The Marvel Universe's would be world conquerors and super-powered professional criminals certainly inspire fear and terror in everyday people, but the average citizen can take some comfort knowing that these type of villains don't usually get involved in the affairs of common people. Unfortunately, there are some super villains who actively target the population at large, like the alien symbiote-enhanced serial killer known as Carnage, whose victims tend to be determined at random.
Over the years, Carnage's chaotic methods of choosing his prey have brought him into conflict with a number superheroes, with Spider-Man most often crossing the villain's path. But this October, the mysterious moral "inversions" of the second act of the "Avengers & X-Men: AXIS" event will leave Carnage with a compulsion to hunt a new type of prey: the killers and criminals of New York City.
It all happens in the three-issue "AXIS: Carnage" miniseries by writer Rick Spears and artist German Peralta. We spoke with Spears about the appeal of writing Carnage, the killer's new "heroic" modus operandi, and the revamped Spider-Man villain he's targeted for elimination.
CBR News: Rick, you've done work that mixes elements of horror and often over the top humor, which says to me that Carnage would be a natural fit for you. What is it about stories that mix horror and humor that you find most compelling as a writer?
Rick Spears: I love horror films, especially older ones from the 70's and 80's. I love humor, too but I'm wouldn't say I'm totally a straight humor guy. I just enjoy pushing a situation to where it gets really awkward and uncomfortable and you have to laugh as almost a safety mechanism.
What I'm doing with " AXIS: Carnage" is mainly a superhero story that finds its humor in the fact that while Carnage is "inverted" now, and trying to be a hero, he's still a total psychopath. He wants to be a good guy, but has no idea how to do that.
Were you a fan of Carnage before this assignment? Which elements of the character did you find most intriguing?
I'm totally a fan. I love that Carnage is a true psychopath. He's really out there in terms of the extreme. It was fun to play with how that would work now that he's inverted.
What else can you tell us about Carnage's inversion? Is he still a remorseless killer, devoted to causing chaos?
He lacks the core compassion a hero needs to empathize with people. He's sort of "chaotic good," if you will. So even when he's trying his best to be a good guy, he's prone to making some seriously bad -- and possibly fatal -- mistakes.
We open with him trying to be a hero and failing pretty miserably at it so he kidnaps er -- enlists some help from Alice, a TV reporter who he thinks is a good person and who can show him how to act like a hero.
What else can you tell us about the supporting cast of this series? Will we see new faces, or some familiar ones associated with Carnage like Shriek?
No Shriek. We do get a glimpse into Carnage's past and origin in the new light of the inversion, but for the most part, we keep the core cast tight. Well, there is also a small army of NYPD cops and possibly a National Guard fighter jet or two.
Will the NYPD and the National Guard be the primary antagonists of this series? Or will Carnage do battle with a costumed criminal?
The Sin-Eater is going to be our antagonist, but it's not exactly the Sin-Eater you know. He's back, in a new way. He still wears the green balaclava and carries the shotgun, but there is a mystery around who is really under the mask.
Newcomer artist German Peralta makes his Marvel Comics debut with "AXIS: Carnage." What can people expect from German's work on this Series?
German is doing an amazing job on the art. He really brings the pages to life. I haven't seen the full colors yet, but German does these beautiful ink wash tones that look really cool. Alexander Lozano is also killing it on the covers -- all three are out of the park.
I had a blast writing this series. I hope the fans enjoy getting a look at this inverted version of Carnage.
Finally, fans curious about this book might be looking to try out some of your past and upcoming work. Are there any titles you recommend that they try first?
I'd recommend checking out "The Auteur," a series I'm doing for Oni Press. The trade collecting the first arc is available in September. Also, I'll have the huge "Black Metal Omnibvs" collecting that whole series out in October.