With the new Venom: Let There Be Carnage movie coming out in a few short weeks, I thought I would give a brief history of Venom and Carnage and how the characters are uniquely linked to each other.
Eddie Brock is a former reporter for the Daily Bugle who blames Spider-Man for costing him his job. When Eddie is at his lowest, he seeks solace at a church. It happens to be the same church where Spider-Man had previously repelled an alien symbiote that had attempted to bond with and consume him. The symbiote senses Brock’s disdain for Spider-Man and feels a kinship with him. He bonds with Eddie and, thus, Venom is born.
Cletus Cassidy is a serial killer who is captured and sent to Ryker’s Island Prison for eleven murders. There, he becomes cellmates with Eddie Brock, unaware of Eddie’s bond with Venom. Cletus starts to get tired of Eddie and thinks to himself “I’m already servin’ eleven consecutive life terms! Might as well make it an even dozen!”
A page from Spider-Man #344 where Eddie and Cletus share a jail cell, and Venom breaks Eddie out
In classic comic book style, the Venom symbiote, which Eddie had previously separated from before going to jail, shows up then and breaks Eddie out. When Cletus goes over to view the giant hole left in the side of the jail building by Venom, a piece of the symbiote drops onto his hand and enters his bloodstream through a cut. This creates a new type of symbiote, one never seen before, that forms a stronger bond through blood versus Venom’s bond through skin. This is a more violent and unpredictable symbiote, bonded with a serial killer. This is Carnage.
From Spider-Man #344 where the symbiote enters Cletus' bloodstream
Fast forward to the Venom movie that was released in 2018, where (spoiler alert) the after credits scene shows Eddie being escorted to a jail cell. We see “Welcome Eddie” written in blood on the cell wall and a curly, red-haired Cletus Cassidy, played by Woody Harrelson, in a straight jacket and chains. Cletus and Eddie exchange small talk about wanting to know where the bodies are that Cletus hid. Cletus asks Eddie for a pen, Eddie refuses. Cletus then refuses to give Eddie any information, since he won’t give him a pen to write down the locations. We pan to a facial shot of Cletus and he says, “When I get out of here, there’s going to be Carnage.” Thus, letting us know there is going to be a second Venom movie. I don’t know about anyone else, but this gave me goosebumps, knowing that we were finally going to get a Venom vs Carnage movie, which is such a classic comic book story.
Now, with the trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage that came out just a few short months ago, we see a bit more into their stories. We hear Cletus saying “Eddie Brock, I want to give you my story…people love serial killers.” Moments later, we see Cletus attacking Eddie and biting him in the hand. “I’ve tasted blood before…and that is not it!” Cletus says, insinuating that this is the movie’s version of Carnage’s origin.
After this, we can infer that Cletus is taken to Ravencroft, a place for the criminally insane, where we see Cletus strapped to a chair and transforming himself into Carnage. Since the symbiote entered Cletus’ bloodstream, Carnage is red, which also means that he has a stronger bond with his host. Like in the comics, Cletus being a serial killer and insane, this means that Carnage is more violent, deadly, and stronger than Venom.
During this trailer, we also see a shot of Ravencroft and a young woman in a containment cube. This is almost certainly the character Shriek, a dangerous and criminally insane villainess with the power to manipulated sound. In the comics, she is depicted as Carnage’s lover and, when Carnage breaks himself out of Ravencroft, she convinces him to break her out also.
You can watch the preview below:
I have to say, after seeing the trailer, I was really hoping that the movie would get an R rating, so they could show Carnage in all his glory, but it looks like we’re getting a PG-13 rating. Still, if the trailer is any indication of what the movie will show, we’re going to have plenty of…Carnage.
At any rate, we now have two of the main antagonists for the “Maximum Carnage” series in Carnage and Shriek, plus the anti-hero Venom. Iron Fist and Cloak and Dagger have already had their respective TV, so they have been introduced and could possibly cross over at any point. Sprinkle in Deathlok showing up in Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. too. Now with Sony now doing a Morbius movie, we have another major anti-hero that shows up in “Maximum Carnage”. With Disney and Sony finally deciding as of April that they are going to coexist, this hopefully will let us have Spider-Man and Venom combining with Morbius, Iron Fist, Cloak and Dagger, Deathlok and possibly even Captain America. The only characters missing from the lineup are Black Cat, Nightwatch, and Firestar for the heroes and Demogoblin, Doppleganger and Carrion for the villains.
A fight scene from the Maximum Carnage series portraying most of the characters
If “Maximum Carnage” is allowed to happen, it could very well become one of the biggest Marvel crossovers to date. “Maximum Carnage” is a series strung across 14 different comic books and is also available in trade paperback. Also, don’t forget to check out the new Venom: Let There Be Carnage movie starring Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson releasing in your local theaters on October 1st!
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.