Comic Books from All-Star Superman to Y the Last Man
Maximum Carnage - Outro
Just some final thoughts and summary. This book was really dumb. It was also tedious and very pointless. It got much worse on the re-read because you notice how much every "chapter" is the same. For vast swaths of the story you can swap the chapters around and have them make sense. The fights are meaningless, no one important ever gets hurt in them and no plot resolution happens. Fighting for the sake of nothing is boring to watch unless you give me a reason to care.
The Aesop of this tale is that the idealistic measures used by the classic heroes work. It's flawed in this instance because Carnage and his crew spread such destruction through the city that it's really hard to justify not having killed the guy. Sure you'd have his blood on your hands, but the city is ankle deep in the blood of civilians killed either directly by the crew or by their insanity waves.
The conclusion is bull shit, deus ex machina? pretty much literally. A happiness gun that cures one villain of his villainy breaks the others and ends the rioting. The Shriek induced madness had no reason. They could have simply had a regular break down of law and order, looting panic and some violence due to heightened tensions.
The massive cross-over nature of this book is actually pretty shitty. There are maybe four characters a fan would care about. Spider-Man Captain America Venom and Black Cat. Cat and Venom are Spidey exclusive for the most part but I think Venom was starting his popularity surge so maybe he'd bring in readers. Cap isn't involved enough in the story and isn't utilized well enough in my opinion. Black Cat is a popular Spider-Man character so maybe a few extra people would pick this up because she has a pretty big role. This is only Carnage's second appearance though. I can't imagine too many people were fired up about Cloak and Dagger, though of the characters brought in they've had about the most success. I'd say Iron Fist was an asset but he's so insubstantial that his inclusion is forgettable.
Really though this book was used to push a bunch of shitty 90s "heroes" and villains. One of which was a spawn rip off, another looked so stupid I can't even really describe all my problems with him, and the fucking vampire. Carrion is a pretty shitty villain because you can't have a realistic fight with the guy. Demogoblin is a clear desire to keep a goblin villain going despite the death of the Green Goblins, Doppelganger has less depth than Carnage and Shriek is a nobody I've never seen before or after. Fuck that.
There are so many better heroes and villains that could have been brought in, especially heroes. Where was Luke Cage? Daredevil? any of the X-men.
Shit, if Jean Gray was alive (buggered if I know) she could have avoided the need for the happiness gun.
Really, only read this series if you're a huge fan of the symbiotes and able to completely suspend disbelief. It will try your patience and intelligence otherwise.