REVIEW: ‘Gwenom vs Carnage,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Gwenom vs Carnage #1

Gwenom vs Carnage #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Seanan McGuire, with art by Flaviano, colors by Rico Renzi, and letters by Ariana Maher. As the world is plunged into chaos around her by the coming of Knull, Gwen Stacey struggles to help who she can during the crisis. But events both near and far may have something even more horrifying than a planet covered in symbiotic goo waiting for her.

As someone who has become a part of, and yet remains distinctly apart from the primary Marvel Universe, Gwen is uniquely positioned to be the ever-present exception to the rules. Like how she seems to be the only one with a symbiote that remains outside of Knull’s influence. While this perk keeps her free of the dark god’s influence it hasn’t made surviving his invasion a whole lot easier. But if being a hero was easy, everyone would do it.

The bulk of this Gwenom vs Carnage #1 is mostly Gwen simply trying to survive as the the symbiotes pose threat after threat against her. Gwen struggles to learn the rules as some of her powers seem to be ineffectual against this new threat. But there are still people in danger, and full power set or not, Gwen is always going to do what she can.

While much of the book is light on plot, writer McGuire does a great job capturing Gwen’s emotional struggles. While feeling like the world is falling down around her isn’t necessarily a new experience for Gwen, being so isolated from her allies, and out of her depth is clearly compounding the stress the situation brings. Gwen feels like she is always just shy of the breaking point as Gwenom vs Carnage #1 throws one danger after another at her.

The biggest surprise from this story came in how it ties into events going on in Gwen’s home dimension. I won’t spoil what is happening there, but it was a major curveball that made my interest in this series going forward skyrocket.

Flaviano’s art in this book does a great job of delivering the kinetic excitement the book aims to deliver. The classic high-speed combat and acrobatics present in any fight scene involving one of Marvel’s wall crawlers are delivered in spades here. Gwen’s improvisational style is implemented with the skill to get the most out of every throw down. And when she isn’t battling the symbiotes, Gwen’s emotions are given just as much presence in the panels as the action is.

The gorgeous colorwork by Renzi works wonders to augment the pacing the book delivers. As bright contrasts help build the energy of the fight scenes, darker tones help calm the panels when Gwen isn’t fighting, and her emotional struggles are taking center stage.

Lastly, we have an excellent display of letter work on the part of Maher. The text here is laid out with skill, keeping everything easy to follow and out of the art’s way. This coupled with excellent design where the sound effects are concerned helps the book to deliver that extra bit of punch to really let the story land.

When all is said and done Gwenom vs Carnage #1 delivers a great start for its story. The final pages deliver a twist I never saw coming, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here.

Gwenom vs Carnage #1 is available on January 13th wherever comics are sold.

Rating
5

TL;DR

When all is said and done Gwenom vs Carnage #1 delivers a great start for its story. The final pages deliver a twist I never saw coming, and I cannot wait to see where the story goes from here.