What Is Carnage

by Nestor Sanchez

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With the COVID-19 pandemic, many different industries are being put on hold. One of the industries it has had a definite impact on is  comic book movies. In 2020 so far, the only movie that was released in theaters was DC’s Birds of Prey. New Mutants and Black Widow all of which have been postponed until 2021, while Sony’s Bloodshot was released digitally. Even Venom 2 which was set to release October 2nd was recently postponed to June 25, 2021. However, Sony did leave us with something to get excited about. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was revealed to be the official title, cementing the main villain of the movie Carnage. So while we have to wait a bit to see him on the big screen, in the meantime let’s take a look at Carnage’s history.

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Carnage hasn’t been around that long. His first appearance was in Amazing Spider-man #344. In this issue, Eddie Brock was broken out of his prison cell by the Venom symbiote. Unknown to both Eddie and Venom, the symbiote reproduces and it finds its way into Eddie’s cellmate Cletus Kasady. The three words that best describe Cletus Kasady is a psychotic serial killer. So when newly created Klyntar (Venom’s species) bonds with the first host, their personality is imprinted onto the symbiote. After Eddie broke out the newly born symbiote entered Cletus bloodstream, one of Marvel’s most dangerous villains was born. 

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The Carnage Symbiote is unique for several reasons, the main thing that defferes from the rest of its species is that it lives in Cletus. While Klyntar does leave small pieces of itself in their host called codexes, for a situation where the symbiote loses its memory similarly to phone back up. Carnage generally did not need to use the codex because it lives inside Cletus’s blood. So normally it would take a paper cut to bring it back but under situations where the symbiote can’t be brought back through Cletus the codex are there. 

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Since Carnage was created after Venom bonded with Spider-man, Carnage has all of Spider-man’s powers. One of the most useful abilities Carnage has is he appears invisible to Spider-Man and Venom’s spider-sense. Peter Parker’s specific spider-sense warns him of anything that is a threat to himself. So the usual villain and cameras that could expose his identity will set off his spider-sense. One of the odd quirks of the spider-sense is it does not see Peter Parker as a threat to himself. A good example is a villain called the Jackal created two clones of Peter Parker,Ben Reilly, and Kaine Parker. Since they are genetically the same as Peter the spider-sense treats them and all of his other clones the same person. Since the Klyntar absorbs the DNA and memories of its host Peter Parker’s spider-sense sees Venom and Peter as the same person as well. So Carnage being the spawn of Venom gains an immunity because both Venom and Peter Parker spider-sense view Carnage as themselves. 

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The final two things that make Carnage unique is he can infect other people to control them and he no longer has a sound weakness. The most dangerous ability Carnage has is he is able to create a hive mind with everyone he infects people with his symbiote. Carnage’s mental control is strong enough to control an entire mid-western town plus a few Avengers. The last thing that is unique to Carnage is that there are actually only Carnage who exist on Earth-616 the main Marvel universe. Normally Klyntar has two weaknesses one being fire and the other being sound waves. Carnage no longer has that weakness, After being exposed to the Darkhold he traded his sound weakness for a very rare and specific magic being Chthonic magic. After bonding with Norman Osborne to create the Red Goblin, the Goblin Formula fused with the symbiote removed Carnage’s weakness to fire.

Major Carnage Stories Summaries 

Maximum Carnage 

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In 1993 the Maximum Carnage story line had Carnage team up with other villains to form his own “family”. He teams up with  Shrek, Doppelganger, Demogoblins, and Carrion in an attempt to take over New York.  After Spider-man’s first attempt to beat Carnage and his allies failed, Eddie Brock returns from San Francisco to help get rid of Carnage. It wasn’t until other characters like Captain America, Iron Fist, and Deathlock joined in the fight to stop Carnage from taking over. This story line was so popular it was adapted to Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games in 1994.

Carnage USA

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In 2011 the Carnage USA story line really showcased how dangerous Carnage could be. This story is set in the fictional city of Doverton, Colorado. It was a quiet and peaceful place where the residents peacefully raised cattle. That changed as soon as Cletus Kasaday appeared and nearly enslaved the whole city. He made the Doverton residents prep the livestock to use their blood so he can get larger and stronger. When an Avenger team consisting of Captain America, Hawkeye, Wolverine, The Thing, and Spider-man arrived to stop Carnage, he was able to capture and enslave all but Spider-man. Later on, Flash Thompson who was in control of the Venom symbiote along with the Mercury team a group of symbiote wearing characters appeared to finally defeat carnage.

Absolute Carnage

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This story line is the most recent since it came out August of 2019. Before Absolute Carnage the Carnage symbiote was destroyed trying to save Cletus when they re-entered the atmosphere after the event of Venomized. A cult dedicated to Knull the symbiote god made the Grendel symbiote bond with a nearly dead Cletus. This created Dark Carnage and his goal is to gather every codex from every living thing to revive Knull. After absorbing the Carnage’s codexes from the Citizens of Doverton, the Grendel symbiote personality was taken over by the Carnage’s personality and brought him back from the dead. After that Carnage continued Knull’s mission to collect all the codex and nearly succeeded in reviving Knull. It took Eddie Brock Fusing with the newly created Legion symbiote which is the combination of the codexes of Venom, Carnage, Riot, Lasher, Phage, Agony, Tyrannosaurus, Mania, and Sleeper symbiote to match Dark Carnage. It took the Venom symbiote fusing with the Legion symbiote to be able defeat Cletus.

While Carnage is technically dead, it’s personality still lives on in the Grendel symbiote. There is also always a chance for the true Carnage symbiote to return in the future. With rumors saying Venom franchise will be part of the MCU. If the movie version of Carnage is anything like a comic, Carnage could possibly be the MCU big threat in a future phase. Carnage is a Character that always finds a way to skip death so all it being the main villain for Venom 2 could be the start of something bigger.

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