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Carnage (comics)

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Character Name = Carnage
Real Name = Cletus Kasady
Publisher = Marvel Comics
Debut = (as Cletus Kasady)The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991), (as Carnage)The Amazing Spider-Man #360 (March 1992)
Creators = David Michelinie
Mark Bagley
Partners = Shriek
Carrion Powers = Alien symbiote

Carnage (Cletus Kasady) is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Template:Marvel Universe. The character first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991), and was created by writer David Michelinie and artist Mark Bagley. In 2009, Carnage was ranked as IGN's 90th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.


Publication history

Writer David Michelinie created Carnage to be a darker version of Venom intending to have Venom's human alter ego, Eddie Brock, be killed off in Amazing Spider-Man #400 and have the symbiote continue to bond with a series of hosts. However, as Brock and Venom's popularity increased, Marvel would not allow him to be killed. Michelinie decided to create a new character; a total psychopath who unlike Venom had no sense of honor. The character was originally meant to be named "Chaos" and then "Ravage" before being settled on "Carnage." Carnage's human component, Cletus Kasady was designed by artist Erik Larsen who modeled the character after the DC Comics supervillain the Joker. Mark Bagley designed the Carnage symbiote.

Cletus Kasady was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #344 and first appears as Carnage in issue #360. He is the main villain in the 1993 "Maximum Carnage" crossover, a 14-part storyline crossover that spanned through all the Spider-Man titles. In 1996, two one-shot comics centered entirely around Carnage were released, entitled Carnage: Mind Bomb and Carnage: It's A Wonderful Life, both of which expand on his character.

Fictional character biography

Cletus Kasady had a troubled childhood, killing his grandmother by pushing her down a flight of stairs, and torturing his mother's dog. His mother then tries to kill Cletus, and is apparently beaten to the brink of death by Kasady's father, who receives no defense from Kasady during his trial. As an orphan, Kasady is sent to the St. Estes Home for Boys, where his antisocial behavior makes him the target of abuse from both the other orphans and the staff. Kasady gains revenge by murdering the disciplinarian administrator, pushing a girl who refused a date with him in front of a moving bus, and burning down the orphanage.

Kasady becomes a serial killer. He is captured and sent to Ryker's Island prison where he shares a cell with Eddie Brock, who had lost the alien symbiote that transformed him into the supervillain Venom. Brock's symbiote soon returns and bonds with him again, and unwittingly leaves behind the symbiote's offspring; the symbiotes reproduce asexually, once per generation; the children are then of no consequence to the parent, hence Brock's symbiote felt no need to inform Brock of the existence of its offspring. The new symbiote enters Kasady's bloodstream through a cut and bonds with his blood, transforming him into Carnage. He escapes prison, and begins a series of murders, and at the scene of each crime, writes "Carnage Rules" on the walls with his own blood. He is found by Spider-Man, though the hero proves to be no match for Carnage's powers. In desperation, Spider-Man makes a truce with Venom to fight Carnage. Carnage is defeated with sonic weaponry, but the symbiote lives on because it is merged with Kasady's bloodstream.

Carnage goes on to recruit an army of psychopathic supervillains including Shriek, Demogoblin, Carrion, and Doppelganger to overtake New York City. They are driven back by Spider-Man, Venom, and a number of other superheroes.

Aside from Cletus Kasady, the Carnage symbiote bonds with Ben Reilly, creating Spider-Carnage, and later the Silver Surfer.

Venom eventually reabsorbs the Carnage symbiote into his own body "for good." Without the symbiote, Kasady retains the Carnage persona by costuming himself in red paint and continuing his killing sprees, but does so as a normal human, only for Spider-Man to easily defeat him in a fight. Kasady finds a replica of the Carnage symbiote in the Negative Zone.

The Carnage symbiote later spawns a "child" symbiote, named Toxin.

In New Avengers #2, Carnage is one of several supervillains trying to escape from The Raft. Sentry finishes him off, flying Carnage outside the Earth's atmosphere and ripping him apart. According to Iron Man's computer, Kasady may not have been inside the symbiote when the Sentry ripped it apart. However, it is later discovered that Kasady did in fact die in the incident, and that the symbiote will return to Earth to find a new female host.

