Characters : Carnage
As Carnage, elongate jaw & "teeth", ever moving tendrils from various parts of his body, both of which are a part of the
Carnage animates his costume to create snares, swing line, and most often bladed weapons. Carnage can hurl these "blades" from anywhere on his body. They disintegrate after about thirty seconds after they are thrown. Carnage also posses wall-crawling abilities similar to Venom's. In some unknown manner, the symbiote can dampen both Spider-Man's spider-sense, & the Venom symbiote's in born ability to track its spawn.
The symbiote is vunerable to both sonics(to a much lesser degree than it's parent) & heat based attacks (to a much greater degree than its parent).
Has a symbiote costume similar to Venom, but seems to be more powerful, possibly due to it's incubation on Earth. Kasady's symbiote can, like Venom's, mimic any type of clothing, but unlike Venom, Carnage has not been seen using the costume as camouflage. The symbiote has augmented all of Kasady's physical abilities to super-human levels apparently higher than that of Venom's.
Unknown, shown to be significantly stronger than both Venom and Spider-Man
Former site of the St. Estes Home for Boys, Brooklyn, New York
Shriek, Doppelganger, Demogoblin, Carrion II, Toxin (son), Hybrid (nephew)
Mother (killed by father), Venom (symbiote parent), Father (deceased), Grandmother (killed by Cletus)
Spider-Man, Venom, Cloak & Dagger
Brooklyn, New York
Cletus Kasady was born into an ultra-violent home. Or perhaps he was just a bad seed in a good and loving family. He likes to taunt his psychiatrists and enemies with a changing story. In one version, he watched his father murder his mother with a drill. His father was sent to prison and Cletus was sent to live with his grandmother. Cletus killed the old woman's dog and when she came running to the basement, Cletus pushed her down the stairs. The police called it an accident and Kasady was sent from foster home to foster home. He was repeatedly abused by his foster families, further deepening his belief that a human being is nothing more than a bag of blood that is good for nothing more than dying and making more bags of blood.
Kasady was serving 11 consecutive life terms in prison for murder at Riker's Island prison when he became a cellmate of Eddie Brock (Venom). Brock had been separated from his symbiote and was working out vigorously to stay in shape, hoping to be able to avenge his alien partner's "death." Cletus griped that it was boring watching him work out and Eddie complained that he hated sharing a cell with a serial killer. Cletus told him that could change if he kept whining. Cletus then saw a shadow outside their window but then convinced himself it was nothing. (Amazing Spider-Man #344)
Eddie's exercising was still irritating Kasady and finally the killer decided to shiv his cell mate when the Venom symbiote arrived and re-bonded to the ecstatic Brock. Venom escaped by smashing out of the prison wall, leaving a badly shaken Cletus Kasady behind. Not alone, however, as the Venom symbiote left a spawn behind. (Amazing Spider-Man #345)
A guard soon found Kasady talking to himself and asked who he was talking to. Cletus and his new friend then pulled officer Ramone through the prison door bars and escaped out the hole in the wall. (Amazing Spider-Man #359) Kasady and the new symbiote committed their first murder as Carnage after picking Gunther Stein out of the phone book. Kasady thought he had a stupid name, which was as good a reason as any to kill him. (Amazing Spider-Man #360)
Carnage eventually murdered a classmate of Peter Parker, Chip, at Empire State University's Agro-Lab. Spider-Man arrived at the crime scene (after thinking about the dozen extremely brutal killings around New York the previous week) and overheard a witness's account of what happened. The description of the killer made him think that Venom may have been the culprit. Peter did some research on Brock's activities after his escape from prison and found that Kasady had been his cell mate. Further research on Kasady found that he had been raised in a Brooklyn orphanage that had been destroyed in a fire. The orphanage's disciplinarian was found dead in the building, and the cause of death was ruled an accident. Peter wasn't so sure.
