Comic Books from All-Star Superman to Y the Last Man


Maximum Carnage Part 3

And we continue from issue 4. I'm going to tone down on the scans just to save time, I'll probably only scan if someone new joins or if there's something epic (good or bad).

So Carnage breaks through the wall of their new home which is the storage area for a metal band. Cause you know metal = KILLING. Demogoblin busts in with his tongue lolling out.

We cut back to the Parker's house and Venom's rockin' that mullet hard. MJ is in angry mode, yells at peter to kick Brock out even though he's near death, yells at Peter for not being able to take a Spider-Break and storms out into the street in New York at night during a wave of Super Villain crimes.

So Venom mumbles about an alliance and passes out. Peter webs his way over to the Black Cat's apartment, because when having a tiff with the missus the sensible husband heads over to the bedroom of the platinum blonde model hot friend. She says she wants an allegance against Carnage as well and now we're with Aunt May who looks like the crypt keeper preparing food for Peter's parents.

So creepy thing I just noticed Peter's Mom has the same red hair as MJ. Oedipus much?

So it turns out Demogoblin and Doppelganger were former partners, so he followed his psychic link to catch Carnage. So it turns out Demogoblin is a religious zealot out to kill all sinners. Since their mission of killing people is the same he and Carnage team up.

So in the last book Carnage wanted to lead a revolution against all forms of order and civility because to him action was everything and morality/order had no place. A bit eh but a believable enough motive for a psycho. In this one he seems to be killing people for teh lulz. I dunno I need more motivation than that personally.

Spidey swings home to team up formally with Cat and Venom. Our teams are now: Spidey Cat Venom (Cloak (Dagger)) vs Carnage Shriek Doppelganger and Demogoblin. In terms of fan recognition I'd say Spider-man has the much bigger power stable. So Spidey being a good guy says no killing.

Venom's response is: CARNAGE BRAINS! YUM!

I like Venom sometimes. Fight ensues, Cloak is there, almost sucks Carnage into the Phantom Dimension and Spider-Man's like: NO KILLING IS WRONG! then is happy that Carnage broke out. I don't think I'd ever be happy about that, I could see feeling conflicted when he went in and angry that your command was disobeyed but not going: OH THANK JESUS THE REMORSELESS KILLER BROKE FREE!

Carnage sees that the fight is fairly evenly matched says: FUCK THIS! has Demogoblin light the roof aflame and shriek knock a hole out. They escape, Spider-man follows and notices that Venom passed out and Black Cat is buried alive. Should he stay or should he go? follow the bad guy or save his allies!?!

This would be a moral question if he stood a chance against carnage at this point. Carnage and team would have a 4 to 1 advantage. Carnage is stronger and more powerful than Spider-Man, I don't think that Spidey's ever one a 1 on 1 against him at this point in continuity. Unsurprisingly Spider-Man goes back to save Cat and Venom.

So that ends the issue and feel like I should explain something. This story is 14 issues long spread across more than one book. So far the issues have been in:
  • Spider-Man Unlimited
  • Spectacular Spider-Man
  • Spider-Man
  • Amazing Spider-man
  • Web of Spider-Man

That means 5 different creative teams working together. So far it hasn't been too bad, there was one point where it switched from night to morning without time passing but other than that it's been very coherent all things considered.

Venom gets pissed off at Spider-Man for not staying on Carnage because innocent lives are at stake and he doesn't want time wasted. Okay this is a good idea, portray Venom as the more cold and ruthless of the two, set up a question of compassion vs efficiency, if Spider-Man didn't bother saving people at immediate threat he might be able to finish Carnage's run earlier. In the long run a lot less people dying, but could he put that on his conscience? to see people die he could save for the bigger picture? a question of the means you use, do you try to apprehend Carnage or do you kill him? do you have the right to kill if you're just some dude in spandex? alright I like this an-

Oh now Venom's trying to kill Spider-Man. Thanks for removing any element of debate. You know one of the author's bitched that Venom and Carnage were too one note of villains for his taste, he liked more depth to them than just unrepentant killers. I agree there's not a ton to do with Carnage, but if you've got Venom trying to be a hero that gives you something to work with. A killer trying to reform? do what's right after a life of wrong to serve a more noble good? Oh well I'll have to stick to my Joe Kelly run on Deadpool for that I guess. You don't think his character has much depth? Well I can see how that would be a problem except for the fact that you're the guy writing!

Seriously, it could only be a good move at this point to add depth to Venom, he's popular and is starting to get books of his own, making him something more grey and adding more basis for character would only help.

So Spider-Man says he can't work with Cat and Venom because they're too blood thirsty. This really hasn't been developed where it makes sense.

Demogoblin says they need a plan. Carnage throws a hissy fit, Shriek breaks them up, but it's clear or should be, that Demogoblin is supposed to be lawful evil while Carnage is Chaotic Evil. Though to me lawful evil is more about the guys who try to rule or have some standards/principles. Instead both want to kill everyone all at once but Demogoblin thinks he's doing it for God and Carnage is doing it cause he can.

So the art in this issue is awful in subtle ways. Mostly everything looks like cutouts instead of drawings. Kinda like south-park but a 90s comic book. I'll be waiting when that image is no longer making you scream. Now that you're back I should clarify it's not Liefeld style bad art, but it is awful. 1 2 3 You'll notice the lack of depth, inability to draw faces infrequency of backgrounds. Things look flat and jagged to me and it's rather unpleasent, not to mention that faces are just fucked up. To make up for it, some good Spider-Man art: 1 2 3

So we're given two competing images of justice and humanity from the Parker household. Aunt May tells Peter to do what's right, even if it's hard it's important to do things the right way. Peter's dad tells him what he learned in 20 years in a Gulag is that humanity is at it's core violent brutish and evil and that it's not about sticking to your ideals you've got to fight fire with fire. He actually delivers a speech very similar to what the Joker says near the end of Dark Knight, though it's kinda stock "men are monsters trying to control it with law and rules." This is actually a good scene, I want to give them credit here because I've been bashing a lot. They set this up well, with getting the traditional advice from Uncle Ben and the focus stays with Peter and May, then as Peter's Dad (PD) is talking about the monsters and having to fight fire with fire we get a cut to the slaughter going on in the city. PD (just found out his name is Richard, so Dick from now on)tells Peter that he won't lose his son to the same sort of hell he had to endure and that Peter needs ot learn from him. Peter walks out head hung low in confusion and almost looks like shame. Dick collapses onto a chair with his head in his hands seemingly crushed by having to defeat his son's idealism. May looks on to him with horror and sympathy. It'd be a great scene and moving if not for this awful art.

Carnage and co continue their merry rampage and a new goblin copy follows them from the sewers, I think this is Hobgoblin, I don't remember. We have too many expies.

A Riot breaks out, and instead of being a traditional riot of lawlessness and a lot of robbery it's a gang murder fest. See this is another problem that recurs, the inability to properly portray a break down of law. I think they excuse this crap later though. I could see people panicking raiding stores and committing petty crimes. Faith in the system weakens etc. But people won't go from nap to murder unless the only thing holding them back is the system.