REVIEW: ‘Carnage: Black, White & Blood,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Carnage Black White & Blood #4 - But Why Tho

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4 is an anthology series published by Marvel Comics. The final issue features a trilogy of stories set in the past, present, and future that continues the series’ trend of exploring different takes on the sinister symbiote. And continuing the trend of previous issues, the artwork is presented in mostly black and white with Carnage’s blood-red symbiote and his trademark red-and-white balloons being the only splash of color. That same blood-red color also continues to be applied to the gore and death that Carnage leaves in his wake-even though this is the final issue, none of these stories skimp on the blood.

“Carnage Beyond” is written by Ryan Stegman, illustrated by Joe Bennett, and colored by Mattia Iacono. “Skin Deep” is written by Declan Shalvey and illustrated by Stephen Mooney. Finally “The End of Humanity” is written by Ed Brisson, illustrated by Scott Hepburn, and colored by Andres Mossa. The entire issue is lettered by VC’s Joe Sabino.

“Carnage Beyond” acts as a postscript to Stegman and Donny Cates’ Venom run, specifically the “Venom Beyond” storyline which mostly took place on an alternate universe. Eddie Brock’s son Dylan comes face to face with the alternate Carnage, who has slaughtered most of his world’s heroes and intends to do the same to Dylan. Though he is best known for illustrating Venom and the symbiote-centric events Absolute Carnage and King in Black, Stegman has written a handful of comics and proves to have just as much of a handle scripting Venom as he does drawing him. Bennett, best known for his work on Immortal Hulk, brings the same horror-laced elements to Carnage. Under Bennett’s illustration, Carnage becomes a writhing mass of red and black tendrils wrapped around a skeleton-something that’ll haunt readers’ nightmares.

“Skin Deep” takes place in New York City-more specifically, one whose visual aesthetic is inspired by the 70s-where Cletus Kasady encounters a woman that is possessed by the Carnage symbiote. Shalvey writes Kasady’s dialogue in the manner of a noir protagonist, with him condemning the “sinners” in the city and justifying his murder as cleansing mankind of its iniquity. Mooney’s artwork builds up a sense of foreboding, especially toward the end when Kasady cuts himself. Throughout a series of panels, the Carnage symbiote is shown to leak out of his skin and cover him, and the final page features Carnage in all his horrific glory.

“The End of Humanity” more than lives up to its name, featuring a group of survivors that attempt to stay alive on a ruined Earth one thousand years in the future. One of the survivors, Caden, yearns for a way to protect himself as his companions are wearing the armor of heroes like Spider-Man and Iron Man. He gets more than he bargained for when he discovers a vial containing the Carnage symbiote. Hepburn and Mossa illustrate a rather bloody sequence where a Carnage-infested Caden turns on his companions, and Brisson delves deep into the boy’s mindset and spins a tale that reinforces the old Spider-Man mantra of great power and great responsibility-because using power irresponsibly leads to chaos and well…Carnage.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4 tackles the sinister symbiote’s past, present, and future, featuring blood-soaked artwork and unique stories. Fans of the Venom comic, as well as the horror genre, will definitely want to give this series a look. And between this and the Extreme Carnage series, Cletus Kasady is celebrating his 30th anniversary in style.

 Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4 is available wherever comics are sold.

 Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4
4

TL;DR

Carnage: Black, White & Blood #4 tackles the sinister symbiote’s past, present, and future, featuring blood-soaked artwork and unique stories. Fans of the Venom comic, as well as the horror genre, will definitely want to give this series a look. And between this and the Extreme Carnage series, Cletus Kasady is celebrating his 30th anniversary in style.