AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #361-363 (1992): Carnage “dies”

Depending on your perspective, and probably on when you were born, this story represents the beginning, the end, or the beginning of the end of good Marvel comics.

I’m more on the “end” side of things.

Last issue, we saw Carnage take over Cletus Kasaday. Now, he’s out of jail.

And he’s going after the cops who put Kasady behind bars.

He meets up with Spider-Man, who isn’t ready for his next-level of brutality. So, Peter decides he needs to partner up with Venom.

He and Human Torch go to the island where Venom is hiding out, fight him…

…and then convince him to hep, and return to fight Carnage.

(Why doesn’t the FF–or at least Johnny Storm–help? I dunno.)

And so began the 1990s symbiote craze.


Also, and so began the rehabilitation of Venom who, beginning soon after this story, would get a bunch of miniseries where he was recast as the hero.

The rest of the story beats are as follows: Carnage emerges and kidnaps J. Jonah Jameson.  His coworkers seem awfully anxious to write an obit.

JJJ gets rescued by the newest dynamic duo. 

Some of the hunt to find him is pretty funny.

Venom then turns on Spider-Man, who had told Venom he’d leave him be if he helped with Carnage.

Human Torch comes back, this time with Reed Richards alongside him, and a sonic gun.  Fight.  They take down Venom and shoot Carnage, seemingly killing him.

JJJ gives a guilt trip to Spider-Man for lying to Venom.

Seriously? JJJ is such a jerk.

In the last panels we see Peter Parker’s parents getting off a flight at JFK airport. That’s not good. And I mean that in a qualitative sense–not in the sense that something bad is about to happen storywise. Although it is bad. Peter’s parents is a bad story.

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