October 6, 2012

Marvel Reviews: Minimum Carnage: Alpha #1

Minimum Carnage: Alpha #1
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Cullen Bunn & Chris Yost
Artist: Lan Medina
Cover: Clayton Crain

You know you can’t keep a good villain locked up for too long, and there are those who wish Cletus Kasady aka Carnage to be free. Of course this doesn’t go unnoticed, and Agent Venom is sent on his trail. Someone has set the killer loose, but there’s much more at play here than a murderous rampage. He’s been tasked with locating a certain scientist to get the Prometheus Pit working. However, this machine is located in the city of Houston which is currently under the protection (whether he likes it or not) of Scarlet Spider.

This issue is a great set up, while Yost and Bunn deliver a solid story for the introduction to this cross over event. The best part is that it’s set up in a way that anyone can pick this up without needing the decades of back story to enjoy reading it. Yost and Bunn do give some very quick history bits that reinforce the shared histories of the characters for the benefit of the readers. It’s just enough so those who are very familiar aren’t bored reading familiar material, and a new reader isn’t going to be lost. Yost and Bunn even introduce Carnage’s benefactors here, and these new characters seem to be the actual wild card thrown in that makes this more than just a Spider Family Reunion title. Medina’s artwork is just as good as the story, with some very strong sequences. The only complaint is that in the beginning of the story when Scarlet Spider is web slinging over Houston, the actual webbing is very basic. This happens another time in the issue, but then suddenly we get some detailed webbing towards the end. Aside from that minor annoyance, there is some very good work from beginning to end.

“Minimum Carnage: Alpha” is a nice introduction to this event that will run between  the “Venom” and “Scarlet Spider” titles. Yost and Bunn throw enough hints that make you want to see how this thing plays out. The two anti-heroes in Venom and Scarlet Spider going up against a killer like Carnage should make for some balls to the wall action and fun. Let’s hope that’s what we get when this is all wrapped up!

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