Spectacular Spider-Man #202
Issue(s): Spectacular Spider-Man #202
...but that feels more like a tipping point (i.e., "This book can't hold any more characters! We're going to sink!").
Ok, i skipped right to the end of this issue. Does that mean that nothing else of importance happens? Um, basically yes. We have the same rehashing of the kill/no kill debate, more inconclusive fights between the heroes and villains, more scenes of Mary Jane sitting around smoking and worried about Peter, etc.. The only new information is about Shriek, confirming that she is behind all the rioting: ""I can take all the little bedbugs crawling around inside my head -- and transmit them out to anyone who's close to me". This ability is amplified by being near Carnage and soaking up "his sick vibes".
Beyond that, to DeMatteis' credit he gets some mileage out of the idea that Firestar, as a younger hero, looks up to Spider-Man. So when Spider-Man has a(nother) crisis of faith and tells her to use her fire powers to kill Carnage, she reluctantly does it. But Spidey eventually calls her off and the debating continues and the villains escape.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part nine of Maximum Carnage. Part ten is in Web of Spider-Man #103.
Crossover: Maximum Carnage
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBlack Cat, Captain America, Carnage Symbiote, Carrion II, Cletus Kasady (Carnage), Cloak, Demogoblin, Doppelganger, Eddie Brock (Venom), Firestar, Mary Jane Watson, Morbius, Shriek, Spider-Man, Venom Symbiote
Ugh this storyline... fnord I hope you take a few days off after this. You deserve it :)
Actually, knowing how you often archive these stories, I sort of wish you had just bought the trade and lumped the entire story into one entry. No one should be forced to hunt down this story by it's individual entries.
Posted by: Jeff | October 26, 2016 12:42 PM
Cap showing up at the end was a great last page reveal. Very Captain America, though it doesn't excuse Maximum Carnage for being extended well past its natural lifespan.
During most large scale stories the writers will write out intervention by the Avengers or Fantastic Four on the grounds that they're "out of town" or something. This makes it even cooler and legitimately unexpected when an A-lister actually does show up like here or when the F4 showed up in the last part of Revenge of the Sinister Six.
Posted by: Red Comet | October 26, 2016 2:55 PM
There weren't enough super heroes in this crossover. I think they forgot to include Annex and Nightwatch.
Posted by: mquinn1976 | October 26, 2016 3:25 PM
Ummm, Mquinn1976... Nightwatch *will* appear later in this storyline :D
Posted by: Piotr W | October 26, 2016 3:43 PM
haha....i stand corrected in the very next part, too. Then I'll just lament that Sleepwalker didn't make an appearance. :D
Posted by: mquinn1976 | October 26, 2016 4:19 PM
Maximum Carnage is one of those stories like Acts of Vengeance: pretty crappy, but with enough good ideas shining through to make me interested in a redux.
Carnage getting a bunch of other killers together and transforming New York in a superhero warzone? Pretty cool idea. (Perhaps say he picked this moment specifically because the FF and the Avengers were out of town? Perhaps give him an ally who can put a forcefield around the city to keep them out?) Spidey having to team up with more violent superheroes out of necessity, forced to question whether he should kill Carnage? Sounds good. And Cap turning up as a moment of hope is a pretty good use of your Captain America.
If you do have to stretch it out to 14 issues though, give us a bit more variety. Spend one issue on the likes of Scorpion and Elektro making use of the chaos to do a heist, or do an issue on the Molten Man being torn between going out to help Spidey defeat Carnage or staying at home to protect Liz and Normie...
Posted by: Berend | October 26, 2016 4:34 PM
How about the Young Gods, Earth-Lord and his buddies? Or The multi-ethnic Yancy Street Gang, like Rhythm Ruiz and Smooth Manny Merengues? Or Red Wolf, Shooting Star, and Texas Twister from the Rangers? How about the old west villains that had been in West Coast Avengers, such as The Fat Man and Doctor Danger, Master of Magnetism?
I don't know whether it's worse that I'm mentioning them, or worse that I've read the comics that contain them enough times to remember their names.
Posted by: Matt Posner | October 26, 2016 4:47 PM
I didn't like the way DeMatteis handled Firestar deciding whether or not to kill Carnage. Angel could have been a generic teen hero in that scene. There were several ways to handle this- Angel could have decided not to kill him because being an abused child reminded him of Vance. Or Angel could have decided not to kill him because she didn't want to become the assassin Angel tried to turn her into. But Angel's history is basically irrelevant for this story- and that's the basic problem with this crossover, there's so many characters, there's not enough room for characterization.
Posted by: Michael | October 26, 2016 8:21 PM
This chapter in my view is absolutely the best in the series and perhaps the only one that is worth reading. The scene in which Spidey changes his mind and screams Firestar to stop is very valid, as the stage entrance of Cap at the end is a nice climax.
Posted by: Midnighter | October 27, 2016 8:51 AM
Personally, I thought Spider-Man and Firestar were infuriating this issue, especially Firestar's line that continuing to blast Carnage would have been the biggest mistake of her life. And then the first page of next issue shows multiple corpses from Carnage's latest rampage.
Posted by: Mortificator | October 29, 2016 3:41 AM
This is certainly the most interesting issue of this interminable story. Unfortunately, the moral position it advances is completely insane: you should never, ever kill someone, even if that's the only way to prevent that person from going on to kill hundreds of others. It's a moral code that's only really ever existed in comic books, and I find it hard to believe that DeMatteis or anyone else involved sincerely believes it.
Posted by: keaton | December 19, 2016 4:36 PM
@Keaton- DeMatteis is a pacifist.
Posted by: Michael | December 19, 2016 5:06 PM
Comments are now closed.
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