After wrapping up a decent arc with the Rangers in ‘Scarlet Spider’ #9, our hero leaps into his first crossover event. Last week, Marvel releases the one-shot ‘Minimum Carnage Alpha’ that kicks off the “Minimum Carnage” story that weaves between this title and ‘Venom’ before ending in ‘Minimum Carnage Omega’ in November. Since we didn’t review the opening chapter to this story, here’s the quick and dirty recap…

Cletus Kasady (Carnage) escapes from the maximum security wing of the Thunderbolts Prison with the aid of some unseen help. Venom is sent to investigate. After a little digging, Venom discovers that Carnage was aided by some microscopic beings and that there has been some research into the “Microverse” going on in… where else?… Texas, home to the Scarlet Spider. Venom heads to Texas and arrives just in time to see Scarlet Spider standing in the ruins of the Microverse research lab surrounded by dead scientists. And there is where this issue begins.

Scarlet Spider (Kaine) is still upset after losing Carnage and not being able to save the scientists in the lab. He’s in that frame of mind when Venom arrives and the two scuffle, not realizing that they are both on the same side. In the middle of their skirmish, Venom loses control of the symbiote and goes all out Venom before gaining control and explaining to Kaine what’s happened with Carnage. Kaine, in turn, brings Venom up to speed on what went down at the lab. Now that the heroes are on the same page, they still have a few questions… What is Carnage is doing in the Microverse? And is there a way to stop him?

We’re given a brief glimpse into the Microverse and learn that Carnage was brought into that world for a reason… but can Carnage be controlled long enough to do what he has to do? Meanwhile, Kaine and Venom plan their attack to stop Carnage at all costs.

I’ve never been a fan of Carnage but seeing two characters that I enjoy teaming up attracted me to this story. And, while I did like the showdown between Venom and Scarlet Spider, I am really not liking this whole Microverse story at all. I get that there are some weird corners to the Marvel universe and I do like exploring them from time to time but something about this adventure just doesn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s because we just came off of the ‘Monsters of Evil’ arc over in ‘Venom’ and that exploration of the supernatural corner of the Marvel U wasn’t so great.

I just want to get back to some great heroic stories with these two characters and now it looks like that’s not happening for at least another couple of months.

Final Score:


Story by Chris Yost
Art by Khoi Pham, Reilly Brown, Tom Palmer, and Chris Sotomayor
Cover by Ryan Stegman and Marte Gracia