After stopping what he thought was a scientist being mugged down an alley, Spider-Man is forced to stop one of his most deadly foes from destroying his city and unleashing a new danger on the world.
Before I get too far, consider this your ***Official Spoiler Warning***
1st and foremost, look at that damn cover, man.
That’s a thing of beauty!
But getting into it, I gotta say, on paper this novel has all of the ingredients of a perfect Spider-Man story.
You have your villain storyline, you have your personal dilemma story, and you have a storyline of Jonah being a bombastic skin flint and looking for publicity and attention.
What could go wrong?
Well, to be honest, not much.
Early on I had an issue with how much they beat the drum about Cletus Kasady/Carnage being such a crazy and dangerous killer.
Over and over to the point that I literally said out loud “for fuck sake, I get it! He’s an evil asshole!”, and that sort of continues through the rest of book.
It’s annoying for sure, but I guess it’s there to remind you why he keeps doing the purely evil and chaotic crap he does.
Moving onto the good stuff, Pete mistaking 2 Federal Agents trying to stop a Scientist who broke out of a research lab with a fluid that causes homicidal rage in people with just a drop for muggers is perfectly Spider-Man.
That Scientist, while trying to destroy that same liquid, breaks into an abandoned school where the government is trying to separate Kasady from the Carnage symbiote and unwittingly helps Carnage escape from custody and is tortured until he gives up the serum and the secret behind it.
Which gives Pete/Spidey his mission, and the main reason why he isn’t able to help Aunt May keep her house, our personal story thread.
The blend of storylines is damn good here, woven so well.
JJJ is holding an event in Central Park for the homeless that is little more than a publicity stunt for the rich folks of NYC to get some good press.
And Spider-Man and Carnage’s final battle takes place there, after Carnage murders a pre-event party.
The battle scenes are wonderfully written and easy to visualize.
I always wonder when reading a novel with two authors who wrote what, but in this case I really don’t care because it was all just fun.
Some of the 20 illustrations are a bit wonky, but I think that may be the fault of the inker and not the artist because it’s mostly to do with awkward shading.
The final little bit I want to mention is the ending.
Without spoiling it, it is pretty damn uplifting and heartwarming.
While Spidey is fighting Carnage, getting his ass kicked for the most part, MJ ends up helping out in a big bad way.
Pete, having defeated Carnage, but still beaten and dejected, gets home to a surprise and she tells him that on some level she understands what he does when he’s suited up.
It’s a great way to end after the craziness of everything else.
This is among the 1st of these Marvel novels from the 90’s that I’ve actually read, and now I’m excited to read the other 11 I have and track down and read all of the rest.
I highly recommend you all check this out.
Hopefully I’ll be getting to the sequel, Spider-Man: Goblin’s Revenge, sooner rather than later.