Amazing Spider-Man #380, Spectacular Spider-Man #202-203, Spider-Man #37, and Web of Spider-Man #103 (July-August 1993)

This post covers the five issues featuring Captain America in the 14-part “Massive Carnage” event that ran through the Spider-Man titles from May through August 1993, with Spidey and his amazing friends fighting Carnage and his gang of Carnies. (Wait, no, that’s not right… or is it? We’ll see.)

Not only are Carnage and friends wreaking destructive havoc throughout New York City, they are also having an effect on the mood and emotions of its residents, not least of which Spider-Man himself, as we see in the two pages from Spectacular Spider-Man #202 below that introduce Captain America to the story.

This is the way,” indeed—a very inspiring entrance from our hero, extending a hand to a friend in need.

In Web of Spider-Man #103, Spidey and Firestar (literally one of his Amazing Friends) join Cap at Avengers Mansion to survey the damage…

…and after literally lifting the webcrawler up in the last issue, the lower-righthand corner of the double-page spread shows Cap having to settle down his excitement a little bit.

Cap is too busy with a technical issue with the computer equipment to hear Spidey and Firestar having a interesting discussion about killing, in which Angelica is conflicted over having resisted the urge to kill Carnage and realizing that this puts her friends in continued danger (a all-too-common situation that superheroes find themselves in).

I guess Spidey hasn’t met Deathlok yet? (Not that he remembers, at least: For example, he did meet a Deathlok in Marvel Team-Up #46, but Spidey didn’t retain any clear memories of that trip to the distant future of 1990.)

Spidey quickly forgets about Deathlok again, after (1) Captain America compliments him, and (2) they find the Iron Fist show on Netflix Disney Plus.

Deathlok and Iron Fist explain to Cap how they hacked into the Avengers computers, of which Cap disapproves (duh), but he still values their involvement in the larger fight, especially given the complete lack of other Avengers at the moment. (Well, Firestar will be an Avenger in a few years, at least.)

Maybe calling Carnage’s allies “Carnies” wasn’t that far off after all, given Deathlok’s comment below.

Cap talks Deathlok down off the vengeance cliff, and Danny affirms that protecting innocents comes first, as does the reliably late Spider-Man, who takes charge of this Kooky Quintet.

In Amazing Spider-Man #380, our heroes collaborate on an inspirational speech, taking turns to cheer on each other (and taking all the pressure off of Captain America for once).

Spidey takes Deathlok’s affirmation of their shared cause to reflect on one of his regular arguments with his wife Mary Jane—yes, I said “his wife,” don’t even start with me, Mephisto—about prioritizing his heroism above everything else in his life, which shows how much he values doing the right thing (like a certain other guy we know).

When the heroes find Shriek (Carnage’s “wife,” for lack of a better term), the source of the madness pervading New York City, she presses her luck…

…and practically invites Cap to introduce her to the mighty shield.

When Firestar compliments him, he deflects it to the entire team, as he does.

True to their words at the beginning of the issue, the heroes turn their attention to calming the crowds… but even their artificial rage can’t stand up to the sight of the Living Legend of World War II.

And after saving a mother from doing something she’d regret for the rest of her life, Spider-Man is reassured of his decision to to live his life authentically, recognizing that helping others defines who he is.

In Spider-Man #37, a TV news report shows our heroes posed like war heroes (with Cap even holding a rifle in the air).

And he is no mood to talk to reporters at this time, thank you very much…

…but still “recommends” that the new crew finds shelter.

Having been in this story before, Cap leads the others to Shriek, and when Deathlok dares complain even slightly, he gets an earful from the Sentinel of Liberty—which he takes to heart, much to his credit.

Note that this is not the same Deathlok whom Cap worked with in Captain America #286-288, hence the comment about being “new” to the “game.” (Lucky him that Cap didn’t jump down his throat for using the word “game.”)

Finally, in Spectacular Spider-Man #203, Shriek collapses after having her “polarity” reversed so she can spread good vibes instead of bad, allowing Cap to whistle the end of the game. (Oops… sorry, Cap. But it’s such a good word!)

But Carnage is dead*, which upsets Spidey no end, casting Cap in the real of realist for once, assuring Spidey that he didn’t cause Carnage’s death before making an awkward comparison between them.

* Surprise! Carnage is not dead, which is actually revealed before the end of the issue.


Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #202, July 1993: J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils and inks), Bob Sharen (colors), Joe Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Web of Spider-Man (vol. 1) #103, August 1993: Terry Kavanagh (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Bob Sharen (colors), Steve Dutro (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Amazing Spider-Man (vol. 1) #380, August 1993: David Michelinie (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Bob Sharen (colors), Rick Parker (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Spider-Man (vol. 1) #37, August 1993: J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Tom Lyle (pencils), Scott Hanna and Al Milgrom (inks), Kevin Tinsley and Ericka Morao (colors), Rick Parker and Joe Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

Spectacular Spider-Man (vol. 1) #203, August 1993: J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils and inks), Chris Matthys and Joe Andreani (colors), Joe Rosen (letters). (More details at Marvel Database.)

All collected in: Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage, The Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Maximum Carnage, and Carnage Epic Collection: Born in Blood.

ALSO THESE MONTHS: Captain America #417 (July 1993), Invaders #3-4 (July-August 1993), Infinity Crusade #2-3 (July-August 1993), Captain America #418 and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #15 (August 1993), and Secret Defenders #6 (August 1993)

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