Amazing Spider-Man #379
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #379
It's in this issue that it's finally said that the Avengers and the Fantastic Four are "out of town". And Firestar is the only available New Warrior.
The heroes also arm themselves with Mr. Fantastic's sonic gun, retrieved from Four Freedoms Plaza.
Carrion officially joins up with the bad guys (without actually saying anything).
Carrion doesn't speak, but he doesn't seem to mind taking orders.
Here's the scene i mentioned at the start of this event, where Liz Allan is checking up to make sure MJ is ok instead of dealing with the death of her husband.
There's just no time for subplots in this storyline. This slow-ass sprawling storyline. We've got to save the space to cram in more and more super-characters.
The rioting does continue, and i guess allows for what passes for a subplot for Richard Parker.
I said i would describe my psychology as i was reading this. I'm starting to get antsy at this point. For the most part this is all not actively bad, and Bagley's art is nice, but it's going on too long. What should have taken a few panels in this issue - gathering Firestar and the gun - well, i guess it does only take a few panels but the rest of the issue is padded with pointless carnage from Carnage.
We get the idea that he's a psychotic killer already. It's actually managed to get boring, and the fact that the heroes seem to be taking their sweet time doesn't make them look good.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part seven of Maximum Carnage. Part eight is in Spider-Man #36.
Crossover: Maximum Carnage
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAunt May, Black Cat, Carnage Symbiote, Carrion II, Cletus Kasady (Carnage), Cloak, Deathlok (Michael Collins), Demogoblin, Doppelganger, Eddie Brock (Venom), Firestar, Liz Allan, Mary Jane Watson, Morbius, Richard Parker Duplicate, Shriek, Spider-Man, Venom Symbiote
I assume Liz had to be very specific so MJ wouldn't confuse her with the "Liz, Liz Osbourne" who lives upstairs, or the "Liz, Liz Osbourne" who lives down the hall.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 26, 2016 4:27 PM
Yeah, the murders were the main problem for me as the story dragged on and on. Practically every issue, it's emphasized that Carnage and Co. are cutting people up on the streets of New York, in between brief interruptions from Venom and friends. Even if I was willing to accept that every superhero team ever is out of town right now and totally unable to come back and stop a killing spree in progress, shouldn't the national guard be involved at this point? Is the gov't just thinking "well, he's a Spidey villain, so Spidey will take care of it..." I mean, maybe this whole storyline is only supposed to take a few hours or something out of one day...I don't remember. But it took me like three months to read it in real time...
Posted by: Andrew F | October 26, 2016 4:42 PM
@ChrisW: and, while we're at it, why would even Liz need to introduce herself to MJ as "Liz Osborn from downstairs"? They've known each other for years!
Posted by: Piotr W | October 26, 2016 5:17 PM
I'm not sure why that line of dialogue is nagging at me. Liz was a senior in high school when she and MJ first met. Even for Marvel time, at least a few college semesters passed before she and Harry got married, then another nine months for baby Normie to be born, and now he's old enough to walk and talk.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 26, 2016 6:10 PM
Piotr, I meant to add a bit about the wacky adventures MJ had with "Liz, Liz Osbourne from across the hall" with Bruce on the Riviera, and the wacky adventures she had with "Liz, Liz Osbourne from upstairs" going to the Coffee Bean with Harry and Flash and Gwen, to distinguish them from the "Liz, Liz Osbourne from downstairs," but I forgot to include it.
I don't know why that one line of dialogue bugs me. It's obviously just for exposition, but there's something so stupidly James Bond about it. "The name is Liz. Liz Osbourne." DAN-DAN-DANHHHHH
If MJ is an emotional wreck, curled up into a little ball, it would work if Liz is the only one around who can possibly help. But MJ isn't, Liz isn't, and the only way the line works is if it's a personal drama MJ is going through and Liz is the only one there to help. Given the context, it would make a lot more sense for the roles to be reversed. "Liz, it's Mary Jane. From upstairs. We thought you might like to have breakfast." "NO!"
I think Betty's reaction to Ned's death was actually handled rather well, but Liz and MJ are so far beyond the realm of human experience at this point that it makes Betty and Ned's relationship look like "Anna Karenina" by comparison.
Posted by: ChrisW | October 26, 2016 10:16 PM
Where do these issues fall in the reading order? I need to know to determine what missions the Avengers and FF were on to make them out of town.
Posted by: Steven | October 27, 2016 12:00 PM
Steven, if that's a legit question, you can see where the issues have landed on the 1993 page, although placement is subject to change while i'm still working on 1993. I guess the main factors are the FF's building still being damaged, the Vision being in his new body, and Thunderstike being with the team (which just requires it going after Thunderstrike #1; it doesn't mean he has to be an active member).
Posted by: fnord12 | October 27, 2016 12:54 PM
Is that a dead kid in that last panel?
Posted by: Superb Owl | October 28, 2016 10:28 PM
Even taking the "Liz, Liz Osbourne, from downstairs" interaction with MJ seriously, denying everything Liz has gone through, with her newly-dead husband and raising a child alone and all, MJ would be crying in the bathroom "NO! I'll be down when I'm ready. You can't rush a face like this." Horribly offensive to Liz and not showing MJ at her best, but much closer to recognizable human behavior.
At least Liz would have the sense to know that, despite the pain she's going through, life does go on, and people do need breakfast, and show Mary Jane that much courtesy. And MJ, terrified as she might be for her husband, knows that she's still Mary Jane Watson-Parker, who is (correctly) expected to walk into a room and smile "Face it, Tiger, you hit the jackpot," and get away with it.
In this reading, she'd come off as a horrible person, crapping on Liz' sense of decency, completely ignoring Liz' genuine problems that she has to face every morning, but it would at least explain why Liz is capable of getting out of bed and inviting people to breakfast while MJ is cowering in a bathroom, crying about her missing husband.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 3, 2016 10:33 PM
"What I need is for Peter to come home!" Um, MJ, maybe Liz needs Harry to come home. But he's dead, you saw the body and everything. Just saying "Get over it, Liz, your husband doesn't matter, but mine does" would be something.
Posted by: ChrisW | November 3, 2016 10:40 PM
Just to highlight how utterless pointless and futile the point of the "Papa Parker" subplot is, Richard "proves" his point about the futility of optimistic faith in humanity by whacking an innocent person in the back of the head in an unprovoked attack. I mean seriously. According to those scans, that other guy may sound a bit loony, but he doesn't seem to be threatening them in any way (unless there is some context I'm missing.) Fake-Parker-Dad isn't exhorting the virtues of bitter cynicism like he thinks he is.
And of course this characterization fail is exacerbated by the confusion over whether the people are rioting under their own free will or if they are being influenced by Shriek. Because while there are people who would unscrupulously exploit the chaos for petty larceny, you'd think most people would lock themselves n their homes if a bunch of serial killers were going out on the streets. I guess ol' Richard there isn't the only one who's jaded, huh?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 4, 2016 8:23 PM
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