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Appearing in "The Mortal Past"

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Synopsis for "The Mortal Past"

After his arrest at the end of the Maximum Carnage massacre, Cletus Kasady has been strapped in a containment unit to prevent himself from cutting himself and allowing himself to become Carnage again.[Continuity 1] as he is being transported to the Vault, one of the personnel takes the opportunity to mock the serial killer thinking there is no way that Cletus could get free. However, Kasady proves him wrong when he is able to bite down on his lip, causing it to bleed. In a matter of moment, the blood turns into a brand new symbiote allowing him to break free from his bonds. The Guardsmen on board the transport attempt to contain Carnage, but he easily slaughters them all. After killing the technician who was mocking him, Carnage attempts to escape. Unfortunately, the are a number of police officers as well as Spider-Man waiting for him outside. The wall-crawler is armed with a thermo-cannon which he has brought along just in case something like this happened. Unfortunately, before Spider-Man can use it, Carnage snares a number of the offers and threatens to kill them. When Spider-Man pauses to figure out what to do, Kasady destroys the thermal cannon, then kills the police officers. Angered by this senseless slaughter, Spider-Man throws a boulder at Carnage who appears to be seriously injured from the blow. Horrified by what he has done, Spider-Man rushes to Cletus' aid, falling into yet another trap. Carnage was playing possum and tries to impale the web-slinger. Spider-Man is able to dodge the blow, but Carnage punctures a nearby fuel truck causing an explosion. As Spider-Man leaps to safety, Carnage manages to slip into a squad car and escape. With injured officers on the scene, Spider-Man can only tag the fleeing police car with a spider-tracer so he can deal with the wounded.

Later, at a lumber mill in the Rocky Mountains Billy Bentine is working late. After all his co-workers have left, he pours himself a drink and contemplates what his co-workers will think the following morning. As he looks at the briefcase on his desk, his thoughts are interrupted by Carnage. Billy recognizes Cletus Kasady's voice because they used to be old friends. Cletus explains that he tracked Billy down because he was keeping track of his career, particularly since Bentine had invented a process that can double the material taken from trees to make building material. Carnage gloats that Billy will never live long enough to discover if his process changes the industry. Meanwhile, Spider-Man manages to track his spider-tracer but discovers that Carnage abandoned the squad car, leaving him with no clues on where the notorious killer had gone. Back at the lumber mill, Billy asks why Carnage has come to kill him since his killings have always been random. Kasady explains that the authorities would be expecting his usual modus operandi and decided to come after Billy for the simple fact that they are friends. Kasady reminds Billy of how they attended Camp Wak-Sa-Hatee when they were kids. One day, young Cletus set off firecrackers and smoke bombs in the girl's cabin and hid. Although Billy knew Cletus was hiding, when he was accused of the prank he took the blame. After the camp counselor left, Cletus asked Billy why he took the blame. Billy explained that he did it because they were friends, which was a surprise to Cletus because he never had a friend before.

Billy explains that he did that to be nice to Cletus all those years ago. This is all the justification that Kasady has to kill Billy because of his warped worldview. When Bentine reaches for his desk drawer making Carnage think that he is reaching for a weapon. He grabs the desk and tosses it out the nearby window. Billy explains that he wasn't reaching for a weapon, but for another bottle. This momentary misunderstanding tips Spider-Man off to Carnage's location as he passes by the lumbermill just as the desk goes crashing out the window. Back inside, Billy decides to confess his problems to Cletus, since he is not going to be living much longer. He explains that he had developed a gambling addiction and has been embezzling money from the lumber mill to feed his habit. Carnage finds this hilarious and considers Billy to be nothing more than a wimp. However, before he can slay his one-time friend, Spider-Man comes crashing into the room. The wall-crawler tells Billy to call the police and then begins fighting Carnage. Bentine finds himself conflicted between calling the police or taking the briefcase full of stolen money and run. As Spider-Man fights for his life, Billy almost makes a run for it until his conscience convinces him not to.

Before Carnage can kill Spider-Man, Billy interrupts them, offering his life to Cletus. However, he doesn't want Kasady to kill him as Carnage, but as his human self. Kasady is happy to oblige, willing his symbiote to assume the form of normal clothing. This was all a ploy to trick Cletus to making himself vulnerable. No sooner has he retracted his symbiote, Spider-Man knocks him out with a single punch. Soon, Carnage is locked up in the vault. Realizing that he has some serious problems to fix, Billy Bentine resigns from his job and seeks help for his gambling addiction.

Appearing in "Fatal Instinct"

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  • Vinnie (drug manufacturer) (Only appearance)[1]
  • Charlie (Drug manufacturer) (Only appearance)[1]

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Synopsis for "Fatal Instinct"

A drug refining plant in Brooklyn is attacked by Cloak and Dagger who have come to shut down the operation. As they clash with the drug dealers, Cloak becomes highly aggressive swallowing up the criminals in his darkness. When some of the others begin pulling out the heavy artillery, Cloak suddenly teleports them both away. Dagger is furious that Cloak did this because they had been staking out this operation for a long time and they will have to start all over again. Cloak apologizes because he wasn't thinking clearly. Pointing out that her partner has been making a lot of rash decisions like this lately, Dagger demands to know what's going on with Cloak. Cloak cannot bring himself to tell her that he is still processing her apparent death at the hands of Shriek.[Continuity2 1] Although she eventually returned to help defeat Shriek and Carnage, Cloak is afraid of losing her again.[Continuity2 2] However, he cannot tell her, so Dagger insists that they go back and finish busting up the operation before the drug dealers can escape.

