Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Maximum Carnage part 14: Spider-Man Unlimited #2

And this is it! The final part of the Maximum Carnage saga. We ended up in a threeway dance between Spidey, Venom and Carnage. Basically, Carnage and Venom will be trying to kill each other, while Spidey attempts to arrest the other two with a minimum of murder. Basically, since Venom was in the midst of all of those mini-series he used to get from Marvel, the only logical conclusion for this series was either a) Venom kills Carnage and escapes, or b) Spidey captures Carnage and Venom escapes. I think we all know which option we're getting here...

Maximum Carnage part 14: Spider-Man Unlimited #2:

Summary: It turns out Carnage's brains are still pretty scrambled from the giant gun he was blasted by in part 13, which causes him to run away from Spidey and Venom before the battle is truly begun. Spidey tries to convince Venom not to kill Carnage, which earns Spidey a few more broken ribs from an annoyed Venom.
"Shut ya mouth, bitch!" Is what Venom wanted to say here.

Realizing he was badly hurt, Spidey has MJ bring him a change of clothes so he could go to the hospital and get patched up. From there, we see Not-Spawn and Morbius say good bye to each other... That's nice, I guess... Meanwhile, Carnage and Venom go on the Carnage tour '93, with stops at the prison cell the two once shared, as well as Carnage's old orphanage.
Don't say Venom never did anything for Carnage. 

The next day(?!), Spidey decides to go after Carnage after some healing, and gets MJ's blessing this time. Spidey magically knows where Carnage and Venom are fighting, and heads to the orphanage just in time to stop Venom from killing Carnage. Venom attacks Spidey, which allows Carnage to escape. Venom and Spidey put aside their differences(for like the 50th time this event) and find Carnage at a cemetery, digging up his own mother's grave.
Carnage's ghosts are real jerks...

Venom and Carnage fight once more, with Spidey, once again, halting Venom from killing Carnage. However, this time he manages to get through to Venom by stating that due to Carnage's sucky upbringing, he never had a chance, and was therefore one of the innocents that Venom was pledged to protect. While Venom is pondering that one, Carnage attacks Spidey, who is saved by Black Cat, who gets a chance to redeem herself after she basically quit the fight early on. Carnage finally begins to shake the cobwebs loose, which causes Venom and tackle Carnage into some electrical generators(at a graveyard!?), leading to a massive explosion.
The end.

Spidey and Black Cat find a symbiote-less Carnage unconscious in the fire, but can't find Venom, who had snuck away and decides to let Spidey handle Carnage while he heads back to San Francisco. Spidey has the Avengers drop in to take Carnage away, and that, my friends, is the end of Maximum Carnage.

Thoughts: Whew, what a ride THAT was! Overall I'd call this a pretty good, if REALLY bloated, event. I can't go higher than “pretty good” due to all of the dead spots, as well as the final two parts. I wasn't a fan of part 13, and this issue wasn't much better. There were so many odd things going on here, like Venom chasing Carnage for the entire night while Spidey rests up, at which time the Avengers NEVER go out to find Carnage, even though it's established that they were back from space, or wherever the hell they were hiding during this storyline. Spidey just happening across Carnage at the orphanage is another headscratcher... If Spidey knew Venom and Carnage would be fighting there, why couldn't the Avengers?
I love all the little details in this panel.  

Or hell, why wasn't Spidey traveling WITH the Avengers? He wasn't a full-time member back in the day(frigging Bendis...), but would have been a reserve. And of course, who can forget the end of the battle, a giant explosion that roasts Carnage's costume to nothing, while Venom manages to hide in the back of a pick-up truck, costume fully functional. So yeah, not a lot of good things happening in this issue. With that said, I did like the look at Deathwatch and Morbius, since they weren't on Spidey's team during the final battle against Carnage's family in part 13. I also REALLY liked Black Cat showing up in the end, as I was totally surprised by that one. As I was reading this issue I was even thinking before she showed up that she had come out of this event looking really weak/terrible. So kudos to the 4-headed writing team to give Cat a chance to get a little shine. This was also, sadly, the last time Carnage was a monstrous threat to Spidey. I'm pretty sure his next appearance is in a Spidey annual, in which Spidey defeats Carnage on his own, no allies needed. Bottom line? I have to say that I enjoyed reading and reviewing this event, there was just enough good, bad and comically terrible to keep me sated. So good job, Marvel!
HA!  Give it a few years, Spidey, and they'll both be back.

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