Tying into chapters 3 and 4 of Absolute carnage, issue 19 gives us more detail into the fight alongside Scorpion and the introduction of the symbiote companion of Dylan, Sleeper.
Cates writing in this issue was solid and steady as we meet Sleeper and watch the fight seen in Absolute Carnage unfold from a different perspective. As Dylan unleashes the symbiote, Sleeper, to help in the fight, we see more details into Dylan’s physiology as well.
Cates had written before from Eddie’s perspective that Dylan is his son, but now we have a different view from the symbiote, Sleeper. As Sleeper tries to merge with Dylan, we find that Dylan is more than what he lets on as his body becomes incompatible with the symbiote. This leads to an issue filled with questions as to when Cates will reveal what Dylan really is to Eddie.
Another aspect of Cate’s writing this issue was his focus on the fight and what Sleeper can do. After Sleeper is freed, we see The Thing throw Spider Man to save Captain America from getting taken by Carnage. When Sleeper joins the fight, we see a team up with Hawkeye as Sleeper produces Napalm from their saliva and Hawkeye lights it on fire. The results are a satisfying fight sequence.
Accompanying Cate’s writing is art from Iban Coello, an artist that provides multiple fun action sequences to tie the story together. Coello’s angles and action at various points throughout the chapter made the series more enjoyable then some of the pieces I saw in the recent Batman Beyond chapter.
Early on in the chapter, Coello draws Dylan running away from the fight to grab Sleeper, in a full page spread. Watching from a lower angle as Dylan runs away from the fighting gave me an exciting angle to work with as a viewer. Another fun sequence was when Hawkeye comes in on the front of a jeep, and we see yet again, another angled art piece. Coello definitely enjoyed doing that for multiple action sequences to attempt to detract from a mostly flat background for a majority of the scenes in the issue. When action happened and we saw Sleeper as a wolf or The Avengers surround the symbiotes, it made the characters seem stronger and more epic at times.
Overall, the story was a good tie-in to the Absolute Carnage storyline. I would only recommend the issue if you are keeping up with the Carnage series though as it would otherwise be lost on a first time viewer. For recent series however, both the art and the story were well done to continue the overarching narrative and mystery behind some of the characters actions and I look forward to what Cates gives us next.