Superior Carnage #1 Review

By: Rob Neil Gruszecki

            A lunatic and monster, fused with an alien symbiote that only intensifies his murderous rage giving him a most effective weapon to slaughter innocent people, Cletus Kasady is kept in an undisclosed containment facility where super-villains are kept under maximum security.


Ted Connelly is a white collar criminal who is being transferred to one of these facilities due to over crowding. His crimes though serious are vastly outweighed by the psychotics and murderers that walk shoulder to shoulder with him in the halls, boasting resumes of attempted world domination. Ted’s new life as an inmate in this hell is made all the worse when the Wizard begins to interfere and a lobotomized Cletus arrives to his new cell block next to Ted.

Written by Kevin Shinick and illustrated by Stephen Segovia, Superior Carnage is the new Marvel Now number one featuring everyone’s favorite twisted killer from the 616. Leading us down a very dark path in the life of Ted Connelly then quickly veering off in a different direction, somewhat jarringly, this first issue sets up a new team headed by the Wizard as he attempts to enlist the wild card Carnage alongside two other villains to form the Frightful Four. This obviously doesn’t go over exactly as planned but the inevitable jailbreak that is staged to let the demented horror free is a success and is paid for in many of the other inmate’s blood.


Carnage, being a character based in extremely dark circumstances and origins, has story beats that are obviously going to be messy and violent and this new superior version does not disappoint in that realm at all. Featuring an immense body count and more sneers per page than most comics being published, this first chapter in Superior Carnage is aptly titled. I’m curious to see where the title is taken from this point and especially with the condition that Kasady is in currently in the continuity as it is a particularly interesting scenario that will birth many cool subsequent stories.


Artistically the book has highs and lows. Luckily the highs are magnificent and the lows are only in a few Rob Leifeld like character grimaces that are easily overlooked. Scenes displaying the symbiote infestation of Cletus are incredible and look brutal and disturbing as the red liquid swells and stretches over the features of the maniac. A few particular pages that show Carnage as he eviscerates his fellow inmates, The Wizard as he reveals his masterplan, and an awesome double page spread as the symbiote rips itself off of its host are spectacular pages and Stephen Segovia shines in these instances.


Shinick’s scripting is decent and he makes Ted Connelly a compelling and even epathetic character to intro in the story but ultimately when the book really picks up plot wise the story goes in a very different path that I found a little silly because of the time spent on this character’s development only for him to be cannon fodder. However that being said, it was a device used for posturing and was necessary to introduce the current status-quo of Carnage so I don’t view it as too big of a fault with the book, just a minor hiccup that the book recovers from.


Although I wouldn’t necessarily go as far as saying that it is a ‘must-read’ title in the Marvel Now line, it is definitely an interesting new chapter in the life of the Spider-Man rogue and will be thoroughly enjoyed by any previous fans of the character.


Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior

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