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Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 378 0001

Crazier than a red-headed Wolverine

Carnage is the blood-crazed symbiote-wielding psychopathic mass murderer who only desires one thing: to create chaos. Carnage originally started out as an addition to the mythos of the wildly popular villain/anti-hero Venom, but soon added another level of complexity to the longstanding back-and-forth between Venom and Spider-Man by adding a third psychotic element. Many of the miniseries and one-shots involving Carnage are terrible, so this guide serves to wade through the muck and bring the best of the Carnage Saga to the forefront.

New readers

  • Amazing Spider-Man #360-363:
    While Cletus Kasady premiered as Venom's cell-mate in #344, he doesn't really get interesting until around issue #360. In this same couple issues, you'll get a brief history of Cletus' upbringing, helping you understand that he was a born-psychopath.
  • Maximum Carnage:
    Beyond his first appearance, arguably the best series involving Cletus and the Symbiote is the Maximum Carnage event. The series gets very hairy towards the end, adding in heroes and villains all over the place until nothing makes sense anymore, but the premise is good, and you gain a great foothold in exactly how ruthless a killer Carnage can be. You also get to know some of his lesser-known cohorts like Shriek and Demogoblin.
  • The "Death" of Carnage:
    While it wasn't widely advertised, the "death" of Carnage slipped it's way into one of the most popular Avengers series of all time, New Avengers. The Sentry dealt with the long-time problem of a psychopath wrapped in a symbiote more quickly than anyone had previously dared. Surprisingly enough, this death lasted almost an entire decade! That's a long time in comics.
  • Carnage, Volume 1:
    What's that you say? An evil corporation has captured the symbiote and is harvesting bits of it to make and sell technologies? Well, that's a good read.

Further reading

If you're crazy for Carnage and can't get enough, some of the more wacky and fun adventures are listed below. Be forewarned, some of these aren't great comics, so read them with fun in mind.

  • Venom Vs. Carnage:
    Instead of the knock-down drag-out fight between the Marvel Universe's two biggest Symbiotes it should have been, this mini series introduced a brand new symbiote and wearer, Toxin. The series would have been more aptly titled, "Venom & Carnage: Fatherhood"
  • Deadpool vs Carnage:
    The Carnage symbiote can't stand to be away from its favorite host and body jumps to get back to Casedy. Once Carnage is free once again, Deadpool sees his rampage on the news, and the two go at one another. Bloody and with a bit of hummor

Single issues