ABSOLUTE CARNAGE (2019) #2 review

Absolute Carnage (Marvel Comics)

You can pickup your copy of Absolute Carnage #2 now where all good comics are sold.

Synopsis

After the terrifying conclusion of ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1, a new player is on the board, and it’s NOT who you’d expect! Barely able to escape with their lives, SPIDER-MAN and VENOM have no choice but to drag a slew of other heroes into Carnage’s crosshairs. Worse yet, Carnage’s rampage through New York City claims an unexpected piece of collateral damage…and there’s NOTHING Venom or anyone can do to stop it!

Review

In my review of issue #1 (here) I praised writer Donny Cates for crafting an original story which really ramped up the Venom world. In the intervening tie-in issues the series has continued to push the boundaries of its storytelling.

Returning to the main series for issue #2 there wasn’t plenty of momentum to keep the story rolling. But I wondered whether Cates would be able to keep it up or, if possible, pull even more craziness.

Spoiler alert!

This issue takes the series to places I had never expected it to go. The appearance of Miles Morales and his eventual infection by the symbiote are played brilliantly in both the story and the visuals.

In story terms the capture and absorption of Miles does pose some issues for Absolute Carnage moving forwards. Marvel is by no means planning to kill off Miles so it’s clear that at some stage he will be rescued. But on the other hand seeing him struggle as the symbiote takes over his body is pretty shocking.

So here’s is the problem: how does Cates keep the series relevant and exciting after pulling such a huge twist out early in the story? Coming out of this issue I’m definitely concerned for the legitimacy of the story going forwards.

Issues #1 felt like a compelling, relevant story to the Marvel universe but now we’re bordering on a more alternate universe type tales unless Cates can introduce some serious consequences to impact Earth-616 moving forwards.

That being said Cates is still able to balance out several dangling threads in a very complex story. His storytelling feels like fresh territory for Marvel and I hope we see his influence reverberate in to other series.

The large cast of characters continues to grow here so it’s impressive to see such a large cast handled so well. This does, of course, put a heavy reliance on the plethora of tie-in issues which go alongside Absolute Carnage but hopefully the main story will be contained within the main title.

Ryan Stegman’s artwork continues to be a highlight for the series. There’s not a bad panel in the book, it is quite literally stunning from start to finish. The book is bathed in a hellish red which really makes it stand out from standard Marvel fare.

It’s bold and unforgiving in every aspect and for that Absolute Carnage should be held in the highest regard.

Verdict

Absolute Carnage #2 continues the excellent intrigue of the series whilst noticeably upping its stakes. Excellent visuals continue to be the hook which will keep readers coming back for more.

7/10

Absolute Carnage #2 is written by Donny Cates with pencils by Ryan Stegman, inks by J.P. Mayer and colours by Frank Martin. All three also provide cover art.

Absolute Carnage #2 cover art by Ryan Stegman, J.P. Mayer and Frank Martin

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About Neil Vagg 3821 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG