Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist & Colors: Chris Mooneyham & Rain Beredo
Colors: VC’s Cory Petit
Release date June 3 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Chris Mooneyham and Clay Chapman’s latest chapter in this title is the beginning of their arc called “Suffer the Children”. I assure you, the children may be suffering, but I’m only having the best time engaging in this book. Its a welcome return after a severe absence this book took to have my favorite symbiote this side of Venom return to publications. You were missed, Scream.
Its nice to know the genre I’ve come to expect and appreciate this book for hasn’t changed. The standard Sandoval cover might suggest standard superhero affairs are to be expected, but Chapman and Mooneyham are still delivering a dark, grimy story that infuses superheroics with the paranormal, street-level thriller, and is that a touch of detective noir I’m picking up in the recipe? Both Chapman and Mooneyham combine their talents to present us with the moody atmosphere I’ve praised this book for carrying, feeling less like your typical mainstream tights-n-capes comic and more inline with a dark indie book. It’s amazing to think that this book shares continuity with the bigger Marvel Universe when it also feels like it’s taking shape within its own private corner. I’m still shocked to see Spider-Man’s Aunt May being borrowed for this title, and that she never feels out of place, as she continues her good-natured relationship with the homeless of New York, like Andi, through her work at the FEAST Center.
Speaking of Spider-Man’s cast, the addition of Punisher and Sandman mixing it up in this issue doesn’t hurt the thematic of Scream one bit. In fact, their motivations actually come around to the main plot of the book. That main plot being the disappearance of homeless children. Andi doesn’t initially factor in on this at first, merely showing up to deal with both Frank Castle and Flint Marko (or is he going by William Baker again?), until she finds out from Detective Henley that youths have been vanishing.
Henley is a character that appeared as early as the first page of the very first issue of this title, and I was wondering how much weight he would add to this book. He seems to be aware of Andi’s peculiarities to some degree. I sense an unlikely alliance and dependency between the two in their futures, but the cynic in me also predicts an unfortunate fate for Henley. Andi herself admits nothing goes well for everyone that gets close to her in this issue, a comment made while allowing herself to get to know another FEAST resident named Guinevere. Another potential character to add to this book’s world-building and character drive, Andi seems pretty lively and playful around Guinevere at first, a stark contrast to her personality as of late. Even the Scream symbiote itself takes notice and makes mention of this.
See, I like this. This doesn’t feel like its just filler padding. The team on this book has earned my trust that these little bits, these characters and their actions and involvements in this story, they all have their place. Yes, I’m digging the bigger, darker plot that’s being schemed, but I’m also invested in these factors that are going on around that plot. This book works both with the writing and the art. What more is there left to say? Bias be damned, this is a legitimately good book!
Scream: Curse of Carnage remains a favorite of mine I always look forward to. It’s getting harder to find new ways to praise this book, but if it continues to be this good, I’ll live up to that challenge.