Connect with us
Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage Review

Comic Books

Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage Review

Donny Cates work has been brilliantly creative, exploring characters in new, interesting ways and introducing different takes on long established heroes and villains.

Throughout his run on Venom, Donny Cates has done a lot to update both the mythos surrounding the symbiote and the history of its most well known host, Eddie Brock. Along the way, the series has successfully sown the seeds for the Absolute Carnage event. This volume collects the tie-ins from the main Venom series.

Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage Review
Marvel Comics

Following the events of “War of the Realms” and Eddie Brock’s separation from his ‘Other’ in Venom #12, this volume catches up with Eddie trying to live his life post-Venom…again. Back in New York City, Eddie is just trying to take care of himself, and more importantly, his recently discovered son, Dylan. However, starting a new life is the least of Eddie’s troubles as he finds himself haunted by hallucinations of Venom whilst facing a crisis of identity, not to mention the blood red shadow of Carnage lurking around every corner.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

That’s issue #16, at least; the following two issues mainly focus on Dylan, Normie and The Maker trying to fight off an attack from a group of symbiotes infected by Carnage. It makes sense to give focus to Dylan, as over the course of the series he’s become an essential part of Eddie’s life — the previous arc served brilliantly to inform both his family history and relationship with the Venom symbiote. While I do like that Dylan and returning antagonist The Maker are given more attention throughout these issues, it is noticeable that Venom himself is only briefly glimpsed. In fact, it’s only within issue #20 that we see the titular character reunited with Dylan.

There are a lot of positives within this volume. We learn more about the significance of Dylan, and also the significance of Sleeper (Venom’s offspring from 2018’s Venom: First Host). There’s also a scene with the Thing and Spider-Man performing a version of the fastball special which is comedy gold. However, I feel that this is a volume that only provides a peripheral of the event it’s connected to, and in some ways that makes it overly dependent on the main Absolute Carnage collection. With that being said it, does serve to develop many of Venom’s supporting cast. There’s a new level of mystery surrounding Dylan and Sleeper, and the cliffhanger ending with the Maker builds endless intrigue around an already interesting character.

Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage Review
Marvel Comics

The majority of the artwork throughout this volume is provided by Iban Coello with the exception of issue #16 which is illustrated by Juan Gedeon. Both artists’ styles are in keeping with what we’ve seen so far in Venom, with both bringing the darker elements associated with the character to life. Moreover, this volume embraced some more cartoonish moments that may have been missing to lighten the mood previously.

Truthfully, I can’t say enough positive things about Donny Cates as a creator. His Marvel work has been brilliantly creative, often exploring characters in new, interesting ways and introducing different takes on long established heroes and villains. His run on Venom is no exception. However, I do have some reservations regarding Absolute Carnage. It’s an event spread across 28 individual issues, including the main event series, six tie-ins and four one-shots. While this isn’t exactly a surprise for a Marvel event, I do feel like it makes this volume of Venom feel like a side attraction to the main event, whereas it would’ve been cool to see more of Absolute Carnage take place within Venom rather than in addition to it.

Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage Review
Venom Vol 3: Absolute Carnage
Is it good?
This is a good read, but you will definitely want to read it alongside Absolute Carnage. Despite the title, Venom is rarely the focus in these issues, but character development for his supporting cast is definitely worth your time if you’ve enjoyed Donny Cates’ run so far.
Interesting character development for Dylan, Sleeper and The Maker.
Juan Gedeon and Iban Coello provide great emotive artwork that’s both dark and at times comedic.
Lack of focus on the titular character.
Feels like the most interesting developments aren’t overly related to Absolute Carnage.

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!


In Case You Missed It

X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1 X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation #1

‘X-Men: The Onslaught Revelation’ #1 finishes up the least disappointing Onslaught story yet

Comic Books

'Nightwing' #84 offers great Batman team-up action 'Nightwing' #84 offers great Batman team-up action

‘Nightwing’ #84 offers great Batman team-up action

Comic Books

cry macho cry macho

‘Cry Macho’ review: This dull, pointless film is a waste of time

Movie Reviews

X-Men #3 X-Men #3

In ‘X-Men’ #3, Krakoa’s heroes square off with the High Evolutionary

Comic Books

Newsletter Signup