Dead in Cletus’ sights is Brooklyn’s own SPIDER-MAN, MILES MORALES. The two crossed paths and quickly came to blows, during which Miles unleashed a hypercharged blow of psychic arachnid energy called a VENOM BLAST. The jolt short-circuited Cletus’ technological components and caused an explosion of energy to erupt from the Extrembiote, injuring Cletus and severely damaging the building in the process. As Miles fought his way through the collapsing rubble, Cletus made an escape with his companion and lackey Kenneth Neely, a serial killer in his own right, and the two have taken to the sewers to plan their next move…
It appears that Miles Morales is in it for the long haul in the fight against Cletus Kasady, now cooperating with a ragtag selection of misfits from Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Miles starts the issue in rather bad shape, taking a few panels to have his wounds stitched up. It’s a small moment that establishes a sense of consequence to the comic’s violence, which should not be taken for granted in a genre where protagonists often feel untouchable.
Spider-Man makes his distaste for working alongside villains known through a few snide remarks, but there unfortunately isn’t time to explore the dynamics between him and characters like Electro and Taskmaster. What little time is available is dedicated to developing his uneasy partnership with Scorpion, who continues to be the unforeseen highlight of this arc, showing suspiciously endearing comradery towards Miles.
On the opposite side of the moral fence, the titular symbiote Carnage continues to probe into the mind of his new unwilling host, Jonathan Shayde. At the same time, Cletus Kasady seeks to repair the damage done to his half-mechanical body at the end of issue #12. This leads him and his sniveling servant Kenneth Neely to Stark Unlimited HQ, where the main action set piece unfolds.
Artist Fran Galan takes a more stylized approach to the interiors of Carnage #13. Kasady’s facial anatomy is longer and more angular, giving him exaggerated and emotive facial expressions. His nonchalant body language feels Joker-esque, and there’s a visible contrast between this cool way that he carries himself and the tense, fidgeting posture of his devotee. With more cartoonish art comes some rather snappy pacing and effective dark comedy. The moment in which Cletus disintegrates a man mid-sentence perfectly rides the line between horror and Looney Tunes shenanigans.
The battle within Stark Unlimited HQ is more than satisfactory, as Kasady makes clever use of the environment and its objects to take out his opponents, giving him a calculated way of fighting that is distinct from the brutality of his estranged symbiote partner. By the end of the issue, Kenneth Neely learns the old proverb “Be careful what you wish for,” as he finally receives a taste of Carnage’s power at the expense of his free will, a fate that may befall thousands of New York citizens if Cletus is not stopped.
While Carnage's journey has delved into the realm of fantasy, his former host Cletus has taken a path towards science-fiction, providing a nice change of tone and scenery that makes Carnage #13 feel reinvigorating.
Carnage #13: Carnage Will Reign
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
User Review( votes)