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Carnage Classic Paperback – July 12, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 149 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Marvel (July 12, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 488 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1302900595
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1302900595
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 13 years and up
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 8 and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.61 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.63 x 0.75 x 10.13 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 149 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
149 global ratings
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Andrew O.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tome of the earliest Carnage stories. Perfect for fans of Carnage.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 20, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great tome of the earliest Carnage stories. Perfect for fans of Carnage.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 20, 2019
4/4/20 - Update, I have added a read-through list for Carnage to the recent Absolute Carnage event.

Carnage Classic collects:
Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #361-362, 410, 430-431
Venom: Carnage Unleashed #1-4
Carnage: Mind Bomb
Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life
Sensational Spider-Man #3
Spider-Man (1990) #67
Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #233
Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999) #13
Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #13-14
Material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #28

This is quite a sizeable collection and a must for anyone who loves Carnage or wants to learn more about the character, especially fans of the latest Venom movie with Tom Hardy since Carnage was teased at the end of the movie, this is a great place to start.

Although it's not mentioned we start with some excerpts from Amazing Spider-Man #344, 345, 359 and 360. It's only a handful of pages but perfect for the collection by showing the origin of Carnage and his cameo in #360 that sets the stage for our next inclusion.

It wouldn't be a Carnage collection if it didn't include his murderous debut which is collected in #361-363 (1992) written by David Michelinie and art by Mark Bagley. This is not my first time reading through this issue's, I've read them previously in Marvel Platinum The Definitive Venom, and #362-363 in Venom Vol. 4 The Nativity. Here we learn just how insane, unpredictable and violent Carnage is, which is one reason I like him so much. Unlike most villains who use grey areas or excuses to justify their actions Carnage isn't about that at all, simply the freedom to do what he wants, which is to kill. The opening is fantastic and gave me chills with the last few panels of the opening sequence ending with the " …'cause I can", or another great sequence when Spider-Man finds Cletus Kasady in the orphanage he was raised especially the transformation panels with the teddy bear I though just showed how insane he was and is truly a work of art.

After that the comic states the large 14 part event Maximum Carnage happens before the next entry. I have read and reviewed if you want to check it out. It is highly regarded as one of the best Carnage comics ever but a bit long in my opinion, worth a purchase though.

Next we have material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #28 which is dubbed The Mortal Past. This was good, but I think the purpose was for Carnage to escape confinement after the events of Maximum Carnage. A decent issue with some great artwork, I can't really say what the surprise Carnage has in this without giving it away but I can hint it's to only highlight how unpredictable he is.

Next is Venom: Carnage Unleashed #1-4 (1995). This is a comic meant to promote an upcoming game at the time Maximum Carnage (I never played it but given the name I guess it's inspired by the arc it's named after). Written by Larry Hama and art by Andrew Wildman. While locked up Kasady is allowed to play/test the upcoming game Maximum Carnage in the hopes psychologist can get through to him or learn more about him, things take an interesting turn when Kasady uses his other to get his freedom by going through the internet so he can once again unleash …. well Carnage. It's quite far fetched, even for a comic in my opinion, so if you already don't like that idea be ready for the repeated words of computer components etc like modem, CPU and so on, I didn't like it but was able to suspend my disbelief for this. I'll briefly mention that the artwork was adequate however won't really be memorable for me except for the panels where the symbiotes are traversing the internet with coloured circles which I found interesting since I would've expected maybe 1 and 0's or maybe a circuit board or something. There is 90s slang like "Pop his shoes" which I found amusing and it's apparent early on and continues throughout. A positive thing that I really liked about this comic was the flash back segments early on showing how insane/twisted Cletus was as a child. It was interesting that Carnage kept Dr. Dazzo around with him instead of killing her as that's what his character is about instead of playing mind games or teaching a lesson, but I did find the bus segment interesting for Dr. Dazzo.

We move to Carnage: Mind Bomb which is a one shot from 1996 written by Warren Ellis and art by Kyle Hotz. A mysterious man shows up at Ravencroft Sanitarium, the place where Carnage is locked up to attempt the task of rehabilitating Cletus. A quick and enjoyable read.

Next up is is Web of Carnage a 4 part arc consisting of The Sensational Spider-Man #3 by Dan Jurgens (W & A), The Amazing Spider-Man #410 by Tom DeFalco (W) and Mark Bagley (A), Spider-Man #67 (this is odd online it says Todd DeZago was the writer, but in the comic it states Howard Mackie was the writer) and John Romita Jr. (A) and lastly The Spectacular Spider-Man #233 by Todd DeZago (W) and Sal Buscema. This one was interesting, there are two Spider-Man's, one Peter Parker who has lost his powers and suspected to be a clone and Ben Riley, the current Spider-Man in this arc. There are sightings of Carnage brings questions, especially since Cletus Kassady is securely locked away in Ravencroft Sanitarium. An interesting read however was hoping to get answers on the clone thing, but this is a Carnage collection so I'll have to look elsewhere. The artwork differs between issues but that's to be expected from jumping from artist to artist.

