4.5 out of 5.
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