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Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage

(Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #378-380)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,369 ratings  ·  105 reviews
The perennial fan-favorite collection, back in print! Carnage, the spawn of Venom, has assembled an army of Spider-Man's criminally insane adversaries to spread his message of hostility, chaos and wholesale slaughter: Carrion, Demogoblin, Shriek and the Spider-Man Doppelganger! Outmanned and overpowered, the wall-crawler must recruit his own band of super-beings to combat ...more
Paperback, Trade, 336 pages
Published December 13th 2006 by Marvel (first published 1994)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,369 ratings  ·  105 reviews

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Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my faverite Spider-Man story arcs. It action packed from beginning to end and securely places Spider-Man as one of the big heroes in the Marvel universe. WHERE HE SHOULD BE!!!

As good as the action is there is also a good storyline between Mary Jane Parker and Peter. How he balances his life as Spider-Man and his personal life has to take a back seat in this time of crisis. I think there is a very powerful part in the of the book where Peter is out being the hero, but MJ is home wo
Gianfranco Mancini

Classic cheesy 90s crossover with Spidey, Venom, Black Cat, Morbius, Cloak & Dagger, Firestar, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Captain America and Spawn... Nightwatch vs Carnage, Shriek, Demogoblin, Spidey's Doppleganger and Carrion.

Spawn... that's you?

Maybe not best Spider-Man's story ever but I had a lot of fun re-reading it after years... it was like watching a WWE Royal Rumble event on tv while drinking a cold beer.

Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm treating myself to a little Carnage. I kept seeing it around in bookstores back in the day and more recently here on GR and I even though I was insanely curious, I can't believe I never got around to it.

The good: Most of it! I really enjoyed how bats**t insane Carnage is and how he polarized past villains into helping out as heroes to stop the pure chaos he represented... or gathering them together to get the blood flowing. And it was pretty over-the-top. Shriek pulled in the insane from Car
Chris Gordon
I'm giving Maximum Carnage five stars not for the same reasons I gave Kraven's Last Hunt or Death of Jean DeWolff five stars, since those two stories were better written and more nuanced than Maximum Carnage. Rather, this graphic novel deserves five stars for being one of the most fun and exciting stories in Spider-Man's catalog. And as an added bonus, Venom makes one of his greatest appearance across all mediums; he plays bad-cop to Spider-Man's much maligned good-cop, and I often found myself ...more
L. McCoy
So this is the classic Carnage everyone seems to rave about, huh? It’s alright.

What’s it about?
Carnage breaks out of jail and he’s ready to fuck shit up! He teams up with some other villains to cause absolute mayhem and well... carnage. Spider-Man can’t just let this happen so he teams up with some other heroes and even some... not so heroic characters to stop these villains.

The story is interesting. Not necessarily anything particularly deep but a fun superhero adventure for sure.
The art i
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spider-Man fans and Comic-Book Crossover fans
This series is the equivalent of a youngster gathering all of his action figures together and making up a story while he's banging them all together. "Maximum Carnage" isn't bad by any means but suffers from a number of problems that continually plague crossover events such as this. The series is significantly padded, as evident by the first seven issues barely moving the plot forward. It's almost as if the series was proposed and then the head honcho said I need you to make it twice as long. Th ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Masochistically read as part of my exhaustive prep for Absolute Carnage.

wow did I miss a lot when I stopped reading comics for all the 90’s!

They start it off in the most completely unsubtlest of 90’s ways - Kasady proclaiming, “I am the ultimate insanity! I am CARNAGE!” (complete with blood-soaked lettering).

Peter Parker’s parents? Total big hair and mullets on the females? MJ smoking? A six-armed Spider-monster just aimlessly swinging across the city, like no one’s trying to eradicate it? Harr
One of my all-time favorites, along with the Infinity Gauntlet, ranks among the best of the 90s.
Ann D-Vine
Jun 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
"If the Dalek gets out, it'll murder every living creature. That's all it needs."
"But why would it do that?"
"Because it honestly believes they should die."

