Comic Reviews: Carnage and Rumble!
Carnage #3 (Marvel Comics)
Cletus Kasady’s ongoing series from Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins continues with Carnage #3, which finds the psycho symbiote still being hunted by federal agents in an underground mine, except the twist is that one of them is Col. John Jameson, who’s recently turned into his lupine alter ego, the Man-Wolf!
Much of this issue bounces between the fight between Carnage and Man-Wolf and the agents trapped in the mines with the two monsters. Eddie Brock, who’s with the agents, is trying to convince his handlers to “turn on” his Toxin symbiote so he can assist Jameson, but many of his officers don’t agree with this decision. Naturally though, things don’t start going in Jameson’s favor, but by the time the agents decide to turn Toxin on, it’s already too late.
Gerry Conway’s script for this issue is definitely more of an action packed one than the first two issues. While the previous issues of Carnage have focused more on Kasady stalking his victims in the dark mines, this issue forgoes all of that and gives us what we really want: Carnage fighting Man-Wolf. Conway wisely has these two characters be the focal point of the issue. Conway doesn’t waste too much time on Brock and the other agents, but he also doesn’t completely toss them to the wayside either. This balance really helps this issue feel like a complete package.
Mike Perkins’ art has worked really well for previous issues of Carnage, but it suffers a bit in this issue. Perkins is a great artist and has a great style that lends to the horror elements of this book, but when it comes to the action his work is a little too stiff. However, Perkins’ design for Man-Wolf is really great, and his panels with the agents add a lot of dread to their predicament.
Carnage continues to be one of the stronger All New All Different Marvel titles, probably because it’s so different from the other books in the line. This is a dark series focusing on a mass-murdering psychopath, but it’s also surprisingly very good. At only three issues deep, those intrigued by this 90’s villain should definitely give the series a shot, as it’s way better than you would initially think.
Rumble #10 (Image Comics)
Rumble closes out its second storyline in true Rumble fashion: By having Rathraq do battle with a giant bull monster. John Arcudi and James Harren’s Image series has been a favorite of mine since the first issue, and this latest issue is a classic reason why. It has everything that you’d want in a fantasy comic: violence, weird monsters, and big swords. John Arcudi’s script is full of awesome ideas and action, but he’s able to give us some really great character moments as well. Arcudi’s gone to great lengths to build up Rumble’s supporting cast, and it pays off in this issue.
Adding to Rumble #10’s success is the art by the always incredible James Harren. It’s safe to say that this book would not be the same if a different artist was drawing it. Harren’s style is so in sync with this series that it’s scary. Rathraq practically leaps off the page in his action sequences, and Harren’s monster designs are truly some of the best in the business.
Rumble is one of the coolest Image comics out right now, and if you haven’t read it yet, I really think you should give it a try. There are a lot of weird ideas in it, but it’s also a really cool and visually striking. Luckily the first trade is readily available (with volume 2 on the way), so you can get caught up very easily.