Comic Vine Review


Carnage U.S.A. #1 - This Land is My Land


Carnage is back, again. His first miniseries wasn't enough and now he's raising the stakes. Spider-Man is bringing along some of his Avengers friends but Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain are going to make sure that still won't be enough.

Whether you want him back or not, Carnage is making another return and he has big plans. Spider-Man is going to need all the help he can get.

The Good

Let me begin by saying I don't really like Carnage. I never really cared for him. I could appreciate him as being a darker and more twisted version of Venom. He didn't (and doesn't) hold anything back and can add a more fearful atmosphere to Spider-Man's rogues gallery. The problem before is Carnage was never really actually scary. He almost came across as a demented cartoon character. Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain are doing a superb job in changing that.

As with the previous Carnage miniseries, Wells and Crain are making Carnage an even darker character than he was before. By setting his sights on a small Colorado town, he is beginning his plan take over the world. Sounds crazy but with his first step, he definitely is going to cause some major problems.

Despite being a pretty dark series, leave it to Wells to throw in his brilliant wit into the characters. You would expect Spider-Man to be slinging witty remarks around but there is actually another focus on other characters and it's pretty dang funny.

Crain captures the feel of the characters during both the light and dark moments. You do get a sense of dread on those under Carnage's tyranny.

The Bad

Despite getting pulled into the idea of Carnage versus the Avengers, we're still taking about Carnage. Fans of Maximum Carnage and that time period will be happy with the tease of who else will be popping in this series. As much as I wasn't crazy about Carnage in the 90s, some of the other characters I cared even less for. I do have some faith that Wells will make it spectacular if any of them do show up.

The Verdict

Carnage is back and he's not taking time to mess around. He is determined to take his evil scheme to a new level. Zeb Wells is actually making me care about Carnage when I pretty much never cared for him before. He's taking the Marvel Universe to a dark place and Clayton Crain's art is helping to take us on the journey. I used to be a harsh critic of Crain's art but the more I see it, the more I can appreciate it. The issue isn't all dark. Wells is a pro at throwing in the humorous dialogue and it'll come as a surprise when readers discover Spider-Man isn't the one with the funniest lines. CARNAGE USA is shaping up to be a roadtrip to hell and the fun is going to be seeing how Spider-Man and the Avengers will manage to put a stop to his evil scheme.