Following on from Wolverine: Black, White & Blood, Maevel once again show they really aren’t the house of ideas any more with this identically titled collection based around everyone’s favourite one note maniac Carnage, with each artist only using the titular colours.

No doubt being kept in people’s minds due to the upcoming Venom movie sequel, this first isue (of four) showcases some of Marvel’s brightest and best with three short stories over thirty pages. Deep and meaningful this ain’t, but then again neither is the character, especially when he hasn’t got Spidey to piss off.

So what’s in it? “Love Story” takes place in the middle of a battle during the “Maximum Carnage” storyline, as Carnage relates a love story whilst in the middle of a fight. You know, like you do. Tim Howard’s script is quite weird, as there’s just no real point to it all, though Ken Lashley’s art is great. “End Of The Trail” by Bejamin Percy is quite an improvement, taking place in the old West as a Marshall hunts what he doesn’t know is Carnage. Yeah, it’s a “What If” story really, as Carnage didn’t exist back then, but it’s solidly written and features some great work by Sarah Picelli, especially her use of red to go along with black and white. Al Ewing and John McRea get the finel ten pages to present “You Are Carnage”, a choose your own adventure type thing that has always been hard to pull off especially with limited panels to play with. For the most part it works, and Ewing’s script is fun, and it’s pretty cool to see McRae handling Carnage, something he does very well, again utilising the limited colour choices with aplomb.

Carnage: Black, White & Blood isn’t a triumph, or even an essential buy, but it should keep fans of the character happy enough, with each story quite different from the others and really sweet art throughout. It’s certainly good enough to make me see what else different creative teams can come up with in the next three issues.

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