• Carnage Reigns: Omega #1
    Cody Ziglar
    Julius Ohta, Rogê Antônio
    Cory Petit
    Cover Artist:
    Ryan Stegman
    Release Date:
    Erick Arciniega

Marvel Comics' Summer of Symbiotes has begun -- and Carnage Reigns: Omega #1, written by Cody Ziglar, illustrated by Julius Otha and Rogé António, with colors by Erick Arciniega and letters by VC's Cory Petit, kicks off the season with an explosive introduction. The infamous serial killer Cletus Kasady, the host of the Carnage Symbiote, has overtaken New York City, turning its citizens against each other, spreading chaos, and gravely Miles Morales.

Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 brings this violent and nail-biting arc to its frenzied finale, as Spider-Man joins forces with Iron Man, Red Goblin, Hightail and Scorpion to take down the ever-growing–and ever-upgrading–threat of Kasady's Extremebiote. But with Kasady absorbing and using every attack they throw at him -- including Tony's Stark's impressive tech. They're going to have to do the unthinkable to end Carnage's blood-soaked reign on New York.RELATED: Carnage: The One Marvel Superhero Who Can Stop Cletus Kasady is Iron Man?!

Excerpt from Carnage Reigns: Omega #1. Spider-Man, wearing armor enhanced by Iron Man, fights back against one of Carnages Iron Man

Being a one-off, Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 has all the strengths and weaknesses of story sequestered to just one issue. A lot happens in the span of thirty pages, and readers are dropped right into the action with the bare minimum of exposition. Granted, Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 does serve as the finale of a long-running series, which mitigates what would otherwise be too staggering of an issue. However, there's still a lot going on this issue that borders on overwhelming. Writer Cody Ziglar uses this issue's length judiciously. Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 picks up speed from the first page and never loses its momentum.

While each character gets some time to shine, and Cletus Kasady gets plenty of extra page time, displaying his repulsive and outrageous Extremebiote villainy, Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 really belongs to Miles Morales and Tony Stark. Miles's youthful, streetwise dialogue, insecurities and fearfulness play off nicely with Tony's mature, restrained and deadpan delivery. Their combined powers are fun to watch, and propel most of the story forward. Red Goblin's moment of glory, though brief, is also worth mentioning. Though his character feels underutilized, the heroic Symbiote user does make an impression on the story and reader enough for future appearances and arcs.

Excerpt from Carnage Reigns: Omega #1. Iron Man, Spider-Man, Scorpion and Hightail stand in the trashed city streets, ready to fight against the Extrembiote.

With so much action crammed into one thirty-page issue, it makes sense that every page and panel in this issue would be equally jammed full to the brim. Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 is a visual flurry of activity, thanks to the dual talents of artists Julius Otha and Rogé António. Dynamic fighting poses, explosions, crackling bursts of energy and electricity, debris and decaying, mucous symbiote ooze abound. The line art is jagged and heavy, with intricate details added to faces, fabrics and cityscapes. However, the edges have a soft, digital blurriness, easing the harshness and making the pages less jarring to the eye. Helping matters greatly is veteran letterer Cory Petit's layout, along with writer Ziglar giving each character a distinct speech pattern, Petit color-codes certain characters' speech, giving them each unique word balloons, further adding to the depth of the setting.

By contrast, colorist Erick Arciniega uses a mostly limited color palette. The majority of the issue is rendered in warm, dark tones of gold, bronze, taupe, red and black, interrupted by scenes in cool, foreboding and technologically charged blues, greens and purples. The black placements especially help with the composition of the panels, making what would otherwise be incomprehensible into something more coherent, if a bit too crowded or chaotic in places. The latter is especially the case in moments when characters use technology, magic or energy, taking up the entire panel and throwing the balance off the page.

Carnage Reigns: Omega #1 is a solid entry and a good ending for a particularly loathsome character–at least for the moment. Though its suffers the drawbacks unique to the one-off format, the issue is a worthy read, never pulling punches or slowing its momentum throughout.