Mild Spoilers Ahead
Carnage’s reign of terror has ended, but Andi Benton is still living with the horror of it all. Plus, she has a new unwanted symbiote partner: Scream. She has no home to go back to in Philadelphia, so she’s left to wander homeless in New York. She finds shelter in May Parker’s F.E.A.S.T. center, but, even there, Scream causes problems for Andi. After that, Andi tries to end it all, but Scream won’t allow her that peace either. Finally, Andi and Scream find a new purpose when they’re attacked by undead aquatic monstrosities that spill out of the city’s sewers.
Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 begins the newest symbiote-centered series, spinning out of Absolute Carnage. It focuses on Andi Benton, former Mania, sorceress, and protege of Agent Venom (Flash Thompson).
She’s at her lowest point after Absolute Carnage; Flash is dead, Patricia Robertson sacrificed herself to save Andi, she’s homeless, and she’s been stuck with Scream and the nightmares that come with her.
It’s a shockingly heartfelt read. While it would be easy to write this one off as just riding the high of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman on Venom and Absolute Carnage, Scream: Curse of Carnage has its own story to tell.
It has a kinship with its predecessor, which is to say Cullen Bunn’s stint on Venom during the Flash Thompson era. Andi is at a similar place as Flash in her life, and she’s far less culpable for her place in life than Agent Venom was.
The looming threat in this comic is seemingly linked to Absolute Carnage, and it has a strong horror bend to it as well. In fact, it’s downright Lovecraftian.
Chris Mooneyham is the artist on this new venture, and he gives this book the gritty and line-heavy aesthetic that it needs. Andi’s world is dark, ominous, and threatening. The monsters she fights are grotesque and malformed. Rain Beredo gives it all a grim and dark palette that looks downright great.
Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 is a compelling and surprisingly emotional opener for this new symbiote series. It finds Andi alone and wandering the dark and dangerous streets of New York in search for any friends or family she can find. Instead, she finds death and destruction. This one gets a recommendation. Feel free to give it a read.
Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 comes to us from writer Clay McLeod Chapman, artist Chris Mooneyham, color artist Rain Beredo, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Jim Cheung with Romulo Fajardo Jr., and variant cover artists Nick Bradshaw with Jason Keith; Nick Sullo; Skottie Young; and Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.
Final Score: 8.5/10