Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on October 16, 2019

Plot: Leah Williams & Zac Thompson
Script: Zac Thompson
Artists: Alberto Alburquerque & Guiu Vilanova
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC's Cory Petit

Tie-in comics are difficult. There are people who love the event and will buy everything, regardless of quality. Then there are the people who will only buy the main storyline and won’t look twice at the tie-in issues. So they balance on a fine line between adding extra story that readers will enjoy, without being unnecessary bloating for the main event.

Absolute Carnage: Avengers unfortunately falls into the latter camp. It adds absolutely nothing to the main storyline, there is a whole storyline about beacons, and shutting them down, which isn’t even mentioned in passing in the main storyline.

Also, on another note, calling it an Avengers comic doesn’t feel too accurate either. The Avengers in question are Captain America, The Thing, Wolverine and Hawkeye. Not exactly a classic line up of Avengers. The reason it’s these four and no-one else is a nod back to ‘Carnage in the U.S.A.’ where the four of them are taken over by Carnage along with the whole town of Doverton. Because of this Carnage is after the four of them for their codices.

Cap, The Thing and Wolverine (Hawkeye has been notably absent so far, more on that in a minute) have already shown up, first at the conclusion to Venom #18, then in Absolute Carnage #3. And if this issue had just dealt with the three of them finding out about Carnage, and showing up, it would have been one thing. Unnecessary, perhaps, but completionists would have bought and enjoyed it anyway.
We could have had an interesting side story and seen some of the devastation in New York as the Avengers made their way to the main event.
Instead the storyline about beacons felt like it was thrown in for the sake of being thrown in. It didn’t add anything, was a little unclear exactly what was going on, and the conclusion of the issue doesn’t affect anything in the main event, which is also a contradiction to itself.

It’s a shame really, because the start of the issue is really good. Cap’s first encounter with Carnage’s hordes is quite creepy and shows so much promise. Then it all goes downhill.

There is no real explanation to why they don’t call any more back up in. Hawkeye is featured but he’s all alone in Los. Angeles. As the issue ends he is on his way to join up with the rest of them in New York, but hasn’t yet made an appearance. Will he before the main event ends? With only one issue to go it looks doubtful.

In conclusion all I can say is for completionists only. Had potential but got really lost along the way. I can’t recommend it.

Our Score:


A Look Inside