Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 9: Spectacular Spider-Man #202

Hey, we are rapidly motoring towards the end of this storyline! After I get through this next issue, I only have 5 left. That definitely deserves a huzzah!! Let's see how Spidey, Venom and the rest of the good guys do now that Carnage has shown them that he can keep respawning his symbiote whenever he bleeds.

Maximum Carnage part 9: Spectacular Spider-Man #202:

Summary: With Carnage back to full strength, Venom attacks him again along with Cloak and Morbius. Spider-Man and Firestar stand around pondering how they could work with somebody as blood-thirsty as Venom...
We get it!  You guys hate Venom!!  Either pitch in or move on!

Sheesh, this again? Black Cat yells at them for debating when they should be working on defeating Carnage, which shames the two into action. Shriek defeats Cloak and sends him running away by telling him that if he hadn't driven her insane to begin with, Dagger would still be alive. Shriek then reveals that she was the cause of all of the riots and madness in Manhattan since the whole Maximum Carnage thing began, since she could amplify Carnage's crazy and make others feel it. Or something like that... That whole thing really came out of left field... A mob of crazed people wander into the fight, causing Morbius to get fried by Demogoblin. Firestar discovers that sonics may not harm Carnage much anymore, but that flame is still a large weakness. Venom tells her to burn Carnage until there was nothing left,
I've said this a lot during this event, but once again, Venom is the voice of reason.

but Firestar bucks at the thought of murdering somebody. However, Spidey tells her that it was the only way(?!!?), which leads to her attacking Carnage with all of her power.
Man, Carnage can be quite the bitch at times...

At the last second though, Spidey realizes that wasn't who he was, and tells Firestar to stop. She does, which infuriates Venom, who goes to kill Firestar. Spidey tries to intervene, but is knocked a few blocks away by the furious Venom. By this point, Carnage and Shriek have regrouped and attack Venom, soundly defeating(heh heh, because she uses sound!) him thanks to Shriek's sonic abilities. Shriek tries to finish Venom off, but is stopped by Carnage(?!?), who wants to slowly torture Venom to death instead. With that, Carnage and Shriek escape with Venom. This issue ends with Captain America(!) arriving to help Spidey to his feet.
Oh snap, business just picked WAY up!

Thoughts: Well, this was a really good issue! There's a lot of stuff I enjoyed about this one, so I'll get my little quibbles out of the way first. The reveal that Shriek was somehow amplifying Carnage's madness and driving regular people crazy seemed really out of the blue and unnecessary. I'm not really sure what it adds to the story overall... Like, would things be any different if Shriek wasn't doing that? I guess it's to show that Spidey is more on edge than usual, but with all the evil shit Carnage is doing, wouldn't that be enough to push him to the brink? Also, Carnage stopping Shriek from killing Venom made no sense... His whole thing is chaos and murder... Why would Carnage suddenly decide to waste time torturing Venom when he could kill him, and then a few dozen others? On the plus side? Everything else! The legendary Sal Buscema did the artwork, which was really strong. I loved the scene where Spidey finally gave in and told Firestar to kill Carnage, before he realized what the hell he had done/said. Venom's reaction to that situation was perfect, especially since that was the second time in as many issues that Spidey has stopped somebody from killing Carnage.
For the record?  This is my favorite scene from this entire 14 part event.

And then it ends with frigging Captain America popping up to (literally) lend a hand. Cap showing up is a real game changer, due to the leadership he'll bring to Spidey and his crew. Let's face it, Spidey was a terribly ineffective leader. Venom is too crazy to lead, and the rest of the group is filled with lifetime followers. So Cap showing up really felt like a huge moment. Yeah, this was a great issue that has me eager to pick up the next one!

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