Appearing in "The Gathering Storm"
- New York State
Synopsis for "The Gathering Storm"
Maximum Carnage continues from Web of Spider-Man #102...
Spider-Man has brought Venom, the Black Cat, and Cloak to the St. Estes Home For Boys in Brooklyn. He explains to the others that since this is where Cletus Kasady grew up, perhaps visiting this place can give them some ideas as to how to stop him. However, seeing the words "Carnage Rules" written on the walls in dried blood, Spider-Man discovers that this only brings back the memories of the first time he fought Carnage.[Continuity 1] The wall-crawler fears that with the addition of Shriek, the Spider-Doppelganger, and Demogoblin, Carnage may be unstoppable. The Black Cat also points out that somehow the madness is starting to affect the people of New York as well, making them become violent. Venom suggests that although Carnage's symbiote has mutated, it may still have the same weaknesses that his does.[Continuity 2] He suggests that they get Reed Richard's sonic gun. The Black Cat thinks that this is a brilliant idea because symbiote is also vulnerable to fire, and they could also recruit the Human Torch. Spider-Man says this crisis has come at a bad time as both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers are out of town.[Continuity 3] However, he believes that Firestar of the New Warriors might be a decen substitute. Accepting this idea, Cloak tells the others that he will seek her out and teleports away. Witnessing this, Spider-Man is confused, as he believes that Cloak could only teleport with the help of his former partner, Dagger, which would be impossible now since Dagger is apparently dead.[Continuity 4]
This leaves Spider-Man, the Black Cat, and Venom to go for Richard's sonic gun.[Continuity 5] As Spider-Man swings across the city, he wishes he could call his wife Mary Jane, to check in on her.[Continuity 6] This is especially important since their marriage has been turbulent of late after Mary Jane asked him to give up being Spider-Man for a while, something he was unwilling to do once Carnage began his rampage.[Continuity 7] At that same moment, Morbius the Living Vampire has arrived at Ravencroft Institute. Ignoring his bloodlust, he has come seeking out information about Shriek. Inside the facility, he prints out her file and heads back for his hyperbaric chamber as the sun will soon begin to rise.[Continuity 8] Meanwhile, Carnage and his crew are trashing the New York City Museum of Metropolitan Art. Their rampage is interrupted by the NYPD's Extreme Emergency Team. However, the commotion has also attracted the ghoulish Carrion. Carnage is impressed when Carrion kills one of the officers with a single touch and invites him to join their group. As they slaughter the police officers, Shriek remembers that Carrion had apparently died in an explosion not too long ago.[Continuity 9] Carnage doesn't care how Carrion survived as long as he helps bring up their body count. While in Soho, Liz Osborn asks Mary Jane to join her for breakfast. However, Mary Jane refuses. Protecting herself with a knife, she is ready to face whatever madness may come knocking at her door, but despite this all Mary Jane wants is for her husband to come home.[Continuity 10]
At that moment, the cyborg known as Deathlok is collecting information from the Internet. The spike in crime throughout Manhattan has him concerned, and so he decides to find out who is responsible and stop them. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and his allies are making their way to the Four Freedoms Plaza. Although the building had recently been damaged in an explosion, he fears the security systems are going to be a problem.[Continuity 11] That's when he hears a scream from down on the street. Seeing a carjacking in progress, Spider-Man swings down and stop the thieves. He's surprised when the owner of the car tries to attack him, thinking that the wall-crawler intends to steal his car as well. This gives one of the carjackers a chance to try and shoot the hero in the back, but he is stopped by the Black Cat. She and Venom point out that Spider-Man is getting sloppy and soft-hearted, reminding him that the more they allow themselves to be distracted, the more people Carnage and his twisted "family" murder. As they continue on their trek, Spider-Man finds this growing mob mentality is frightening and wonders what the cause is. At that moment in Forest Hills, Richard Parker is escorting his sister-in-law to the bank so she can cach her social security check.[Continuity 12] May is upset with Richard, for the talk he had with Peter, about hitting back and never turning the other cheek.[Continuity 13] She is disappointed that Richard can no longer see the good in people anymore. Suddenly, they are confronted by a man who has bought into Carnage's nihilistic worldview and demands that May give him her purse. Quickly, Richard picks up a large board and hits the man over the head hard enough to knock the man out. Richard, feeling his point of view was just justified, asks May if she feels like giving this man a second chance. May finds himself speechless in the face of such hostility.
