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Quote1 Maybe if my host had a little more filial sentiment... a little more human love for his own daddy... some of it would have crossed over to me. As it is, I feel nothing but cold empty contempt. I hate you daddy. Quote2
-- Carnage Symbiote src
 

Birth

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage (Klyntar) (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 345 0001

First contact with Kasady

After a battle with Styx where the Venom Symbiote was presumed dead, former host Eddie Brock was incarcerated in a prison for "normal" humans.[1] His cell mate was Cletus Kasady, a psychotic murderer serving eleven life sentences.[2] However, the Venom symbiote was not dead, merely incapacitated for a time. Eventually it re-bonded with Eddie and the pair broke out.[3] However, in the hurry it left behind its spawn which bonded with Kasady to make Carnage, the 999th naturally-born symbiote. Over a period of months Carnage went on a killing spree and would leave the message "Carnage Rules", written in blood.

Savage Grace

Eventually Carnage fought Spider-Man, and the wall-crawler was defeated.[4] Realizing Carnage was another Symbiotic-powered villain, Spider-Man enlisted the aid of Venom (who had retired to a deserted island),[5] to defeat Carnage.[6] After enlisting Venom's aid against Carnage, Spider-Man later used loud noises in an attempt to defeat both father and offspring.[7]

Maximum Carnage

The Carnage symbiote was apparently killed, though it was eventually revealed that the symbiote had integrated itself into its host's blood, altering his physiology and metabolism to make it almost impossible to forcibly separate them and enable it to regenerate even if seemingly destroyed.[8][9][10] Carnage teamed up with Shriek, Spider-Man's doppelganger, and later some other villains to go on a murder spree throughout New York. They were eventually stopped by Spider-Man, Venom, and a team of other super-heroes.[citation needed]

Planet of the Symbiotes

Following a confrontation with Venom,[11] Cletus pretended to be in coma for some time.[12][13][14] When one of the invading symbiotes accidentally summoned to Earth by the Venom symbiote's primal scream came after him,[12][15] Cletus tricked it into releasing the Carnage symbiote from his bloodstream and absorbed it. Noticing he was stronger than before, Carnage started to absorb the other symbiotes, growing to gargantuan sizes in the process.[15] He was taken down by the combined efforts of Spider-Man, the Scarlet Spider, and Venom, whose symbiote screamed even louder to make all of the extra symbiotes commit suicide.[16]

Issues of Succession

The symbiote was seemingly killed for good when Venom, in an attempt to end the threat of Carnage once and for all, tore the symbiote from Cletus' body and devoured it.[17] However, a bit of the symbiote that remained inside Cletus compelled him to travel to the Negative Zone,[18] where he found a nigh-identical symbiote imprisoned in a capsule and bonded to it to become Carnage once more.[19] This second symbiote was apparently assimilated by the remnants of the original in Cletus' bloodstream, as when the symbiote gave birth Toxin, Venom claimed the spawn was his grandchild;[20][21] and Klaw later affirmed that the symbiote was the same one spawned by Venom.[22]

Ben Reilly (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 410 0001

Bonded to Spider-Man (Ben Reilly)

Other Hosts

Despite the bond between the Carnage symbiote and its host being strong enough to make it nigh-impossible to forcibly separate them, it has left Kasady several times to find more powerful hosts. It has bounded with John Jameson, Spider-Man (forming Spider-Carnage) and the Silver Surfer (forming Carnage Cosmic); but each time it returned to Kasady. Klaw theorized its motive behind doing so was to become more powerful with each subsequent host, and to mold Kasady into an ideal host.[22] Eventually it and Kasady met their apparent end while escaping The Raft, a prison for super powered people. He was ripped apart by Sentry in outer space. The symbiote survived by becoming dormant and putting Cletus into a coma; and returned to Earth after being found by Michael Hall, who used the symbiote to create prostheses and super-soldiers - sustaining it by letting it feed of Shriek's hatred-inducing powers.[23]

Carnage Vol 1 3 page 12 Tanis Nieves (Earth-616)

Bonded to Tanis Nieves

The symbiote bonded to Dr. Tanis Nieves and went to Hall Corporation headquarters, only to debond from Nieves and rejoin Cletus Kasady, who was given prosthetic legs. Carnage battled Iron Man and Spider-Man upgraded with the cyborg "symbiotes" of Hall's super-guards, the Iron Rangers. Then, Nieves' prosthesis resulted to be a new spawn of Carnage, which turned her into a new symbiote called Scorn. Scorn obligated Shriek to use her sonic attack to debilitate Carnage, who later escaped with Doppelganger.[24]

Carnage U.S.A.

