Carnage: Black, White & Blood #1 review – if the editor doesn’t care, why should we?

April 6, 2021
Louie Fecou 0


Gimmicky styling, symbiote fatigue, and slapdash editing — Carnage: Black, White & Blood is certainly up against it.



Gimmicky styling, symbiote fatigue, and slapdash editing — Carnage: Black, White & Blood is certainly up against it.

This review of Carnage: Black, White & Blood contains some minor spoilers.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood is a mini-series that is in the style of the Batman: Black and White books from DC.

This first issue has 3 separate stories, and as the title implies, the coloring of the book only features black, white, and red.

“Love Story” is written by Tini Howard, with art from Ken Lashley and Juan Fernandez does his best with the colors. We have Cloak and Dagger guest starring in this 10-page short, and a few other cameos too. This is more a character piece than a superhero slugfest, and has something to say about relationships, family, and love.

“End of the Trail” is from writer Benjamin Percy, with drawings from Sara Pichelli and coloring by Mattia Iacono. It follows a tale of bounty hunting in the Wild West and a confrontation that was only ever going to end one way.

“You Are Carnage” is the final story in this issue and is written by Al Ewing, with pencil art from John McCrea and coloring by Mattia again. It’s a strangely produced tale that parodies the “choose your own path” stories where the readers would make a decision about the story then be redirected to the narrative path that decision leads to.

Anthology books like this can be hit and miss, and it can be par for the course that some stories will always be superior to others, leading to readers rating the tales as they go. Often the stories are really just musings by the writer on the nature of the character that headlines the book, so I guess that Carnage fans will find something to enjoy here.

This first issue is all pretty much what you would expect, and if I’m honest, after King In Black dominating the latest Marvel releases, I feel a little bit fatigued with Marvel’s favorite symbiotes.

It’s difficult for writers to say anything too meaningful in the short page counts that are involved in these sorts of titles, so it seems unfair to be too critical about this issue’s stories. The trouble is I’m not a great Carnage fan, and the stories here feel like throw-away ideas that have no real weight or consequence to them.

The black, white, and red styling also feels a little gimmicky, and apart from the fact that Carnage is red, I’m not sure what it actually achieves. With black and white art, a certain atmosphere can be produced that enhances the tone of the story, but here the effect feels tacked on and makes a lot of the artwork look unfinished.

Now I may be missing something else here, but the caption boxes in the second story, on the last page are just confusing.

Maybe I am being stupid here, and God knows reviewers are often the last people to comment on grammar but bear with me here. Here is a transcript of the last 7 dialogue boxes in this story:

“He was hunting me. Baiting me. Luring me in. Because in me.. Seth Strode, Federal Marshal.. he saw the ideal vehicle for his hunger. The West was won after all… Are written in blood.”

Now is it me or does that make no sense? I’ve looked at it a few times in case I was missing a beat somewhere, but if I am, I don’t know where it is. What exactly are the editors at Marvel doing with their time these days? This kind of stupid mistake just shows me that if the editors are missing huge mistakes like this in a product, then they have lost love for the product in the first place. So why should the reader care?

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