Amazing Spider-Girl #2: Comes the Carnage |
by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz (Marvel Comics, 2007)
In the alternate-future timeline of The Amazing Spider-Girl, Peter and Mary Jane Parker not only have a teenage daughter, the titular May, but also a bouncing baby boy named Ben. If you don't like to see youngsters terrorized, don't read this book.
Carnage is a spin-off of Venom, the alien symbiote that, in the original Spider-Man series, bonded with Peter Parker while disguised as a black bodysuit, then hooked up with someone else once Peter rejected it, beefed up and tried to kill Spider-Man at every turn. But, while Venom is insane and evil, Carnage is even moreso -- in a crazy, mass-murderer kind of way.
Of course, given the teen audience that dominates the readership of this book, Carnage couldn't really be set loose to slaughter at will. So instead it's a piece of Carnage, and his temporary human host asserts enough influence over the beast to prevent any actual killing. Whew!! But that doesn't mean Carnage doesn't have a hoot of a time with little Benjy, so be prepared for plenty of scenes with a screaming, crying child.
This book also has a few major weaknesses, not the least of which is Li'l Carnage, which was a bad idea all around. But for me, the worst moment was when Peter -- after being beaten, kidnapped and tortured -- exerts superhuman strength to break his bonds ... so he can hurry home and make a few phone calls. Huh? This guy was a big hero back in the day, right? One might think having both a son and daughter in jeopardy from a (supposedly) homicidal foe might cause him to don the old costume and attempt a rescue or something.
Still, Amazing Spider-Girl remains a strong book for its target audience, and the character has plenty of room to grow.
29 August 2009
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