Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #379

 Posted: 2006
 Staff: Kerry Wilkinson (E-Mail)


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.

Story 'The Gathering Storm'

Spider-Man, Venom, Cloak, and the Black Cat are standing in Saint Estes Home for Boys, where Cletus Kasady was raised. Spider-Man thought the location might give them some clues as to where Carnage might be headed, but it does not. Instead, the heroes decide to obtain Reed Richard's Sonic Gun and Firestar. If they get Iceman, as well, it can be a reunion of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Anyway, the heroes set off to obtain Firestar and the Sonic Gun.

At Ravencroft, Morbius is looking for information on Shriek. The woman herself is at the museum with Carnage and his little crew of killers. Instead of killing people, they're merely causing some property damage. The NYPD's Extreme Emergency Team comes to put a stop to their ruckus, but Carrion comes as well to participate in Carnage's bloodfest. He kills one of the officers, and the rest of Carnage's team make short work of the others.

Elsewhere, Mary Jane has barricaded herself in her apartment and the cyborg known as Deathlok is alerted to the mass murder taking place in New York City. Speaking of New York City, Spider-Man's team are on their way to Four Freedoms Plaza. They stop off to stop a carjacking, and Spider-Man wonders whether or not something bigger is making the average person become a psychopath.

May and Richard Parker are on their way home from depositing May's social security check, when a man attempt to steal May's purse. Richard knocks him out, leaving May quite shocked. Downtown, Carnage's crew is doing what they do best. They meet some opposition in the form of Deathlok, though this opposition is short-lived as the villains quickly take the cyborg down. At Four Freedoms Plaza, Spider-Man and his team have obtained the Sonic Gun and Firestar. Now, they're ready to take down Carnage!

General Comments

Finally, an issue that was at least average. The sequence at Four Freedoms Plaza was cutely written, as well. It also was nice to see that someone realized that Morbius, as a former scientist, might still try to stay on top of technology. The only real qualm I have is Carnage and his team wrecking a museum. One could argue that they were trying to lure people there, however, so I'll let this slide. The art was also quite good.

Overall Rating

I have no real complaints about this issue. Finally, another solid issue in the storyline.

 Posted: 2006
 Staff: Kerry Wilkinson (E-Mail)