In Doverton, Colorado, population 1,145, the townsfolk went about their lives. Little did they know but Cletus Kasady and the Carnage symbiote had made themselves at home in the meat packing plant. The supervisor found Kasady happily munching on raw meat before he changed himself into Carnage.
Police officer Eric came home screaming at his family to get away from the kitchen sink, telling them that “it comes through the sink!” Hannah told him that Cole was giving the baby a bath and after Eric ran to the bathroom, he found his kids enveloped by the alien parasite. At the U.S. Emergency Response Center, government officials discussed the situation in Doverton. Sheriff O’Neil has wandered into the neighboring town with Kasady’s list of demands carved into his body. Five hundred words were scratched into his body, rambling about the town being the official “Capital of a Sovereign Symbiotic State” and plans to take over the world. They already had a plan in motion.
Captain America arrived at an unknown location to find Spider-Man goofing around with Wolverine and Hawkeye, try to get Hawkeye to shoot an apple off of Logan’s head. He ordered them to stop messing around and informed them that Carnage was back and had taken over a town east of Denver. Spider-Man called The Thing, knowing he had a sonic gun laying around, despite Hawkeye’s annoyance. (He found Ben Grimm to be tired with the same old shtick.) Cap soon had them on their way.
In Doverton, Kasady was casually terrorizing the locals. He sat on a porch swing with an elderly couple, screaming that he was the only one pushing the thing. He had the old woman get lemonade and forced the man to sit in his own mess. Kasady noticed that the helicopters had disappeared and knew something bigger was coming.
In the Avengers plane, The Thing had the sonic gun ready and said was “clobberin time.” (Hawkeye tried to massage his headache away.) Cap landed the plane outside of town to avoid causing Carnage to begin killing civilians. The heroes walked into town, which was completely quiet and empty except for a nervous man muttering about “big smiles.” Other townspeople arrived, all muttering about big smiles. Cap asked a passing woman if she could say anything and she whispered for help.
Kasady appeared down the street, holding a baby, saying he had decided to settle down. Hawkeye wanted to take a shot but Cap had him stand down. Kasady said it was “his” baby and all of the others belonged to him. He and “the misses” wanted to expand their family and started by eating four thousand cattle. The now massive Carnage symbiote burst from the sewer underneath them, quickly bonding to them. Putting Spidey in a headlock, Carnage told him that bringing his friends had been a mistake. This was between the two of them.
At the Emergency Response Center, the technician said that Spider-Man’s signal was gone as were the others. Another goon said the president was freaking out and he needed to relax, because they had five contingencies ready. He looked at the computer screen showing Venom, Toxin, Hybrid, Scorn and Anti-Venom.
Keep in mind that this miniseries is a product of its time. The artist is Clayton Crain, who had a very realistic style that was often used in symbiote centric stories. He worked on Venom/Carnage, Carnage, Carnage USA, Minimum Carnage, and Superior Carnage. All of these were published between 2004 and 2014. The end scene where the government guy looks over the five “contingencies” was more exciting for readers at that time, as Hybrid was a character that hadn’t been seen since the 1990s. The story was blending old and new characters and ideas.
As for the story, there is some good and some worrying. I liked the quiet threat of Kasady sitting on the porch with Martha and her husband. Having one man hold a town in terror speaks volumes about the danger that Carnage poses to innocent people. I wish that we had seen more of that. That brings me to the worrying part. Symbiote stories tend to get…dumb. They aren’t meant to be high art but darn can they go over the top. We’ll see to what extent that happens here.
The Avengers didn’t last long. Looks like we’re doing another “mind controlled heroes/civilians” yarn. It was done in Maximum Carnage, Spider-Island, Ends of the Earth, and Devil’s Reign.
Decent start. Let’s see where it goes.