This is what we open with.◊
I have no idea what this thing is, and why this piece of art has to be sideways. This isn't the first issue to start this way. I'm kinda picky about formatting in comics. The other thing is I want a lot of story, if every page is 3 panels and there's a ton of one page spreads I'm not going to be too pleased. You can get away with this if you're Alex Ross of course, or Jim Lee or one of the other highly talented artists, it also has to be earned. This is the first page, it's featuring a character I don't know from Adam doing nothing particularly interesting. OOO fighting street thugs, in a COMIC BOOK!?!
So anyway. How is someone a living vampire? Oh great he's going to kill people just what this story needs more 90s schlock. So he gets recruited by Venom. Okay I will say this because I'm going to bitch about the jokes of characters who get added as we go, I understand the business logic. Spider-Man is the big guy at this time, he's got 5 in continuity books and is an icon of your company. He may be THE
icon of your company.
Mary-Jane is dancing the night away to get over their tiff. Both of these people are terrible in a marriage. Jesus no wonder she wanted to trade peter off. They argue, he goes to the flirty villainess/whatever who he has had unending amounts of sexual tension with. She hits up a club to dance with random men all night.
Carnage hating to see a relationship go bad busts into the club and with his gang they just start wreckin' the place up. MJ does her HOLY SHIT reaction. So the "good guys" are webbing towards Carnage, and I just realized no attempt has been made to contact the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, X-Men, call up his buddy Daredevil, or anyone else. Now I think they actually set this up right with having the Avengers in their own book be away from NYC but you'd think Spider-Man could take an hour and fill heroes in so they know what's going on in their city.
At any rate we see more shifting characterization of Venom, he's now admiring how Carnage is revelling in the blood of his victims. Isn't Venom all about protecting the innocent in his own twisted way, wouldn't he want to not admit that even if true? Okay I'll try to keep the ranting down.
Carnage threatens MJ Venom decks him apparently owing a debt to Peter, but actually does the smart thing and instead acts kinda sexual predator about it, claiming to carnage that she's too pretty to watch die and giving her a lick on the face. Carnage monologs into a camera Spider-Man sees the live broadcast and webs into the fight. We also discover that Mobious is a SCIENCE Vampire.
Carnage and crew ditch that bitch, Spider-Man talks Venom and pals into saving the people before following. Venom's now in charge and Spider-Man pledges his allegiance to the ways of violence and stupidity. End issue.
Not much interesting in that issue so I really don't have much to add about it besides the fact that I think Morbious is a dumb character.
This issue opens with exposition about carnage. I'd bitch about the obvious exposition for its own sake but at the same time it'd be needed if you'd missed one of the previous six issues because your newsstand didn't carry all five spider-books.
Thankfully this issue is done by Mark Bagely. Not my favorite artist in the world but a good shot better than anyone else working on this book. Hey the first page isn't rotated 90 degrees, fuck yeah◊
I will say this of the artists in this book Bagely is probably the best at drawing Spidey and Venom in their suits. His departure into 90s proportions is less pronounced as well.
So we're told through exposition that the common folk on the street are being drawn into the violence. They're forming mobs and going all batshit crazy. I personally have a very fallen view of humanity but I don't hold us to be a small step from psychopathy.
Carnage and friends are fucking up the MET. NYPD SUPER SWAT EXTRA EMERGENCY STRIKE SQUAD TEAM attacks (fast deployment, hot damn!) They say: if you're smart you'll give up. Demogoblin replies: "Arrogance isn't a Mortal Sin, but it will do
Pride is a mortal sin you dumb shit.
So the hooded vaguely goblin looking guy insta kills thelead cop. We find out his name is carrion. And he instantly decays people on contact. Apparently Carrion was supposed to be dead. But what ever.
MJ is in her apartment thinking to herself that Peter should be home with her instead of out there fighting the wave of evil, then she brandishes a knife at the viewer and says she'll have to take care of herself. I can only assume she either means to kill herself or Peter or both.
Our new hero, Deathlok◊
Do I even need to point out how stupid he looks? He's apparently getting reports of violence and will now eliminate it.
Spider-Man attempts to stop a street crime and the victim attacks him afterwards and some random guy pulls a gun to kill him. Dick and May get mugged on the street, Dick knocks the mugger (a black guy of course) out with a 2x4 (in their defense the black guy was a laid off office worker but still).
Carnage and co rip through the city slaughtering everyone in their way, and I mean everyone. This is probably the biggest failing with a lot of this style of book, the deaths are rarely given meaning, thus they lose all impact.
Deathlok appears on scene guns a-blazing, and he's immune to carrion cause he's not organic. His computer is talking ot him and giving him spider-Sense. Deathlok doesn't fair well and ends up shorted out and laying in rubble with Carnage promising some real fun.
Spidey and co bust into the Fantastic Four Headquarters which have been trashed apparently by the rioting, and nab the sonic gun. When they get back to the orphanage that I bitched about not having been torn down and replaced in Carnage Cloak is waiting with Firestar to help.
She's apparently one of the warriors. With the Sonic Gun spider-man is glad to now have SCIENCE! on his side. And our issue ends with Deathlok crucified on the tree of woe.
This cover is kinda awesomebad. I think it's just the face Venom's making.◊
Or better put the fact that his face is now that of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Okay so anyway the issue starts with a full page spread then a sideways fullpage spread.◊
So Spidey and villains ask Jameson to help them set up an ambush. The elder Parkers are headed to Peter's apartment and get accosted on the street. Flash Thompson performs a superman punch on the crowd of 5 armed men. They gang on him and MOLTEN MAN leaps in to protect him. Who ever the fuck that is.
Carnage goes to his orphanage explains his past that made him a twisted fucker. Spider-Man and co cut off the Carnage soliloquy and we go back to the city where Iron-Fist breaks Deathlok out of his electrical bounds. I don't remember Iron Fist being a blonde but what do I know I never followed the character.◊
The fight continues we get a status update on Morbius, ugh, who's awaiting the dawn of dusk, ugh.
Black Cat fills in my thoughts "This dance is getting OLD
real fast, harpy—!" yeah, the same fights happening over and over with out consequences does kinda get tired.
Oh god the combat puns. Spider-Man says he has an ace up his sleeve, Firestar hits carnage with Microwave heat beams, she has flight for some reason too btw, then Venom hits Carnage with the sonic gun saying this makes it a pair of aces DOWN and DIRTY!
The sonic gun doesn't seem to have a ton of effect but the double team of Sonic and heat strips Carnage of his power. Morbius hits the ring and gets Demogoblin from behind knocking him into Revolving Cloak (baddies go in and out faster than at Arkham Asylum) it looks like things are going towards the 'good guys'.
Venom's about to rip off Carnage's face and Spider-Man stops him. Shriek bitch slaps him for having been a pansy pussy coward boy when he was about to get eaten. It turns out that the symbiote is a part of his blood now and it can't ever go away for realzies.
So we've finished the first 8 issues of Maximum Carnage, we're past the halfway point and so far.. we've had a lot of repetition really. There's been a lot of 'action' but at the same time a lot of nothing happens. Basically every issue is like this:
- Carnage and group go somewhere
- they start shit
- good guys catch up
- pointless fighting
- each side gains a member
- they split up
We at least got some exposition that Carnage had a fucked up childhood at the orphanage. Actually this issue had a lot for giving us 2 new pieces of information: Carnage had a fucked up childhood and can resist the sonic attacks.