Swept Under A Tide Of Carnage: Absolute Carnage #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Carnage gets ahold of Norman Osborn, and the only thing Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Venom can do is beat a narrow retreat. Eddie is ready to throw in the towel after this disastrous defeat, but the Amazing Spider-Man isn’t one to give up. He’s going to track down the heroes who have been infected by a symbiote before while Venom finds the murderers, psychos, and criminals who have been controlled by one. Venom’s first find is Scorpion and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) fighting a horde of Carnage’s mindless monsters. Meanwhile, Carnage himself continues to plan for the arrival of Knull in his underground lair.

Absolute Carnage #2 cover by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin
Absolute Carnage #2 cover by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin

Absolute Carnage #2 continues to show far Carnage has already made it in his plan to offer our world as a sacrifice to Knull. He has been doing this from the shadows and only now comes out into the open as his plan reaches completion.

It’s another exciting and brutal issue, as Venom, Scorpion, the Maker, and two Spider-Men fight desperately to hold back this red flood. 

One thing that struck me is how restrained this comic pushes the spin-off titles. While Carnage vs. Deadpool, Miles Morales, Scream, and the mainline Venom title are all referenced and alluded to in passing, there isn’t the feeling that you’re missing out on the full story if you don’t read them. As much as I liked War of the Realms, it was still very guilty of spilling a lot of its stories into the spin-offs.

We once again get a lot of character work for Eddie Brock that continues to flesh him out as a compelling lead. Donny Cates gets this character in a way few writers have before, and it makes for great reading.

Absolute Carnage #2 art by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Absolute Carnage #2 art by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Ryan Stegman once again knocks it out of the park in the art department, and his rendition of this version of Carnage is downright haunting. The action scenes in this comic are fantastic throughout, and Venom himself has rarely looked better. Frank Martin’s paints expertly with the reds and blacks, and the comic as a whole looks fantastic. 

Absolute Carnage #2 is another stellar issue in this Marvel Comics miniseries event. We get to see our heroes desperately try to beat back the tide of Carnage sweeping the world, and it’s brought to life fantastically by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin. This one gets another recommendation. Check it out.

Absolute Carnage #2 comes to us from writer Donny Cates, artist Ryan Stegman, inker JP Mayer, color artist Frank Martin, letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles, cover artist Ryan Stegman with JP Mayer and Frank Martin, and variant cover artists John Tyler Christopher; Marcos Martin; Kris Anka; Kyle Hotz with Dan Brown; Marco Checchetto; and Ron Lim with Israel Silva.

Final Score: 8/10

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