July Comics Ranking

Didn’t do this last month as I didn’t review enough comics to warrant it. With the history lesson out of the way, let’s get to the rankings.

7-6

#7: Martian Manhunter, 2006

Pros: Picks up near the end, unintentional comedy

Cons: Constant typos, multiple illogical moments, J’onn is out of character and overpowered

#6: Dark Avengers Vol 1 – Assemble

Pros: Some good jokes, great art

Cons: Sentry ruins fight scenes, Sentry takes up too much time, other characters have no personality or purpose

5-4

#5: Rann-Thanagar: Holy War

Pros: Varied and interesting cast, some good world building and space locales

Cons: Too preachy, The Weird settles most problems, Animal Man is treated like a joke

#4: Showcase Presents: Blue Beetle

Pros: Good art even in black and white, handles multiple subplots well, great mix of comedy, action, and drama

Cons: Stilted 80’s dialogue

3-2

#3: Carnage: Family Feud

Pros: Beautiful art, many good villains, horror elements integrate well with the humor and action

Cons: Requires a little backstory to get into

#2: Ant-Man and Wasp: Small World

Pros: Bright and colorful art, the characters bounce off of each other well, good jokes

Cons: An interesting character is dropped for the sake of a joke

And now the winner…………..

1

#1: Carnage, USA

Pros: Comic book cheesiness done right, a well done and poignant ending, The Thing beats up a giraffe

Cons: Hawkeye is in it and he complains for a bit

This was a pretty good month for comics and I hope next month is even better. Thanks to everyone that reads these reviews.

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Carnage, USA

[Spoilers for the last Carnage and Carnage, USA]

Carnage USA 004-014

Ok, this is the direct sequel to Carnage: Family Feud and it is also the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Spoilers are going to be in effect because I must explain the amazing things that happen in this comic.

It starts with Carnage going to Doverton, Colorado. He takes over the entire town, turning into his vision of an American paradise. The Avengers and New Avengers go into the town, but all but Spider-Man are quickly taken over by Carnage’s symbiote. The government sends in the Mercury Team, a team of operatives wielding Symbiote weapons, and threatens to firebomb the whole town unless they get out in a certain time. Their final backup for the team is Flash Thompson, the current Venom. Dr. Tanis, who has the Symbiote, Scorn, also goes in to get revenge on Carnage.

Now here is where things get awesome. Dr. Tanis creates a machine to separate Cletus from Carnage, and pushes him into it with a bulldozer, but also knocks Flash into it, separating him from Venom. Both Flash and Cletus are both crippled and are now fighting in a meat packing factory. It’s hilarious to read, as they jump around and hang off of the meat hooks. Even more ridiculous is that their Symbiotes both attach to this group of zoo animals that were in the town. So outside a bunch of Carnage possessed lions and giraffes are fighting the Avengers, while a Venom possessed gorilla rushes to get back to Flash. Flash becomes Venom and defeats Cletus, while Captain America convinces the government to localize the strike to the Carnage symbiotes. They put Cletus into captivity and then realize that they didn’t really win, as the entire city is in ruins.

Final Thoughts: Wow, that was just something. Everything in this book is unsettling, from the look of the Carnage possessed town’s people and animals to the depressing ending. It’s just an amazing book, with great comic book moments and a powerful ending message.

Rating: Vintage

Carnage: Family Feud

[Minor spoilers ahead]

Carnage 003-012

Carnage is one of the quintessential 90’s villains. His only goal is to destroy, kill, and cause mayhem wherever he goes. At some point in the last couple years the lamest hero ever, The Sentry, threw Carnage into space and ripped him in half. Demonstrated by the title, Carnage has returned but how he’s back and who is in control of it is the main sticking point of this story. Before reading this book I highly recommend you either read or read about the Maximum Carnage event as this is a sort of sequel to it. I’m also going to try and keep this short because the mini-series is short at only 5 issues.

The story begins with Tony Stark at a meeting for Michael Hall, a tech genius who’s name makes it impossible for me to not think he is Michael C Hall in Gamer. He has some prosthetic arm on display and later he uses the same technology to create his own Power Rangers team called the Iron Rangers. When Tony tries to find out info on Hall he notices Doppelganger attacking a van, and calls up Spider-Man to help him out. When the Iron Rangers (Who’s names are all based on colors like Royal Blue and Burnt Orange,) show up they accidentally shoot off Dr. Tanis’s, a psychiatrist for the villain Shriek, arm. She gets a prosthetic from Hall Industries, and that’s where everything starts to turn dark.

This was an amazing read and most of my enjoyment came from the photo realistic, painted art style. The artist, Clayton Crain, draws Iron Man the best of any artist I have ever seen. There’s also the banter and interaction between Iron Man and Spider-Man, who have a lot in common. The fight against Carnage at the end is a great example of escalation, as more characters get involved and the villain gets stronger. My only gripes are the amount of random powers the symbiotes seem to have and the time spent until Carnage actually arrives is too long.

Final Thoughts: The title makes me want to see Steve Harvey as a super hero. Also the way Doppelganger is drawn is actually scary, way better than when he was just Spider-Man with more arms.

Rating: Full Price

Carnage 005-006