Extreme Carnage is this summer’s Marvel event to watch, as it not only revives the Carnage Symbiote but progresses all other Symbiote’s stories. Led by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, the Alpha issue blended politics and body horror in a great way. Enter the Scream one-shot, where writer Clay McLeod Chapman and artist Chris Mooneyham aim to show how Carnage continues his terror in regards to superhero Symbiote Scream. Can she fight Carnage, and win?
As an advance, spoiler-free review, I can say with some certainty Scream fans will like this issue. Considering Chapman has written excellent Scream comics one after the other for some time, that should come as no surprise. The issue opens with Scream reminding us through her actions that she’s a good guy now. As seen in the preview, Doppelganger escapes only to find Scream waiting for him to help take him out. This opening helps remind casual or newer readers what Scream’s new modus operandi is while featuring a major Spider-Man villain in the process. Paired with Mooneyham’s dark and edgier style, it’s a gritty introduction.
Customary of previous Scream tales of late, this is more of a horror comic than a heroic superhero book. Adi Benton wears the Scream Symbiote, and while she is very much a hero, she’s also dealing with her own emotional issues, her relationship to the Symbiote, and trying to better herself. With those themes in mind, Chapman and Mooneyham put her through some hell here, further pushing her to either grow or give up. This issue ends in a way that’ll have Scream fans talking for quite a while, and for that reason it feels like an important chapter for the character. Only time will tell, though, how impactful it will be.
Scream serves as one of the most unique Symbiotes thanks to her connection to Hellfire abilities. It was a major factor in the King in Black tie-in, which makes her an interesting target for Carnage. If you weren’t sure what these tie-in stories would be about, this issue helps explain that and why other Symbiotes like Phage will be getting one-shots too. There are also some reveals as far as Symbiote abilities that fans should take note of. What is revealed here might change everything.
It’s unclear if Mooneyham’s drawing the sound effects or if it’s letterer Travis Lanham, but they’re as killer as a Symbiote hungry for fresh meat. They help sell some intense violence, but also the war-drum-like beat of Carnage in one key scene.
Extreme Carnage: Scream does well to show and not tell what this event will be about. It also utilizes Scream’s pain well to further grow and develop the character. Paired with a grittier art style and some great sound effects, it’s well worth a look especially if you’re on board for Extreme Carnage.
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