Alex M. shines the character spotlight this week on one of the most lethal villains in all of Marvel, Carnage. But who is the red symbiote? Find out below!
By Alex M.
As we prepare for the first film appearance of Carnage, we look at the character in other media up to this point. Woody Harrelson first appeared in a cameo scene from the first Venom film, but the character is well-known and has been established within the comic universe for over two decades.
Cletus Kasady debuted in April 1992 as one of the more memorable villains of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery. While Venom is often seen as one of the top enemies of Spider-Man, Venom has become more of an anti-hero, while Carnage has become one of the most sadistic villains of the Spider-Man rogue gallery.
Serial killer Cletus Kasady is locked up behind bars when the original symbiote we know as Venom has an offspring symbiote. This version is red in appearance and a darker, more sadistic version of Venom. Carnage is seen more closely resembling the Joker from DC – a psychotic serial killer – combined with the same symbiotic abilities of Venom, with the additional feature of creating weapons out of his hands. These weapons include sharp objects such as an axe, knives, spears and darts – only fitting for a serial killer.
Carnage brings together mortal enemies Spider-Man and Venom to stop him, as Venom, though being an enemy of Spider-Man, believes in protecting the innocent and wants to be a hero at his core. This brings together the two frequent-enemies and adds interesting chemistry between each other, as Venom begrudgingly works with Spider-Man on multiple instances to stop Carnage.
Carnage even appeared in an intercompany comic crossover between Marvel and DC, teaming Batman and Spider-Man to take on Carnage and Joker. Albeit a short story, this 1995 comic was met with mostly positive reviews.
The Maximum Carnage video game based off the comic arc of the same name, went further and put Carnage front-and-center, elevating him to a more relevance. Later on, the first appearance of Carnage outside of the comics (and video games) was Spider-Man: The Animated Series. While only appearing in a handful of episodes, this was the character’s first appearance in other media.
In most instances, Carnage was one of those villains that required several heroes to team together to take down. It would be ideal to see Spider-Man get involved at some point with Carnage, as opposed to Sony leaving Carnage solely to Venom. A team-up between Spider-Man and Venom would be appropriate for the challenge of Carnage, as it would mark a perfect occasion for a monumental deal for Sony and Marvel to be made. Assuming they don’t immediately kill off the character, having Carnage stick around in the Sony-verse and becoming a bigger threat would require Venom to find assistance, and who better to assist than Spider-Man himself?
Since then, Carnage has appeared in several video games, as both playable and non-playable roles, as well as a cameo in the first Venom film. The character is popular with many fans, and as such has appeared in other adaptations to media, to the point of film, where Carnage made appearances in YouTube fan films.
￼Anticipation grows for Carnage to finally appear on screen as a main villain in Venom: Let There Be Carnage – which, as of this writing, has already been delayed several times from its original release date of October 2, 2020 to June 25, 2021, then to September 24, 2021, now being moved to October 15, 2021.