Comic Book Review – Extreme Carnage #1

Extreme Carnage #1

Writer – Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Artist – Manuel Garcia

I was on the fence about picking up Extreme Carnage #1 last Thursday. When writing out my list of new comics to purchase, I had a question mark next to it. They had copies available on the shelf, so I picked one up.

Senator Peter Krane of New York is using the fallout of Knull’s invasion of Earth to become the new face of the Friends of Humanity and peddle his anti-alien agenda. He’s hoping to use his rhetoric to launch a successful presidential campaign and a land a seat inside the White House. He might have a chance to win over the naysayers with the return of the alien symbiote Carnage cutting a grisly, bloody swath across the planet. The only one that can stop Carnage is a newly resurrected Flash Thompson and his symbiote, Anti-Venom.

Extreme Carnage #1 was a great issue, but I do have a few reservations about this crossover. I enjoyed the allegory of Peter Krane and the Friends of Humanity because his opinions and views mirror real world political figures that dominate the airwaves. Philip Kennedy Johnson is using hot bed societal issues to create wrinkles and waves in the Marvel Universe. Some readers will either enjoy this or be turned off by it, but it is always nice to see socially relevant themes making the jump from the real world to comic books, movies, and other pop culture. You have to walk a fine line and not be too preachy or too political or your message won’t be heard.

I love comic crossovers, especially in the Summertime and Marvel is doing their best to get buzz going for the theatrical release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage in the Fall. However, after reading this issue, I can see people skipping this event altogether since it comes so close after the finale of King in Black. After celebrating the milestone 200th issue of Venom, the Lethal Protector won’t be getting a new series until later in the year. I have a feeling that Venom and Spider-Man won’t be involved in this crossover at all and without them, the “symbiotic story of the Summer” is going to be lukewarm at best. I hope that isn’t the case because it’s really great to see Flash Thompson in a starring role again. I loved his turn as Agent Venom in Rick Remender’s run and it will be interesting to see how he works as a team with Scream to fight Carnage and the offensive and outrageous offspring symbiotes of Venom.

Next Issue – Andi Benton and her symbiote Scream will be featured in Extreme Carnage: Scream #1. In stores Wednesday July 14, 2021.