He did some background research on Kasady by interviewing his former landlady, friends, school officials and doctors, all of whom were either reluctant to talk about him or connected him to one tragedy or another. Spider-Man eventually visited the ruins of the orphanage and found Kasady at a camp fire. Spidey was shocked at Carnage's speed, ability to solidify his costume, not trigger his spider sense and form weapons from the costume. Carnage was momentarily distracted by the appearance of two cops, and quickly stabbed one of them. Spider-Man protected the officers while Carnage threw a stove at them. Carnage escaped, but not before he pained "CARNAGE RULES!" in his own blood on a wall. Peter soon realized that he needed someone with a symbiote to understand Carnage and that meant finding Venom. (Amazing Spider-Man #361)
While Spider-Man and the Human Torch went to find Venom at his island exile, Kasady paid a visit to the office of Robert Sutcliff, a wealthy businessman. He easily killed the security team and the mechanical devices. Sutcliff tried to escape in a helicopter, which Carnage grabbed and tossed over the side of the skyscraper. Meanwhile, Spider-Man and the Human Torch made peace with Venom long enough for Brock to explain that the alien symbiote reproduces one a lifetime and has no concept of family. As such, it felt no need to tell Eddie that it had spawned. Brock's twisted sense of honor demanded that he return to New York and help find Carnage, which Spider-Mas was less than happy about.
Spider-Man eventually encountered him, but was unable to stop him. Going against his better judgment, Spider-Man decided to return Venom to New York after Spidey faked his death on a deserted island. He and Brock had an uncomfortable alliance, but both were committed to ending the greater evil of Carnage. After defeating Carnage and saving a kidnapped J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man broke his promise to let Venom go free and the symbiotic madman was captured by the Fantastic Four.
Carnage's second rampage through New York was to be his most infamous. Escaping from Ravencroft Asylum with a fellow inmate, Shriek, Carnage went on a mission of mayhem across Manhattan. Along the way, he teamed with the mindless Spider-Man Doppelganger, Malcolm McBride and Demogoblin. This bloodthirsty gang forced a team up of various vigilantes consisting of Spider-Man, Venom, the Black Cat, Captain America, Morbius, Deathlok, Iron Fist, Cloak and Dagger and Nightwatch. After several days of rioting, Carnage and the others were captured.
Carnage has escaped several times in attempt to spread his message, much to the frustration of Dr Ashley Kafka and John Jameson. During one such escape while being transported through Colorado, Kasady evaded Spider-Man and targeted an old friend of Cletus': Bill Bentine. Bill had become successful in the lumber industry and the fact that he and Cletus had been childhood friends would make the murder seem even more senseless. (People had began to expect Carnage to kill at random, so to keep up with the chaos theme, he went after Bentine.) Kasasdy threw a table at Bill, crashing it through a window at the lumber mill and drawing the attention of Spider-Man. The ensuing fight turned against Spider-Man but Bill saved him by telling Kasady that he didn't think that Kasady would kill him. Reverting back to his vulnerable human form, Kasady set out to prove him wrong, giving Spider-Man the opportunity to knock him out.
Carnage met Ben Reilly several times. During an attempted prison break involving Judas Traveler, both Spider-Man and Ben helped put the lunatic back behind bars. Kasady again dealt with Judas, along with Kafka, John Jameson and Kaine. Traveller held a trial to determine if Peter Parker was responsible for creating so many super criminals and Kasady acted as the prosecutor. After the jury (made up of Shriek, Chameleon, Vermin, Carrion and others) found Parker guilty, he was saved by Kaine who refused to let someone as good as Parker be killed by such base people. Cletus had been given all of the information of Peter's life by Judas, but that information was erased from his mind after he was put back in Ravencroft.
Some time later, a video game based on Maximum Carnage was created for online play. Apparently, the symbiote has the ability to make itself so small that it can travel along telephone cables. This ability helped Kasady force a security guard to set him free. This was fortune for Carnage, as Venom was on his way to kill him out of rage that Carnage's murder spree had been made into a game. That particular sequence ended with Kasady's therapist setting him on fire and his falling out of a high rise window, only to be saved by Venom. He ended up in a coma.
