REVIEW: ‘Extreme Carnage: Scream,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 is published by Marvel, and part of the Extreme Carnage crossover. Written by Clay McLeod Chapman, with art by Christopher Mooneyham. The colourist is Marcio Menyz and the letters are by Travis Lanham. Carnage is still alive, and stronger than ever. The ramifications of King In Black has meant he’s more powerful than ever. Andi Benson and the Scream Symbiote are outside the Alchemax building, targeting the just escaped, six-armed, Doppelganger. But something changes within Scream, leading her to attack the Guardians. Carnage starts to make his connection, influencing and controlling his sibling. The symbiote on Andi’s body is torn between its host and the much more powerful monster…

The concept of the issue is fantastic, and the structure of the plot is superb. This comic takes place in two planes of existence. One is the physical world, where there is an intense battle. But the bigger fight is happening within Andi’s mind as three beings battle for dominance. The story of the wider crossover is explained well but Chapman without the integrity of the tie-in being damaged. The pace is slow, the conflict full of agonising suspense. The switching between planes is chaotic but fun to read. There is glorious Symbiote violence and an incredibly surprising ending that shows that no one is safe in this series. 

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 has a small cast of characters, which results in some fantastic and intricate development. As with any symbiote related story, the most prevalent theme is the connection between parasite and host. What is apparent is that Andi and Scream are incredibly settled as a duo, working well together. The introduction of another party disrupts this and starts to set the two against each other. They protect one another, but resentment and fear take hold. The reader is taken on a powerful emotional journey inside this issue, Chapman unleashing a variety of feelings in the protagonists. Fear, rage, betrayal, despair, all surface as Carnage attacks. It should be remembered that Andi is not helpless without the symbiote, possessing abilities of her own.

The art is superb and perfectly suited for this comic. Mooneyham depicts the unique and brilliant design of Scream terrifically. The flowing hair and tendrils fill the panel, each strand seeming to have a mind of its own. The artist creates texture with a few scratchy lines, adding detail but not overbearing. The imagination of Mooneyham is given the freedom to run wild as both symbiotes have their proportions altered and created objects with their writhing masses. The appearance of Doppelganger was a pleasant surprise, matching the horrific designs of the other characters. It is a monstrous version of Spider-Man, and that is achieved. The battles are brutal but coherent, as it is always easy to follow.

The colours are used very well by Menyz. There is usually a single shade for the background of the panel. With so much happening in the foreground, this reduces any cluttering and forces the reader to focus on the action. For within the mindscape of Scream, it is jet black apart from the figures. This removes any sense of place, but this is purposeful. It allows the vibrant red of Carnage to be the dominant colour on the page, all-encompassing. 

The letters are easy to read, even when word balloons change colour and fonts shift to match the various symbiotes and creatures. The one possible negative isn’t necessarily the fault of Lanham. There are two conflicting caption boxes throughout the issue, representing the thoughts of both Andi and Scream. These escalate in their ferocity, but the purpose of these boxes isn’t clear in the first pages. On a positive note, the use of SFX is excellent, dynamically placed. They overlap panel borders, take up backgrounds, wrap around characters. These effects aren’t just there to suggest what noise something makes, as they can also tell the story by themselves.

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 is a fantastic second issue of the crossover. The issue feels like a story solely dedicated to another plot, only for Carnage to appear and hijack it. Scream is practically dragged into the event, going from hidden to involved in a second. Chapman shows just how conflicted the relationship can be between a Symbiote and a host. Andi and Scream feel like they protect each other, but that is flipped on its head inside the comic. Even in a story where the details may not be relatable to the reader, the emotions are palpable. The art team have a style that may create flashbacks to the 90s, leaving a nostalgic feel without getting too obsessed with it. 

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 is available whereever comics are sold.

 


Extreme Carnage: Scream #1
4.5

TL;DR

Extreme Carnage: Scream #1 is a fantastic second issue of the crossover. The issue feels like a story solely dedicated to another plot, only for Carnage to appear and hijack it. Scream is practically dragged into the event, going from hidden to involved in a second…Even in a story where the details may not be relatable to the reader, the emotions are palpable. The art team have a style that may create flashbacks to the 90s, leaving a nostalgic feel without getting too obsessed with it.