Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1 Review

Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Federico Vicentini
Colors: Ericka Arceniega
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Release Date August 28, 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)

The day started like any other routine day for Miles Morales. He’s spending time with Ganke, window shopping for some new sneakers, when out of nowhere, the Scorpion appears, creating panic. This is indeed a day in the life of Miles Morales. But it’s about to get a lot less routine.

A little less than half the issue consists of Miles (Spider-Man) and Scorpion fighting out in the streets after some sort of heist goes wrong (it’s not super elaborated on what the heist was, and its not a focus). The action here itself is really mostly just padding until the events of Absolute Carnage catch up to these guys. Its a great visual sampling of Federico Vicentini showing off Spider-Man and Scorpion in action, but on the whole, it’s just the warm-up act before the book finally gets to its intended crossover point. The bantering between Miles and Mac partially took me out of the book. I expected Miles to honor the tradition of talking his foes to death, a la the original Spider-Man, I just wished the back and forth between them was better. At times, Scorpion sounded just as immature as the teen hero he was trying to kill.

Now, I’m not the Weird Science Marvel’s resident Miles Morales Spider-Man review guy, go talk to @waltgator, but I have been reading Ahmed’s run and I really like the art in the main Miles Morales book (usually penciled by Javier Garron). When considering my feelings on the art, I had a hard time weighing this issue as either a Miles/Spidey book or an Absolute Carnage book, because while I think the art is fine and it works for a standard Miles story, the overall atmosphere of Absolute Carnage has been all about the more dark, dreadful tone. Overall, I have to confess that I feel the art is good, and that matters more than if I think the art is an ideal fit for the general event. And bonus points for the nice little touch with the rain; through most of Absolute Carnage, when Venom is present, it starts raining. While Venom doesn’t appear immediately, he does arrive near the end of the book. The rain-Venom “coincidence” has become a bit of a staple/Easter egg within the Venom books.

Once the book gets to the point where Absolute Carnage is relevant, the dialogue between the two improves enough that I was able to enjoy reading their exchanges. Carnage’s horde is only after Gargan, since he was once bonded to the original Venom symbiote (for a long time, at that), and as you know, Carnage is about collecting the spines and codexes from anyone who’s hosted a symbiote. Miles is forced to help defend Scorpion, which garners the attention of the horde.

This is the point of the book that is also covered in Absolute Carnage 2. So the fact that the first portion of this book is just a padded out Spider-Man/Scorpion battle with ho-hum trash-talking until we get to the “good stuff”, is pretty much a letdown since the high-point of this issue, Miles and Scorpion trying to fight against the Carnage horde, is also showcased in Absolute Carnage‘s main book. While I’m on that point, it reads better in Absolute Carnage. When Venom arrives on the scene in this issue, it looks as if he rescues Scorpion and gives zero ^%*$s about Miles, leaving him to die. This isn’t the case when you see this exact same scenario play out in Absolute Carnage 2, and here it was actually, unintentionally, comical.

After reading this, when I considered my personal opinion on all of the content related to this overarching event, this one definitely came out in last place. While this wasn’t a chore to read, it didn’t do anything for me, except elicit a laugh where I’m sure one was not intended. While with most of the tie-ins you see important or potentially important (for later in the story) events happen that are only shown in that specific tie-in, the only thing worth taking away from this issue happens in the the big book you should be reading anyway (if you pick this up, surely you’re reading Absolute Carnage proper, so…), and everything before that, is just a superfluous fight to get Scorpion in the book. This one you could pass by.

Final Thoughts

Easily the weakest of the Absolute Carnage bunch. The high-point of this issue happens in the main event book, so just read that.


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