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Cult Of Carnage: Misery #1 (of 5)

Comicscore Index
Mixed or average ratings

Based on 6 critic ratings.


Liz Allen is the mother of Normie Osborn, who she is blissfully unaware is the all-new and all-deadly RED GOBLIN! But what Liz DOES know is that the Red Goblin has been active and has been seen VERY close to her home. And after her late husband’s father, NORMAN OSBORN (maybe you’ve heard of him?), gets pulled into the chaos and violence swirling around Normie, Liz has no choice but to use the resources at her disposal as the head of ALCHEMAX to take matters into her own hands and become something the Marvel Universe has NEVER SEEN BEFORE!

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
33 pages
Amazon ASIN

6 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 91

    Comic Watch

    The world of Marvel Comics has enough Symbiote and Goblin themed villains to build up an entire stand-alone universe based around just those character groups. Creating new ones in this day and age requires enough marketability, ingenuity, and craftsmanship to keep the character afloat for at least five issues. While I found that the team on Misery #1 definitely has its act together in terms of writing and art, the story itself poses a lot of stop gaps for new readers to truly carry this semi-new character past their debut mini-series.


    Mortirino’s art is great, and brings every panel in this issue to life with both an illustrator’s beauty and a clear cut, concise visual storytelling style. Their depiction of the human form is fluid and believably in motion, Mortirino one of the few comic artists that can actually draw kids as kids. Normie Osborn has never looked his age quite like this before in the modern day. There are some really well done bits of visual storytelling used to keep the plot engaging whilst keeping secrets as secrets, such as Corwin’s origin. Mortirino also brings the story to life by committing to the atmosphere of a scene’s setting.

    Cult of Carnage: Misery #1 is a great debut for Liz Allen’s new status quo. While it may pose as a difficult jumping on point for readers unfamiliar with her history, that doesn’t change the fact that this book has strong emotional and genre themes coupled by great art and greater action.

  • 90


    Marvel has consistently supported new Symbiote series for a few years now, and Cult of Carnage: Misery is next up on the docket. Written by Sabir Pirzada with art by Francesco Mortarino, the series aims to flesh out Harry Osborn’s wife, Liz Allen, who is trying to hold the family together in the shadow of Osborn’s evil acts and name.

    If you haven’t heard, Marvel’s going all-in on Symbiotes this summer with their Summer of Symbiotes celebration. Venom is celebrating his 35th anniversary, so why not celebrate all that spun out the idea of a black-suit Spider-Man who’s big and evil? This series aims to add to the Symbiote legacy by creating a new Symbiote with a unique take on how it all works with Liz.

    Cult of Carnage: Misery #1 is an excellent start to what could be a unique new Symbiote in a sea of Symbiotes who are mostly the same, save for their color. The creators set things up beautifully, making you care about a C-list character while establishing the need for a mother to rise up and protect her kids, even if it takes a Symbiote to do it.

  • 80

    But Why Tho?

    Cult of Carnage: Misery #1 finally gives Liz Allen a comic of her own. Since her father-in-law and even her son have been given titles, it is only fair that she gets the spotlight shone on her too. She is powerful in her own right and Pirzada captures the chaos and the spectrum of disasters happening to her, before ramping it up even further.

  • 75

    Multiversity Comics

    Making a superhero origin story out of a preexisting character with decades of history can be exceptionally difficult. Elizabeth “Liz” Allen has been around since Spider-Man’s earliest days, with a history intricately tied with the Osborn family (into which she married via Harry), and by utilizing that history, combined with newer creations such as symbiotes and related technologies, Sabir Pirzada creates an intriguing, complex collection of circumstances that coalesce into a new heroine (though for how long is unclear).

    Francesco Mortarino does a great job with the visceral nature of the symbiotes, making them truly feel slimy and disturbing. Meanwhile, the individual people in the piece feel all the more human, their expressions soft in contrast to more intimidating, relatively featureless faceplates on various people.

    The artwork is already fantastic, but it is Java Tartaglia’s colors that bring it truly over the edge. The use of darker shades and hues help to add depth to various characters and either calm situations down or enhance their danger, be it in calmer flashbacks or in modern horrors.

    A new heroine rises from a merger of various forces to intriguing effect in this tie-in to symbiote lore.

  • 75

    Comics Nexus by Inside Pulse

    An interesting and accessible issue for non-Symbiote or Spider-Man / Venom / Carnage readers. Intrigued by what’s next for Liza Allan. Decent art.

  • 30

    Even as a reader currently caught up on all of the various Spider-Man and Venom titles to which Cult of Carnage: Misery relates, this event tie-in miniseries seems out of place in its presentation of supporting characters like Liz Allen and Normie Osborn. Its extended page count is largely given to establishing the family dynamics of Harry Osborn’s survivors and that his former wife is making obviously terrible choices with symbiote experimentation that place all of them at risk. Yet the series also seems to forget that Normie possesses his own symbiote and fails to connect the events on display with the “Cult of Carnage” story or any other pressing matters, leaving the threat of a disgruntled security guard to carry reader’s interest for almost two months until issue #2 arrives. With lackluster action sequences and terribly inconsistent children, there’s a clear question as to what purpose this series serves on its own or as part of a larger narrative, and answers are not forthcoming. The exposition and storytelling is certainly competent throughout, but without answering the question of “why” it’s difficult to recommend Cult of Carnage: Misery even to readers who are all in on this corner of Marvel Comics.

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