Gwenom vs Carnage #2 Review

From Seanan McGruire, writer. Flaviano and Ig Guara, artists. Rico Renzi, colorist. VC’s Ariana Maher, letterer. Part of the King in Black event. Published by Marvel Comics.

I’m getting more familiar with Gwen’s story. While I knew this Gwen Stacy was not the original but instead a younger version from another Earth hanging out on our usual familiar Earth. I did not know that that is also true for this Mary Jane. This MJ is in a band with Gwen on their home version of Earth. They’re best friends, or are they? As Knull is trying to figure out why Gwen has a suit that is outside of his powers he latches a symbiote onto this version of MJ who now becomes Gwen’s personal Carnage.

Last issue I did think this was classic married to Peter Parker (sometimes) Mary Jane and I thought her interaction with Gwen would be an interesting story. This is a kid, a kid from another Earth, who sees Peter as a mentor but also as dad or uncle. But it is still the high school version of Peter’s original high school love.

Instead this story becomes the symbiote bringing Mary Jane’s worst emotions to the surface. She’s jealous of Gwen. She feels that Gwen has abandoned her. Whether these feelings are true or whether Knull fights through deceit will be figured out later on in the series. For now though Gwen has to wonder if her best friend actually hates her, while she is also trying to kill her.

Part of my love for the Gwenom version of the character is how crazy she looks. The suit is exaggerated and looks like ink coming alive. Kind of Ralph Steadman plus Bendy and the Ink Machine. The costumes allow the artists to go nuts and have all sorts of crazy proportions and movement while Gwen and MJ have a great battle without the limits a normal cloth costume would have.

While I don’t see Gwen or MJ dying during King in Black I could see their relationship broken apart thanks to what Knull has brought to the surface. That could also create a huge character changing moment that would make this event tie in matter.

No variant covers for me today, but I’m all in for this series and depending on Gwen’s status quo at the end I might continue on for her next series.

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