Because why not?
So this is one done by my least favorite artist of this story. Within the first 4 pages we have 2 sideways full page spreads. Awesome. So we start with pointless fighting, move to MJ sitting on the couch smoking like a chimney. And oh god the faces. Sal Buscema cannot draw people.◊ Remember when I talked about the scene I liked the writing for when Dick Parker and Peter discuss the nature of humanity.◊
I said the art ruined any impact, give me your thoughts on it.
So Shriek Guilt trips then kicks the ass of Cloak who runs off crying to himself.
And then Shriek explains that when she was pulled into Cloaks DARK DIMENSION gave her psychic powers, and that's what's pushing people into violent insanity. The presence of Carnage is amplifying her powers and wow this should have been established a while ago, or not revealed so clunky. It's also a kinda bullshit explanation, and one that's really easy to miss.
So fighting continues, as rioters get involved predictable Morbious tries to snack on them. Infighting ensues lather rinse repeat. Venom brings up the good point that since Carnage regenerates the second Firestar lets up on the heat that the best option is just to fry him to death. You could maybe cook him till you can lock him in something. They don't have that something so despite the intent of the comic he's actually right. It's a shame but the best bet is probably just to kill the guy. I know they get around it but lets be real here.
Spider-Man agrees and Firestar launches an assualt. Stupidly they don't back her up though. Spider-man has a change of heart and she stops at his command. Venom throws a hissy fit at Firestar. Spider-man makes the save Venom punts him out of central park.
Carnage recovers and DEAR GOD AM I IN A LOOP!?! Shriek goes against Venom for the first time, and this makes so much sense for her to do it's not surprising it took this long. They take Venom captive to torture.
Captain America arrives to save the day. Morally at least. To offer a better path. I hate this artist.◊
And this is where the moral conflict falls apart. You have on one side a guy who's psychotic driven by an alien being slobbers and has monster teeth. On the other side you have Captain America who is basically the moral center of your universe, the man who manages to stay true to idealistic principles at all costs and still be effective. It's also not like Venom's been particularly effective against Carnage at this point.
So we start off in the Avengers Headquarters and Cap is at the computer, with his shield, which is awesome in a cheesy way. So the Hero team is split in 2
- Cap Spidey Firestar (and now it seems after a computer convo Iron Fist and Deathlok)
- Cat Cloak and Morbious chasing Venom to rescue him.
Fight scene happens again, and inside the statue of liberty Venom is being tortured by Carnage and Shriek.
I kinda have a problem with Shriek as a heavy hitter in this story. I'm sure her range attack can do some damage but she in no way has extra resistance to damage. Shoot, if Brock could get close enough with out his suit he'd be able to kick her ass. It's the opposite of Carrion, with Carrion no fight seems right because you can't touch him, against her she can't take any damage.
Peter and MJ reconcile. Pointless fighting ensues, it's going against the good guys and... Spawn? saves Black Cat. Okay, his name is Nightwatch 1◊ 2◊
I'm sorry that' can't be accidental. Stay Classy Marvel comics.
Spider-Man swings into a seiged police station to take out... I assume prisoners or the best dressed gang ever. I know they have holding cells in stations but not full on prison with uniforms and everything. What ever. Fight continues then breaks up. Black Cat is beat to shit and needs to rest and heal.
So Spidey Cap Firestar Deathlok (ugh) and Iron Fist formally team up to go 'tame the wild city'.
So right now we have 3 teams on the loose.
- Spidey, Cap et al.
- Venom's crew
The two other teams opposed have:
- Captain America
- Black Cat
- Iron Fist
- I'm sure I've missed someone
But seriously they could just shock and awe Carnage with overwhelming force.
Carnage is cooking Brock with the aid of Carrion as a guard. Demogoblin and doppelganger get booted into the room and Spawn and Moody the vampire attack.
The good guys close in on Shriek who's turning up the crazy, literally. Family exposition where the Parkers and friends are holed up in the apartment. They team attack her and it's actually depressingly difficult for them to knock down this forgotten Z lister, they have to distract her, take a good deal of abuse to do so and Cap beans her in the back with his shield.
Back in the Statue of Liberty Morning starts to come so spawn flies off with Moody. Apparently Spawn has a cursed living suit that can defend itself against Carrion.
There's a pretty good scene where Captain America's disapproving look is so powerful it stops someone from some good old fashioned looting. There are a few similar scenes with each hero. Though Deathlok getting one is so unearned by his nothing character. Spider-man stops double infanticide. Though I think she might be part Giant.◊
Seriously look at the size of the children, they're in the foreground so they're smaller in proportion to her than they look. The child in people's clothes is old enough to do complex make-believe games with props and everything. He's about as tall as her arm is long, and that's counting his height from the tip of his finger held above his head.
Fighting goes on and my two favorite characters are having a rough time of it against Shriek and pals. This is bugging me because they're a bunch of nobodies. You can put a guy over too strong. The people now inspired by the raw awesome of Captain America turn against the villains. Of course the heroes don't tell the civilians to just get themselves somewhere safe.
So Shriek lets out a psycho blast to turn the people on her side again. Wow that felt pointless.
So lets evaluate what happened this issue:
- Venom: Still captured
- Shriek: still making people crazy
- City:still in ruins
Nothing is happening here. Long isn't a problem poorly paced is.