REVIEW: ‘Carnage: Black, White & Blood,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 is an anthology series published by Marvel Comics. Following in the footsteps of the first issue, the series is illustrated in black and white, with red signifying Carnage’s sinister scarlet visage and the trail of blood he leaves in his wake. The issue features a new trilogy of terror-filled tales centered around Cletus Kasady.

“Carnage Shark” is written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Kyle Hotz, and colored by Rachelle Rosenberg. It takes place after the events of King in Black and features Carnage possessing a great white shark as he travels the seas feasting on anyone unfortunate to come into his path. “My Red Hands” is written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Marco Checchetto and focuses on a boy named Brandon who takes refuge from his abusive stepfather by conversing with “The Red Man,” who tries to convince him to walk down a dark path. Finally, “My Name Is Carnage” is written by Ram V and illustrated by Javier Fernandez, and focuses on a group of explorers who are being hunted by the Carnage symbiote.

“Carnage Shark” more than lives up to its name, as it features possibly the most disturbing image I’ve ever seen in a comic book courtesy of Hotz. The titular Carnage shark is a hulking crimson mass of spikes and fins, with a horrifying smile twisting across its row of jagged teeth. To put it plainly, Bruce from Jaws may have met his match. Cates also picks up on story threads from King in Black and Venom, as Carnage learns about Venom’s new status quo. To quote the story: there is red and black, and only one can win in the end.

“My Red Hands” reteams Zdarsky and Checchetto, who previously worked together on Daredevil. Zdarsky slowly builds up tension throughout the story as Brandon deals with his stepfather’s abuse and confides in Carnage—and anyone who knows Carnage knows that he is the last person you’d want talking to a child. Spider-Man also makes a brief appearance, acting as the angel on Brandon’s shoulder. Checchetto has brought multiple Marvel heroes and Star Wars icons to life during his tenure at the publisher; with “My Red Hands” he dips into horror, painting Carnage as a figure wrapped in tendrils and teeth, his soulless white eyes boring into the reader.

Finally, “My Name Is Carnage” acts as a homage to The Thing, with Carnage in the role of the alien monster. Ram V is no stranger to horror, having previously written Swamp Thing and Justice League Dark for DC Comics. He slowly ramps up the tension as Carnage’s victims are picked off one by one, with the sinister symbiote possessing new hosts. Fernandez’s art puts a horrifying new spin on Carnage, with his hosts’ faces being stretched into unnatural smiles. Red tendrils then cover their faces before they fully become Carnage—once again living up to the title of the story.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 continues to celebrate the Sinister Symbiote’s 30th anniversary, featuring some outright disturbing stories from top-tier talent. Horror fans and Spider-Man fans alike will find something to love with this series, and I hope that the remaining two issues continue to bring this mix of horror and talent.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2
5

TL;DR

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2 continues to celebrate the Sinister Symbiote’s 30th anniversary, featuring some outright disturbing stories from top-tier talent. Horror fans and Spider-Man fans alike will find something to love with this series, and I hope that the remaining two issues continue to bring this mix of horror and talent.