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

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Extreme Carnage Agony #1 - But Why Tho

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1 is part of the Extreme Carnage event, published by Marvel Comics. Written by Alyssa Wong. The artists are Fran Galan and Danilo S. Beyruth. The colourist is Jim Campbell and Cory Petit is the letterer.

Carnage is back, and more powerful than ever. He has gathered all of the Life Foundation Symbiotes and manipulated them into joining his army. He has traveled to Washington and taken over anti-alien campaigner Senator Krane. Little is known about his plan, but Anti-Venom and Silence have to stop him. The last to join the fight was Toxin, using a teenage boy as a host. Toxin killed Carnage in the Symbiote Void, but he is still out there with a lust for death.

In this issue, Toxin, Anti-Venom, and Silence are the only Symbiotes left to challenge him. Together they can start to piece together Carnage’s plan. They have Hank, Flash’s buddy, working on the inside to provide them with info. But there is another player that has not made themselves known yet in D.C. Gemma Shin is Krane’s communications director, but is constantly degraded inside the office. She is also the host of Agony, the last of the Life Foundation Symbiotes. She may be angry, but it is uncertain just which side Gemma and Agony belong to.

As the penultimate issue of the event, the plot of this comic is one of the most important of the eight. At times the story has seemed lost or bogged down, but it is certainly not the case in this issue. The pace is still slow and methodical as plans are made from both sets of Symbiotes. Carnage’s true plan has been unknown right from the start, leaving this mystery open whilst he has been gathering his soldiers. But now all of the chess pieces are on the board, so something must be close to happening. Wong manipulates the audience’s expectations brilliantly with a blindsiding twist.

The last of the Life Foundation Symbiotes may have the best introductions of the group. Extreme Carnage: Agony #1 features a brilliant reveal of the title alien. With the others, it is hard to know where their personality stops and Carnage’s overbearing mania begins. But the Rage within both Gemma and Agony seems to be shared before the serial killer steps in. They are terrifying, with an excellent partnership that makes a Symbiote story special. 

The hosts that are left are the ones with a lasting impression. Flash is the leader, the figure that has existed before every other character in this comic. Andi has very unique traits that give her very new qualities as a host. And Bren is the new figure that Toxin appears to have a connection with.

The art is fantastic. There aren’t as many Symbiote battles as the other comics entailed, but there is still so much alien goodness to behold. Agony’s unique abilities provide the readers with some hideous body horror. Carnage casts more of his bizarre illusions, where everything around him shifts into looking like it’s part of him. Surfaces seem to writhe and bubble, causing the skin to crawl. The artists are brilliant at facial expressions both on the monstrous and human faces. It is awesome seeing all of the Symbiotes in one place, their varying shapes and appendages giving them unique looks.

The colours are superb. Campbell’s blending of shades is excellent, especially important with characters made out of solely one colour. For Gemma and Agony, this is purple. The different tones provide a sense of shape within the swirling mass, making up shadows and marks in the fabric. This is the same on all of the Symbiotes and the civilian clothes of the hosts, all with signature colours that are crucial to their identities.

The lettering works well for much of the issue. However, some of the characters have unique word balloons, with custom fonts that are hard to read at times.

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1 is the best issue of the series so far. All of the characters are in the same vicinity now, ramping up the danger and the story possibilities. The sides are clear, and the story has been torn wide open. There may be no action, but that is likely because of what is about to come. Instead, the reader is treated to brilliantly written dialogue by Wong and some terrific art by Galan and Beyruth. This ridiculous Symbiote story only has one more issue to go and a lot to wrap up.

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1 is available where comics are sold.

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1
4.5

TL;DR

Extreme Carnage: Agony #1 is the best issue of the series so far.