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Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1 Review

Carnage vs. Ghost Rider, who ya got?!

Ed Brisson and Philip Tan
Price: $8.99

Aside from new creator teams injecting a new idea into superhero stories, for the most part, iconic heroes tend to stay the same. That is unless there is an event to throw things out of whack, forcing characters to go down new routes. Thanks to Absolute Carnage, Danny Ketch, Alejandra Jones, and Johnny Blaze must work together (more or less) to stop Carnage from gaining ever stronger as he eats codices. Can the Spirit of Vengeance stop him? Nah.

So what’s it about?

Read the preview.

Why does this matter?

This story takes place before Absolute Carnage #1 and it reveals how a Spirit of Vengeance was taken off the board thanks to their wearing a Symbiote at one time. More importantly, though, this story appears to be hinting at what Ed Brisson will be doing with the character when he kicks off the his series with Aaron Kuder October 2nd.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Creepy.
Credit: Marvel Comics

This issue does a good job reminding us Johnny Blaze is in charge of Hell and Danny Ketch is a Spirit of Vengeance while still planting seeds for the future. There are hints spread throughout the issue and it’s nice to see Johnny back in some form. 

The main focus of this story, however, is on Ketch attempting to save Alejandra as she fights Carnage one on one. There is plenty of fighting in the issue, all of which is pretty damn cool. There’s are some creative elements that’ll have fans cheering, like a Carnage cycle and some great moments of Symbiote and Penance Stare action. 

Props must go to Juan Frigeri and Dono Sanchez-Almara who excel at the fluidity of Carnage and the flame of Ghost Rider. Johnny Blaze appears in one scene on Earth and he’s rendered in a sad sort of way. He’s not super keen on being the ruler of Hell and you can see that in how Frigeri draws him. The flames around him are excellent and have a nice translucent look. When the fight between Danny and Carnage kicks into gear it’s excellent stuff with dramatic angles and fun design details. A flaming Carnage is quite a sight and you’ll love his motorcycle. 

Somebody, STOP ME!
Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect, can it?

It’s slightly odd this came out when it did, since it takes place before the event even started. It’s also not a must-read if you’re an Absolute Carnage fan since what we find out here really only matters for Ghost Rider. It’s still a fun romp with Carnage though, and the violence and action are on point.

Is it good?

Carnage’s fluidity meets flame in this fun one-shot that’ll have Ghost Rider fans itching for the upcoming reboot in October. Check this out for the great action and design, but stay for the hints at what is to come from the Spirit of Vengeance. 

Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1
Is it good?
Carnage’s fluidity meets flame in this fun one-shot that’ll have Ghost Rider fans itching for the upcoming reboot in October. Check this out for the great action and design, but stay for the hints at what is to come from the Spirit of Vengeance. 
Excellent fight scenes and some cool designs around Carnage
Serves as a reminder of what is going on with Ghost Rider in Hell and on Earth
Isn't a necessary to the Absolute Carnage event
8.5
Great
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