I am a devoted comic book movie connoisseur, and I have come to the conclusion that it is time for Marvel Studios to make a Maximum Carnage movie. Watching Far From Home with my daughter and reading my Carnage Classic graphic novel has inspired a three-part article series detailing what my ideal movie-based-on-a-bloated-comic-book-crossover-from-the-90s would be like.
In Part 1, I explained why there should be a Maximum Carnage film. Then, with Part 2, I offered up some candidates to play Venom and Carnage alongside Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. And in Part 3, I will list all the characters from the original comic book crossover and explain why they should or shouldn’t make the cut in this proposed movie adaptation.
The 14-part comic book event was jam-packed with speeches on moral ambiguity, amazing pictures of Carnage drawn by co-creator Mark Bagley, and obscure characters from the nineties that none of the Johnny-Come-Lately movie fans have ever heard of in their lives.
Peter Parker was still mourning the death of his best friend James Franco while his comic books were being visited by all these characters, like the appearance of Carnage and Venom wouldn’t be enough to boost sales?!
Here is a list of all the heroes and villains who crowded each and every panel with their presence, and I will tell you whether or not I think they should be in the Maximum Carnage movie. Let’s start with the heroes:
Captain America (Yes, but only as a cameo)
In the original storyline, Cap only shows up for a minute to inspire Spidey and pull him out of his mid-crossover existential crisis but is wisely kept out of the majority of the series. This film won’t be about Cap, he’s had his due and his vibe doesn’t fit into the dark and gruesome nature of this story anyway.
Since Spidey will probably need encouragement in the movie as well, and seeing as Tony Stark is dead, a cameo from the original freedom fighter would be a good idea. However, it wouldn’t be Steve Rogers, it would be a visit from Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon just recently turned Sentinel of Liberty.
I would love to see an Anthony Mackie cameo in the Maximum Carnage movie, especially since his brief appearance in Ant-Man was one of my favorite parts of that film! Bonus points if the gag reel for the Maximum Carnage Blu-Ray has him saying “CUT THE CHECK!”
Black Cat (Yes)
I really was looking forward to seeing how the introduction of Felicia Hardy to the Marc Webb Spider-Man movies. It was great that the Raimi trilogy had the classic characters and Webb was starting to use the other characters, but alas, we will never see the potential Black Cat/Spider-Man shenanigans play out in the multiplex.
Or will we?
Black Cat was an integral part of the Maximum Carnage series. She was a different shade of moral ambiguity added to the event. She wasn’t as “killing is good” as Venom was but not as “killing is bad” as Spider-Man was. You could see how Peter Parker inspired her to try and be better and I think she could join with Spider-Man and Venom to form a “Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman” style superhero trinity.
Or “Arrow/Flash/Supergirl” trinity if you’re more of an Arrowverse fan.
And surely the tension between Black Cat and Spidey would be an interesting plot twist as well, as Felicia was always attracted to the web-slinger side of our hero more than the average taxpayer side of him. Maybe Tom Holland needs a bit of a bad girl to reform a la Batman/Catwoman, who knows?
Cloak and Dagger (No)
The crimefighting duo conveniently named after a popular phrase used in espionage movies has NO place in the Maximum Carnage movie. The crossover suffered from an avalanche of characters and side stories that just didn’t matter. Cloak was the one who made villainess Shriek go mad before the event and Dagger was killed by Shriek and then she resurrected. So yeah, just give me more Carnage, please.
If you want to see Cloak and Dagger in action, just check out their series that is streaming right now on FreeForm.
Iron Fist (No)
Like Captain America, Iron Fist played a small role in which he calmed people down with some meditation thing. Not really a big deal. He could easily be replaced by Happy, May, or any of Peter’s friends. Heck, even the teacher played by that guy from Freaks and Geeks could take over for him.
And you’ve seen the series on Netflix…
…it’s a hard pass for me.
You’ve already seen the low budget version of this nineties relic on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so let’s just say “no” because of…
Yeah, brand confusion. Can’t confuse the movies with the television, right?
Morbius the Living Vampire is a curiosity from the seventies era of Spider-Man stories. A pseudo vampire of sorts who was created by science instead of the supernatural so the Comics Code would let Roy Thomas and Gil Kane have a facsimile of a horror character in the funny books.
It’s all kind of interesting in a weird way, but I’m not begging for him to be in the Maximum Carnage movie. Though there is a Morbius movie in the works starring Jared Leto, so having him in the film might pan out if it ties into other flicks going on in the never-ending Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It could work, but I would need to be convinced.
Marvel Comics’ PG-rated version of a comic book character created over at Image by one of the best artists to ever draw Spider-Man. Nightwatch is another nineties comic book trivia question that is probably best left to a television series on an obscure streaming platform instead of getting the Hollywood treatment.
Now let’s move onto the villains, shall we?
Yes, yes, and yes.
Her weird psychotic, unstable relationship with Carnage (who, aside from being a heartless serial killer, turns out to be really misogynistic and abusive as well) was one of the highlights of the Maximum Carnage crossover. The Bonnie and Clyde-style pairing was awesome. All you need is the right actress to go with the right actor for Carnage and we are good to go for some dark, sexual tension mixed with an impressively high body count.
The only thing I didn’t like about her in the series was that weird power she had to affect people’s moods. That was lame. They used that power as a lame explanation as to why the whole city was becoming unhinged and lashing out with violence. I always preferred to believe that Carnage and crew were actually convincing people to go crazy, not some cop-out brainwashing power that takes away the psychological drama.
I would want a film where the people are actually terrified then inspired by the chaotic message of Kasady, then start killing each other because of their base desires coming to the forefront. It would be more demoralizing to Peter Parker than Shriek manipulating them because then it’s not their fault. Give me culpability and accountability in the aftermath, and I’ll show you a richer story.
Just as Carnage having a “wife” was entertaining, so was the concept of them having a child as another part of their twisted family. Daddy Cletus was abusive and uncaring, and Momma Shriek tried to protect their kids from the violent parental figure in their lives. It was a sick and entertaining exaggerated look at domestic violence and added some heart to the story.
Having a weird evil mindless duplicate of Spider-Man with six arms hanging out sounds like fun to me, and his “mother-son” relationship with Shriek in the comics, was kind of sweet in a sad way. I want to see this family dynamic play out in the Maximum Carnage movie sooooooo bad.
Bonus points to Marvel if they cast Tobey Maguire as the Doppelganger. How funny would it be to bring him back only to give him the non-speaking role of a demented monster out to kill Spider-Man? That would be funnier than all of the Deadpool movies combined!
Does Carnage’s family need the aloof twisted uncle that was Demogoblin? I tend to think no. The movie is already getting crowded enough as is even with me cutting half of the characters from the comic book out of it.
Though, as my old college professor used to say, it depends.
I don’t know how far along the “Goblin Villain” storyline will be at this point in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You have the Green Goblin, the Hobgoblin, the other Green Goblin, all the other Hobgoblins, Grey Goblin, the Goblin King, and way more Goblins (most of them are Osborns) than I will list here.
The Goblin storyline is one of the richest traditions in Spidey folklore, one that can’t just be glazed over by the movies if they want to do it right.
But hey, it depends.
No one cares about who Carrion is, how he came to be, what his powers are, et cetera…
Let’s just call it a day at this point and hope and pray that Kevin Feige/those at Sony will read this and do right by the Maximum Carnage storyline. It deserves so much more than being used as a tagline for a sequel just trying to cash in on the fame of the name.
Do you want to see Maximum Carnage adapted into a movie? If so, how? Let us know in the comments below!
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