Venom and Scarlet Spider continue their fight to save the Microverse!
The Story - Minimum Carnage Part 5: Family Bondage
Before she is taken to her holding cell, Katy Kiernan is informed by Marquis Radu that when he invades Earth he will use her to spread the message of his coming.
Venom and Carnage find themselves strapped to the Body Banks, with the machines cloning their symbiotes and forcing them onto comatose hosts, who all die as the symbiotes take their bodies. Once the process is finished, Venom and Carnage are able to break out of the machine, and Carnage is delighted to find that he has an army of Venom/Carnage hybrid symbiotes at his command. The hybrids obey Carnage because unlike Venom, Carnage's symbiote has not been sedated.
In their cell, Katy Kiernan reveals to the Enigma Force that she stole their cell key off the guard before she was brought in, allowing them all to escape.
Meanwhile, Venom struggles to fight both Carnage and his army. Despite landing an impressive decapitating blow on the villain, Venom is still no match for Carnage. Luckily, Venom is saved by Scarlet Spider and the Redeemer just as Carnage is about to finish him off.
The Enigma Force is able to fight through the hybrids to Marquis Radu, who finds he cannot control the hybrids. Radu quickly escapes.
Venom and the Scarlet Spider continue to fight Carnage, but Venom quickly realizes that it is a losing battle. He decides that if there's any chance at defeating the villain, he needs to let his symbiote loose. Channeling a life time of bad memories, Venom lets out a scream that appears to dissolve all the hybrids as well as Carnage himself. But before Carnage sinks into the ground, he tells Venom he is just getting warmed up. The Redeemer states that Carnage is no longer in the Microverse.
Back on Earth, tiny hybrid symbiotes begin a murderous rampage in Houston, Texas...
Declan Shalvey really knows how to draw symbiote fight scenes. His rough style and excellent storytelling ability make him a perfect fit for the title. Flash's struggle to try and use his inner demons to his advantage made for a good read and led to some cool moments, such as Carnage's decapitation and Venom's scream at the end.
However, the story still suffers from the same problems as the previous chapters. Marquis Radu failed to make a compelling villain, exemplified by his quick retreat this issue. I can't say I care if I ever see this character again.
Overall though, Minimum Carnage's main problem is that it fails to live up to the high standard set by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain's previous two Carnage miniseries'. While Cullen Bunn and Chris Yost have a good handle on Carnage's voice, they lack the ability to delve into his twisted psyche the way Wells can. Also, Minimum Carnage's bizarre sci fi plot doesn't have the same level of creepiness or intrigue that other recent Carnage stories have had.
Venom #27 is packed with cool moments and beautifully drawn action scenes, but the Microverse aspect of the plot fails to engage. Fortunately, it looks like the conflict with Carnage will be heading back to Earth for the finale.