There's a Doctor Who episode from the first series of the 2005 relaunch - back when Christopher Eccleston had his big shot as the Doctor - called "Dalek". In it, they find a single Dalek; they were popular Doctor Who foes, introduced in the 60s. Without any orders - a soldier without command - the Dalek reverts to a prime directive (or previou
Rhino's Den
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: my-collection
Let’s get something out of the way before we dive too deeply into this massive story: How many of you out there heard the music from the video game adaptation of this story in your heads while reading this book? I swear, as soon as I got to the first panel of Cletus Kasaday being wheeled through a prison Hannibal Lector-style I was hearing those Green Jelly sound bites like my old SNES was right next to me. Don’t worry though; you’re only in real trouble when you see the images on the page move ...more
Judah Radd
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: marvel-comics
What to say.


So... listen. You have to really like cornball Marvel shit to like this.

Here are some excerpts;

Black Cat: “It aint over till the cat lady springs!”

Carnage: “You know what they say... no pain, no reign... of terror, that is”


The story is fast paced and fun. The combat is constant. The emotional beats are sometimes powerful, and sometimes they fall very, very flat.

The end is a little too koombiyah for my tastes. Seriously... it’s one of those “the greatest power is love” kin
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was ten when the Maximum Carnage story arc began. It was also first story arc I was ever introduced in the world of graphic novels - ahem! comic books. (The second taking place a few years after with the Age of Apocalypse.)

Looking at it now, I can remember what I loved about the arc. However, it's not the same feeling I got when I was ten - go figure. It seems that the story gets too wordy - for instance, Spider-Man's internal monologue gives us the information rather than letting us come up
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of Marvel's best crossovers. As far as the saturated market of morally compromised heroes goes (Batman's relationship with The Joker, for example), this is my favorite. I did not realize Spider-man ever got so dark.
And the first 9-10 issues are bleak. Hope doesn't enter until later, and it comes from a point of relationality, and not within Spidey.
Great meditation on moral ambiguity, apathy, hate, and love.
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage Review:

Maximum Carnage is a Spider-Man event back in the 90's. It is a 14 issue across different Spider-Man titles. The plot is very simple as Spider-Man and some D-list heroes battles Carnage and other D-list villains across Manhattan. It is an event that is purely nostalgia imo, but I didn't read as a kid so I have no connection to it.

Although, I've always wanted to read it and now I do and it's not good. I think that this one felt way too long. This could have bee
James Bowman
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The introduction explains the idea of this crossover - contrasting the crazy baddies (likely including characters like Venom) with the idealistic heroes, and showing that the latter were in the right. (To be honest, I don't think they completely succeed in making that point, but it helps to know that they had a plan.) Otherwise, this comes off as a mostly random grouping of Spider-Man villains (and new villain Shriek) repeatedly fighting a mostly random grouping of street-level heroes and antihe ...more
Prateek Kouloorkar
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: marvel
This is a lengthy one with 1 dimensional plot,an all star marvel packed in it with spider-man and venom in center of the heroes.

From the beginning to the end its just fight and fight,could have summed up the whole thing in less than half of the plot.

Spider-man is a wuss and cant decide anything at all,the purpose of spider-man is unclear with venom being the standout and this fails to show the real ferocity of carnage and what he is capable of,this might be good for some but lot of the heroes ha
Nathaniel Tortorelli
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one has not aged very well. I'm confident that had I read these issues when I was a kid and just getting into comics, I would have loved this. But reading this as an adult? I can't stand the dialogue at all. 90% is the character's telegraphing what they're doing (think how Naruto characters shout their move as they're doing it) or their current situation. I'm fully capable of comprehending the situation and what's going on in the panels; I don't need a character explaining it to me.

