Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #3 Review

Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Flaviano Armentaro
Colors: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Release date October 23, 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)

Iron Fist leads a team of himself, Deathlok, Morbius the Living Vampire, Firestar, and Cloak & Dagger into the sewers against in numerous Carnage Doppelgangers to save Misty Knight, who is about to become victim to a Shriek-turned-Goblin and a Carnaged Man-Wolf.

All throughout the months of stories building up to Absolute Carnage, these episodes from Cates’ Web of Venom title that was used to return Carnage to the spotlight and grow a following for him to command, his loyal lieutenants included the likes of Shriek and John Jameson, our Man-Wolf, from the beginning. Yet, in the main event story, we’ve seen absolutely none of these lieutenants at all. It’s been Norman Osborn as a Carnage slave that’s been getting the most use in these stories besides actual (Dark) Carnage himself, with zero use or appearance of any of his other higher ranking henchmen insight, and that’s considering the fact that Norman came in pretty last minute for the event while Shriek and Man-Wolf have been pieces on the board game before the event even began.

It’s good to see villains within Cletus’s inner circle get an active role in this event who aren’t Norman for once. This entire issue is a massive melee between Team Iron Fist and Demagoblin and Carnage-Man-Wolf/ This would all be fine and all, if it just weren’t for the lines everyone delivers. There is way too much cheesy banter coming out of these characters’ mouths as they try to fight for their lives in this supposedly serious setting. Some gems that got an eye roll from me:

“Hah! As if your pathetic flames were a match for mine, mutant witch! Taste my fire, produced from the very depths of hell itself!” – Demagoblin

Does this not sound like something you would hear from a kid-friendly action cartoon? “You would have felled me, villain, with that Nega-Blast of yours, if it wasn’t for my protective super-suit! Now, feel the fists of Justice!”

Or this bit:

“You must be a HELL of a lot of fun at parties!” (“Pfft. Like I’d go to any party she’d be at.”) “I’ve been to worse.” – And the exchange between Misty Knight and Deathlok

Not all of the spoken dialogue was off-putting to me, especially anything that served the story. But it was this kind of fluff I could do without, and there was plenty of it.

That aside, the book was enjoyable for what it was. The fighting looked great and despite how many characters were being juggled on the pages, it was never a chore keeping up with the action. I was easily able to follow what each character was doing. Flaviano’s work this issue is even better than the prior issues.

We finally get a full issue that brings the eponymous Lethal Protectors (as seen on issue 1’s non-variant cover) into the fight proper, we get closure for Man-Wolf, and the promise that Iron Fist and friends aren’t finished with dealing with Carnage’s siege of the city, though on that last bit I doubt we’ll get much of a continuation.

Final Thoughts

This one is purely a popcorn action issue. Not really a necessary addition to those of you reading Absolute Carnage, but maybe serviceable for those nostalgic for a little Maximum Carnage Lite.

6.9/10

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