Captain America Rescues Spider-Man's Ideals During Maximum Carnage

In "To Quote a Phrase," I spotlight memorable quotes from comic books.

Today, we spotlight an awesome Captain America moment in the midst of the major Spider-Man crossover, Maximum Carnage.

Maximum Carnage was a 1993 crossover that had a lot in common with a similar series of Batman crossovers, Knightfall and Knightquest. The similarity between the crossovers is that they were sort of metafictional statements about the "grim and gritty" era of superheroes. In the Batman crossovers, the idea was to replace Batman with a "Grim and gritty" version of Batman to show how bad of an idea that would be. Similarly, Maximum Carnage was to show the downside of the "Anti-hero" phenomenon. The weird thing about it, though, is that the Spider-Man books were one of the biggest PROPONENTS of the anti-hero phenomenon of the time! This was due to the way that they took Venom, one of Spider-Man's top villains, and turned him into an anti-hero. They even introduced Carnage, the spawn of Venom who was an OUTRIGHT bad guy so that Spider-Man and Venom could team-up against their shared enemy.

So, in Maximum Carnage, Spider-Man and Venom team up to take down Carnage, who has created his own little "family" of villains, led by Carnage's girlfriend, Shriek.

Spider-Man and Venom had a little team, as well, with Black Cat, Firestar, Morbius and Cloak helping out (Shriek seemingly "killed" Dagger, leaving Cloak by himself).

One of Cloak's attacks on Shriek ended up turning her into a sort of conduit of bad emotions, so she was slowly turning the people of New York mad, as we saw in Spectacular Spider-Man #202 (by J.M. DeMatteis and Sal Buscema)...

Throughout the story, Venom had been telling Spider-Man that Spidey was a sap for not using more lethal responses to Carnage's attacks. Meanwhile, Morbius also believed in that sort of thing and Black Cat was even sort of coming to that side of things (Cloak was so distracted by the loss of Dagger that he wasn't much help either way). The two main moral holdouts were Spider-Man and Firestar. However, after Carnage just could not be stopped (this was part NINE of the crossover, ya know?), Spidey was eventually convinced by Venom to tell Firestar to use her microwave powers to kill Carnage...

However, Spider-Man just couldn't bring himself to do it. Venom turned on his "allies" over their "betrayal"...

Then Carnage and his crew beat the heck out of Venom and took him hostage to go torture him some more.

Spider-Man was left in a daze. Everything he believed about the world was tossed about. He had very little in the way of hope. That is...until someone lent him a hand...

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