Comics : Venom/Carnage #3

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This story is part of an Arc: "A Child is Born"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

Carnage, disgusted by his pregnancy, fails to abort the "child" and implants it into Pat Mulligan, your typical atypical sterotypical Irish beat cop, intending to return to kill him. Venom fought Carnage, hoping to educate the young "boy" himself. Black Cat stole a painting to return to the artist, who got ripped off. Black Cat has really big breasts, which are now augmented further by her new costume that leaves the entire front wide open, similar to Emma Frost circa New X-Men. Spider-Man saved Paddy's wife once, but Paddy couldn't prepare for what happened next - he becomes a symbiote monster (Cue "shock")! Black Cat tries to take him down, but somehow, Paddy's morals stay intact and he understands that Cat is the good guy - but Carnage is bearing down on them now.

In Detail...

"The Monster Inside Me"
Venom/Carnage #3
Nov 2004 : SM Spin-Off
Arc: Part 3 of "A Child is Born"
Editor:  John Miesegaes
Writer:  Peter Milligan
Artist:  Clayton Crain
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Articles: Toxin, Venom

Venom watches on a rooftop, admiring his new "grandson," as the boy and Carnage rip each other to pieces. Symbiote-Patrick slams Carnage into a wall, demanding to know who his "mother" is. Carnage just laughs, because of course, it just doesn't work that way. Patrick beats the crap out of Carnage, eventually throwing him aside and muttering "You're not my father..." Patrick gets up now, his symbiote dissappearing. Black Cat tries to help him up, but Paddy freaks out. Carnage vows his revenge, much like any supervillain is supposed to, and Paddy vows not to tell his chief or his new family that he's a monster now. Cat offers to keep his secret as well (which is a little odd... considering that the other symbiotes all became serial killers, what chance would she figure Pat has?).

Later, Pat attends his wife's baby shower, introducing the new kid to his family. He recollects his conversation with Cat, in which she told him that he had an opportunity to do good in the world. He ditches his kid with his father, then runs out into the street and jumps on a wall, climbing it much the same way Spider-Man would (the scene painted here looks almost identical to the first movie, when Peter is ﷯discover﷯ing what he can do). He thinks that she was right - he has to be more flexible, and learn to use the monster. He tracks down Cletus Kasady, who is in the middle of a conversation with his red suit. Pat wonders how he knew just where to look, but Carnage attacks, and Pat summons his "monster" as though it is a Pokemon. He gets the bettter of Cletus again, and for a second time, Kasady is beat to a pulp. Pat has an urge to kill, but realizes that he can't become a cold-blooded murderer. He leaves and goes hime to rest, but can't sleep, as he fears what might happen.

Venom tracks down Carnage, and the two have an Odd Couple-esque conversation, where they fear that the young symbiote is going to ally with Spider-Man (hence the psychosis mentioned in #1), and so they need to take him down before the webbed one can influence his fragile little mind.

Pat goes to a bank robbery scene, where there are hostages and impatient crooks. He quickly disarms them, and puts the fear into their eyes and quickly- moistening pants with his crazy appearance. He introduces himself as Toxin, and tells the criminals that they deserve to die for their murderous nature - they see his badge, andsay that cops can't kill. Toxin is conflicted by this, knowing that it isn't right to kill, but still has the urge to do so. They beg for mercy, as he is an officer, and it's against the rules. Toxin tells them that the rules just don't apply anymore.

In General...

Black Cat doesn't care that Pat's a monster now? What the hell? "Oh, that's okay, sweetie, you just go play with your shotgun in the front yard, and remember, they're just faking it, and that red stuff is ketchup!" But other than that, it's still an entertaining read, and it appears that Toxin's "psychosis" is that he is inherently good, though we won't know until the conclusion if it pans out that way. I like Milligan's work in general, it's always quirky and fun.

Overall Rating...

It's still a good issue, but the lack of concern Black Cat has for the people around Pat by not worrying about his symbiote-ness is just... wrong. It's a bit of a glaring error, but still, the story is fun on it's own merits, and for one moment like that, I can't penalize it too hard. If that conversation betwen Pat and Cat never happened, I'd give it 4 webs, but even though I don't like to incorporate continuity problems into my rating (I prefer to rate based on entertainment value and depth), this one is just a little crazy. One sentence to sum up the series thus far: "It's like Lethal Protector... if Lethal Protector was good!"