The concept of having another being inside of you is the kind of body horror that entertainment has been fascinated by for decades. In Scream: Curse of Carnage #1, the reader is shown the struggles faced by Andi Benton, who recently became the latest host for the symbiote Scream. There are also hints of a dark force seeking to become more powerful, which Andi and Scream will need to overcome as a team. With trials from without and within, it remains to be seen whether Andi can hold herself together for the series' four-issue run.
During the Absolute Carnage event, the symbiote Scream sacrificed its previous host, Patricia Robertson, to save the life of Andi Benton. Much of the first issue in the spinoff series Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 develops Andi as a character. The reader get insight into her troubled upbringing and her current struggles as someone who's homeless.
Yet, Andi's most pressing challenge is the invasion of her body by Scream. While it may have saved her life, Andi is grappling with what it means to have another presence inside of her body that is privy to her thoughts and able to control her actions.
At the beginning of the issue, Scream cannot communicate with Andi. Its attempts to do so are shown as a muffled, unintelligible scrawl. However, as the issue progresses, Scream gains its voice and becomes capable of actively engaging with Andi. This coming together of the two culminates in the latter pages of the issue when Andi and Scream encounter minions of a mysterious dark character, bent on feeding and growing stronger in order to unleash its true power on the city.
Chris Mooneyham's gritty, grotesque art is perfect for the atmosphere and images of Scream: Curse of Carnage #1. From the first pages, the art drags the reader into the book with its gripping depictions of the horrors that seem to inevitably happen in Marvel's New York.
The art complements Clay McLeod Chapman's simple, matter-of-fact writing neatly, working to present a powerful gut-punch of terror. The exploration of Andi's current everyday life, past and potential future with Scream inside of her is handled with care, showing the difficulties that she faces daily in a way that makes the reader feel for her. The interplay between Scream and Andi is tense and effectively sets up a unique hook at the end of the issue.
Scream: Curse of Carnage gives more latitude to Scream. It explores the impact of body invasion, introduces a menacing and interesting antagonist and demonstrates the potential to be a fascinating story in a city reeling from the impact of Absolute Carnage.
Scream: Curse of Carnage #1 is available now.