Superior Carnage Annual

Posted by Jesse 08 February 2014

Previously, the Superior Spider-Man defeated the Wizard’s attempt to control the Carnage symbiote, extracting the creature to his chambers. Subsequently, the former host, Cletus Kasady’s brain has recovered from the damage done by Kaine (See Minimum Carnage).  How will a now conscious Cletus handle being separated from his special alien friend?

Plot Summary:  Deep within the walls of Spider-Man’s evil empire secret HQ, the Carnage symbiote screeches as if dying, then seems to do exactly that. At a prison far off, Cletus seems to be adjusting well to life behind bars, when someone shoves a makeshift dagger in his neck. In the trauma room, Doc Jenner, (who has brought Cletus to the prison) questions his link to what Cletus calls “the other”.  The Doc previously noted how Cletus must finally feel free. Jenner’s associates comment on how Cletus does not belong at their facility seemingly due to his abilities, and their lack of security. Jenner reassures them he doesn’t expect Cletus to survive over night, suggesting that the stab was meant to kill him. However Cletus begins to sense the symbiote from far away.



At a research facility, a lab worker continues her shift through the evening by examining a tiny piece of the symbiote submitted by SpOck. Despite the back-story of the symbiote pieces being chemically neutralized, it latches itself onto this poor woman. When she arrives home the symbiote possesses her mind as well as her body and causes her to transform and murder her husband.

The symbiote uses her as a vessel and travels from host to host trying to reunite with Cletus, while Clet is suffering a seizure as a result. Jenner just observes closely commenting that he knows Clet can sense it, and he knows it’s coming for him, but he reveals his plan of snuffing out Cletus to receive the symbiote himself. He proceeds to asphyxiate Cletus commenting that he’s too weak for the symbiote anyway. He pretends to sympathize and understand the symbiote stating how desperate it must feel. He claims himself to be the ideal partner for it.


 Eventually the symbiote arrives near Cletus and refers to him as its family, but Jenner is present to remind the creature that he was just an “adopted” family member and one that can be replaced. Jenner tries his best to convince the symbiote to take him instead of Cletus but it rejects him and merges with Cletus’ supposedly dead body. Jenner is confused, believing that he killed Cletus, but the
combined symbiote and Cletus explain how their bonding revived each other.

Carnage then suffocates Jenner and goes on a slaughter spree throughout the prison, not forgetting to get revenge on the guy that stabbed him in the neck. 


Carnage sings his ambitious intentions as he walks through the halls, rejoicing that he is about to relive his glory days.


Thoughts:  

Is it just me or was Cletus not separated from the symbiote very long at all? No it’s not just me he was just reunited with it back in the Carnage mini series in 2011 and only became separated from it in the very recent Superior Carnage mini series.  Yet this comic would have you believe that it’s been quite a long time.

I guess this is 1 of those rare instances that comic book time is much longer than reality time instead of the opposite.

Seriously though this comic does make a big deal about Carnage being back to normal as if the whole Superior Carnage was a major unnecessary and unwanted detour. I find it to be too presumptuous on the part of the writer; pretending to know or dictate what the fans prefer.

Regardless, the story isn’t so bad just a little plain. It’s a basic reset for Carnage, and really more of a prelude than anything else. I doubt if any characters from this story will be mentioned much less appear ever again, even though that’s pretty much what everyone expects from a one shot.

Anyhow, I actually enjoyed the way the story was told. I like the narrative more than the dialogue. Without it, the story would have been much too vague and therefore almost worthless, but the narrative is not only poetic but insightful. I know you probably thinking: poetry in a gruesome horror tale like this? But yes, yes it hits the mark.


It could have been more in depth, perhaps gone into more reasoning and motivation for Jenner to want the symbiote so much, but I don’t mind the exclusion. It was a simple premise executed well enough.  The idea that the Carnage symbiote has moved on from Cletus now that its had a taste of other hosts, (i.e.: Dr. Malus, and the Wizard) got totally nixed. It just shows how Marvel wants to cement in our mind that Cletus was and is meant to be the character and that the symbiote is an extension of him and his personality. However, I enjoyed seeing a female Carnage, particularly the scene where she busted out the door, despite being predictable it was enjoyable, even if it is the last time we get a female Carnage.

The art was strangely interesting. I’m not sure what to think about all the cross marks and jagged shadows on each and every face.
Cletus new look complete with weird hairdo adds a little unexpected flavor.

Overall I believe this story succeeds in what it was meant to do: hype the next Carnage mini series: Carnage vs. Deadpool, and reaffirm that Cletus is the one, true, and only Carnage. It’s probably going to be that way for quite a while.  

I think it’s a good strategy for marvel, they played with the idea of putting the symbiote on other characters, which was kind of fun, but ultimately knew it was best to bring him back home.
So, Happy Homecoming !!! 




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