Misty Knight and John Jameson were the first two casualties of Absolute Carnage, and now a group of heroes with a common bond going back to 1993's Maximum Carnage are reuniting to save them.
In this week's Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1 (of 3), writer Frank Tieri and artist Flaviano pick up the story from Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage and this month's Absolute Carnage #1 and adds in Iron Fist, Cloak & Dagger, Firestar, Deathlok, and Morbius the Living Vampire.
Newssarama talked with Tieri about this sequel to his previous Cult of Carnage one-shot, and how he's bringing a superhero team into a story he describes as "straight horror."
Newsarama: Frank, exactly who makes up the Lethal Protectors in Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors?
Frank Tieri: Iron Fist leads a team consisting of Morbius the Living Vampire, Cloak & Dagger, Firestar, and Deathlok. And yeah, if you’re thinking this is sort of a Maximum Carnage reunion, you would not be wrong. There’s a reason Iron Fist picked this group… mainly because they all have experience fighting Carnage.
And if you read Cult of Carnage, you’d know that’s what they’ll have to do if they’re going to help Misty Knight, who is very much in danger by the end of that one shot.
Nrama: So you're back into it with Knight and John Jameson, from Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage.
Tieri: Yeah, actually you can pretty much say this is a direct follow-up to that one shot. Anyone who read Cult of Carnage knows that Misty went to find out what happened to John Jameson in Doverton and that issue’s end the audience realizes John has been compromised. We pick up on that in Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1 and find that Misty is knee deep in symbiote trouble right from the start with Carnage, his Cult… and yes, John.
Nrama: How would you describe Misty and John as a duo?
Tieri: They’re friends. They’re partners. Or they were, before Carange got his claws into John's psyche. But in some ways, that's the entire point of this series - their relationship will play a prominent role in this story. John has fully succumbed to the Cult of Carange at the start of the series, and even though he ends up throwing her to the wolves (literally), Misty still hopes there's enough of the John Jameson she knows to pull him out. Is she right? Well, for her sake you better hope that she is an her faith in John doesn't end up costing her her life, or the lives of anyone she cares about.
Nrama: What does writing a story under this Absolute Carnage event banner offer for you as a writer?
Tieri: Ya know, unlike some other writers, I don’t mind working on big company crossover events like this. I’ve worked on Civil War, Dark Nights: Metal, World War Hulk, just to name a few and each one of those brought something different to the table for fans and Absolute Carnage is no different. Absolute Carnage is a capital-H horror event, to put it plainly. What Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman created here is fun - and yes, horrific - and it very much lends itself to doing these spin out tie ins which I’m lucky enough to write two of them (This and Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool, if you don’t already know).
Nrama: Funny you should mention that - Lethal Protectors ties into the the Ravencroft Institute, which you're also touching on in Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool. How does Ravencroft rate when it comes to mental health care?
Tieri: Crappy. I mean, who ever actually gets cured there? Somebody should do the Marvel U a favor and burn the place to the ground.
Oh wait… Spoiler alert… I already did that in Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1. Good job by me.
Nrama:Ravencroft plays a prominent role in both of your tie ins. What's going on in Ravencroft exactly?
Tieri: Well, if you’re up to date on Absolute Carnage, you already know that Carnage and his Cult have taken it over. As far as Lethal Protectors is concerned, when we open we find the Cult is about to perform some sort of terrible, demonic ritual.
I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’ve seen our covers you know that Demogoblin will be returning with a different look - the difference being that this time the spirit seems to have taken a female host. Ultimately, that ritual that Carnage and the Cult perform to bring Demagoblin, as we call her, back to life might surprise not only the Lethal Protectors but some fans as well.
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals working on this event?
Tieri: They’re different for both of the books I’m doing. For Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool… well, with Deadpool involved that’s more of a comedy dropped into a horror movie. The horror elements are still there but when you write something involving Deadpool, the humor has to be there as well. With Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors, it’s different. It’s more straight horror… which just so happens to include a superhero team.
Both series were a blast to work on and hopefully fans enjoy them and the event as a whole. I know what we have planned for my books coming up and for the Absolute Carnage event itself and man, I don’t know if fans are ready for it. Big things are coming. Big horrifying things.