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After his alien symbiote was seemingly destroyed by a sonic weapon, the serial killer Cletus Kasady was transferred to the newly opened Ravencroft Institute; unbeknownst to the doctors, however, the symbiote had merged with Kasady's blood. Kasady released it by cutting his wrists with his handcuffs, transforming into Carnage once more. After slaughtering most of the doctors, guards, and inmates, he freed fellow inmate Shriek (Frances Barrison). The two saw each other as "husband" and "wife", and soon added a "child" to their twisted family when they found Spider-Man's Infinity War-spawned Doppelganger. Alerted to the breakout, Spider-Man found Doppelganger and Shriek, who brutally beat him, shattering several ribs. Allying with the vigilantes Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen). Spider-Man tracked down the murderous trio, but Shriek's sonic blasts seemingly overloaded and killed Dagger, who was actually discorporated and sought shelter within Cloak's dark dimension, a devastated Cloak soon departed. While Carnage's family began cutting a bloody swatch through New York City, soon adding another "son" in the demonic Demogoblin, Spider-Man reluctantly teamed with the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) and Carnage's progenitor Venom (Eddie Brock), who had returned to New York from San Francisco upon hearing of Carnage's rampage, to hunt them down. When an explosion endangered the Cat, Spider-Man opted to save her rathen than pursue Carnage, alienating his allies.

While Venom and the Cat recruited the grief-stricken Cloak and the living vampire Michael Morbius, Shriek's empathic powers sparked a wave of rioting and looting across the city. Spider-Man, his outlook on humanity soured after a conversation with his "father" (actually a mechanical simulacrum), soon rejoined them, willing to be just as merciless as Venom. New York's other heroes began to take notice, including the cyborg Deathlok (Michael Collins), who Carnage crucified in Times Square until Iron Fist (Danny Rand) rescued him. The Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and most of the New Warriors were unavailable to help; knowing Carnage's weaknesses to heat and sound, the heroes located Firestar (Angelica Jones) and took a sonic gun from Four Freedoms Plaza. Tracking down the killers, now joined by a third "son", Carrion/Malcolm McBride, in Central Park, the massed heroes overwhelmed them, and Firestar had an opportunity to kill Carnage; at Spider-Man's urging, she relented, however, and the Carnage family pressed back, beating and capturing Venom.

While Carnage and Shriek tortured Venom in the Statue of Liberty, the heroes regrouped, adding Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Fist, and Deathlok to their ranks. Meanwhile, Carnage's "sons" ambushed Morbius, Cloak and the Cat; the shadowy Nightwatch (Kevin Trench) stopped Cat from being beaten to death. Nevertheless, her injuries were serious enough to take her out of the fight for a time. Venom tricked Carnage and escaped captivity, but had to tend to his injuries. Spider-Man and the other heroes attempted to quell the riots themselves, with limited success; even the serene Iron Fist nearly succumbed to mindless violence. While Shriek's powers sent waves of rioters after them, Carnage objected to her newfound independence and began striking her; Doppelganger leapt to her defense, but Carnage callously slew it. The heroes, now rejoined by a revitalized Dagger, unleashed the Deathlok-designed alpha magni-illuminizor on the villains. Magnifying the heroes' positive emotions, the device ended the riots, restored Carrion's humanity and weakened Shriek and Demogoblin. The resulting explosion seemingly killed Carnage, but he escaped, faking his death with a symbiote-disguised corpse. After a brief skirmish with Spider-Man and Venom, where Spider-Man once more tried to talk Venom out of killing Carnage, they and the Black Cat finally located him in a cemetery, attempting to exhume his mother's grave. After a pitched battle, Venom tackled Carnage into a generator. The flames incapacitated Carnage and gave Venom cover to slink away.



  • A video game based on the event was released for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis in 1994.
  • Maximum Carnage was morphed into a haunted house during Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear at Universal's Islands of Adventure in 2002, which has been designed to be a trip through Carnage's hideout which contained every single one of his henchman and the fate of various superheroes. The aforementioned maze was specifically located at Island Under Siege, the scare-zone version of Marvel Super Hero Island. The storyline has been altered, involving Carnage taking over the world after he has slain every superhero who came after him. The event's main icon, Dr. Albert Caine, better known by his alias, the Caretaker, chose Carnage based on his disregard for life and desire to seek total chaos.

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