King In Black: Gwenom vs Carnage #1 review – Knull crossover silliness

February 28, 2021 (Last updated: 4 weeks ago)
Louie Fecou 0


This more than anything else I have read feels like filler for the King In Black event, and this first issue had nothing that I would want to revisit.

This review of King in Black: Gwenom vs Carnage #1 contains some minor spoilers.

So I have no idea what is going on here. I do know this is part of the King In Black Crossover, but as far as Ghost-Spider and continuity goes, I have to just hold my hands up and say I know nothing. So perhaps it’s unfair to review this book, as it is no doubt tied into its own continuity and as I said, I am clueless here.

The recap tells me that Gwen Stacy has Spider-Man’s powers and a suit of “synthetic symbiotic slime became the only source of Gwen’s abilities”. Knull as we know is launching an attack on Earth but because of the “otherworldly nature of Gwen’s suit” Knull can’t control her, but Knull still wants to give it a go.

From there we get into the body of the story, with Knull’s dragon monsters at Empire State University, and Ghost-Spider presenting us with caption after caption of exposition, hopefully there to catch up readers like me and introduce them to this narrative. Ghost-Spider finds a lone extra in an alley that is being attacked by one of Knull’s things, but fails to rescue him and he is turned into a symbiote monster, that she then pretty much just runs away from. Ditching her costume, she returns to her flat and tries to tell her roommates what is occurring. However, they are attacked by another Knull thing, but despite her attempt to stop the monster with ” blunt force trauma”, yes, that’s a quote, she finds her roommates have been possessed. So far not so good.

Then Gwen uses her “teleporter necklace” but something has gone wrong with that too, and we scene change to “Earth 65, not very long ago” and Mary Jane Watson has been captured by The Jackal. There’s more exposition about his plan to get to Gwen by using MJ, and spiders, then MJ vanishes, appears with Gwen, who saves her from falling, but upon landing MJ becomes Carnage, and that’s the cliffhanger ending and the reason that the book is called Gwenom VS Carnage, I think.

Unfortunately, this is not a book for me. But I do understand that regular readers will get a kick out of this. However, I found the trite and unfunny dialogue tonally wrong and the action seems to jump from place to place like a badly edited music video. Seanan McGuire seems to have paced this like an episode of Teen Titans Go on the Cartoon Network, and the art by Flaviano also fits this premise. Perhaps that’s the idea, but the action sequences are confused and busy with your eye never really being drawn to anything in particular, and the black panel borders are not helping anyone. It’s all style over substance and the whole book seems pretty much just a set-piece to get to the final splash page reveal.

This more than anything else I have read feels like filler for the King In Black event, and this first issue had nothing that I would want to revisit.

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