|Publication date||May – August 1993|
Cloak and Dagger
|Maximum Carnage||ISBN 0-7851-0987-0|
"Maximum Carnage" is a fourteen-part comic book crossover published in Marvel Comics' Spider-Man family of titles in 1993. It featured Spider-Man, Venom, and a host of other superheroes teaming up to face Venom's murderous offspring Carnage and his team of supervillains.
Since the alien symbiote he was bonded to was destroyed during his capture, Cletus Kasady is presumed powerless and jailed at Ravencroft Asylum. However, the symbiote mutated his blood prior to its destruction, enabling Kasady to generate a copy of the symbiote and break out. During his escape, Kasady - again calling himself Carnage - frees fellow inmate Shriek.
Over the course of their ensuing killing spree through New York City, they recruit Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion. Carnage dubs himself their "father", but in fact they all despise Carnage and stay with the group out of devotion to Shriek. As the death toll increases, Spider-Man, Venom, Captain America, Black Cat, Nightwatch, Cloak and Dagger, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Morbius and Firestar all join the cause of stopping them. However, the heroes are polarized between Venom's desire to stop Carnage at all costs and Spider-Man's refusal to allow his own hands to be bloodied, and Spider-Man ultimately abandons Venom to Carnage's mercies. In addition, Shriek uses her psychic powers to turn the populace of New York City into a bloodthirsty rabble, allowing the killers to continue their rampage with impunity.
However, Carnage finally turns on the rest of his gang, and in the ensuing battle, Shriek is distracted from using her psychic power. Taking advantage of the lull, the heroes acquire a device from Stark Industries which projects feelings of love and hope into the villains, overwhelming them. Carnage flees, faking his death by covering a victim in a mock symbiote costume, and the others are captured. Once the heroes are dispersed, Carnage ambushes Venom. However, the device has left Carnage frantic and confused, and Venom pounds him relentlessly before tackling him into an electrical generator. Carnage is knocked senseless and left to be incarcerated.
Part 1: Spider-Man Unlimited #1
Part 2: Web of Spider-Man #101
Part 3: The Amazing Spider-Man #378
Part 4: Spider-Man #35
Part 5: The Spectacular Spider-Man #201
Part 6: Web of Spider-Man #102
Part 7: The Amazing Spider-Man #379
Part 8: Spider-Man #36
Part 9: Spectacular Spider-Man #202
Part 10: Web of Spider-Man #103
Part 11: The Amazing Spider-Man #380
Part 12: Spider-Man #37
Part 13: The Spectacular Spider-Man #203
Part 14: Spider-Man Unlimited #2
In other media
- This storyline served as the basis for LJN's 1994 video game, Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage, which was released for the Genesis and the Super NES video game platforms.
- An action figure line was released by Toy Biz to capitalize on the crossover's success. The line featured Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage.
- During Halloween Horror Nights 12 at the Islands of Adventure, Marvel Superhero Island was converted into a scarezone based on the story arc, and a full haunted house called Maximum Carnage was created. In this version, Carnage has killed all of the Marvel Superheroes that came after him, resulting in criminal gangs running the streets. Certain items gave the island the appearance that famous superheroes fought (and lost) on the scenery, resulting in their death.