Cletus arrived to Doverton, Colorado and over took their population, controlling them with the Carnage Symbiote's copies, proclaiming this city the new capital of a new Symbiote sovereign state. Some heroes arrived to stop him, but where possessed by Carnage Symbiote's copies, letting Spider-Man the only hero standing. After Scorn used a sonic weapon to debond Carnage, it also affected Venom and it left Cletus against an invalid Flash Thompson. The two rogue symbiotes started fighting using animals. After the Carnage symbiote was defeated, it was captured by Scorn, while Cletus was taken into custody in a Quinjet.[25]

Minimum Carnage

While Cletus was put into custody in the Thunderbolts Mountain, the symbiote was presumed to have been destroyed - though it managed to use the traces of itself in Kasady's blood and DNA to regenerate. Kasady was contacted by beings from the Microverse, who managed to see inside his mind and offer him a deal: they would give him the Microverse to get a whole new universe to kill in exchange for his services. After escaping to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas, Carnage and his new allies used new technology to escape to the Microverse, even after Scarlet Spider tried to stop them.[10]

Agent Venom, who was tracking him down, and Scarlet Spider followed Carnage into the Microverse,[26] where he betrayed his allies, who wanted to bring him to their master, Marquis Radu, in order to create a symbiotic army, and killed most of them.[27] When fighting the Scarlet Spider, Marquis Radu's army appeared and took Carnage prisoner along with Venom, who was captured along with his allies, the Enigma Force in another place.[26]

The symbiotes of Venom and Carnage were replicated and merged with the Body Banks to create a powerful army which would destroy the Microverse. Cletus managed to take control over the symbiotic army[28] and used it to escape to the regular universe, where he was finally defeated by the combined efforts of Venom and Scarlet Spider, and a special weapon given to them by the Enigma Force. After being stung by the Scarlet Spider, Cletus cured his wounds, but was left in a catatonic state, meaning that the symbiote was now in full control of his body, although it was put in custody once more and sedated.[29]

Karlin Malus (Earth-616) and Carnage (Klyntar) (Earth-616) from Superior Carnage Vol 1 3 0001

Bonded to Karl Malus

Superior Carnage

While Cletus was in a catatonic state, the symbiote took full control over his body, but it didn't have any intelligence, and instead rampaged and devoured everyone it came across when not subdued. The Wizard and Klaw freed him from prison. The Wizard tried to mind control Cletus into becoming his ally, but failed due to Cletus' brain damage.[30] He decided to instead transfer the symbiote to Karl Malus, someone he could control.[9] Along with his new "superior" Carnage, The Wizard and Klaw attacked the City Hall, only to find Superior Spider-Man waiting for them.[31] During the battle, The Wizard lost control over Carnage, and the symbiote gained full control over Malus. Carnage proceeded to stab Klaw with a Vibranium blade, but this caused a massive explosion which separated the symbiote from Malus.[32] The symbiote bonded to The Wizard, and Spider-Man decided he could use the symbiote's preference for Cletus in order to make it abandon the Wizard by taking Kasady to the scene and containing the alien before it could merge with its original host.

However, the mission failed, and Cletus became Carnage once more as the Spiderlings failed to contain the symbiote. Carnage rampaged through the scene until Klaw, whose sonic body had been dispersed, managed to redirect lightning to Carnage and separate him from Kasady. Both beings were taken separately to custody. Unknown to Spider-Man, the symbiote's rebonding with Kasady fixed the villain's brain, who was now no longer lobotomized.[22]

Superior Spider-Man sent a chemically neutered sample of the symbiote to Morse Laboratories while Cletus was imprisoned at Kramer Penitentiary, where he was reintroduced into the general populace as a model prisoner. When Cletus was stabbed by a prisoner hired by his psychologist Dr. Jenner, who wanted to become Carnage's new host, the main body of the symbiote weakened and perished. A portion of the sample sent to Morse Laboratories escaped and jumped from host to host, rejuvenating by consuming them from the inside out until it reached the prison. The symbiote vehemently refused Jenner's request and bonded to Cletus' corpse, resuscitating him and becoming Carnage once more.[33]

Magically Altered

Following Cletus's blood, which contains its biomass, being spilled onto the pages of the Darkhold, the Carnage symbiote was altered by the eldritch magic.[34] As a result, it lost its vulnerability to sonics and gained an altered version of its former ability to control others by infecting them with offshoots of itself,[35] as well as a vulnerability to Chthonic magic;[36] but this augmentation was exploited when the symbiote was stripped from Cletus by Victoria Montesi using the Darkhold.[37]