We move onto Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life, a one shot written by David Quinn and artwork from Kyle Hotz and released in 1996. With Ravencroft preparing to close down, Dr Kafka and Jameson have one last attempt to treat/cure Kassady but the tables turn and Kafka and Jameson are in Carnages mind. Entertaining short read. The artwork from Hotz is distinct and fits how chaotic Carnage is just as well as his art in Mind Bomb.

After delving into Carnages mind we have The Amazing Spider-Man #430-#431 released 1998 written by Tom DeFlaco and art from Joe Bennett. In these issues Carnage escapes captivity due to attempts made to cut spending and once Spider-Man hears of it, he knows he must do what he can, but not alone, as these issues feature the Silver Surfer. Great read with a cool idea and I loved the art style.

Before the next issue there's an excerpt from Peter Parker: Spider-Man #10.

Following the excerpt we go to Peter Parker: Spider-Man #13 (1999-2003) written by Howard Mackie and art from Lee Weeks. Short and not really action packed but we see Kasady without the Carnage symbiote. This issues focus is more on Peter Parker so not much Carnage here, but still interesting.

For the last entry we have Webspinners tales of Spider-Man #13-14 (2000) written by Howard Mackie and art by Graham Nolan. More of a cosmic sort of story, where Carnage and Spider-Man travel through a portal to another dimension currently being taken over.

Overall this is a great collection deserving of Classic in its title, containing some great stories that any fan of Carnage would appreciate. I primarily wanted this collection to learn as much on Carnage as I could after seeing Carnage has been teased to be in the next Venom movie and to move my way up to the new Absolute Carnage arc that's going on currently through Donny Cates Venom run. If you want some early Carnage you can't go wrong with this collection.

If you are planning on going through all of Carnage's comics before going to the very recent Absolute Carnage event here are the reading orders by tpb.

-Classic Carnage: There is a point that mentions the event Maximum Carnage happens before the rest of the stories.
-Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage.
- The Clone Saga: not essential and I'll be skipping as it's 3 large tpb's.
- Venom: Carnage Unleashed: This is the first double dip, as Carnage Unleashed is collected in Classic Carnage, so the only other stories you're getting here are Venom: Sinner Takes All and Planet of the Symbiotes. My suggestion would be to pick up the Planet of the Symbiotes tpb and buy Sinner Takes All digitally.
- Spider-Man:The Next Chapter Vol. 2, I'll be skipping this as it's too expensive and won't be Carnage focused.
- Spider-Man: Venom Vs Carnage.
- New Avengers: Breakout, I'll be skipping but may pick up later.
- Carnage: Family Feud.
- Carnage USA
- Carnage: Minimum Carnage.
- Superior Carnage.
- Deadpool Vs Carnage.
- Axis: Carnage & Hobgoblin, apparently this is an interesting read but I'll be skipping it. Probably would help to read the Axis event first.
- Carnage Vol. 1: The One That Got Away.
- Carnage Vol. 2: World Tour.
- Carnage Vol. 3: What Dwells Beneath.
- Venomized, this is a second part of Venomverse so consider if you want Venomverse as well.
- Amazing Spider-Man: Red Goblin.
- Donny Cates Venom run, Vol. 1 + 2, this is essential because Absolute Carnage takes place in this run. This is also one of the best Venom runs in my opinion as it adds so much to the lore.
- Venom: Unleashed Vol. 1, Donny Cates again.
- Spider-Man: The Many Host of Carnage. Serves as a 'Road to Absolute Carnage, would recommend picking up if you skip most of this list.
- Absolute Carnage.

Personally I won't be collecting all of these just the main ones I've heard about. A safe bet would be Classic Carnage, Maximum Carnage, Carnage Family Feud, Carnage USA, Minimum Carnage, Superior Carnage, Carnage Vol. 1-3, Venomized (maybe not sure, but I already own it), and lastly Donny Cates run as well as Absolute Carnage.

I should also mention this information was from comicbookherald aside from my input.

Hopefully you found this review helpful and happy reading.
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4 people found this helpful
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Tom Tudor Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2021
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11Raizo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2018
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MusicIsLife
4.0 out of 5 stars Mayhem
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2019
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Pedro Axel Pinto Mendes Rodrigues
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 23, 2017
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