Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Mark Bagley
Inker: Andy Owens
Color Artist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
What You Need to Know:
Last time, Eddie ran for his life from Carnage infected monsters. Oh yeah, and his hand is still gone. He reached the top of the mountain and was struck by lightning just as Carnage attempts to absorb and control him, separating Carnage and Venom from each other and knocking Eddie out. Meanwhile, Dylan shows off his Symbiote controlling powers to Sleeper as he manipulates a piece of the Carnage Symbiote he has kept since the end of Absolute Carnage. When Eddie wakes up, he’s on a jet with Captain America at his side, reassuring Eddie that he’s safe now as a nuke is launched at the island, destroying both Venom and Carnage in the process.
Eddie wakes up strapped to a hospital bed, and monologues to himself about how the doctor asked him if he was experiencing phantom limb syndrome, and Eddie remarks that it took him a while to realize the doctor was asking about his now missing hand and not his Symbiote. Captain America, Iron man and Captain Marvel are all talking to each other behind a window and see Eddie is awake. Steve heads in to check on Eddie and brings in Dylan… who says he’s leaving and never coming back. And the reason for that? KNULL IS HERE!
…Or so we think. But anyway, according to Cap, Eddie has been in a coma for months and in that time, Knull has arrived. Just then a red headed doctor comes in as Cap and Dylan leaves, and hooks up the iv to Eddie’s arm… pumping full of Carnage, as the doctor is clearly Cetus Kasady, as Eddie realizes this is all in his head, and Carnage got to Eddie first one the island. Meaning Cap never showed up, and we never left the island. Meanwhile, Dylan figures out a new power with his remnant of the Carnage Symbiote he has, and opens a Krakoa-like portal, and seemingly enters Venom’s mind, and begs for it’s help in saving his dad from Carnage before it’s too late!
This was a great issue, probably my favorite of this arc so far. Some might feel like it cheapens the end of last issue, and I totally get it, it literally does the “It was all a dream” cliche. But me, I really liked that twist, I thought it was a cool way to follow up literally nuking the island. Plus we all know Venom isn’t going away so there was obviously more to the very convenient ending of last issue. Eddie’s monologue about Phantom Limb Syndrome was really cool, describing how he feels now that he’s lost his Symbiote seemingly for good. Dylan’s power creating a portal out of Carnage seemed to come out of nowhere, but then when you think about Maker’s plans for Venom involving inter-dimensional travel, it makes a lot more sense now.
Bagley’s art continues to be good. I always loved the way he draws Symbiotes and I always will. And I am in love with this depiction of Carnage with the orange glow to the eyes and mouth kind of like in Ultimate Spider-Man. The way the place Dylan goes looks is very cool, like a black inky void. Even Dylan is a silhouette in there. And of course, the thing at the very end of the issue is awesome and I can’t wait for more in the next issue (hoping it does more than Immortal Hulk Venom in Absolute Carnage though). Anyway, this issue was very enjoyable. Highly recommended.