Cult of Carnage: Misery #2
THE MOTHER OF ALL SYMBIOTE STORIES! The Life Foundation symbiotes, Toxin and the others, have been STOLEN! But by whom? And WHY?! Regardless, it’s up to Liz to save the symbiotes before they can fall into the wrong hands—and unleash untold havoc across New York!
Superhero spin-off titles are often always very weird, and almost always have about a fifty percent chance of being great. As Marvel reproaches their 90’s comics right now for nostalgic profiteering, they’ve also accidentally tripped into releasing Spider-Man adjacent sleeper hits that are better than Spidey’s own comics, not unlike 1995’s Green Goblin series by writer Tom DeFalco. Funny how history repeats, but it’s a good thing it has, minus the poor Peter Parker stories we’ve been receiving from the House of Yesterday’s Ideas. Cult of Carnage: Misery #2 is a good ass comic, plain and simple.
This issue follows Liz as she makes further advancements towards tracking down the lost symbiotes, all the while tying into it some classic origin story plot beats to better explain Liz’s character as well as the new symbiotic she finds herself wrapped up in. It’s all a lot of fun, this mix between Carnage and Anti-Venom making for a fresh symbiote equally divorced from the purely action figure aesthetic of 90’s symbiotes as it is the Knull-era symbiotes we see now. The book bounces back and forth a lot between these different beats, but each scene is giving enough room to breathe so that story isn’t paced to fast or to slow.
Liz herself is tackling these developments down whilst trying to figure out an emotional side of her that’s creeping once more in relation to her time spent with Harry Osborn, all of this culminating into a pretty well written story about how the worst aspects of herself are the same aspects that help the world around her. Liz is constantly miserable because she help but always try to fix the bad things around her, and as such is always cannibalizing herself as she heals others, making a Carnage/Anti-Venom mix the perfect symbol for her grief as a character. The villain writing remains a bit weak, but does so in order to present the exact thematic representation of what Liz is battling internally, so this new character Madness works quite well for this story in that regard.
Mortarino’s art brings a lot to the table in terms of tone. The book is rendered with realism but manages to keep this dark sci-fi horror tone to it even when Liz is swinging around and trying to learn all she can about her true powers. While not the most visually stunning work, the art here is consistent and always doing its best to tell a visually clear story rife with atmosphere.
Cult of Carnage: Misery #2 is another solid, character focused entry into this mini-series that is way better than it has any right being. Marvel's Symbiotic stories have never been stronger, and Misery is right up there alongside Red Goblin as yet another sleeper hit for the company.
Cult of Carnage: Misery #2: Mother of All…
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 6/106/10
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