"Planet of the Symbiotes"
But not for long. A space ship of alien symbiotes arrived on earth, and the Planet of the Symbiotes took place. The agony of the crisis caused Kasady to wake up (I assume the symbiote, who is sensitive to emotions, got a boost from the agony and used it to wake him up. Yeah, that's it.) and he found that he could increase his size by absorbing other symbiotes. With millions of the buggers on the planet, he quickly grew to enormous proportions. He was stopped by Venom, Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider when they blew up a transport truck full of fuel.
Back at Ravencroft, the Carnage symbiote had grown tired of being incarcerated with Kasady, yearning for more mayhem. It escaped without him through the water pipes in the sink, and bonded to John Jameson. The creature forced John to commit several murders before it was defeated by Ben Reilly. However, the alien used that defeat to bond to the new Spider-Man and they became Spider-Carnage. It took every ounce of strength Ben had to keep himself form following through on the creature's demands that he kill, even when they crossed paths with Jessica Carradine and Peter.
Peter discovered that Ben had joined with the symbiote as Ben was tearing through some security guards at a hospital. Ben nearly killed Peter but eventually left him alone. In desperation, Ben went to Ravencroft to ask Cletus how to control the creature. The madman told him that control was impossible and that the alien would twist and corrupt Spider-Man until he gave in to it. While Ben refused to let the symbiote return to Kasady, he asked John to put him in a cell with microwave emitters, which weaken the creature. The thing eventually left Ben and retreated through the water system to Cletus, making him Carnage once more.
At another time, the symbiote blended with the Silver Surfer. After bonding to the Surfer, it was revealed that the symbiotes were a space traveling species that act as locusts. The Surfer arrived as the symbiotes consumed the inhabitants of a far off planet. Disgusted by the creatures, the Silver Surfer summoned his master, Galactus. The world devourer quickly destroyed the planet, an event which traumatized the symbiotic race. It became a "genetic memory" and each symbiote desired to kill the Silver Surfer. (Amazing Spider-Man #430)
The next writer ignored the fact that this was a new symbiote and had Carnage spawn a new creature. Carnage was sickened that he, the figure of death in his own mind, was forced to give birth. He did everything he could to destroy the new symbiote, but was prevented by Venom. Brock wanted to use the new symbiote as an ally in his battles against Spider-Man. The new symbiote bonded to a New York cop named Pat Mulligan and became Toxin.
Pat tried to make the best of being bonded to a violent creature and became a crime fighter. Toxin started his career against Carnage. The sense of conscience disturbed Venom, who started an uneasy alliance with Carnage. Toxin held his own against the two, and chased them off with the help of Spider-Man and the Black Cat.
Carnage and many other criminals escaped from The Raft after it was shut down by Electro. (Max Dillon had been hired to break out Robert Reynolds and to release the other criminals to distract the inevitable vigilantes.) Carnage was about to kill Foggy Nelson when the killer was grabbed by the Sentry, flown into orbit and torn in half. He was abandoned there and presumed dead. (New Avengers #1 and #2)
Symbiotes have proven pretty dang hard to get rid of, as the alien is shown to be alive and in containment in New York. This was revealed as Doppelganger attacked a prison transfer vehicle, containing his "mother," Shriek. The creature, and the riot of nearby New Yorkers caused by Shriek's empathy powers, was subdued by Spider-Man and Iron Man. Little did they know what the armored car was carrying.
