Review: Carnage #3

Published on February 15th, 2011

You’ve been reading the new Carnage mini by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain, right? Good for you! If you haven’t, well then, I am just shocked andappalled. But because we here at Comic Impact wanna keep our readers/fans informed, I’ll give a quick rundown of the series so far.

During a new technology demonstration by a man named Michael Hall, Spider-Man’s duplicate known as Doppelganger is creating havoc in the streets chasing down an armored car carrying the super-villainess Shriek. Shriek just so happens to be Carnage’s former partner from back when he was good ol’ murderin’, serial killin’, Cletus Kasady (who was flown into space and ripped in half by the Sentry).

carnage-cover

Shriek’s psychiatrist, Dr. Tanis Nieves, was severely wounded in the armored car attack which was eventually stopped by Iron Man and his Avenger teammate, Spider-Man. Dr. Nieves lost her arm, but Mr. Hall decided to donate a new prosthetic arm to her. A prosthetic arm which was made with a sample of the symbiote from Carnage (rescued from space) that was being kept secretly in Hall’s R&D lab, Hall Industries. When Nieves goes to visit Shriek, who is now being tested on, the symbiote-sample in the doctor’s new arm recognizes that the rest of the Carnage symbiote is nearby. Nieves’ new arm murders everyone in sight and busts Carnage’s cell, freeing it so that it can turn Dr. Nieves into the new, fully-busty Carnage.

Issue #3 begins with Nieves and the symbiote fighting for psychological control. Dr. Nieves realizes she’s already lost her body to Carnage, but refuses to lose her identity. We then see two medical examiners looking over the Doppelganger’s corpse, while in the background the alarm is sounding notifying everyone of an escape within the facility. Spidey and Iron Man are outside the building trying to form up with Hall’s own security soldier guys. All of a sudden, Carnage busts out a wall, begins attacking a soldier, and hits Iron Man. During the melee, Spider-Man notices that the symbiote isn’t vocalizing in words; just screeching and making animalistic sounds. He realizes that Nieves and the symbiote are not fully one yet, and tries to reason with Carnage, but it’s no use. The symbiote sprouts demon/symbiote wings and flies off which is both good and bad. It didn’t try to kill anyone else, but it just freakin’ flew away!

During all that, Shriek is back in the facility being forced to another secure area away from Nieves/Carnage. However, guess who wasn’t really dead after all: Doppelganger. He shows up, and with Shriek’s help, takes the two escorting guards down. It then looks like they’re gonna make a break for it.

Back with our heroes who are tracking Carnage through the streets of NYC, they find (using the Iron Man suit’s tracking ability) that Carnage has gone into the sewer and appears to be headed toward Hall’s HQ. Mr. Hall has been made aware of the situation and is headed for his panic room, sans Jodie Foster. Our Avenger-duo breaks in through an outside wall to secure Hall. Through a quick little back-and-forth exchange between Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Mr. Hall, we find out that it’s not Hall that Carnage is after. It’s much, much worse than that.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****
Turns out that Cletus Kasady ain’t dead after all. Our friend Mr. Hall isn’t a murder, and couldn’t let Kasady die. After all, the symbiote had spent almost a year keeping Cletus alive. There could be some use for both parasite and host, right?

Overall, I’ve never really been a fan of the Spider-Man universe, but something about Carnage has always seemed cool. And I’m always willing to give a mini-series a shot. The first two issues made me interested in this book, but this issue made me fall in love. Wells and Crain are awesome. Simple as that. The only qualm I have about the book is the coloring. In certain panels, the colors seem a little too dark, and the deeper shades of some colors seem to bleed over into the inks and shadows and it feels like a pool of black that I’m trying to figure out what’s occurring. But it’s not enough to make me stop reading the book.

Sam Taylor
Sam@comicimpact.com