Some background, courtesy of Kerry Wilkinson:
Back during the Secret Wars, Spider-Man got himself what he thought was a new costume. It turned out to be an alien symbiote that wanted to possess his body. Spidey rejected it, however and it was left holed up in a church tower.
Shortly afterwards, Eddie Brock, a journalist with the Daily Globe lost his job after his Sin-Eater identity story was proved to be fake by Spider-Man. Wanting to end it all, he first went via a church to say his last goodbyes. His hatred of Spider-Man was picked up by the symbiote however and the two bonded to form Venom - a crazed killer who wanted nothing more than to kill Spider-Man.
In their many battles, Spider-Man triumphed consistently - even though his Spider-Sense doesn't pick up on Venom's presence. One time when Brock was in prison, however, the symbiote gave birth to another version of itself. This new symbiote bonded with Cletus Kasady - Brock's psychotic cellmate - and together the two became another crazed killer, Carnage.
When Carnage first escaped, Spidey teamed up with Venom and the Fantastic Four to save the city and re-incarcerate Kasady. Since then, Venom has re-escaped too and, after Spidey helped save Brock's ex-wife, formed an understanding with Spider-Man that he won't cause anymore trouble and that the two of them will stay out of each other's way. Most recently of all, in one of the best Spider-Man books of all - Spectacular 200 - JM DeMatteis scripted the death of Harry Osborn. He had gone crazy as the Green Goblin, wanting to blow up most of the city's leaders. After MJ and little Norman entered the building he was fighting Spider-Man in, however, he came to his senses, even saving Peter from the explosion, before he died in front of them.
|Cover Art:||Tom Lyle|
|Reprinted In:||Maximum Carnage (TPB)|
At the Daily Bugle, Ben Urich and Jonah Jameson bemoan the fact that all they can do during Carnage's reign of terror is print what he's doing. Jonah retires to his office, only to find Spider-Man, Venom, the Black Cat, Cloak, and Firestar waiting for him. They've come to have Jonah help them set a trap for Carnage. Jonah complies, and soon Carnage sees an edition of the Daily Bugle with the headline, "Carnage Come Home!".
Meanwhile, May, Mary, and Richard Parker have gone to check on Mary Jane and Peter. Some street toughs try to keep them from going inside of the apartment building, but the toughs are quickly beaten by Flash Thompson and the Molten Man. Soon everyone is in Liz Allen's apartment, wondering where the Peter and Felicia Hardy are.
Carnage has taken the bait, and he and his crew are at Saint Estes Home for Boys. Carnage tells his "family" what occurred there during his childhood, and as the story draws to a close, the heroes arrive. Elsewhere, a friendly citizen tries to free Deathlok from the sign he's been trapped on. The citizen isn't making much progress, but soon Iron Fist arrives and carries Deathlok away.
Back at Saint Estes, the heroes are finally giving the villains what for. Firestar and the Sonic Gun alone do little damage against Carnage, but when combined, they prove to be quite potent. Morbius arrives to help the heroes, and soon the villains are trying to retreat. Venom is about to kill Cletus Kasady, when Spider-Man stops him and Shriek slices the killer's face, unleashing the Carnage symbiote once more, and the battle begins anew.
It's nice to see the heroes actually making progress against the villains in this storyline. Likewise, seeing how the supporting characters are handling the situation was good. My only real complaint about this issue is the fact the Daily Bugle sign, which Carnage wrecked into saying "Bug" is now fixed. The art, except for that small snafu, was pretty good as well.
I only one complaint about the issue, and seeing the heroes actually winning was a nice change of pace from previous chapters.