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Comics: Donny Cates reveals Absolute Carnage; Marvel's War of the Realms; and more

By Josh Weiss
Absolute Carnage #1 front cover

We've got the latest news on a massive (and we mean MASSIVE) Carnage event from Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman; six snazzy international variants for War of the Realms; and a rookie comic book publisher from two crackshot Marvel vets who are looking to change the game as we know it.

This morning, Marvel and Donny Cates unveiled a massive Carnage-centric storyline that launches this summer. Entitled "Absolute Carnage," the story will place Cletus Kasady at the forefront as he hunts down anyone and everyone who has ever worn a symbiote. As Cates points out, that's a lot of people.

"Our entire Venom run has kind of been leading to this moment," says the writer in the video below. "Cletus Kasady is back, and he's deadlier than he's ever been."

Per Cates, the event will bring back not just every person who's ever worn a symbiote, but also every symbiote ever to grace the pages of Marvel comics. All of it harkens back to the first issue to feature the black Spidey suit, 1984's The Amazing Spider-Man #252.

Check out the front cover of the first issue below:

Absolute Carnage #1 front cover

Written by Cates and drawn by Ryan Stegman, Absolute Carnage launches in August. However, it will really begin in a Spider-Man book to be released on Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 4.

This week, Marvel also dropped six new international variant covers for War of the Realms #1, which goes on sale next month.

Drawn by Humberto Ramos, David Lopez, Sean Izaakse, Billy Tan, David Yardin, and Luke Ross, each cover represents a different country/artist background: Mexico, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.

Check out all six in the photo gallery below:

War of the Realms #1 goes on sale Wednesday, April 3. Helmed by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, the major event finds Midgard (aka Earth) as the last of the Ten Realms not conquered by Malakeith and his army of Dark Elves.

Can the Marvel Universe's greatest heroes stop an invasion of the last bastion of freedom and hope in the cosmos without Thor's help? We'll just have to wait and see! 

Two Marvel alums, Bill Jemas and Axel Alonso, are starting up a brand-new comic book brand with the business savvy Jonathan F. Miller.

According to The New York Times, Artists, Writers & Artisans (or AWA for short) will strike a balance between a shared universe, a la Marvel & DC, along with standalone titles. More importantly, all creators, be they writers or artists, will have a financial stake in their work like the creatives over at Image Comics.

“The model here really is the old United Artists model, where people who are actually doing the creative have ownership, control and decision-making power over the work that they’re doing,” Jemas told the NYT.

Jemas was the former VP of Marvel while Alonso was the House of Ideas' Editor-in-Chief. At AMA, they'll be serving as chief executive/publisher and chief creative officer respectively. Miller, who helped guide along Mark Millar's deal with Netflix, is chairman.

A "creative council" of Reginald Hudlin, Margaret Stohl, Gregg Hurwitz, Garth Ennis, and J. Michael Straczynski has been tapped to help AWA's projects, particularly its shared superhero universe.

Upcoming AWA titles include: Archangel 8, Fight Girls, Bad Mother, and American Ronin.

“One of the great things about doing things this way is that you get to try a lot. Some things will hit, you never know when and where, but that’s part of the idea,” Miller added. “As long as you keep getting your turns at bat, then you’ll get some hits.”