Abandon All Hope: Absolute Carnage #4 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The Venom symbiote has attached itself to the Hulk, and they are attacking Carnage head on. The other Avengers are still recovering from having their codices removed, so it’s down to Eddie Brock and the Amazing Spider-Man to protect the incapacited heroes as well as Dylan and Normie from the Doppelganger hordes. Eddie gears up and charges into the Doppelgangers, while Spider-Man pulls back to protect Dylan and Normie from Norman Osborn-Carnage. Miles Morales, still under control of Carnage’s symbiote, arrives not long after to cause more havoc, and the fight between Cletus-Carnage and Hulk-Venom is not going in our favor…and Cletus could use something as powerful as the Venom symbiote.

Absolute Carnage #4 cover by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin
Absolute Carnage #4 cover by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin

Absolute Carnage #4 gives us an all-out war between Spider-Man, Eddie, and the Avengers against Carnage and his seemingly-endless hordes. It’s a brutal yet-focused conflict that nonetheless could determine the fate of the entire world. Cletus Kasady is close to summoning Knull, and that dark god could very easily end our existence as we know it.

There’s not a boring or slow part to this comic. The fight between Hulk and Carnage is awesome, Eddie’s desperate stand against the Doppelgangers and Miles Morales is intense, and the duel between Spider-Man and Norman Osborn-Carnage is brutal. We are in the climax of this story now, so intense fighting is inevitably going to be on the menu. That said, we still have some plot advancement, and I’m left excited to see how the final issue goes.

Absolute Carnage #4 art by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Jay Leisten, Frank Martin, and letterer VC's Clayton Cowles
Absolute Carnage #4 art by Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Jay Leisten, Frank Martin, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles

Ryan Stegman continues to blow me away in the visual department. Though this is definitely a superhero comic, Stegman can still frame and shadow it like a horror story. It imbues the comic with an especially grim atmosphere that sets it aside from many of the big crossovers of recent years. Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Jay Leisten’s inking does an excellent job of really emphasizing that darkness, and Frank Martin’s color art gives the book boundless personality.

Absolute Carnage #4 is another strong issue in what may turn out to be one of the best big Marvel Comics crossovers in recent years. It’s the final stand against Carnage and his murderous hordes, and Eddie Brock may be the only one who can save us. This comic definitely gets a recommendation. Check it out.

Absolute Carnage #4 comes to us from writer Donny Cates, artist Ryan Stegman, inkers Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Jay Leisten, 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; Gerardo Zaffino; Nick Bradshaw with Jason Keith; Kyle Hotz with Dan Brown; Mike del Mundo; and Ron Lim with Israel Silva.

Final Score: 8/10

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