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Issue Details
Pages
40
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$4.99
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Quote1 Lady, I don't even know where I am or how I got here. Quote2
-- Special Agent John Jameson

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Misty Knight, a special agent of the FBI's Aberrant Crimes Division, drives down a deserted Colorado highway, narrating into a recorder that she has been dispatched to find her fellow special agent, John Jameson. Arriving at Jameson's last known location, the city of Doverton, she finds it in ruins and seemingly abandoned. Walking down the decimated streets, she sees a still-moving hand sticking out from under a collapsed billboard. Misty lifts it up with her cybernetic arm to see John Jameson, huddled in a ball, naked, and muttering "God is coming..." repeatedly. Misty snaps him out of his stupor and he reveals he doesn't remember what happened to him or even who he is. Passing him her coat, Misty fills him in on the general details of his life, that he's the son of media mogul J. Jonah Jameson, was formerly an astronaut, and can turn into an alien werewolf thanks to the mystical Godstone he found on the Moon. Due to his past experiences with the symbiote-enhanced serial killer Carnage, Jameson was sent to track him down and ended up in Doverton, which Carnage had conquered some time ago by bonding most of the inhabitants to offshoots of his symbiote; only being stopped by Spider-Man and a team of symbiote supersoldiers.

Jameson's memory is jogged, and he recalls that he had arrived in Doverton two days prior, meeting with ex-sheriff Eric Morrell, one of the few residents who resisted Carnage's takeover during his invasion. Morrell laments not having gotten hold of Spider-Man, but Jameson assures him that the organization he works for is perfectly capable of handling things. Jameson asks Morrell what's going on, and Morrell says that it started while he was out-of-town on a fishing trip, adding that he goes every year around the anniversary of Carnage's attack to take his mind off his daughter's murder. Morrell explains the loss of his daughter was what made him quit being sheriff, lamenting that if he hadn't been so caught up in grieving he would have been more prepared for what came next. Morrell leads Jameson to the cemetery, where countless graves have been exhumed with the corpses strewn about. Jameson wonders why anyone would do such a thing, and Morrell remarks that the victims all have one thing in common: they are all people who had been taken over by Carnage and either died that day or in the years since. Indicating the body of a man named George Miller, who had died of a heart attack one year prior, Morrell adds that all the exhumed bodies have another thing in common and tells Jameson to turn him over, revealing that Miller's spine was ripped out. Disgusted, Jameson asks Morrell if all the bodies were like this, and looks up to see him standing over the grave of his daughter. Morrell sadly remarks that he found her like the others, but couldn't stand seeing her mutilated and reburied her, adding that he and his ex-wife lost track of her and that Carnage killed her. Jameson promises to help Morrell find the people who did this to his daughter and bring them to justice.

In the present, Jameson picks out a tacky t-shirt and shorts from the ruins of a clothing store, Misty remarking on the pointlessness of paying for them when no-one's there. Jameson tells her that Morell had a hunch that the madness went beyond Doverton's human residents and shows her to Ralsby's private zoo, where all the animals have had their spines ripped out as well. Misty wonders what someone would want with a bunch of spinal columns; and Jameson remarks that the animals had been taken over by the Carnage symbiote as well, adding that there's more to the story.

Two days prior, Jameson and Morrell walk down the deserted street, the former wondering where everyone has disappeared to. Morrell remarks that ever since he returned from his fishing trip, most of Doverton's populace has been continuously attending a new religious order that took over the old Last Chance Church, the Church of the New Darkness, which he suspects is behind the mutilations. They are blocked by a bouncer who states that only members of the congregation are allowed in, and that if they take issue with that policy then they should speak to the Church's spokesperson, Miss Deel. Travelling to the Church of the New Darkness's main office, an ominous black cathedral, Jameson meets with Miss Deel, who remarks that she's a big fan of his father's work. Jameson asks to be let in, but Miss Deel coyly replies that only members are privy to the church's secrets. Pointing at some wall art and a desk ornament emblazoned with the church's emblem - a red spiral on a black background - Jameson asks what the symbol means; and Miss Deel candidly replies that the spiral is the mark of the Church of the New Darkness' god, Knull. Jameson remarks that ever since the Church of the New Darkness' arrival in Doverton strange occurrences have been going on, and Miss Deel indignantly asks if he would be making the same accusations if this were a Christian church or a Jewish synagogue, accusing him of being intolerant of other religions. Fed up, Jameson snaps that what he's intolerant of is some crazy doomsday cult going around ripping people's spines out, asking if she knows anything about that. Miss Deel tells him to leave, and Jameson retorts that he'll be back with a search warrant the next day. However, he is unable to get a call through to his superiors, and decides he'd stay the night at Eric's and come up with something in the morning. Jameson abruptly wakes up in the middle of the night sensing that something is terribly amiss and realizes that Eric is gone. Looking out the window at the Church of New Darkness, Jameson realizes Eric has been taken and sets out to rescue him.

Arriving at the Church of the New Darkness, Misty notes the doorway is blocked by rubble and asks if Jameson can turn into Man-Wolf to lend a hand, though he remarks that he can't control himself in his bestial form and might attack her. As Misty begrudgingly resumes heaving debris out of the door, Jameson tells her that his memories have fully returned. Resuming his narration, Jameson states that when he arrived at the church he could hear the congregation chanting "Forever together!," adding that nothing he's ever seen in his career -- even the most nightmarish of monsters and gods -- could have prepared him for what he found when he kicked the door open. Inside the church, Jameson sees Eric Morrell bound to a strange altar with a spiral carved into his chest, the citizens of Doverton dressed in hooded black-and-red cloaks with the same spiral painted in blood on their foreheads. On a raised platform, three robed figures stand before the back wall, one of whom removes her hood to reveal she is Miss Deel before letting her hair down to reveal her true identity - the supervillain and longtime associate of Carnage, Shriek. The tallest of the robed figures reveals himself as Carnage, covering Eric Morrell in his symbiote. Enraged, Jameson transforms into Man-Wolf, but the symbiote mass forming the robes of the surrounding cultists latches onto him and bonds to him as well.

In the present, Jameson states that he can still hear the cult's chant of "God is coming!" throbbing in his head, Misty asking if he wants to hang back as she finishes clearing the door of debris. Jameson tells her he just wants to get this over with, since by now they both know what they'll find inside. Inside the church, the citizens of Doverton sit on the pews with their backs torn open and their spines removed, their faces twisted into gristly smiles. Jameson notes that Eric isn't among the deceased, wondering what could have happened to him.

Elsewhere, Eric Morrell kneels and prays to Knull as the third robed figure -- revealed to be the Spider-Doppelganger -- approaches and rips out his spine. Removing his robe, Carnage accepts the "gift" and lets Doppelganger and Shriek in on a little secret: God isn't coming, he's already there. As Misty and Jameson drive away, the Grendel symbiote swirls into a spiral shape inside the latter's eyes; matching the spiral-shaped swath of destruction carved through Doverton.

Solicit Synopsis

• A new terror has risen on the fringes of the Marvel Universe, stirring in the depths of space.

• But evil is also rising on Earth, claiming one victim at a time in the name of the killer called CARNAGE!

Notes

  • The opening recap and Misty Knight state that the events of Carnage, U.S.A. happened months ago in-universe; but this is contradicted by Eric Morrell, who indicates that at least two years have passed when commenting on the anniversary of his daughter's death and the death of one of his neighbors.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Footnotes



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