The alien had been found barely alive in space by a satellite, which returned it to earth. The symbiote had nearly starved itself to death by keeping Kasady alive. The company that claimed ownership of the creature also saved Cletus and gave him bionic legs to replace the ones destroyed by Sentry. The alien was saved from death by the company using Shriek's empathy powers to feed it, as the creature feeds on strong, negative emotion. (Carnage #1)
Shriek was held at the same containment facility as the creature, and was still undergoing psychiatric treatment from her doctor, Dr Tanis Nieves. Dr Nieves had a bionic arm that used part of the symbiote in its mechanisms. The Carnage symbiote used that connection to force Nieves to free it. It then bonded to her and forced her to go to Kassady. (Carnage #2) The expected battle royale broke out after Carnage was free and he quickly dispatched the armored guards. Their suits used parts of the symbiote as circuitry, which Carnage was able to communicate with and ordered them to destroy the men in the suits. He then wore the dead men and armor as protective gear. This gave him an advantage over Spider-Man and Iron Man.Shriek soon arrived by her lover's side, much to his annoyance. (Carnage #3)
He wanted to deal with the heroes and told her to make the nearby New Yorkers go mad with her empathy powers if she got bored. As New York began to go through the same rioting and senseless violence it experienced during Maximum Carnage, Kasady went back to pounding on Spidey and Iron Man. They had been momentarily stunned by Shriek's sonic attack and were playing defense against Carnage. Carnage held his own against Stark's better weaponry, until Dr Nieves, now bonded with a new symbiote spawn, forced Shriek to attack him. (Carnage #4) When Spider-Man pried apart the armor that encased Carnage, he found that that lunatic was already gone. Kasady and Doppelganger hunted down Mike Bolton, who had been the man responsible for taking the symbiote from him. Kasady let Doppel munch on Bolton, saying that the "music" helped him think. He decided that they were going on the road. (Carnage #5)
Kasady later showed up in Doverton, Colorado, where he took the town's 1,145 residents hostage. The Avengers learned of Carnage's whereabouts and sent Captain America, Spider-Man, Hawkeye, the Thing and Wolverine to capture him. Their attack failed miserably as the symbiote quickly engulfed all of the assembled Avengers, sans Spider-Man. At the U.S. Emergency Response Center, the gathered military specialists watched as the communication devices given to the Avengers went off line and the president was demanding action. A general calmly replied that there were five contingency plans at the ready: Venom, Toxin, Hybrid, Scorn and Anti-Venom.
As the government assembled its team, the Carnage influenced Avengers chased Spider-Man out of town. Later they went to a bar to shoot pool, and Kasady had take a young mother and her sons hostage. As in Maximum Carnage, Kasady relived as a dysfunctional father to the family, eventually sending them out to kill the woman's husband after they were also bonded to Carnage. After they left, Kasady set up a town meeting at the Last Chance Church, demanding that the town folk hurt themselves and each other. Kasady momentarily lost control of Captain America, who radioed to his superiors to send code name 4563: Agent Venom (Flash Thompson).
Agent Venom took on Carnage but Scorn had built a device that separated the aliens from their hosts, leaving Flash and Cletus to fight it out alone. Both men had lost their legs but in the end, the Venom symbiote returned to Flash in time to save him, while much of the Carnage symbiote was destroyed in a missile attack sent by the army. Scorn collected the symbiote, while the Avengers took Kasady away.
Naturally, Kasady didn't stay locked up for long, and soon made his way to Houston, Texas to aid tiny killers from another dimension. They teleported him to their world, just in time to escape the newest Scarlet Spider (Kaine Parker) and Agent Venom. Once he arrived in the Microverse, he learned that he was brought there to kill The Redeemer, a being worshiped as a god by the beings of that dimension. Redeemer was opposed by Marquis Radu, who wanted to conquer the Microverse and refused to share it, even with a god. The problem is, if the Redeemer died, then the Microverse died. If the Microverse unraveled, so did the Macroverse. Carnage was thus in a position to kill all life in the universe.
After both Carnage and Agent Venom were captured by Radu, they learned they were going to be used to create a symbiote army. (Long ago, symbiotes had invaded the Microverse and nearly destroyed it. All symbiotes have a toxic effect on that reality, so Venom and Carnage were a very potent threat to Redeemer.) Both symbiotes were cloned and combined, the new symbiotes bonded to host bodies. Carnage, untainted by the government's mind control as the Venom symbiote was, had the ability to control the newly formed army. Agent Venom managed to defeat the army but Carnage and many of the new symbiotes somehow escaped the Microverse and returned to Houston.
