4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2006
But I didn't think much to this interpretation of carnage.
The story is a good read, plenty going on, it's just the way they brought carnage on the scene, seemed more like something out of an old monster movie.
Forget about Kletus Cassidy, as far as this story is concerned; doesn't exist. This carnage was grown in a test tube from a sample of parkers blood, mixed with a part of the venom costume. It then grows, escapes, goes on a rampage, and so forth (I'm sure you know where it's going!).
I feel that carnage is little if anything without Cassidy. It was Cassidy's insane, irrational behaviour mixed with what we knew of the symbiote venom that made him so popular. Yet reading this story it's not all too clear what this creature has against humanity (Unlike the original Carnage), or why it kills.
Overall it is still a good story, but you get the feeling that Carnage could have been replaced with any random monster i.e. one of the Aliens from "Alien", and the story could have remained - pretty much - the same!
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Ah, Carnage. Great character and even greater villain, a legend in the main Spider-Man continuity. The first ever tale featuring him was a classic that sold out and will stand the test of time.
Sadly though, a lot of fans have overlooked the pros of the great character we're talking about here. The original Carnage was proof of innocence squandered at childhood, a fatal mistake on the part of Spider-Man and Venom, a lethal and insidious killing machine that was near unbeatable and no better example of what the world can do to us all too easily.
The reasons why some fans have missed this are understandable. After the first few stories featuring Carnage, he suffered the same fate as Venom. He was seen as a tool to help boost sales for Spidey comics and writers didn't care what was done with him as long as he was there. As a result, poor stories were produced and one of the biggest villains of the 90's became tragically wasted.
Which now brings us to Brian Michael Bendis' reinvention of Carnage in the Ultimate timeline, which is definitely the darkest Ultimate Spider-Man arc to date.
Doctor Curt Conners A.K.A. the Lizard, is going through a hard time. After his recent transformation into the Lizard, Conners is now divorced from his wife and struggling financially, on the verge of losing his lab if he can't get grants for his research. After Spidey is injured in one of his fights, he goes to Conners to get patched up. After he's finished, Conners notices that Peter's left some blood behind.
No prizes for guessing what happens next.
I really loved Bendis' recreation of Venom earlier on in the Ultimate Spider-Man saga. Whilst it was similar to the Venom in the main Marvel Universe, it was a different, refreshing and more realistic approach to working the character into this reality. What he does with Carnage, however, is radical to say the least. The similarities are still there and older readers will recognise who the main villain in this story is meant to be, but this is not Cletus Kasady accidentally transformed into the spawn of Venom; this is yet another experiment gone spectacularly, badly wrong, and the consequences of the mistake are nothing like what has transpired before in Ultimate Peter Parker's life.
Now, I do like how Bendis has integrated Carnage here, debuting him as a mindless monster that kills to survive but his abilities are somewhat downgraded from his original counterpart. That normally wouldn't mean much to anyone but given the fact that this version isn't a psychotic character bonded with an alien symbiote, just a badly mutated clone of Peter, it makes me prefer the original Carnage even more, as that version had far more depth to it.
Nevertheless, Ultimate Carnage is very well written and originated in this arc. How the monster sees the world through its own eyes and copes with memories that aren't its own is very nicely explained by Bendis, and also very well illustrated by legend Mark Bagley's artwork.
Obviously the biggest criticism that can be levelled at the story is the tragic loss that Peter endures because of Carnage (Those who have read this arc will know who that person is but for those who haven't I won't reveal who the tragic victim is). The tragedy works very well and makes everyone feel for the loss of that character, especially when it's dwelled upon in the aftermath. Without the tragedy, the chances are that this story wouldn't have been as talked about as much as it has been. The choice of the character that has been axed is a very poor choice to say the least. The character was a great supporting one that had lots of depth and made you feel for the victim. The character shouldn't have had to go and whilst the axing of that supporting member of Peter's family was necessary in the main continuity, it was not necessary here. As a result, the loss creates a very abrupt end and depressing paradox.
There are still a lot of good things to say about this arc, however. One is how the relationship between Peter Parker and Curt Conners is developed, starting as a sort of father-son relationship and unravelling into one of pure resentment and despair as a result of what transpires. I also really like the link between this arc and the Venom arc. Whilst the relationship between Venom and Carnage isn't as obvious as it is in the main Marvel universe, the link is still there, and it's made even more engrossing by the legacy of Peter's father, how the intentions are always good, but often end up culminating in disaster.
Despite the criticisms, Bendis' writing is at its absolute peak here. This is the biggest tale he's ever written for Ultimate Spider-Man, as proven by its successful sales. However, it does represent change in the worst possible way. The tragedy is its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. The killing off of one of the best loved characters in the series means that things can never be the same again, and as a result, Ultimate Spider-Man has suffered because of it. Following this saga were a batch of mediocre team-ups with other heroes from the Ultimate universe and the recent Hobgoblin story has not lived up to expectations as it could have. Therefore, Ultimate Spider-Man: Carnage is so far the last arc in this hit saga worth speaking of and reading.
None of the cons mean that this should be stayed away from. The pros include special guest appearances of classic Marvel characters, an emotionally moving storyline and the final showdown between Peter and Carnage. All in all, this a classic, and the standout tale of this version of every one's friendly neighbourhood web-head.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2005
(warning small spoiler) As I finished reading, I found that it opened up a few doors for future stories to be told regarding Conners, Carnage and what the future holds for Peter Parker but what realy disappointed me is the abrupt and pointless death of Gwen Stacy, I felt that they could have done much much more with her, in regards to her relationship with Peter Parker and Mary Jane, especially Peter Parker. (So, what I would like to know is what the writers where thinking when they killed her off) and for this reason I only gave three stars.
All in all its a good read, and should not be pass over.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2008
Carnage isn't as enjoyable as I would have hoped. I couldn't help but think of the volume with Venom as so much of it is the same as this.
Curt Conners has started to test Peter's blood and the experiment goes wrong bringing about Carnage. Carnage runs amock killing people so it can feed and it ends up killing someone close to Peter.
Once Peter finds out what Conners has done he gets angry and the showdown between Spiderman and Carnage is good but was all too short for my enjoyment. I feel that this volume is only a build up for the Clone saga in volume 17, which looks far more entertaining.