I am a big comics fan–I’ve been hosting a comic podcast called Secret Identity for ten years now with a buddy of mine. Being a lifelong horror fan as well, I’m always on the lookout for a decent horror comic, and it’s rare that I am genuinely surprised by one.
Which is what makes marvel’s new Carnage series such a pleasant surprise. I love Spider-Man, and have read many a spider-related title over the years. For those that don’t know, Carnage is the fusion of an alien symbiote and a serial killer named Cletus Kasady. He’s one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous and psychotic enemies, but he hasn’t always been done justice in the comics over the years. But when Kasady is portrayed as the deranged, super-powered killer he is, there is plenty of potential for scary stories to be told.
This new series by Gerry Conway (writer), Mike Perkins (art) and Andy Troy (colors) absolutely paints Carnage as a terrifying chracter, and then doubles down on the scares by bringing in some Lovecraftian horror as well. In it, an FBI task force devises a plot to capture Carnage, only to have their plan hijacked by a cult that worships Chthon, one of the Elder Gods of the Marvel universe. Their inclusion of Carnage in a ritual to raise Chthon imbues the killer with even more power than his alien symbiote, making him even more fearsome than before.
But the good guys aren’t completely helpless. They’re aided by Eddie Brock, who was once the host of the Venom symbiote, and is currently the host of the Toxin symbiote (yes, that’s a lot of symbiotes). They’ve also got John Jameson (son of J. Jonah), who is the Man-Wolf.
Between the creatures, symbiotes and crazy cultists, this book has weird in spades. And Mike Perkins and Andy Troy really provide a great sense of atmosphere to the cramped and claustrophobic mining caves that most of the story takes place in.
If you’re looking for a book that is part Universal monster movie, and part Aliens, then you should definitely give Carnage a look.