Despite being separated from Cletus Kasady, traces of the Carnage symbiote remained in his blood and unsuccessfully attempted to prevent a new symbiote from bonding to him.[38]

Rise of the Red Goblin

Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 799 McGuinness Variant Textless

Bonded to Norman Osborn

After the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Carnage symbiote was secured in the Lock Box, a privately-run vault at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Agents Krane and Coleman infiltrated the Lock Box and stole the symbiote, delivering it to their employer, Norman Osborn.[39] After receiving the symbiote, Osborn bonded with it to become the new Carnage.[40] While the symbiote initially seized control of him, Norman offered to teach it more nuanced and sadistic ways to kill; an offer the symbiote eagerly accepted. The symbiote turned over control to its new host, restoring his appearance and purging his body of the nanites preventing him from augmenting himself with Goblin formula. Osborn used the symbiote to kill Phil Urich; and after pretending to be mortally wounded in a rematch against Spider-Man as the Green Goblin, unveiled his new partner by transforming into the monstrous Red Goblin.[41] Osborn used the symbiote to great effect, bonding his grandson Normie Osborn with part of it to turn him into the Goblin Childe.[42]

When Spider-Man taunted him by saying that Carnage - Cletus Kasady - would get the credit for his death, Osborn ripped the symbiote off, and Spider-Man subsequently immolated it. However, the symbiote managed to give Osborn a second split personality: that of its original host. The part of it that survived in the Goblin Childe was subsequently extracted by Alchemax and placed into containment to be studied - though not all of it was removed.[43]

Unlike its parent, the Carnage symbiote is both submissive and fiercely loyal to its host, to the point of usually operating as little more than an extension of Cletus Kasady's body and will. However, it possesses a mind of its own, occasionally bickering with Cletus on the rare occasions they disagree.[6][44] It is utterly devoted to Cletus and his nihilistic ideology, to the point that when it is bonded to someone other than him it will forcibly take control of its new host and often forces Cletus' memories onto them as a form of psychological torture.[45][46][47] Due to Cletus - a diagnosed sociopathic spree killer - being its first host, the symbiote possesses unprecedented bloodlust and gleefully revels in killing everything it encounters. However, Norman Osborn posits that it has grown bored with wholesale slaughter and when he offers to teach it more nuanced ways of inflicting suffering and death the symbiote eagerly accepts.[48]

The symbiote considers Cletus to be its ideal host, calling him its family, and loathes being separated from him.[33] Despite this, it has willingly abandoned him on multiple occasions, usually to bond to more powerful hosts like Ben Reilly and Norrin Rad. However, these instances were temporary, with the symbiote willingly returning to Cletus -- even abandoning the cosmic powers of the Silver Surfer when it learned he was dying without it. If forcibly separated from Cletus, the symbiote seeks to reunite with him at all costs and punish those responsible, killing anyone who gets in its way.[22][33] For instance, when the symbiote was removed from Cletus' body and transferred to Doctor Karl Malus by the Wizard, who seemingly killed the comatose Cletus, Malus told Klaw that the symbiote was full of rage and the moment the Wizard's control slipped it would take over him to exact revenge, which it later proceeded to do.[49]

Disembodied by the rampaging symbiote, Klaw hypothesized that its behavior is like a human teenager, striving for independence from its host while at the same time craving attention and affection, though he later realized that the symbiote was actually separating from Cletus of its own volition to become more powerful and mold Cletus into the truly perfect host.[22]

Powers

The symbiote covers its host in red and black biomass and grants them superhuman strength, reflexes, and agility. It also grants its wielder the ability to stick to walls, create web like substance, tendrils and (hypothesized to be a result of its incubation on Earth) to create bladed and blunt weapons from its own biomass. It also grants limited shape shifting, demonstrated by its above abilities and the ability to mimic any form of clothing. As it is bonded to Cletus Kasady's bloodstream, it is extremely difficult to forcibly separate them. Like the Venom and Toxin symbiotes, Carnage can heal its host, as shown when it repaired The Wizard's and Cletus Kasady's brain damage, and also seemingly regenerated the latter's lower body.[22] The Carnage symbiote has shown the ability to convert ingested organic materials such as flesh and blood into additional biomass.[50] It is also able to somehow convert negative emotions into biomass,[51] enabling it to fully regenerate from a few cells.[33] Following being experimented on by Hall Industries, the symbiote developed the ability to create duplicates of itself that could be controlled by its main body or Cletus,[52] but seemingly no longer possesses this power after being "chemically neutered" by the Superior Spider-Man.[33] After the symbiote came into contact with the Darkhold and was augmented by the eldritch magic, it partially regained the ability to spread itself to other people and control them,[34][53] though it needs to be in the vicinity of an alter to Chthon for this to work properly.[36]