The Redeemer managed to return Scarlet Spider, Venom and reporter Katie Kiernan to Earth, just in time to see Kasady and the cloned symbiotes slaughtering Houstonians. Venom had been given a sonic grenade before they left the Microverse, which he used on Carnage. While Kasady was momentarily weakened, he was stabbed in the brain by the Scarlet Spider, effectively lobotomized. Later, at a containment facility, Agent Venom was told by a doctor that while Kasady was catatonic, the symbiote was still alive and well. The alien was now in complete control of Cletus Kasady.
In prison, the mindless Carnage went on a rampage, much to the satisfaction of the Wizard. The master criminal intended to create a new Frightful Four and to add Carnage to the roster. He wanted to accomplish this via mind control of Kasady, but he soon found that mind control wasnt an option after the lobotomy. The Wizard was saved from slaughter by the timely arrival of Klaw, who used his sonic powers to subdue Carnage. (Superior Carnage #1) After he regained his courage, Wizard again attempted mind control of the symbiote itself and repeatedly failed, nearly causing his own death. He attempted his mind control with the aid of the wheelchair bound Dr. Malus. Eventually, Wizard decided to perform a blood transfusion, transferring the symbiote from Kasady to Malus. (Superior Carnage #2)
Wizard and Klaw eventually gained a tenuous control over Dr. Malus and the symbiote. They soon went on a rampage at city hall, looking for mayor Jameson. Once they arrived, they instead found the Superior Spider-Man waiting for them in the mayor's office. (Superior Carnage #3) Spider-Man decided to deal with the Wizard first, "to remove the head of the snake." After Wizard was beaten, the Carnage symbiote took control of Dr. Malus. When Spider-Man radioed his troops to assist him, Carnage said not to bother, as he had removed all of their tongues. Klaw interrupted and used his sound waves to paralyze Spider-Man, until he was impaled by Carnage. Klaw blew up and the explosion separated the alien from Malus, after which the creature bonded to the Wizard. (Superior Carnage #4)
After bonding to Carnage, the Wizard demanded to see his son. Spider-Man's goons tried to stop him with a flame thrower, which failed as it was a prototype. At the same time, Carnage tore off the crippled legs of Dr. Malus after he told Spider-Man he couldn't run away. Carnage also speared Spidey in the side to force him to bring him his son. Spider-Man ordered his men to bring them Kasady, which the symbiote immediately rejoined. He nearly devoured the Wizard as retribution but was stopped by Klaw's sound waves. The spider-goons separated the alien from Kasady and the creature was imprisoned at Spider-Island. The bonding to the symbiote also repaired Kasady's brain. (Superior Carnage #5)
With the alien imprisoned at Spider-Island, Kasady was left vulnerable in a prison's general population and he was stabbed by other inmates. Meanwhile, the symbiote died suddenly. However, a separate specimen had been taken from the alien that was being studied at a lab in New Mexico. It escaped and bonded to a researcher, who went home and killed her husband. It soon left her and bonded to other hosts. As Cletus lay recovering from his near murder, he was smothered by the doctor that was keeping watch over him. Soon the alien arrived to Kasady's bedside and the doctor tried to bond to it. The alien rebonded to Cletus, brining him back to life. They had both been sick without each other and the bonding had saved both of them. Carnage slaughtered the inmates of the prison, including the prisoner that had stabbed him. Carnage escaped, looking forward to seeing the world. (Superior Carnage Annual #1)
Quiz: Quiz on Carnage.
|Feb 1991||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #344|
|Appears as Cletus Kasady.|
|Mar 1991||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #345|
|Acquired spawn of Venom symbiote as Venom escaped prison.|
|Feb 1992||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #359|
|Mar 1992||Cameo: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #360|
|Apr 1992||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #361|
|Became Carnage, went on killing spree, battled Spider-Man, & Venom.|
Here is the Full Appearance List (44 Apps) for Carnage.
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.