Deadpool Vs. Carnage #1 Review | Fanboys Anonymous

Deadpool Vs. Carnage #1 Review

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Friday, April 4, 2014
Hello, Fanboys (and Fangirls)! I'm baaaaack! Once again, I bestow upon ye the goo that keeps on giving: symbiotes! (Ew, get your minds out of the gutter!) This time, we shift gears back to pretty much the only symbiote character who has remained constant since his debut. That's right, I'm talking about the scourge of the '90s, the crimson killer, the one and only Cletus Kasady, a.k.a. Carnage. He's back again, and this time Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun, Helheim, Venom), Salva Espin (Generation Hope, Deadpool), and Veronica Gandini (Fearless Defenders, The Mice Templar) are pitting him against the '90s Marvel Universe's other famous whacko in red, in a match made in Heaven/Hell (you decide which). I'm referring, of course, to the brand spankin' new Deadpool Vs. Carnage 4-issue limited series from Marvel.

Download Deadpool vs Carnage comics on Comixology

An official Deadpool/Carnage face-off has been on every nostalgic geek's wishlist since the '90s, and at long last Marvel has delivered. Expectations were high, as Bunn had big shoes to fill with both Deadpool and Carnage fans after his previous mildly successful work with both characters. He and his partners in crime definitely did not disappoint with the first issue, which—when summarized with only two adjectives—was both frenetic and funny. I'll be reviewing this limited series as a symbiote fan, but I can't deny that Deadpool has grown on me in the past few months.

Experience Carnage's origin story in Spider-Man: The Vengeance of Venom trade paperback available from Barnes & Noble
Achievement Unlocked: Looks That Kill
The first important point to note is that this is Carnage's very first book with a parental advisory warning on the cover, and it's about time! If we were to slap an MPAA rating on Carnage as a character, it would be either R and NC-17, and this book would probably receive the former rating. Historically, any comic that featured Carnage never carried any such parental advisory, even though Carnage has always been depicted as gory, murderous, and outright terrible. With Deadpool Vs. Carnage's parental advisory, however, Bunn and company have a little more leeway to flex their wicked muscles (that's a real thing, y'know) and give Carnage and Deadpool the violence and raunchiness they deserve.

Catch up on Deadpool vs Carnage with Superior Carnage Annual available to read on the Marvel Comics app

Read Cullen Bunn's Deadpool Kills Deadpool on Marvel Digital Comics UnlimitedNow, for the actual story. This book picks up right after the events of Superior Carnage Annual, which Bunn also wrote, in which Kasady reunited with his symbiote and escaped from prison. (Check out my reviews of each issue of the Superior Carnage series here.) As is customary for Carnage, he celebrates his freedom with another murder spree somewhere near the Kansas state line. I'm loving how, under recent writers, Carnage is gravitating towards the Central and Southern United States. It seems to me that this complements Kasady's hickish/redneck character.

By chance or Providence, while Deadpool is eating a bowl of cereal in his New York City apartment, he happens upon a news channel covering the aftermath of the Kansas bloodfest. Deadpool (being Deadpool) is more interested in finding a channel featuring Kat Dennings, but the universe eventually pulls him into a quest to track down and stop Carnage in a random and very amusing manner. The two finally meet—or, rather, Carnage meets one of Deadpool's explosive missiles before meeting the Merc with a Mouth himself—and begin their mad dance and cooperative comedy roast, setting the tone for the rest of the series: an entertaining pissing contest to see who's crazier. The book ends with the arrival of the series's first special guest, but without spoiling the surprise for you all, I'll give you one hint as to who it is: it's a fan favorite from Carnage's past.

Follow Carnage and Shriek's early adventures in Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage
Take note of the word balloon from the new player.
The art is downright spectacular, and both Espin and Gandini deserve pats on their backs. Having the parental advisory the book has, you'd probably expect this series to have an art style similar to that of artists like Clayton Crain or Gabriele Dell'Otto, the better to depict the gore and grit. Espin's cartoony style, however, compliments Deadpool's loony-ness, and the two artists' combined work gives a friendly technicolor tone to the violence.

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Cletus on a lazy Sunday.
Luckily, this doesn't detract from the gravity of the skirmishes; instead, it adds an airiness with the injected humor between both characters, conjuring a sort of disconnection in the reader which, in itself, is delightfully disturbing—imagine yourself sitting, reading, and laughing at the humor of a cartoon about a bloodbath. The book's creative team made monsters of their readers, and I'd expect nothing less from Deadpool Vs. Carnage.

I really have no valid complaints about this first issue about anything other than Kasady's mullet, which is a new haircut for the character. I wasn't a fan of Eddie Brock's mullet back in the '90s, and I'm sure not a fan of Kasady's mullet now. I was really liking the very Southern 'do and sideburns that Kim Jacinto gave him in Superior Carnage Annual, and I wish this new creative team had left that detail alone. Again, I have no valid complaints about this first issue.

Let's Play Maximum Carnage for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Deadpool Vs. Carnage #1 gets 5 stars out of 5 for the writing, and 5 stars out of 5 for the art, rounding the overall rating to a perfect 5 out of 5. I don't recall, but this may be the first individual comic book I've ever given a perfect score to on Fanboys Anonymous. I guess I'm just trying to tell you all to pick this book up. Like, right now.

Which is your favorite of the two madmen in red? Who are some of the guests you're waiting to see pop up in this limited series? If you've read the book already, do you think I gave it a fair rating? SHOUT IT OUT in the comments section below, and follow The Venom Site for all of your symbiote needs! Pretty please?

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