Web of Venom: The Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s Venom has been one of the most surprisingly successful Marvel storylines in some time, building layers on Eddie Brock that have never been seen before. But they’ve also been teasing the return of Carnage, and with the recently announced Absolute Carnage event coming this August, the fact that the latest Venom one-shot from Frank Tieri and Danillo Beyruth, Cult of Carnage, focuses on the crimson and black symbiote should really come as no surprise.
Focusing primarily on Misty Knight and her search for John Jameson, Cult of Carnage has a decidedly more “down to Earth” tone than the other stories in the current Venom run. While a lot of the script reads like set up for Absolute Carnage (which won’t hit shops until August, by the way), Tieri does a good job of making this one-shot work for both people who’ve been reading Venom‘s ongoing series and people who are picking this issue up for the first time. Tieri showcases some cool set pieces throughout the issue, and his attempts to make the recent history of the character connect together are not only admirable, they also make sense.
Danillo Beyruth still hasn’t made the splash at Marvel that he should have, but Cult of Carnage is another step towards becoming a big player for the publisher. His art works extremely well with Tieri’s script, and he sets up the issue in spectacular fashion as Misty Knight makes her way through the destroyed town of Doverton, the site of the Carnage, USA storyline from years back. Beyruth’s strong line work and character designs give him a unique style that makes this special stand out from the others.
It remains to be seen what story points (if any) from this one shot will carry over to the Absolute Carnage event, but for what it’s worth, this is one of the stronger Web of Venom one shots that Marvel has created for the series. Fans of both psycho symbiotes would do well to pick this up.