Some background, courtesy of Kerry Wilkinson:
Back during the Secret Wars, Spider-Man got himself what he thought was a new costume. It turned out to be an alien symbiote that wanted to possess his body. Spidey rejected it, however and it was left holed up in a church tower.
Shortly afterwards, Eddie Brock, a journalist with the Daily Globe lost his job after his Sin-Eater identity story was proved to be fake by Spider-Man. Wanting to end it all, he first went via a church to say his last goodbyes. His hatred of Spider-Man was picked up by the symbiote however and the two bonded to form Venom - a crazed killer who wanted nothing more than to kill Spider-Man.
In their many battles, Spider-Man triumphed consistently - even though his Spider-Sense doesn't pick up on Venom's presence. One time when Brock was in prison, however, the symbiote gave birth to another version of itself. This new symbiote bonded with Cletus Kasady - Brock's psychotic cellmate - and together the two became another crazed killer, Carnage.
When Carnage first escaped, Spidey teamed up with Venom and the Fantastic Four to save the city and re-incarcerate Kasady. Since then, Venom has re-escaped too and, after Spidey helped save Brock's ex-wife, formed an understanding with Spider-Man that he won't cause anymore trouble and that the two of them will stay out of each other's way. Most recently of all, in one of the best Spider-Man books of all - Spectacular 200 - JM DeMatteis scripted the death of Harry Osborn. He had gone crazy as the Green Goblin, wanting to blow up most of the city's leaders. After MJ and little Norman entered the building he was fighting Spider-Man in, however, he came to his senses, even saving Peter from the explosion, before he died in front of them.
|Cover Art:||Alex Saviuk|
|Reprinted In:||Maximum Carnage (TPB)|
This issue opens with Venom, the Black Cat, and Cloak recruiting Morbius for their team. It quickly shifts to Peter Parker bemoaning the fact that his ribs are cracked and his wife is nowhere to be found. Little does he know that she's at an inexplicably open dance club downtown. However, the dance club seems to be a popular spot, as Carnage and his cronies want to kill some time- and people- there.
Spider-Man, meanwhile, is doing the best he can to help people who have become victims of the deranged mob running the streets of New York. Venom and his vigilantes are also on the prowl, and soon Morbius senses freshly-spilled blood at the dance club. The quartet quickly makes their way there, and soon the respective teams of Venom and Carnage start battling. After Venom saves Mary Jane from Carnage, the twisted killer (Carnage, not Venom) bites a camera revealing their location to Spider-Man.
Soon, Spider-Man is at the Deep to hopefully turn the tide of battle. The heroes make a little leeway, but not enough to make it a terrible success. As the villains retreat, the heroes are about to follow when Spider-Man spots Mary Jane cowering in fear. After rescuing his wife from falling debris, Spider-Man insists that his unlikely allies need to help him save the others trapped under the debris. After all the remaining civilians are safe, Venom and Spider-Man's team set off after Carnage.
Pretty much another issue-long battle. Several of the villains were talking like something out a Shakespeare novel, except the one who really should be doing so. Also, shouldn't there be some sort of lockdown seeing as how a cadre of costumed killers is continually creating carnage? Why would the night club even be open? Except for a few places, the art was mediocre
While this issue was less than stellar, it did introduce Morbius to the plot. For some reason, I like Morbius. However, the Living Vampire's presence isn't enough to bring this issue up. Starting from three webs, it loses half a web for the art, and a full web for making Carnage say "Your pathetic arrogance, fools!"