Marvel AXIS: Carnage #1 Review | Fanboys Anonymous

Marvel AXIS: Carnage #1 Review

Posted by Orion Petitclerc Monday, November 3, 2014
Carnage-Man, Carnage-Man…oops, sorry! I've got a tune stuck in my head now, and it's all thanks to the newest Carnage miniseries spinning off from Marvel's current AXIS event. AXIS: Carnage is a very special chapter to the symbiotic serial killer's bloody saga, after Cletus Kasady and his murderous symbiote have experienced an existential crisis following his previous breakout adventure in Deadpool vs. Carnage. Written by Rick Spears with art by Germán Peralta and Rain Beredo, this miniseries will assuredly mark a turning point in Carnage's career.

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Deadpool vs. Carnage left our main man questioning the true nature of chaos as the Merc with a Mouth was able to find Carnage's patterns in his seemingly random slaughter spree. So much was Carnage left stupefied that he even locked himself up in a psychiatric hospital until he could figure out what to make of the complex situation he found himself in. His detention didn't last long, though, as Magneto managed to reason with him that the most random and chaotic thing he could do next was to help Magneto and his team of villains become heroes and save the world from the Red Onslaught (the Red Skull transformed into Onslaught) and his World War Hate (Magneto #11). During the battle, Doctor Doom and the Scarlet Witch managed to stop the Red Onslaught by executing an inversion spell, which reverted the crazed Nazi into his former self and turned the villains into heroes.

AXIS: Carnage #1 picks up from the inversion theme and tells a story about how Carnage struggles to become a superhero. The inversion spell was nothing like any other reality-changing spells that present an altered history where Carnage's origins were heroic; instead, Carnage is mystically driven to abandon his villainous past and antics with the desire of becoming recognized as one of the good guys. His psychopathic and murderous urges still heavily influence him, though, as he finds it hard to understand what being a hero really means.

Read AXIS: Carnage digitally on your iOS or Android device with the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited appMeanwhile, the Sin Eater returns to the land of the living, starting once more with his holy inquisition—this time with a focus on news reporters. It's unclear whether this Sin Eater is the original (the late NYPD detective Stan Carter) or the copycat (the late Michael Engleshwert, as he appeared in Venom: Sinner Takes All), but two things are for certain: one of them is dead for sure, and this new one is clearly not of this world.

Sadly, the Sin Eater's connection to Venom (Eddie Brock) is never mentioned in this issue, but I still hold hope that this new one draws comparisons at some point between Carnage and his symbiote daddy. Despite this minor Venomaniac gripe, this is perhaps one of the most Carnage books to have been printed in recent history, mainly because Carnage was treated as the protagonist of the story! (Look back at every Carnage miniseries that has been published in the past five years, and you'll note that only the Superior Carnage Annual book had Cletus Kasady as the lead character.)

Learn about the Sin Eater's connection to Venom's origin story in Spider-Man: The Birth of Venom, available digitally on comiXolgy

Spears managed to make this story feel very '90s, but in the best way possible. Carnage had three series (Venom: Carnage Unleashed, Carnage: Mind Bomb, and Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life) in which readers experienced the story from Carnage's perspective or which delved into his psychology. This book does the same in a snide and fun way as he struggles as a serial killer becoming a hero. I've never watched Dexter, but I have a feeling that fans of the show would love reading this book.

Preorder the Marvel Select Carnage action figure from Diamond Select Toys through Dork Side Toys or Big Bad Toy Store

Peralta and Beredo's art works well with Carnage's inverted morality, as it replaces the darkness and grittiness previous books have become accustomed to with the lighter and more action-packed layouts of a superhero book. Carnage is still frightening as ever, though, which is a good thing since it reminds both the readers and the general public in the comic that he was once a monster. I had only two gripes and a brief note about the art, though: first, Carnage should never be drawn with a tongue. Venom is the symbiote known for his tongue; Carnage never had a tongue in his early days, and shouldn't to avoid the common misconception of being called a "Red Venom." Second, Peralta gave the Sin Eater human eyes and skin under the mask on page two but was revealed to be nothing more than a ghastly green skeleton beneath the mask later on. It's a minor continuity issue, but it's noticeable.

AXIS: Carnage #1 gets 5 stars out of 5 for the writing and 4.5 stars out of 5 for the art. This is a definite must-read for any symbiote fan, especially if you were (for some odd reason) disappointed with the last Carnage miniseries. Will the inversion stick with Carnage after AXIS? Let us know about your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below, and check back with Fanboys Anonymous for future comic book reviews by yours truly. If you're a symbiote fan, be sure to follow our affiliate, The Venom Site, for all of your symbiote news, reviews, and point-of-views!

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