Comic Reviews: Fairlady and Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage!


fairlady-1_8a97f58344Fairlady #1 (Image Comics)

We’ve all seen the stories of a big war in a fantasy realm, but what happens when the war is over? That’s the main crux of Fairlady, a new fantasy series from Brian Schirmer and Claudia Balboni that plays a little like Lord Of the Rings, a little like Magnum P.I, and ends up being a whole lot of fun.

Jenner Faulds pretended to be a man in order to fight in the War of the Harshlands, but now that the war is over, she’s struggled to re-acclimate to regular life like her fellow soldiers. Some have become private investigators known as Fairmen, and after a wizard hires her to watch over her tower, Faulds decides to lend her war talents towards becoming the realm’s only “Fairlady”, investigating cases that no one particularly cares about.

The main premise of Fairlady is “Magnum, P.I. Mixed with Lord of the Rings”, and I have to say, that’s a very apt description. Writer Brian Schirmer has a lot of fun using the tried and true detective story template in a fantasy setting, but what’s most impressive is how effective the world building is, despite how little background info we get. Outside of an introductory page setting up the history of the fairmen, Schirmer essentially just tells us information we need to know as we need to know it, which allows the story to flow naturally. He subverts the trope of many Image series that rely on info dumping us in a fantastic way.

I’ve never seen Claudia Balboni’s art before Fairlady, but I was absolutely blown away by it. Her style works wonderfully for this book, and her character and creature designs are a lot of fun. There’s a great page layout that shows how Faulds checks out a crime scene for clues that stands as one of the best splash pages I’ve seen all year, and I can’t wait to see what else she’s got planned for future issues.

Fairlady wasn’t a series that I was initially interested in, but I’m really glad I checked it out. It’s got a solid setting and cast of characters that really leave a mark, and I’m really excited to see what Schrimer and Balboni have planned for the rest of the series. Seek it out.


Web of Venom: The Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics) webofvenomcultofcarnage

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.


Posted on April 10, 2019, in Comic reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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