REVIEW: ‘Carnage: Black, White & Blood,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Carnage Black White & Blood #1 - But Why Tho?

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1 is an anthology series published by Marvel Comics. Much like Wolverine: Black, White & Blood, the series features multiple creators tackling stories focused on the symbiotic serial killer. Each story is illustrated in black and white and features a heaping helping of blood and gore.

The first issue contains three stories. “Love Story” is written by Tini Howard, illustrated by Ken Lashley, and colored by Juan Fernandez. “End Of The Trail” is written by Benjamin Percy, illustrated by Sara Pichelli, and colored by Mattia Iacono. Finally, “You Are Carnage” is written by Al Ewing, illustrated by John McCrea, and colored by Iacono.

“Love Story” takes place during the events of Maximum Carnage, and features Carnage battling Spider-Man and other heroes while recounting his love for Shriek. Howard’s script flips between Carnage’s battle with the heroes while recounting a fairy tale-which takes an appropriately twisted turn in the vein of the madman’s mind. Lashley’s art perfectly captures the horror of Carnage’s visage, especially his twisted smile and slender body. And Fernandez leans heavily on the red for the “Black White & Blood” part of the title. Obviously, Carnage’s blood-red symbiote is an eye-grabber, and the fairy-tale parts of the story feature a red background that underlines the horror elements at play.

“End Of The Trail” reimagines Carnage in a Western setting, with Percy and Pichelli telling the tale of a bounty hunter who tracks a string of grisly murders and ghost stories. Percy, well known for writing Wolverine, slowly builds up his story by having the bounty hunter come across Carnage’s trail of destruction, leading to a spine-chilling conclusion. His script is soaked in Western tropes, including hard-edged dialogue such as “There are monsters even a bullet can’t kill.” This oddly works with Carnage, whose powers make him a perfect horror antagonist. Pichelli brings Percy’s script to life with her artwork, especially the flashback sequences. They feature the Carnage symbiote taking over various outlaws, ripping through its victims without a care in the world. And corpses litter the ground, splattered with red courtesy of Iacono.

Perhaps the best story in the issue is “You Are Carnage.” The story places the reader in the shoes of a soldier who is bonded to the Carnage symbiote as part of Project Rebirth. And to truly make the reader feel like they’re in the story, Ewing adds a mechanic where the reader rolls a dice to determine their action. McCrea properly labels the panels with numbers depending on the readers’ actions, which can either lead to a wonderful or horrific ending. And also, depending on the readers’ choices, the Carnage soldier will change form: either to a muscular more heroic figure or the traditional cackling psychopath fans love to hate. VC’s Joe Sabino letters the caption boxes with a typeface you’d find in an old RPG manual, making the readers truly feel like they’re in the middle of a roleplaying campaign.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1 takes the symbiotic serial killer through a variety of genres, in celebration of his 30th anniversary. With three more issues planned, I can’t wait to see what other stories await one of my favorite supervillains of all time.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1
5

TL;DR

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1 takes the symbiotic serial killer through a variety of genres, in celebration of his 30th anniversary. With three more issues planned, I can’t wait to see what other stories await one of my favorite supervillains of all time.