Collects Carnage 1-5
So, clearly, I’m reading series out of order. This may be the first Carnage mini-series, but I should have read the volumes that lead up to this first. I didn’t realize Cletus Kasady and his Carnage symbiote were in space, or that Cletus himself was presumed dead. I don’t know when this happened, but it was explained near enough to the beginning of the story that I got caught up with the basics quickly.
And I’m liking Carnage, and the symbiotes, a lot! He’s a sociopath, completely unconcerned with anything anyone wants other than him. In fact, this can be said about either Kasady or the symbiote. The reason they work so well together is that they both seem to crave violence and madness and horror. One of the most frightening things about Carnage is that his host is a human horrorshow; it’s bad enough that an alien is like that, that they have superpower, but when strip that away, it’s still true. (Other than the super strength and healing.)
So when Kasady and the symbiote are retrieved by Michael Hall, and when he starts creating prosthetics and armor from the symbiote, well, it’s not going to end well for anyone. However, Tony Stark, Iron Man for those who don’t know, realizes that something is weird given how advanced the prosthetics are when he sees Hall showing off at a medical conference. It’s not like him not to search for the reasons why, but the fact that Hall embarrassed Stark when he was on stage? Oh, yeah, that was just daring Tony to come and look for all of Hall’s deep, dark secrets.
It doesn’t help that Hall employs the psychiatrist taking care of Carnage’s girlfriend, Shriek, who has sonic blasts and can cause people to mob, become violent and even to become murderous. It doesn’t help that Shriek is a jealous psychopath and that her doctor, who /has/ been helping her, got her arm cut off trying to save Shriek. Except that Hall replaced her arm with a symbiote-based prosthetic.
So pretty much, it all comes together to create an epidemic-like atrocity that Iron Man and Spider-Man must put to a stop, so long as they want to keep their city safe at all. Being that they are truly heroic, the thought that, hey, maybe distracting Kasady by giving him the guy he wants - the guy who held him in a hospital and took his symbiote - doesn’t even cross their minds. In fact, Spidey and Stark both go out of their way to protect everyone, including Hall and his lackeys.
There are some nice surprises and absolutely gorgeous painterly art. Highly suggested, although not for the weak of stomach. It’s got some pretty horrific moments, but if you can handle it, it’s a real fun ride!