Review: This issue gets started in earnest with Spider-Man heading to Ravencroft Institute to meet with his ally Dr. Kafka, who was being told by the government that she was required to allow a Dr. Briar to place a chip in Carnage's head that was supposed to halt his criminal urges. Upon finding this out, Carnage escapes his cell, but is quickly halted by a mess of armed guards and Spidey. From there, the chip is implanted in Carnage's head, and shockingly, it seems to work. With this success, Briar heads to Arkham Asylum and tells Dr. Arkham that based on her success with Carnage, the government was allowing her to use Joker as her next test subject. Once again, the procedure seems to be a complete success, and Briar decides to take the docile Carnage and Joker to Washington to show off her handiwork to Congress and the President. While riding through Gotham with the villains, Carnage reveals that he was faking and that his symbiote had managed to short out his chip a long time ago. Carnage hops out of the car with Briar and Joker and is met by Batman, who was never sold on the procedure. Batman tries to convince Carnage to let Briar go and fight him instead, but Carnage explains that he had nothing personal with Bats, and as such was happy to kill Briar first and then deal with Bats. Luckily for Briar, Spider-Man arrives on the scene and spirits Briar away from the distracted Carnage. From there, the two heroes engage Carnage, but he manages to escape with Joker after throwing a bunch of razor sharp webbing and projectiles at the police officers who were responding to the disturbance. At an abandoned warehouse, Carnage manages to dig the chip out of Joker's brain(through his nose!), bringing back the crazy Joker. Carnage then gushes that he's always admired Joker's work and would be honored to work with him, so the two villains head off to one of Joker's secret hideouts together. Meanwhile, after initially turning down Spidey's offer of assistance(Gotham is MY city, dammit!!!)Batman changes his mind(with some help from Alfred)and decides to team-up with Spidey. The villains wind up having a falling out when Carnage is disgusted that Joker wants to kill the people of Gotham with a madness plague, while Carnage wanted to just go out there and kill as many Gothamites as he could with his bare hands. After some insults, Carnage goes to attack Joker, who sneaks out of his warehouse hideout and blows it up, leaving Carnage for dead. Batman and Spidey come across the destroyed warehouse and discover the corpse of Carnage, but figure(correctly)that the corpse wasn't Carnage, but a different body that was draped with a piece of Carnage's symbiote. While the heroes look around, Carnage manages to snag Batman and decides he was going to kill Batman atop the largest building in Gotham in front of the gathered media. Spidey moves to attack Carnage, but Carnage warns Spidey that if he takes another step, he'd just kill Bats there and then. At this time, Joker arrives on the scene and tells Carnage that NOBODY was allowed to kill Bats except for him. Joker pulls out a jack-in-the-box and reveals that his deadly madness plague was inside, and that he'd release the plague, killing everybody present(including himself!)to stop Carnage from killing Batman. Carnage begins to panic, which leads to his symbiote breaking down a bit, giving Batman the opportunity to attack and beat Carnage into unconsciousness. Meanwhile, Spidey webs the jack-in-the-box away from Joker and goes after the Clown Prince of Crime, attacking him in a frenzy, wanting to kill Joker to prevent him from killing anybody else. Joker eggs Spidey on, telling him to do it, but Spidey catches himself and simply knocks out the disappointed Joker. From there, the villains are taken back to their respective prisons and Batman and Spidey shake hands and leave as allies, ending this issue.
Thoughts: I liked this comic, BUT, there just seemed to be something missing for me... The strange thing is that I can't quite put my finger on it... I think my problem with this comic was the fact that everything seemed kind of rushed. This issue was 48 pages, but I think it easily could have gone 64 with no problem. After I put it down, I really would have liked more. The entire first half of this comic tried to show the reader the similarities between Bats and Spidey, as well as Dr. Briar and her experiments. The second half gave us Spidey and Bats teaming up, Carnage and Joker teaming up and then having their falling out, Bats and Spidey fighting Carnage, Joker interfering, and then the endgame. Personally I would have liked to have seen more of Carnage and Joker and more of Spidey and Bats before the final battle came around. Still, this was a fun(if all too short)comic that I'd happily recommend.
Score: 7 out of 10.Why couldn't I get a good 20 more pages of this!