It’s all come down to this, as Phillip K. Johnson and Manuel Garcia wrap up the eight-part summer Extreme Carnage event. Flash Thompson, Silence (formally Scream), and more are banding together to stop Carnage from enacting a plot that could see many people killed. The event has seen some remarkable highs in the horror department as well as some incredible character development. Can Johnson, who kicked off this series with a great political horror opener, stick the landing?
For the most part, yes! This issue features plenty of action, but if you’re looking for spoilers here you’ll only find details found in the preview. One of the bigger reveals in the preview shows that Sleeper has a new host and is a big part of Flash’s plan. Essentially, they’re rushing to a political rally in a stadium knowing Carnage is going to do something truly awful in front of millions of viewers on TV.
The meat of this issue is incredibly gory violence. If you’ve made it this far, you’re likely a big fan of it and it doesn’t disappoint compared to previous chapters. We also get plenty of Symbiote action from various Symbiotes to satisfy fans of the many iterations. Manuel Garcia, inker Cam Smith, and GURU-eFX don’t disappoint with blood splatter, heads and limbs being separated from bodies, and more. It’s everything you’d want in an R-rated Carnage tale.
The sound effects are also great, and while it’s unclear if letterer Travis Lanham drew all of them, he’s also pulling his weight for the team. There are some incredible screams that spill out of word balloons in really cool ways, too.
Johnson keeps your interest in the various characters in the story. If you’re a fan who read King in Black and keeps tabs on details, you’ll appreciate the callbacks and other elements that pop up in the narrative. It’s everything you want in a climactic finish.
Once the mayhem ends, much of the back end of the book is an epilogue setting up the future for these Symbiotes. There are multiple figures on the side of good and bad that could factor into future stories. Given Al Ewing and Ram V are taking over writing duties, it’ll be interesting to see if these Symbiote story threads are used or held tight for a future story arc from Johnson or someone else. Needless to say, Johnson has built up what could be an interesting future with a robust cast.
One problem with the event has been its lack of focus on any one hero. Is it Silence who is the main focus, or Flash? Or maybe another Symbiote? It’s an ensemble for sure, but in this final issue, it’s a bit vague who our leading hero to root for is. Since the future of these Symbiotes is in question — and any of them getting their own book for that matter — some aspects remain unclear.
Extreme Carnage: Omega is a satisfying finish to this summer’s best horror-gore event. It’s a final issue to a story that understands Symbiotes need to be ultraviolent, but they can also be complex in unique ways. You’ll put this book down and realize Johnson and his collaborators have added a great chapter to the Symbiote narrative and Venom was nowhere in sight!
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