This time, Cloak once more becomes afraid for Dagger's safety when some of the drugs dealers start shooting at her. He pulls her out of harm's way, even though she had the situation under control. The bullets instead head toward two innocent people walking down the street. Thankfully, Dagger manages to destroy the bullets with some of her light knives. When Dagger scolds Cloak for his actions he apologizes and teleports away. Returning to the Holy Ghost Church, Dagger finds Cloak there by himself. Getting him to talk, he admits why he was pulling Dagger out of harm's way as he blames himself for her "death" during the Maximum Carnage massacre. Dagger tells him it is not his fault, reminding him that she chose this life and that she accepts the risks as much as he does. He tells her that he has to accept this or their ability to trust each other will be lost.

Appearing in "Mr. Smith Goes to Town"

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  • Street Gang (Only appearance)[1]

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Synopsis for "Mr. Smith Goes to Town"

Joe Smith is making his daily commute to the James Coleman Memorial Institute for the Learning Impaired where he helps special needs children. He walks past some young men spray painting graffiti on the side of a building. Joe wonders why someone hasn't done anything to stop it but does nothing himself. When he arrives at the institute he discovers that someone robbed and vandalized the place. Everyone is safe, the police tells them that there isn't much they can do. One of the young children has faith that a hero like Spider-Man will catch the crooks responsible.

Returning home, Joe thinks about how he once met Spider-Man. It was when he briefly gained powers and went on a rampage.[Continuity3 1] Years later, when his disabled son, Joe Jr., died, his powers resurfaced and he went on a rampage again. That time, he was stopped by Captain America.[Continuity3 2] When Joe went to trial, the judge was sympathetic to him for his recent loss and Joe was released on time served plus community service. That's when he started working at the institute and found his true calling.

Wanting to do something, Joe goes into his closet and pulls out his old costume. Putting it on, he goes and confronts the street gang and tells them to leave the neighborhood. Unfortunately for Joe, he doesn't have his enhanced strength this time, and the gang gains the upper hand. However, before he can get hurt, some of the people in the neighborhood have come to help fight on his side. Outnumbered, the gang flees, and Joe is no worse for wear. In the aftermath of this moment of heroism, Joe realizes that one doesn't have to be a superhero in order to do the right thing.

Appearing in "No Son of Mine"

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  • Joey (barfly) (Only appearance)[1]
  • Sid (bartender) (Only appearance)[1]

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  • Alexa's Locket

Synopsis for "No Son of Mine"

Aleksei Sytsevich walks his grand mother and niece to the housing project where they live. When they arrive they discover that someone broke in. Seeing this, Aleksei is mortified because he did not get his mother and niece to America for this to happen to them. As they go through the damage, Alexa discovers that the locket her mother gave her has been stolen. She bursts into tears, but Aleksei promises her that he will get the locket back for her no matter what.

Changing into the Rhino, Sytsevich goes to a local bar and begins roughing people up for answers. Threatened with violence, the bartender tells him that the man responsible is a crook named Sammy the Looper and that he regularly hangs out at Neon Joe's Pool Hall. The Rhino goes crashing through the establishment and finds Sammy the Looper and demands that he give back the locket or he will get his head crushed. Later, Aleksei returns with the locket, much to Alexa's delight.

That's when Aleksei shows his mother the money he got from Sammy in restitution for the robbery. She is mortified that her son would steal for them, even if the money will help the rest of the family immigrate to America. He then kicks him out of her home, telling him that as long as he steals, she has no son.

Notes

Continuity Notes

The Mortal Past:

  1. Maximum Carnage
    Spider-Man Unlimited # 1 Web of Spider-Man # 101 Amazing Spider-Man # 378 Spider-Man # 35 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 201 Web of Spider-Man # 102 Amazing Spider-Man # 379
    Spider-Man # 36 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 202 Web of Spider-Man # 103 Amazing Spider-Man # 380 Spider-Man # 37 The Spectacular Spider-Man # 203 Spider-Man Unlimited # 2

Fatal Instinct:

  1. Dagger was seemingly slain by Shriek in Web of Spider-Man #101.
  2. Dagger turned up alive and well in Spider-Man #37.

Mr. Smith Goes to Town:

  1. Joe Smith's encounter with Spider-Man occurred in Amazing Spider-Man #38.
  2. Joe's clash with Captain America happened in Captain America #246.

Chronology Notes

A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:

Publication Notes

  • In this issue there is also a floorplan to Peter and Mary Jane Parker's new Brownstone home.
  • Issue also contains a sketch of the new younger Vulture, drawn by Mark Bagley.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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