WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Absolute Carnage #1 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and Clayton Cowles, in stores now.
After months of anticipation and buildup, Absolute Carnage is finally here. In the past year, Eddie Brock and his symbiote battled an ancient cosmic god, the symbiote got cut off from the Klyntar hive mind, Eddie discovered he had a son named Dylan and the two halves that make Venom were eventually separated. For months now, Eddie and the symbiote have been on their own paths, working alone, as best they could, to remain above ground.
However, the threat of Cletus Kasady, aka Carnage, is bigger than ever. The villain saw the face of the symbiote god, Knull, and he's now taken it upon himself to go after every single being who's ever bonded with a symbiote in order to wake him back up. Now, in Absolute Carnage #1, Cletus finally makes his move and goes after Eddie.
Quickly realizing that he's outgunned, Venom has but one option left: recruit Spider-Man to his cause.
Back Together Again
Ever since the start of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman's Venom series, Eddie Brock has used the powers granted by his symbiote for good. However, that's not how he is perceived by the public at large. In fact, in this summer's Absolute Carnage Free Comic Book Day issue, Cletus disguised himself as Eddie and framed him for murder. Now, Brock finds himself on the run, hunted by the authorities. Worse still, he's accompanied by Dylan, whom Eddie is trying to keep safe.
All of this reaches a boiling point in Absolute Carnage #1, when Cletus finally attacks. Thankfully, the symbiote returns just in time to help Eddie fight back. Finally, after months of being apart, Venom is whole once again. However, Brock and the symbiote quickly realize they've never faced a Carnage like this before. Powered by the Grendel, an ancient symbiote that belongs to Knull, Carnage is unstoppable, and Venom only barely escapes the fight.
Beaten, hunted and with nowhere else to turn, Eddie finally decides to ask Peter Parker for help -- even though he completely hates the idea.
The Enemy of My Enemy
Eddie Brock and Peter Parker have had a complicated history. The two started out as rivals before they became outright enemies. However, when Venom turned from villain to antihero, the two began to team up every now and then, when the situation called for it. It's been a road filled with ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the good-natured Parker is ready to listen -- and provide help to his frenemy.
What follows is an epic team-up between Spider-Man and Venom as the two work together to stop Carnage. The dynamic between the characters shines throughout the issue, as Spidey's brand of humor clashes with Eddie's seriousness. It's been a while since we've seen Spider-Man and Venom fight side-by-side, and the results are just as exciting as we could have hoped. They look out for each other, and they inspire each other to push past their limits -- a testament to the enduring relationship between these two polar opposites.
However, this being only the start of the event, things don't exactly go their way. The issue may end with the two superheroes facing impossible odds, but if the start of this new event has shown us anything, it's that Spider-Man and Venom make one hell of a team. We just hope it's enough to rival the nightmare Carnage has unleashed.