Comics : Web of Spider-Man #103

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This story is part of an Arc: "Maximum Carnage"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8 / Part 9 / Part 10 / Part 11 / Part 12 / Part 13 / Part 14

This story is part of a Lookback Series: Crossover Crisis!

This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Carnage has escaped from the Ravencroft institute with the ability to regenerate his symbiote from his mutated bloodstream. Along the way he has acquired several followers: Shriek, Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion II. They have begun a massive killing spree that has left New York in absolute terror. To make matters worse, Shriek has the ability to transfer her thoughts and emotions to anyone nearby, causing riots.

Spider-Man has recruited his own army to combat the chaos: Venom, Cloak and Dagger (whose was killed by Shriek), Firestar, Morbius, and the Black Cat. Their recent confrontation with Carnage and company left them badly beaten with Venom captured by his offspring. At this point Captain America finds them and offers his services.

In Detail...

"Sin City"
Web of Spider-Man #103
Aug 1993 : SMURF 379.575 : SM Title
Summary: Captain America, Deathlok, Iron Fist join
Arc: Part 10 of "Maximum Carnage"
Editor:  Rob Tokar
Writer:  Terry Kavanagh
Pencils:  Alex Saviuk
Inker:  Don Hudson
Cover Art:  Alex Saviuk
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 Reprinted In: Maximum Carnage (TPB)
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Carnage, Carrion II, Doppelganger, Shriek, Venom

Firestar and Spider-Man follow Captain America back to Avengers' mansion. In the monitor room, they watch all the available news footage of the destruction Carnage has made. Firestar is hovering in mid-air by using her powers and Spider-Man is adhering to the supplementary wall-mounted monitor equipment. As Cap studies the footage, Spider-Man and Firestar discuss their aborted decision to kill Carnage (Spectacular Spider-Man #202).

Cap notices that the situation monitors took a fraction of a second too long to disengage. This prompted him to run some diagnostics, which ultimately leads to the discovery of some hackers. Firestar gives the solution ".. a manual override security lock will effectively trap the signal link within the Avenger's file program". Then Spider-Man "... generates the proper counter-pulse" to track the source. They soon learn that Iron Fist and Deathlok are behind this. They explain that they're trying to stop Carnage's killing spree and wanted whatever information they had on them. Cap admires their determination and recruits them. Spidey recommends they regroup at 5 AM, since he wants to go home and check on Mary Jane.

In lower Manhattan, Cloak, Morbius, and Black Cat follow Carnage's trail of destruction. Felicia wants to stop and help the injured, but is reminded by Morbius that they can't stop for anything. At this point they are attacked by Carrion II, Demogoblin, and the Doppelganger.

Carnage and Shriek have taken Venom to the Statue of Liberty. They have chained him up and literally lit a fire beneath him to keep his symbiote at bay. Shriek adds to his pain by periodically subjecting him to her sonic blasts.

Soho: Liz Osborn, Normie, Molten Man, Aunt May, Richard Parker, Mary Parker, and Flash Thompson are staying together in Liz's apartment hoping to survive the chaos on the streets. Mary Jane is in her apartment waiting by the window for Peter to return. When he does return, he startles her without thinking. He gets chewed out for putting them both through the emotional wringer. Peter tells MJ that he loves her and they hug, but MJ is still peeved. Then a report comes on the radio describing a riot at a nearby police precinct in the wake of destruction.

We return to lower Manhattan where Black Cat, Morbius, and Cloak are not fairing well against their opponents. At one point, Carrion grabs Morbius by the throat. The vampire does not die, but is obviously in great agony from the decaying touch. Cloak separates them and protects the vampire while he recovers. At this point a new participant arrives. Protected by a cursed costume complete with a sentient cape, Spawn – oops, sorry – Nightwatch descends and saves Black Cat from Demogoblin and Doppelganger's dual assault. Morbius recovers and joins Cloak and Nightwatch in the fight. They are able to force the villains to retreat, but Morbius and Nightwatch follow them to the Statue of Liberty.

Cloak attends to the Black Cat's injuries and notices many physical similarities to Dagger. Once completed, Felicia informs Cloak she's going home to fully heal. He teleports to Holy Ghost for some reflection on his recent actions.

Spider-Man stops by the precinct and stops the riot. He then meets up with Cap, Firestar, Iron Fist, and Deathlok at Avengers' mansion. They then set out to put an end to this madness.

In General...

The sequence which depicts Iron Fist and Deathlok hacking into the Avengers' network made no sense. I'm not sure how long they were supposed to be standing there, or how familiar they are with the Avenger's hardware, but this comes across as completely implausible given the small window to do this.

One of my biggest pet peeves in any medium is when anyone – computer wizard or not – walks up to a computer and performs digital miracles in two keystrokes. I'll go along with Deathlok having the ability to break in to the system, but the rest is gibberish.

Overall Rating...

1 web. The only reason it gets 1 web is because the transition between the subplots was adequate and because of Saviuk's artwork. I had issues with the scene in the monitor room. Spider-Man is standing on the wall monitors and other cutting edge tech. Having a full grown man standing on a screen would – I'm thinking – break it. Firestar is shown flying around inside, which seems unnecessary. That aside, the remainder of his work was acceptable.

The script on the other hand was pitiful. A few good elements were introduced, but they could have been compressed into another issue. This issue shows the established scope of interests (Peter dividing his time between Spider-Man and his family, the heroes fighting the villains, Carnage and Venom) but it's all padding.

Footnote...

The captions indicate that in Amazing Spider-Man #379 Spider-Man, Black Cat, and Venom tripped an alarm in the Baxter Building when they "borrowed" Mr. Fantastic's sonic weapon. This is how Cap knew to look for them.

People claiming to be Peter's long dead parents made their first full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #365