Warning: SPOILERS for Absolute Carnage #3
Things have taken an incredible turn in Marvel's Absolute Carnage event, with the Venom symbiote abandoning its longtime host Eddie Brock for a stronger hero--only for the new host to be killed mid-transformation. Lucky for fans, Carnage only killed Bruce Banner... accidentally awakening the new Venom Hulk. The most powerful and un-killable version of the symbiote hero yet.
It is without a doubt the coolest moment in the event thus far, which has mainly been filled with heartbreaking moments instead. So as unforgettable as seeing Spider-Man get Carnage-ized may be in its own way, nothing can ever compare to seeing the Incredible Hulk himself transformed into a new kind of Venom. The Venom Hulk... we never dared to dream of something so beautiful.
The satisfaction of seeing Cletus Kasady given a punch he actually feels can't be understated. After all, in his even more grotesque than normal form as the near-godlike Dark Carnage, he's been practically impervious to anything thrown at him. But that was before the Venom Hulk entered the fight. Believe it or not, while Venom has 'eaten' Hulk before, the version of Bruce Banner/Hulk living in Marvel's main '616' Universe has never actually bonded with the Venom symbiote. There have been similar storylines, like the time Venom merged with the Red Hulk Ghost Rider, and in Marvel's What If? series, when the symbiote claiming Hulk resulted in... well, a Hulk-sized Venom. Nothing more or less interesting, in terms of design. Which makes this Absolute Carnage incarnation infinitely cooler.
The final page of the issue offers just a single glimpse of the Venom symbiote and its fusion with the Hulk, but the variant cover by artist Pepe Larraz does give some design details fans might overlook. For starters, the physical size of the Hulk isn't amplified as Venom (since Banner doesn't need that kind of help). More importantly, the Hulk's body is so massive the Venom symbiote can't actually cover it all at once. Instead it gathers, shifts, and protrudes where needed, sliding over his skin to dissipate and collect where needed. All of which makes the wait to see Venom Hulk using those abilities in a fight against Carnage so much more unbearable.
Fans will need to wait for Absolute Carnage #4 to find out how long this pairing of Venom Hulk will last. Although anything less than a permanent substitution is, let's be honest, a tragic but necessary limitation. Check out the full credits and plot synopsis below:
- ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3 (of 5)
- Written by: Donny Cates
- Art by: Ryan Stegman
- Cover Art by: Ryan Stegman
- THE SUMMER OF SLAUGHTER CONTINUES! After the harrowing events at the end of ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #2, Venom and Spider-Man have to deal with the hard truth that not everybody will make it out of this conflict in one piece… if they make it out at all, that is. As Carnage continues to amass strength and allies, Venom and Spider-Man realize that the only way to beat him is to do the same…
Absolute Carnage #3 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.