JD reviews CARNAGE U.S.A. #1
by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain!


Anyone who knows me (or stalks me on the internet to make disparaging remarks about my personal life) can tell you that I lervs me some horror movies. They’re my favorite flavoring of popcorn and I munch that bunch-a-crunch like nobody’s business. Now, I know that fanboys give Carnage a hard time, but I’ve always kind of liked the lil’ scamp. He’s what Venom could have been if he wasn’t so damned popular and Marvel decided to over-saturate the market and try to make Eddie Brock a good guy or…um… *ahem* Lethal Protector”. Blergh. I like that Cletus Kasady is a Venom with no conscience, or morality to speak of. The man likes to hurt and kill people for no reason. That’s what makes a villain truly scary to me. One that believes in something is scary enough, but one that doesn’t believe in anything? Terrifying. He is Marvel’s version of Freddy Krueger. He’ll make bad jokes for his own benefit while slicing you to meat-strips and I dig him for that.

Last year, Carnage had a self-titled mini-series by the same team of Wells and Crain, and it was ok. Not amazing, but ok. In it, the symbiote was used to help create …cybernetic limbs…for people? Cletus, despite being ripped in friggin’ HALF by the Sentry, is ok now because he has a…cybernetic lower half? It brought back characters from the Maximum Carnage crossover that sucked back in the 90s? Ok, maybe last year’s mini wasn’t that good in retrospect. But this one has some wicked creepy stuff in it, and I’m digging it so far.

Enter the sleepy lil town of Doverton, Colorado, cause Kasady sure did. Enter it, that is. The town, I mean. And after he entered that town? Shit got REAL, as the kids like to say, with their hippity-hop and their zippy little mopeds. There are other little elements that remind me of films like The Crazies, or Slither, or Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. I really liked the creepy “alien invades small town” vibe and frankly wished they had stuck with that a little longer. Stuff escalated really quickly here and it looks like it’s only going to get crazier as it goes, so I would have appreciated a slower, creepier build.

There is some humor in here as well, obviously. If you’ve been reading Zeb Wells’ other book Avenging Spider-Man, you know this boy can do the funny. I never realized how maybe not everyone in the Marvel Universe would LOVE The Thing, with all his Clobbering This and Yancy Street That, but it makes sense that not all heroes have to love each other, and the dialogue here was pretty entertaining.

I’ve never really been a fan of the overly digital style of Clayton Crain, but I think it’s starting to grow on me. He really does a beautiful job on things like the Carnage symbiote and the freckled Kasady, but his costuming really needs some work. The super-heroes in this book look really rushed, especially Wolverine for some reason. It looks like the final Photoshop Layer for Wolvy wasn’t clicked on before going to print or something. And HOLY HELL, The Thing looks TERRIBLE. He’s just the Sugar Golden Crisp version that they made for the Fantastic Four movies, but covered in squiggles that are supposed to be rocks (I assume). But hey, his symbiote looks great!

This was a really creepy start to what I hope is going to be a fun and entertaining 5 issues.

When not hosting the PopTards Podcast, fist-bumping his own nethers, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam here, JD is graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, hanging with the @$$holes over at www.aintitcoolnews.com and Booking his Face off over here. He is also now co-hosting another Comic Book discussion show on Party934.com alongside Bohdi Zen. They discuss comics and play music, check it out live every Saturday from 4-5pm.

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2 Comments to “JD reviews CARNAGE U.S.A. #1
by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain!”

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  1. Dylan Grimes says:


  2. JD (Host) says:

    I know Dylan……I know.

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