Back in Manhattan, Carnage and his crew are engaging in wholesale slaughter in the streets. Just as Carnage turns his attentions to a mother and her family, he is ambushed by Deathlok. Carrion swoops in and attempts to use his death touch on Deathlok, but it has no effect on his dead flesh. After taking down both Carrion and Demogoblin, Deathlok leaps up onto a electronic billboard to avoid Shriek's blasts. When the Spider-Doppelganger tries to attack him, he easily boots the monster away. Furious that someone harmed her "son", Shriek blasts Deathlok into the billboard. The sudden jolt of electricity incapacitates the cyborg, ending the conflict. Carnage gloats over Deathlok's defeat and then invites his "family" to gather around for some "fun". By this time, Spider-Man and his allies have broken into the Four Freedoms Plaza and fought their way past the security systems to get to Mister Fantastic's lab. There, they find the sonic gun. Venom insists on being the on in control of the weapon. The Black Cat thinks he is being paranoid thinking that everyone is out to get him, unaware of the fact that their intrusion has tripped an alarm and is transmitting information elsewhere.
While in Brooklyn, Spider-Man and the others return to St. Estes. Their return coincides with the return of Cloak who succeeded in recruiting Firestar from their cause. For the first time, Spider-Man feels confident that they can put a stop to Carnage. Figuring that with the technology and powers they have at their disposal, Carnage doesn't stand a chance. While he is saying this, Carnage and his "family" had just finished stringing up Deathlok to the billboard.
Maximum Carnage continues in Spider-Man #36...
- Carnage wrote his epitaph with his own blood in Amazing Spider-Man #361.
- It was revealed that the Carnage symbiote had bonded to Cletus Kasady's blood in Spider-Man Unlimited #1.
- At the time of this story, the Fantastic Four were on the moon fighting Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four #375, while the Avengers were in the middle of back-to-back battles with the Gatherers and the Kree from Avengers #360–366.
- Dagger was seemingly killed by Shriek in Web of Spider-Man #101. However, she will resurface alive and well in Spectacular Spider-Man #203.
- The original twin towers of the World Trade Center can be seen among the buildings in the New York City skyline. However, this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 as these buildings were destroyed in 2001 and have since been replaced by the Freedom Tower.
- Peter and Mary Jane are referred to as husband and wife here. However, years later, their marriage was erased from existence by Mephisto in Amazing Spider-Man #545. As such they should be considered a common-law couple here.
- Mary Jane asked Peter to take time off as Spider-Man at the funeral for Harry Osborn in Spider-Man Unlimited #1. At the time, Mary Jane was upset by the apparent death of Harry Osborn circa Spectacular Spider-Man #200. However, unknown to everyone at this time, Harry did not die and was secreted off to Europe by his father, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #581.
- The computer states that Shriek's real name is Sandra Deel. However, Amazing Spider-Man #391 reveals that her name is actually Frances Barrison. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #10 clarifies that Sandra Deel was an alias.
- Carrion was seemingly killed in an explosion circa Spectacular Spider-Man #163. Carrion was revealed to have survived in Spectacular Spider-Man #201.
- Mary Jane's face has cuts and bruises on it because she witnessed Carnage's massacre first hand in Web of Spider-Man #102.
- The upper levels of the Four Freedoms Plaza were destroyed in a bomb blast in Infinity War #2. It will ultimately get repaired in Fantastic Four #385.
- The man claiming to be Richard Parker is actually an impostor, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #388. The real Richard Parker was killed in action 20 years earlier as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5.
- Richard gave Peter this speech in Spectacular Spider-Man #201.