Abilities

As its father was bounded to Peter Parker, Carnage and its siblings are immune to Spider-Man's Spider Sense. At one point it granted Kasady the ability to "see" through its costume, but this ability seemed to be lost. Cletus Kasady is a schizophrenic enabling him to activate extra-terrestrial episodes of paranoia and delusion to transform into the demonic alien symbiote of Carnage.

Strength level

While worn by Kasady was capable of lifting 80 tons, this is not his true limit as his strength increases with his size and variable muscle mass.

Weaknesses

Like most other Symbiotes, sound and fire. However Carnage doesn't mind heat as long as it's the one making it.[31] After being exposed to the eldritch power of the Darkhold, the symbiote has lost its vulnerability to sonics,[35] though it is still vulnerable to heat and has gained a vulnerability to Chthonic magic.[36] After being dosed with Goblin Formula, the Carnage symbiote has lost its weakness to heat as well, though it remains vulnerable to Anti-Venom's caustic touch.[42]


  • The Carnage symbiote's only goal in life is to destroy and kill. Kasady is the perfect host for the symbiote because he seeks destruction as much as the symbiote itself.
  • The symbiote has a considerably stronger bond with Kasady than its father has with its hosts. This is indicated by the fact that Kasady has predominantly used the term "I", as apposed to his father's use of "we".
  • Carnage had an offspring, called Toxin. Carnage despises Toxin because of being asexually pregnant with him and fear that, as it became stronger than Venom, its child would be stronger than it. Carnage tried to kill Toxin, but failed due to Spider-Man and Black Cat.[54].
  • Following it giving birth to Toxin, Cletus began affectionately referring to the Carnage symbiote using female pronouns.[47][33] He has more recently reverted to referring to it with male pronouns.[53]
  • The Symbiote is presumably a fan of the thrash metal group Anthrax, often making Cletus listen to it with headphones.[55]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Amazing Spider-Man #333
  2. Amazing Spider-Man #344
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #345
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #361
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #347
  6. 6.0 6.1 Amazing Spider-Man #362
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #363
  8. Spider-Man Unlimited #1
  9. 9.0 9.1 Superior Carnage #2
  10. 10.0 10.1 Minimum Carnage: Alpha #1
  11. Venom Carnage Unleashed #1-4
  12. 12.0 12.1 Amazing Spider-Man Super Special #1
  13. Spider-Man Super Special #1
  14. Venom Super Special #1
  15. 15.0 15.1 Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1
  16. Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
  17. Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol 2 #10
  18. Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #13
  19. Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #14
  20. Venom Vs. Carnage #1
  21. Bunn, Cullen (12 April 2018). Cullen Bunn on Twitter: "ascha-vovina said: I've noticed a lot of writers seem to treat the current Carnage symbiote as the same...". Twitter. Retrieved on 18 April 2018.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 Superior Carnage #5
  23. Carnage #1
  24. Carnage #2-5
  25. Carnage, U.S.A. #1-5
  26. 26.0 26.1 Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #11
  27. Venom Vol 2 #26
  28. Venom Vol 2 #27
  29. Minimum Carnage: Omega #1
  30. Superior Carnage #1
  31. 31.0 31.1 Superior Carnage #3
  32. Superior Carnage #4
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 Superior Carnage Annual #1
  34. 34.0 34.1 Carnage Vol 2 #4
  35. 35.0 35.1 Carnage Vol 2 #5
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Carnage Vol 2 #8
  37. Carnage Vol 2 #16
  38. Venomized #1
  39. Amazing Spider-Man #794
  40. Amazing Spider-Man #795
  41. Amazing Spider-Man #796-798
  42. 42.0 42.1 Amazing Spider-Man #799
  43. Amazing Spider-Man #800
  44. Venom Vs. Carnage #4
  45. The Spectacular Spider-Man #233
  46. Amazing Spider-Man #431
  47. 47.0 47.1 Carnage #3
  48. Amazing Spider-Man #796
  49. Superior Carnage #1-5
  50. Carnage, U.S.A. #1
  51. Carnage #2
  52. Carnage, U.S.A. #2
  53. 53.0 53.1 Carnage Vol 2 #6
  54. Venom vs. Carnage #1
  55. Nova Vol 5 #27



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