Web of Spider-Man #101
Issue(s): Web of Spider-Man #101
(Don't worry. It might not look like it from the scan above, but the gang is your typical Marvel Multiracial Gang.)
Luckily this happens to be near the church where Cloak and Dagger make their home, so they show up and rescue Spidey.
Meanwhile, Carnage tells J. Jonah Jameson that he wants the Daily Bugle to print a message that Carnage is looking for Spider-Man and Venom. But that whole sequence, starting with the cliffhanger of Carnage showing up at the Bugle at the end of part one, is a moot point because the Doppelganger hunts down Spider-Man and Shriek and Carnage soon follow. It's a weird sequence in general, a poor narrative choice, since it's a meaningless waste of time. But it's even weirder when you consider the villain in question is Carnage. The whole "force a paper to publish a challenge" thing is such a cliched thing to do, and the fact that JJ has now survived two encounters with Carnage really dilutes the idea that Carnage is a psychopathic indiscriminate killer. Carnage will kill anyone - except major supporting characters.
There will be a second equally pointless scene at the Daily Bugle later in the story, and i wonder if we're seeing the faint traces of an intended theme here. There's potentially subtext about the responsibility that a publisher has in terms of putting out stories about sensational violence that parallels what some of the traditionally-minded writers of this event may have felt about doing a Maximum Carnage story. Of course the decision that an in-universe Daily Bugle might have made about such a topic is very different than what Marvel has decided, so such a theme, if any was intended, is dropped, but we do possibly see the sort of vestigial remains of it here.
Meanwhile, the fighting continues, and we learn that the guy that Shriek was talking about last issue was Cloak.
I said last issue that i think Shriek might have been created by Terry Kavanagh as a Cloak and Dagger villain while he was writing their series before it was cancelled. I don't have any behind-the-scenes support for that, but i think it's noteworthy that it's Kavanagh that is writing this chapter, and that we're learning that Shriek's backstory is tied to Cloak, and you can see that her powers have a unique effect when fighting Cloak. From her name it was obvious that she had sound powers, but the idea that her sounds would reverberate inside Cloak's dimensional pocket isn't as obvious, and we'll learn that her powers have a psychological aspect to them with an effect not too different than the effect of getting caught in Cloak's cloak. Being insane, she's also now immune to Cloak's power.
And she seemingly kills Dagger in this chapter.
As we'll see later, Shriek's powers also have a unique effect on Dagger. So there is a lot about her that makes her seem designed for Cloak and Dagger. I'm not saying it's impossible that the people writing a story called Maximum Carnage sat down to design a character and create a lot of story beats for Cloak and Dagger, but it seems more likely to me that Kavanagh had all these ideas waiting for a place to put them. Especially since it's not like Cloak gets a ton more panel time than any of the many other guest stars that will appear in this story (and Dagger is "dead").
Also during this fight, Spidey is wounded by Carnage.
It's actually a pretty awesome fight, with the good guys being hopelessly outmatched. But the fight is ruined when Carnage gets mad at Shriek for making the first kill (he weirdly talks about killing Spider-Man; it seems that he's upset that she and Doppelganger went after Spidey while he was at the Bugle) and the villains get to in-fighting.
As Shriek flees with Carnage and the Doppelganger in pursuit, we see the Demogoblin taking notice of them. We also see Venom in San Francisco learning about Carnage's rampage on television.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part two of Maximum Carnage. Part three is in Amazing Spider-Man #378.
Crossover: Maximum Carnage
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
I guess the one nice thing about Maximum Carnage is that there's plenty of action...mindless action but action.
Posted by: davidbanes | October 26, 2016 11:45 AM
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