Absolute Carnage #1 is perhaps the strongest Marvel release of the year, and looks set to be a major force for the remainder of its run.
There has been a lot of hype about the latest Marvel mini-series crossover event Absolute Carnage, and the pressure was on creative team Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman to deliver the goods. The Venom movie, the return of Carnage and the huge push for this release will no doubt make the first issue a huge hit for Marvel, but was it any good?
Well yes, it is good, and the team hit it out of the park in the first few pages by doing what Stan Lee always said writers should do: Presume that this is the first comic book people have read and go from there.
So Cates gets us all up to speed in Absolute Carnage #1 with a recap of the relevant information we need to move forward in this story, and the art is up to the usual high standard from Stegman. It seems that this was originally to be part of the ongoing series, but with things ramped up so much, editorial decided it would work better as a crossover event.
There is an early spectacular two-page spread, Carnage gets on with his job very quickly, there are some great character moments with guest stars, particularly Spider-Man, there are moments of genuinely creepy horror and the stakes grow as the issue continues to a full-page cliffhanger that will have everyone coming back for issue #2.
This is a quality product from Marvel. But wait, that is only half the story.
The creative team may be on fire, but incredibly this package decided to go the extra distance for Absolute Carnage #1, and the fans are the winners. This issue is a triple-sized story, with what seems to be three issues of story and art, plus a little Watchmen bonus feature at the end.
There is a lot of bang for your buck here. The cover price is $7.99, and normally I would call an issue out for this price, however, the difference here is that the book is worth it.
The story, art, inks, colors, and lettering all work, this looks like what a Marvel comic should look like and it is a breath of fresh air to see such a well-produced item for a change.
I will not talk about the plot or reveals as I really hope that as a comic book fan you will grab yourself a copy of Absolute Carnage #1. What I will say is that Donny Cates must be a Watchmen fan, as there are two nods to the classic Alan Moore series. Did you spot them? Also, look for a nod to the first Carnage appearance; I won’t spoil the treasure hunt for you, but they are there if you look.
This is probably the strongest release for a Marvel comic this year, and it looks set to be a major force for the remainder of the series. It looks like there will be four issues of this arc, and I will be picking up the second issue on August 28th.