ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Carnage Forever,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Carnage Forever #1 - But Why Tho

Carnage Forever #1 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Ram V, and Ty Templeton, art by Edgar Salazar, Salvador Larroca, and Ty Templeton, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, Rain Beredo, and Ty Templeton, with letters by Joe Sabino and Ty Templeton. With Cassidy’s body gone, his consciousness now resides in the Extremebiote independently of a physical host. On its own, the symbiote is out in search of what new carnage it can create.

If I’m being honest, I can say with a fair amount of certainty the last time I read a significant storyline involving Carnage was probably the classic 90s Maximum Carnage storyline. Needless to say, I’m a bit out of the loop. But while the circumstances surrounding everyone’s favorite symbiote psycho may have changed, stepping into Carnage Forever #1 feels like familiar territory nonetheless.

The first of this book’s dual stories centers on a young girl named Elsie. With no place to go during the day, Elsie finds herself hanging out in front of an old burned-down building drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. When a concerned passerby tries to get her to move along due to the terrible circumstances surrounding the building’s destruction, Elsie ignores him. This leads to her having an encounter with the cause of said destruction.

This story delivers a fantastic opening for Carnage Forever #1. Johnson delivers a classic horror story that may be fairly predictable but is nonetheless executed flawlessly. Combining with this fantastically paced story is a pitch-perfect art performance on the part of Salazar and Rosenberg. Salazar’s lines combine with Rosenberg’s colors to create the perfect visual accompaniment to Johnson’s story.

Following up this opening is the book’s second story. This entry into Carnage Forever #1 serves as a teaser to lead into the upcoming regular series for the title character. As such, this story is less of a full narrative than a peek at what readers can expect from the character’s future. In this regard, Ram V makes the most of the short space the story has in this book to deliver a sample showing that I feel will leave fans curious about what is ahead for the psycho symbiote.

Providing lines for this story is industry veteran Larroca. One of my personal favorites, due to the artist’s work on Avengers Forever and The Life of Captain Marvel, Larroca delivers a superlative job delivering Carnage in a way that is equal parts powerful and terrifying. These lines are augmented nicely by Beredo’s colors, as they serve to perfectly enhance the tone of the art.

Providing lettering for both of these stories is Sabino. The lettering does a great job of guiding the reader through the book, while never disrupting their ability to enjoy the art. Sabino also gives some extra style to the voice of Carnage, as one would expect. This lends an extra bit of menace to the characters’ dialogue.

Wrapping up Carnage Forever #1 is a page of Sunday funnies styled strips focused on Carnage, riffing on classics Dennis the Menace and The Family Circus. These strips, presented entirely by Templeton, give the book a light chuckle to go out on. This is a wonderful contrast to the fear and terror the primary work of the book provides.

Carnage Forever #1 delivers both a great stand-alone horror story, as well as an intriguing setup for the character’s future. While I would deem this a definite pick-up for any Carnage fans out there, I would say the first story is good enough that even horror comics fans not interested in Carnage may want to give this book a look.

Carnage Forever #1 is available on February 23rd wherever comics are sold.


Carnage Forever #1
5

TL;DR

Carnage Forever #1 delivers both a great stand-alone horror story, as well as an intriguing setup for the character’s future. While I would deem this a definite pick-up for any Carnage fans out there, I would say the first story is good enough that even horror comics fans not interested in Carnage may want to give this book a look.