Comics : Superior Carnage #5

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This review was first published on: Mar 2014.

Background...

After freeing Carnage from prison and realizing that he had no mind left to control, the Wizard used Dr. Karl Malus to be the new host for the crazed symbiote. With his ally Klaw, the Wizard formed a new super villain team in order to take over City Hall and control New York City, in hope of impressing his “son”/clone, Bentley. The Superior Spider-Man was waiting for them, though, and a fight ensued. However, the Wizard was also battling a form of mental deterioration after a run-in with Black Bolt. His control over the new Carnage slipped and the creature killed Klaw, creating a sonic blast which freed Malus from it’s control, but sent the symbiote to it’s newest host, the Wizard!

In Detail...

Superior Carnage #5
Jan 2014 : SM Guest
Summary: Superior Spider-Man vs. Wizard-Carnage
Writer:  Kevin Shinick
Artist:  Dan Mexia, Stephen Segovia
Inker:  Dan Mexia, Dennis Chrisostomo, Don Ho
Cover Art:  Clayton Crain
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Jay David Ramos, Rex Lokus
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Alex Alonso
Senior Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Editor:  Sana Amanat
Assistant Editor:  Devin Lewis
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Review

As things get underway, Klaw describes how sound and sonic blasts have a long history of theatrics, but the science behind it is just “unstable elements becoming trapped.” Which, coincidentally, is how he feels about trying to control Carnage. Despite being killed last issue, his consciousness remains in the sound wall, allowing him to see everything happening around him, but also leaving him with his regret for not protecting the Wizard.

Being part of the sound wall also gives Klaw insight into events that had happened years past, because ok why not? This includes all of Carnage’s temporary hosts (Ben Reilly, the Silver Surfer) and separating it from Kasady has caused it suffering and angst, as it just wants to be with it’s “family”. Guess we’re glossing over the fact that the original Carnage symbiote was eaten by Venom? Yes, we are. We’re also ignoring science and saying that being part of sound lets you see through time.

Wizard-Carnage begins to battle SpOck, while Klaw watches helplessly. The Spider-Patrol arrives with flame throwers, but being prototypes, they fail. Spider-Man yells at Malus to leave, but being paralyzed, he’s unable. Wizard-Carnage kindly removes his legs, since Malus was no longer using them. Just then, a member of the Spider-Patrol arrives to tell Spider-Man the Wizard’s son is on the scene. Spider-Man strikes him and the Wizad begins taunting him that he already possesses information that could hurt him- namely that he’s Doc Ock in Spider-Man’s body. As the Wziard begins to defeat Spider-Man, our hero finally decides to bring Carnage what he wants. However, it wasn’t Bentley....

No Spider-Man has recovered the body of Cletus Kasady from the remaining wreckage of the Wizard’s lair. The symbiote leaves the Wizard behind, purposely separating itself as painfully as possible. Klaw realizes now the symbiote was never abandoned by its many hosts, but left them in an attempt to find something better. And now it has the empty shell that is Cletus Kasady. Spider-Man takes a sonic gun from his Patrol, but the newly re-made Carnage breaks it and immediately descends upon the Wizard. However, Klaw uses this moment to focus his remaining energy and use the thunder from the occurring storm to make one last attack against Carnage. The remaining Spider-Patrol contain Carnage and Klaw’s consciousness slowly dissipates across the sound wall…

Spider-Man keeps the symbiote in his collection of captured villains. In an undisclosed maximum security hospital wing, we learn that the Wizard is no longer suffering from dementia. In fact, the symbiote cured him! Because why not? It also seems that his mind has been wiped clean (meaning he doesn’t remember SpOck’s secret) but he also has moments of “complete coherence” (meaning “We can still use him as a villain later!”). But wait…if the symbiote fixed the Wizard….yyyuuuuup! Cletus Kasady is baaaaaack!

In General...

So I started writing this review a long while back. I took a break because I found it too painful to finish. Sorry for the delay. That is…both my fault but also very, very true. This was just a stupid issue. I’m sorry, there’s no better way to put it.

So let’s look at the continuity stuff first: Cletus Kasady lost his legs in the original New Avengers and received robotic-replacements. Those are gone. The original Carnage symbiote was eaten by Venom. That’s forgotten too. Also, if that explosion destroyed the Wizard’s lab, how did Cletus Kasady survive with some burns and tissue damage. And then at the end of the issue, he’s fine (physically)? Ok, sure.

Now let’s look at this issue. The sound wall? And that let’s Klaw see through time? I guess they needed a way to pad this issue a bit and give some backstory about the symbiote, but really? Has this ever been used before, or am I just being overly crticial. Also, is Malus dead now? After Carnage ripped him in half or whatever he did, I assume so, but uh, no one really mentions. Also, was Bentley actually there or was it some ploy? And when did Spider-Man have time to search the Wizard’s ruined hideout? Or tell his crew to do that?

And the ending? What?! So the entire point was just to get the Wizard back to status quo? And Cletus…so the symbiote heals people…fine, they’ve done similar stuff before. But why now? I mean, the symbiote had plenty of opportunity AFTER Kaine lobotomized him, so why now does it suddenly fix him? And why would it fix him if it just wanted an empty shell? And why would it fix the Wizard if it really hated him? None of it really makes sense. I just don’t get why any of it happened.

There’s one more part…a finale to this series, but really, I think that could have been the only thing printed and we’d been at the same exact spot. I personally haven’t been able to read it, but it has to be better than this…

Overall Rating...

The explanations are poorly written, there are a few plot holes, and the surprise ending doesn’t make sense since the symbiote had been with Kasady the entire time preceding the events of this story. So in all, a story that could have been told in less time or in a completely different direction if that’s the end result they wanted.