I guess
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Collects The Amazing Spider-Man issues #378-380, Spectacular Spider-Man issues #201-203, Spider-Man issues #35-37, Spider-Man Unlimited issues #1-2, Web of Spider-Man issues #101-103

This is a classic Spider-Man story, but it really doesn't hold up very well. Carnage is a formidable opponent, but this story is spinning its wheels nonstop. In this story, Carnage forms a team of villains, so Spider-Man and Venom form a team of heroes to combat the bad guys. There are tons of Marvel cameos in this c
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
An action packed crossover that could have probably been cut down to 7 parts instead of 14. It really did a good job of showing what place characters like Spider-man and Captain America had in the 90’s when a lot of comics were filled with violent Xtreme anti-heroes. However, a lot of it was just seeing the same fights over and over. It was fun to see random characters pop up in this crossover, though (Iron Fist!), and the villains did feel like a genuine threat to add stakes to the story. Mark ...more
Krishnan Nair
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was torn between giving this 2 or 3 stars. This has a decent premise, but the execution is kind of cheesy.

The age-old dilemma that superheroes face regarding killing super-villains is used in a large way here. But there isn't really anything new that it says regarding this. Also, you would think that the US government would give a lot of super-villains lethal injections in the comic book universe.

The good vs evil team up and fights were decent, but a bit repetitive. Thankfully, the story has c
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Dang! What a knock-down-drag-out this one was! Spidey is in over his head fighting Venom, but what happens when a psychopath inherits the symbiote? Carnage is impossible to beat and because of that, Spider-man has to make some alliances, some of them the most unlikely, but under the circumstance, necessary. I remember playing this game back in the 90's and now I think it warrants a revisit. I am so glad to be reading the symbiote comic arcs, they are the best!
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I came because I heard this was about Venom, but dang was this mostly about Peter having an existential crisis. I hadn't realized quite how predictable him and MJ's breakups over the Spidey thing were until I read this and spent most of my time wondering when we'd get back to the Venom and Carnage show already.

Cloak and Dagger were a nice surprise, though. Glad at least Cloak got something of an arc. Also I got to watch Black Cat's slowly disappearing outfit, which was... something.
Jan Geerling
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not the deepest of Spider-Man stories, but it has many elements that make him a great character. His ability to stay true to his moral compas and always find hope during the darkest of times was/is an inspiration. And the storyline is also a childhood memory. Many seem to hate 90's comics. I don't. A not even feeling guilty about it pleasure.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Triple threat

So I don't get to read too many series of comics from start to finish of these days. This particular one for me was very refreshing as I have always been a Spiderman fan. I felt it was well developed and put together. Any fan of these characters should give this one a read.
Eldon Farrell
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
For me, Spider-Man (hyphen optional) is always about nostalgia. I read A LOT of Spider-Man as a child and I love going back to the stories I remember and enjoying them again. This one, however does not represent the best of what Spidey can be. It started out great, but once it tried to tie everything together near the end, suffice it to say, it lost the thread somewhere along the way.
Mike Keskeys
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I remember when this event, Maximum Carnage, first came out in the summer of 1993, I was 13 and just getting deep into Marvel, and I loved it. Re-reading it again now 26 years later it doesn’t hold up as well, but it’s still a fun Spider-Man and Venom story.

The art is disjointed at times as it’s handled by a few different artists, some better than others.
Charlie Eskew
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Still a MAXIMUM JOY RIDE. But yeah, this comic was one that really cemented me into comic book geekdom when I was young so I was a bit leery to dive back in, but even without the nostalgia goggles (granted, they popped up every now and again) I had fun with the camp, and adventure throughout. Will definitely be revisiting again.
Tony Hactavish
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
it's actually great, reading through chapter to chapter is interesting but it's really disappointing the way the heroes took down Carnage gang at chapter 13, i was "no way.. that's it?". I was expecting something more to take down Carnage gang but at least the final chapter is cool. still highly recommended for Spider-man and Venom or Carnage fans.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The arc contains some of my favorite art. Old school Mark Bagley. The storyline is a little messy, but Carnage is awesome here, and the writer really does a great job of showing off just how dangerous he is. So many great action panels in this series. Many of them I used to copy from when I was learning to draw.
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Tom DeFalco is an American comics writer and editor, well-known for his association with Marvel Comics and Spider-Man.

Other books in the series

Amazing Spider-Man (1963) (1 - 10 of 463 books)
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