Ever since the red symbiotic psychopath returned from his extended vacation in space, Carnage has been pretty busy in the comic world with multiple miniseries and appearances. The most recent event we find Cletus Kasady being tangled up in is AXIS. Marvel has gotten a lot of flak from fans with their overuse of huge events like this as of late, but since Carnage is involved, I felt pretty obligated to check it out, so let's discuss what Kasady and his symbiote pal have gotten themselves into now. Carnage makes his first appearance at the end of AXIS #2 with Magneto and his team of baddies (and Deadpool), but Magneto #11 elaborates on just what the heck Cletus is doing playing team-up. Right off the heels of Deadpool vs. Carnage, Magneto finds Carnage sulking about how chaos is nothing but lies, but Magneto convinces him to join his team of villains to defeat Red Skull because what would be more random for Carnage than becoming a hero?
The action picks up in AXIS #3 with Cletus joining villains like Jack O' Lantern, Hobgoblin, and Absorbing Man in an attempt to take down Red Onslaught and two giant, adamantium Sentinels that are programmed to target heroes, giving the team an edge. There's some funny banter between the villains who at a second's notice would be at each other's necks if it weren't for the colossal Nazi clone with the brain of a telepathic mutant trying to take over the world. All seems to be going well until Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch cast a spell that is intended to bring Xavier's consciousness over Red Skull's with the spell covering all of Genosha. And that is how we get to Carnage's most recent miniseries, AXIS: Carnage. The interior art is done by Germán Peralta and Rain Beredo, and the story is written by Rick Spears who (I remember from an interview) had stated that he does not like writing serial killers, so I thought of him being a writer for a Carnage book of all things an odd choice, but that was before I had known how brilliant and hilarious the book would be.
Sometime after the spell is cast on Genosha, Carnage and Deadpool give a disturbing, out-of-character friendly greeting to each other in Deadpool #36 before Carnage returns to New York for the miniseries' first issue. Without wanting to give away too much of the story's plot, Cletus has been affected by the spell and is now forced to be a hero, but focuses his homicidal urges to serving justice—something very reminiscent of Venom in Venom: Lethal Protector. The premise alone is a funny concept that breathes new life into a character that many people consider a painful relic of the '90s or a one-trick killer pony with no character depth, granted these are some traits that I and a multitude of others like about the character, but I'm not here to judge. The story also introduces an all new Sin-Eater—the villain that indirectly created Venom—who has a much more literal and spooky side to him now. All in all, AXIS: Carnage #1 is a gory, fun, and entertaining read that Carnage fans are sure to enjoy, but even if you aren't a Carnage fan, this issue might win you over to “Carnage-Man.” Be sure to join me next time where I catch you up on all the carnage going on in AXIS and AXIS: Carnage #2!
What were your thoughts of the inverted Carnage? Would you mind seeing him being a hero for a while longer after AXIS? Let us know in the comments section below, and keep following A Dose of Venom for new doses every Friday!