Venom Meets Lovecraft In Web Of Venom: Cult Of Carnage #1

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Misty Knight arrives in Doverton, Colorado to find the town completely empty and destroyed. Months ago, Carnage took over Doverton by possessing most of its population, and John Jameson was recently sent to investigate new strange occurrences in the small town. Misty finds John naked and unconscious in a collapsed building. He struggles to remember anything, but the story of what killed Doverton slowly comes back to him. It all centers around a new temple that appeared in Doverton: the Church of the New Darkness.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 cover by Joshua Cassara and Rain Beredo
Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 cover by Joshua Cassara and Rain Beredo

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 revisits the town from Carnage U.S.A while tying it into the resurrection of Carnage and the impending return of Knull. It does so with a touch of the Lovecraftian: an unspeakable terror, horrific rituals, and growing insanity.

The story is genuinely creepy. The opening scenes foreshadow the unhappy ending Doverton is destined to have, and the story of John Jameson and Sheriff Morrell slowly guides us towards that inevitable conclusion while hinting at the unimaginable evil that has planted itself in the heart of this cursed town.

Also, I’m always glad to see Misty Knight in a Marvel comic. Keep printing those digital-first Daughters of the Dragon graphic novels in paper, and I’ll be happy.

Also, yes, Carnage himself does make an appearance in this comic, so don’t worry about that.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 art by Danilo S. Beyruth, Andres Mossa, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 art by Danilo S. Beyruth, Andres Mossa, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Danilo S. Beyruth gives this comic a deceptively simple style that invites the reader into the story only to turn on them when things get pitch black. It gels with the narrative perfectly, and it makes for a wonderful reading experience. Andres Mossa gives it all a high-exposure color palette that starts off pale and bright only to take a dark turn when the plot does the same.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 is a highly entertaining read for the fan of the symbiotic side of Marvel as well as the horror fan. Frank Tieri, Danilo S. Beyruth, and Andres Mossa craft a fantastic narrative of mutilation, indoctrination, and a town unable to escape its bloody recent past. This one gets a strong recommendation. Give it a read.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 comes to us from writer Frank Tieri, artist Danilo S. Beyruth, color artist Andres Mossa, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Joshua Cassara with Rain Beredo, and variant cover artists Cassara with Beredo; and Gabriele Dell’Otto.

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