Why You Should Be Reading… Throwback… Marvel Comics’ Maximum Carnage….

Welcome back everyone for another week of Why You Should Be Reading…

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I decided to switch it up this week and write a throwback article about something classic I revisited… Maximum Carnage!


Truth be told, this all started with a retro night of Super Nintendo. I never actually beat the game Maximum Carnage, and thanks to ebay I was given another chance to finally do so. Spending hours re living my childhood years (still haven’t beaten that d**n game) it dawned on me this was indeed a comic series first. I also remembered I never really finished the comic series back in the 90’s, which promoted me to start a search effort to collect all the issues. It wasn’t until Seattle Comicon I found the series in its entirely, and in well enough condition to pay the asking price. After reading through every issue carefully, I noticed some of the panels were directly taken from the comic for the game, I also realized how awesome this series really was as a whole. With that being said I decided to take this week to bring us back to those 90’s I loved so, thus giving you all a little…..


We should all know the story of Peter Parker by now, saving New York all the while keeping the ones he loves happy and safe.The great thing about this series is, of course all of Peter’s notable issues come into play, continuing the epic story of Peter Parker Managing his responsibilities. However the villain work is what takes the cake as we follow along with a deranged psychopath named Cletus Kasaday, as he builds a family atmosphere around destruction and chaos. Now before we get into that, you must understand Kasady has already been defeated, and as the comic begins we find our crazy antagonist occupying a prison compound. Fully subdued and at the mercy of Prison guards, Kasaday seems in too cheerful a mood making his happiness extremely suspect. We see him taken to the on site doctor for tests to run and blood to be drawn, once the doctor finishes taking a sample of his blood, his symbiote costume seems to return from the puncture wound the syringe left in his skin. As we see Kasaday re united with his symbiote costume, it is explained somehow the parasite has bonded to its host’s DNA and has regenerated itself from Kasaday’s blood re creating CARNAGE.


“It Has Become A Living Part OF Me…. And We Were Merely Biding Our Time…” – Cletus Kasaday

Carnage is unleashed on the unsuspecting prison killing everyone he can get his hands on, he is building strength for his indefinite battle with Spiderman and Venom, claiming the practice is a necessary course of action. Without hesitation or remorse Kasaday continues to Hack and slash his way throughout the compound seemingly enjoying every second of the assault. Once he comes across a mind just as crazy as his the story takes a drastic turn. Shriek, who is being held in the prison has intrigued the murderous villain by egging him on through his path of bloodshed. Finally confident, Cletus confronts her busting her out in the process. They make an alliance, along with plans to reek terror on a much larger scale, and once they leave their former place of captivity, they acquire a “family” of sorts beginning their course of destruction. Carnage’s plan is simple, find Spiderman and Venom, before they find him and create as much chaos and destruction as possible…..


The series stretches for 14 issues and some of them came out pretty hefty, you will not feel as though you have a lack of content on your hands. The issues are physically thick but also rich and packed with story. Spiderman along with Venom, and a sprinkle of Marvel heroes must save the city along with the lives of many, and as the issues go through we see Peter trying to cope with facing his foes along with Marry Jane’s fear of losing him. He must also battle the dynamic which is working with Venom. They most definitely need each other if they hope to survive this situation, so putting aside their differences is a must. To top everything off there is another dynamic that shapes the unique nature of this series, shriek who has the power to control sonic waves, is using her power to transmit dangerous sonics vibes throughout the city, causing the residence of New York to turn on each other. This essentially makes the city itself a war zone, and destruction and chaos seems to be plaguing and devouring the city from the inside out. Our Heroes must ban together and stop the cancer from the source, and it all begins with Carnage….


Crossing over into 5 different Spiderman titles, Maximum Carnage’s initial release was in 93, following much deserved success, it was compiled and re released via trade. It is amazing the series holds up today, and subtracting the dated adds in the book you would swear this is a current Spiderman storyline. I love how each character plays a significant roll in the story, and we also get to dip into the much intriguing past of Cletus Kasaday, being the key to everything diving into his backstory is a must and makes the story much more compelling. Giving ua insight as to why he  is so obsessed with Chaos is a real treat and seeing somewhat of how this man ticks is quite entertaining. We explore notable locations such as Cletus’s boys home, as well as the grave site of his mother. The history of hatred between Venom and Carnage is also explored and much insight as to how they met and how Carnage was indeed created is also re visited and explained.

I loved everything about this series and I see why the game was so popular. They had a gem of a storyline to use as a guide and this also explains why the sequel to Maximum Carnage didn’t do so well for Snes, and a lack of storyline is a contributing factor. To say this a is a must read is an understatement especially if you are Carnage fan, and I say take the time to do so, I personally got through all issues in about 2 days because I was sucked into how this was going to end and how Peter would fair moving forward. Once finished I was felt heavily rewarded and I feel a sense of closer in a comic chapter of my life, now if I can only beat that D**n game that chapter that is Maximum Carnage can be fully closed, until its time to be revisited again….

– Grainbelt Jones

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