ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Extreme Carnage: Omega,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Extreme Carnage Omega #1 - But Why Tho

Extreme Carnage: Omega #1 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. The penciller is Manuel Garcia and the inks are by Cam Smith. Guru-FX provides the colour and the letterer is Travis Lanham. This is the last issue in the Extreme Carnage series.

Carnage has returned. He has been using Senator Krane, the leader of an anti-alien movement in Washington. He has been planning something and to do so he hijacked the Void and was manipulating the Life Foundation Symbiotes into doing his bidding. Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony have all joined his side. Opposing him are Anti-Venom, Toxin, and Silence, reborn from the near-dead form of Scream. Flash sent his human friend Hank in undercover, but he was fatally wounded by the end of the last issue. For Senator Krane is not the host of Carnage: he’s the host.

Instead, Carnage has been using Arthur, Krane’s son as a ride-along to get to his father and cause, well, carnage. Krane is giving a speech inside a football field when The Symbiote and his lackeys unleash their plan. But Flash and his own forces are there to try and stop them. Hank’s injuries may not be as bad as suggested from the last injury as another Symbiote makes themselves known. With countless murderous aliens on the rampage, it is up to a few to prevent them from slaughtering dozens.

As the final issue in the crossover, the story of this comic is largely disappointing. So much of the event has centred around what Carnage’s ultimate plan was. Hidden for so much of the series as all of the pieces fell into place, it has meant the readers have been left waiting for satisfaction. The biggest surprise likely came at the end of the last issue. There is a shock at the start of Extreme Carnage: Omega #1, but after that, it becomes much more predictable. It is still entertaining, as it is full of brutal violence and Symbiote battles, but it is not the combat that it was building towards. 

A reveal from a character that had appeared in the very first issue was another nice surprise, but how this encounter ended was poor. The event is badly wrapped up and so much of the issue seems focused on setting up for another series instead of finishing this one efficiently.

Another disappointing aspect of this issue is how the characters are handled. Johnson has so many characters involved in this comic, and so few of them have an arc completed. Figures such as Carnage and Scream/Agony have been brilliantly utilised throughout the series, with the latter in particular having a massive change that will have consequences going forward. But beyond that, it is mostly either hints for the future or nothing at all. The Life Foundation Symbiotes have lacked true characterisation for the entirety of the story, and their involvement ends with a whimper. Even Flash, the hero, is ineffectual and dull.

The art is what saves Extreme Carnage: Omega #1. For what it lacks in a brilliant story, the Symbiote battle is glorious in its gore. The violence is similar to what has been present throughout the event. It revels in it and yet takes the reader by surprise. The attacks are explosive and sudden, hidden in the previous panel. With all of the characters on the literal playing field, the artists excel when given a chance to show the fighting. The involvement of an inker such as Smith allows for varying line weights. Many of the faces of the human characters look slightly misshapen and hidden in shadow. If intentional, this is unnerving and suggests something lurking underneath their sin. If not intentional, then it may imply a poor design.

The colours are not as brilliant as the previous issues. In other chapters, the shades were vibrant but had the ability to repulse as well. Here, they aren’t as eye-catching. The exception to this rule may be Agony, with a purple that is striking against the other tones involved. Lasher is not as sickly green and Phage’s yellow seems drastically different than what has been seen when he appears in the issues leading to this one

The lettering has several different unique word balloons that are attached to each individual Symbiote. For the most part, this works and Lanham ensures that it is easy to see which character it belongs to. However, certain colours, like Riot’s blue for example, may lead to the reader struggling to read it. 

Extreme Carnage: Omega #1 is a limp conclusion. The momentum of the entire event has been fluctuating and the speed slows down far too early in the issue. The comic lacks clarity and character definition, throwing as many Symbiotes at a wall as the writers can and seeing which ones stick. And out of nearly ten, probably two achieve this. For fans mindless Symbiote on Symbiote violence, this event may be up your alley. Even then, there are many other storylines that fulfill that with a better plot and characters attached to it.

Extreme Carnage: Omega #1 is available where comics are sold August 29th.


Extreme Carnage: Omega #1
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TL;DR

Extreme Carnage: Omega #1 is a limp conclusion. The momentum of the entire event has been fluctuating and the speed slows down far too early in the issue. The comic lacks clarity and character definition, throwing as many Symbiotes at a wall as the writers can and seeing which ones stick. And out of nearly ten, probably two achieve this. For fans mindless Symbiote on Symbiote violence, this event may be up your alley. Even then, there are many other storylines that fulfill that with a better plot and characters attached to it.