Gwenom vs Carnage #1 Review

King in Black tie in.

Seanan McGruire, writer. Flaviano, artist. Rico Renzi, colorist. VC’s Ariana Maher, letterer. Published by Marvel Comics.

This is the most I’ve ever spent on a comic, but more on that in a later post.

I’ve been enjoying the main King in Black title and there’s just something about the Gwenom look that I love. Spider-Gwen is respectable but I’m not obsessively buying everything. Change the costume just a bit though, and I’m there.

So this isn’t the long dead Gwen Stacy. This is a Gwen Stacy from another reality who takes college classes in the classic Marvel 616 Universe. She just happens to be in our universe when Knull arrives and the battle begins. Gwen’s suit is a symbiote but also not the same as the ones in our reality. She has connections to the greater picture here but is once removed. Cousins but not siblings. This slight difference also makes Knull very curious. Plus there’s everything that was taking place in her regular series continuing here. Jackal is still manipulating things and I’m not sure if its a spoiler to tell what’s been happening that comes to a peak here. I mean, it’s in the title, but I didn’t know who this new Carnage would be.

That also makes me wonder what the impact from this event will be. Will this new Carnage retain any powers, or even have any memory of this time? To expand on that, what of all the ordinary citizens who are bound to symbiotes during this story? Will the final issue wave a magic wand and someone casts a spell causing everyone to forget their time as evil henchmen for Knull? Some of the characters will carry scars but I think ordinary Marvel is going to continue along with a gap in their memories.

Those questions for the future aside, this was a great first issue to get me caught up to speed on the present story. As the issue progresses I am aware of Gwen’s deal, her powers, her friends, her current battles – all of it. Everything is explained in the story without drowning in forced exposition. I’m caught up but anyone who has been following her series wont feel talked down to.

Every page also features some go nuts art with tons of well done blacks and spots which sells the extent of Knull’s attack on New York. While also still feeling like a true Spider-Man inspired story of responsibility to protect people. Like Ralph Steadman meets Steve Ditko.

The next issues are already on my pull list and if issue two’s cover reveals enough lets talk about who the new Carnage is and what that might mean later.

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