#123 cover by
By Marc Strom
Why can't all the murderous, psychotic symbiotes just get along?
With "War of the Symbiotes" kicking off in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123 on June 25, fans can expect the story of the "Ultimate Spider-Man" video game to make its way into the comics, filling in a lost encounter between Spider-Man and Venom before launching back into the present.
Unable to tell your Carnage from your Venom in the Ultimate Universe? Don't fret, True Believer, we've got your very own scorecard of all the symbiotic players, shakers and do-badders coming out of the woodwork to make sure poor Peter Parker never catches a break.
A childhood friend of Peter's, Eddie Brock, Jr. continued the work the two boys' fathers began on a genetically-engineered "suit" which could, among other things, potentially cure cancer.
After reuniting with Eddie and learning of his developments, Peter accidentally became bonded to the suit…only to discover it produced some less-than-desired results.
After Peter nearly lost his identity to the suit, which seemed to have a life of its own, he warned Eddie of the danger involved. However, undismayed, the young Brock put the suit on, learning of Peter's secret life as Spider-Man and becoming the villainous Venom.
Peter managed to defeat his one-time friend, but Brock disappeared shortly after the battle, unheard from except for a brief, as yet untold encounter with Spider-Man some time ago…a story which promises to see the light of day just in time for a "War" to break out.
Using samples of Spider-Man's blood and the Venom suit, Dr. Curt Connors
developed a new, sentient creature resembling the previous "symbiote." Breaking loose, the entity known as Carnage made its away across New York City, stealing the life force of anyone who got in its way as it trekked towards Peter's house in Queens.
The creature didn't find Peter home, however, and when Gwen Stacy returned to the Parker house, Carnage snuck up on her and sucked her life force as well, leaving her dead.
Peter finally caught up with Carnage, and, after putting the creature down for the count, returned home to grieve.
However, Connors' lab assistant, Ben Reilly, stole a remaining sample of the Carnage "symbiote," and to what ends Reilly employed the stolen vial haven't yet been made entirely clear…
Rebellious and spunky, the young Gwen Stacy came to live with the Parkers after the
Chameleon murdered her father. Shortly after discovering Peter's secret identity, however, the youth tragically fell victim to the Carnage entity.
But then, some months later, Gwen Stacy appeared at Peter's doorstep, seemingly very alive and very healthy.
Of course, before Spider-Man even had time to celebrate, Dr. Octopus revealed he had engineered a new Carnage creature to take the form of the deceased Stacy as part of his cloning experiments for the C.I.A.—experiments which Ben Reilly just happened to have a hand in.
Where this creature came from, and its true nature and origin, remains a mystery. With the Gwen-Carnage currently under wraps in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, though, "War of the Symbiotes" might prove the best opportunity for the creature to make her return…and who knows what will happen then?
"War of the Symbiotes" kicks off in ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123 on June 25. Until then, you can get caught up on ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN with Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.