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Gwen Stacy in a black, red, and white venom-like version of her classic white costume, on the cover of Gwenom vs. Carnage #1, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Ken Lashley, Juan Fernandez/Marvel Comics

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Spider-Gwen just got her own Carnage, and it’s Mary Jane

It’s raining Ven(oms)

The Marvel Universe is in the thick of the Venom King in Black crossover, and that can mean only one thing: You get a symbiote! You get a symbiote! Everybody gets an evil-mind-controlled-by-a-space-god symbiote!

But there’s one new symbiote on the block that’s actually got a pretty cool editorial story behind it. Writer Seanan McGuire kicked off a run on Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider in 2018, just in time for the wider world to be introduced to the character in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That run continued until earlier this year, when the series published its final issue. But McGuire is back, and her King in Black tie-in picks up just one of the plot threads she had to abandon.

The Mary Jane of Ghost-Spider’s home universe is the newest version of Carnage.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Gwenom vs. Carnage #1

“You can call me Carnage!” Knull Symbiote Mary Jane rears up and snarls at Ghost-Spider, in Gwenom vs. Carnage #1, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Seanan McGuire, Flaviano/Marvel Comics

According to a letter at the end of Gwenom vs. Carnage #1, MJ Carnage was one of the first ideas that McGuire pitched to Marvel editorial, and King in Black was an unmissable chance for the plot line to bear fruit.

Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1

In full costume, Yara Flor stomps into the normal living room of two brothers, the traditional Brazilian gods of the sun and moon to admonish the sun brother for downing a helicopter earlier in the day, in Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman #1, DC Comics (2021). Image: Dan Watters, Leila Del Duca/DC Comics

If you’re looking for more Yara Flor and Jon Kent in your life, their Future State team-up book is very fun. I love the angry stomp Leila Del Duca has Yara in in this panel, as well as Dan Watters’ very Sandman-y idea of a couple of brother gods hanging out on a farm and brewing booze.


Cable steps through a K gate, after being absorbed by a Knull symbiote, covered in a venomized version of his hooded costume, toting both a sword and a huge gun, in SWORD #2, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Al Ewing, Valerio Schiti/Marvel Comics

It’s all of the ’90s rolled into one: Cable is a symbiote now. Enjoy this character redesign while it lasts.

A Man Among Ye #4

A pirate scoffs at the idea of an all-female crew, after which Iris buries her axes in his chest, killing him. “What?” she says to the others, “I did not like him,” in A Man Among Ye #4, Image Comics (2021). Image: Stephanie Phillips, Craig Cermak/Image Comics

Every new issue of A Man Among Ye I think, “This is just what Pirates of the Caribbean would have been like if it was only about the female characters,” and that probably appeals to a lot of you reading this.

Future State: Dark Detective #4

An injured, cape-less Batman groans he hauls himself over the edge of a rooftop in a neon splashed Gotham full of hologram ads and red underlights in Future State: Dark Detective #1, DC Comics (2021). Image: Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora/DC Comics

If Future State: Dark Detective starts out a little slow for something as quick as Future State promises to be, but if it’s any indication of Mariko Tamaki’s Batman vibe, I’m going to enjoy her upcoming Detective Comics run quite a lot. Mostly I wanted to say: Look at the work artist Dan Mora and colorist Jordie Bellaire are doing on these pages, I mean wow.

Home Sick Pilots #2

A girl crouches in the dark with a grinning man in a suit with crooked teeth. Instead of a normal head, above his mouth is simply a large horse shoe, ends pointing up like horns. “Uhhh... do you feel... better?” she aks, “Now we’re back here?” The horse shoe ghost just grins sinisterly, in Home Sick Pilots #2, Image Comics (2021). Image: Dan Watters, Caspar Wijngaard/Image Comics

Home Sick Pilots continues very fun in its second issue, a creepy yarn about a high school kid who accidentally becomes cursed to collect all the missing ghosts that belong to a deadly haunted house, and the other members of her punk band who try to find her.

King in Black: Thunderbolts #1

Batroc the Leaper and Taskmaster (unmasked) look over the body of a fallen Knull symbiote/human. “There is a man inside there,” says Batroc. “Yeah, it’s like Venom,” Taskmaster answers. “There is a man inside Venom?!” Batroc exclaims, in King in Black: Thunderbolts #1, Marvel Comics (2021). Image: Matthew Rosenberg, Juan Ferreyra/Marvel Comics

I can’t speak for King in Black: Thunderbolts #1 overall, but these panels gave me a good old belly laugh. It helps to know that the shocked guy is Batroc the Leaper, and so everything he says is in an outrageous French accent.

Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #1

A beautifully laid out two page spread montage of Superwoman becoming friends and sharing activities with an agender alien shapeshifter in Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman #1 Image: Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage/DC Comics

Shoutout to Marguerite Sauvage, whose work in Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman is just stunning.


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