Cletus Kasaday was rendered a shell of his former self when he was lobotomized, but his sadistic supervillain alter ego Carnage lived on by using the criminal’s body as a vessel. However, in ‘Superior Carnage’, the incarcerated symbiote was set free and taken into the custody of The Wizard, who is looking to form a new Frightful Four with an all-new, superior Carnage to do his bidding. Although, his plan is a lot easier said than done, as the villain soon finds out in the newest issue of the series.

Now that the Wizard and Klaw have Carnage in their custody, they, along with Dr. Karl Malus, are now tasked with the job of controlling the mind of the vicious creature while escaping his grasps. Naturally, this proves to be very difficult, but with the help of the top-secret government files that profile the creation of Agent Venom.

First, let’s talk about these files. I’ve seen a lot of great title pages over the past year, but I don’t think I’ve seen any actually become part of the comic that I was reading. Complete with word bubbles and notes from the Wizard, this recap page gives us insight into the evil scheme that the new Frightful Four is hatching. And it’s not even like that device is thrown out after the first page. The story consistently refers to these files. I appreciate how this trick delivers a book with no wasted pages. It was a very nice touch by the team.

Also, if you know your Marvel characters, then that title page gives you some foreshadowing into the plot. You see, the Wizard is a pretty B-list villain. But this version of the character being used by writer Kevin Shinick is very different and that picture is one way to show us how. It also provides us a great gag since Black Tarantula does kinda look like Venom. But the important thing about this detail is the character development. Wizard’s mind is slipping and that might just make him more dangerous, especially with Carnage on his side.

Though I was extremely excited to see Carnage back in the Marvel Universe, I severely underestimated the characters involved in this series. The Wizard and the Frightful Four are hardly Galactus level threats, but Shinick impresses me by digging deeper into these glorified jobbers to make them interesting. Characters are the thing that make any good story successful, so while I may have came for Carnage, I’m being treated with way more intriguing characters that I’m coming to appreciate more with each passing panel. I look forward to what comes next in ‘Superior Carnage’.

Final Score:




Written by Kevin Shinick
Art by Stephen Segovia & Jay David Ramos
Cover by Clayton Crain