Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Superior Carnage Review (Kevin Shinick, Stephen Segovia)


Carnage: is there a more 90s character? Looks awesome, has zero substance. Well it’s the 21st century now and Carnage hasn’t changed, he’s still as one-dimensional as ever. The Carnage symbiote’s host, Cletus Kasady (a serial killing redneck), has had his brain eaten away after years of being bonded with Mister Red and Slobbery so he’s now a zombie for Carnage to run around in. Except Carnage has been captured by the Wizard who has other plans for him - wait, who!? You know, the dude from the Frightful Four. The what!?! Yeah - Superior Carnage is where all the lame villains gather. 

It’s kind of about Carnage but it’s really about the Wizard, whose own brain is starting to fall apart, and he just wants to impress the clone of his dead son - Bentley-23 - just once, to show him his old dad isn’t a loser, so he decides to reform the Frightful Four and take City Hall. Seriously, that’s the plot of this book. 

Unlike Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Superior Carnage does feature Superior Spider-Man (could I ram any more “superior”s into that sentence?) and there’s some cool Spidey on Carnage action. I do appreciate Kevin “Robot Chicken” Shinick is trying to make the reader care about the Wizard in this book even though he doesn’t accomplish it - not for lack of trying, it’s just such a flimsy storyline for such a weak-ass character. And, hey, it’s an unexpected direction to take for the Carnage book, so kudos? I just wish it were more interesting to read! 

Stephen Segovia’s art is pretty good, it’s about what you’d expect for a Marvel superhero comic and is kinda like Steve McNiven-lite, even though his design for Superior Carnage looks like the Red Skull cosplaying as the Punisher. 

I suppose Superior Carnage is for fans of Carnage and/or the Wizard but I’m not sure there are many of those (especially the latter!). For the rest of us, is it essential reading? Not in the least. It’s a quick, painless and forgettable offshoot of the Superior Spider-Man franchise and totally dispensable (then again, it’s a five-issue mini-series so that was probably the point. Mission accomplished, chaps!).

Superior Carnage

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