Powers and abilities

The alien symbiote endows Cletus Kasady with enhanced physical strength greater than that of Spider-Man and Venom combined and shapeshifting abilities, project a web-like substance from any part of his body including the formation of a variety of weapons, and plant thoughts into a person's head using a symbiote tendril. Much like Spider-Man, Kasady has the ability to cling to virtually any surface. He can rapidly crawl, walk, or run across even slick surfaces. He is able to rapidly regenerate damaged body tissues much faster and more extensively than an ordinary human. It isn't known, however, if he can fully regenerate severed limbs or missing internal organs. Kasady is also immune to the effects of all Earthly diseases and infections as long as he remains bonded with the symbiote. Like Venom, the symbiote is vulnerable to heat, and is undetectable to Spider-Man's spider-sense. Unlike Venom, Carnage can launch parts of his symbiote at enemies in the form of weapons such as spears, knives, axes, etc., although they disintegrate into dust within ten seconds of leaving Carnage's body. Though not originally seen, the Carnage symbiote has become vampiric, feeding on and thus endangering his victims by mere touch.


Carnage is a psychopath and justifies his acts of murder with an absurdist philosophy, based on the idea that the universe is essentially chaotic and that law and order are a perversion. He believes that even the average person can be like him, provided he has "guts". According to Kasady, all human beings are basically evil; most just won't admit it. His ultimate goal is for a society based on murderous hedonism and nihilism, with no law or moral order, and for people to have the freedom to do whatever they want. Carnage seems to have little interest in such typical supervillain desires as wealth and world domination. He kills mainly for his own pleasure, but also sees it as a form of "art". Kasady takes pride when his actions gain media attention, saying "I'm not inspired by the media... I inspire the media." He once told Demogoblin, in response to the demon's assertion that the universe is made of patterns and plans, that "Life is meaningless! Chaos! The universe has no center! Its creator is a drooling idiot!"

Other versions


The Earth-15 psychotic Peter Parker and Carnage combine to become the "Spider", and becomes a member of Weapon X in Exiles.

Intercompany crossover

Carnage teams up with and later turns against the Joker during Spider-Man And Batman #1, the two's mutual psychosis leading them into a brief alliance before their differing methods of murder cause a clash, Carnage favouring numbers in his murder sprees while the Joker prefers the artistry of his usual traps and tricks. Carnage is defeated by Batman in the subsequent fight when he loses control of his symbiote while panicking after the Joker threatens to set off a bomb to destroy New York- himself and Carnage included- rather than see Carnage kill Batman, Batman reflecting that many serial killers kill so many to try and escape death themselves by 'appeasing' the Grim Reaper with their own sacrifices.


In the MC2 future timeline, Carnage bonds with Spider-Girl's friend, Moose Mansfied. He also infects Spider-Girl's little brother, Ben, turning him into a miniature version of himself. Spider-Girl uses the sonic blasters of the villain Reverb to destroy all traces of the symbiote.

Spider-Man Unlimited

The Spider-Man Unlimited version of Carnage has the additional power to "see" from any part of itself and relay the visual information to Kasady.

Ultimate Carnage

In the Ultimate Marvel series, Carnage is a self-regenerating form of life based on the symbiotic suit research of Richard Parker, created by Curt Conners and consists of his own DNA and that of Peter Parker, which at the time contained samples of the Venom symbiote. When Carnage was first introduced, he was a monster of instinct, with no intelligence or self awareness, with his only aim to feed on the DNA of others to stabilize himself. After killing Gwen Stacy, this incarnation of Carnage has gone on to mimic her "essence" and now believes itself to be Gwen Stacy. Ultimate Carnage's appearance is based on Venom, Peter Parker, Curt Conners, and Gwen Stacy. In its monster form, Carnage resembles his original incarnation, such as its large eyes and fangs, as well as the Lizard's claws. In addition, the center of its body glows yellow. In its 'human form', Carnage resembles Peter's father Richard Parker in its first appearance, and Gwen in its second. The Carnage symbiote was absorbed by Eddie Brock, leaving Gwen and returning her to a healthy duplicate of the original. In one Ultimate Spider-Man comic book, Cletus Kasady is seen on a list of known cat burglars.

In other media


  • Carnage appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Scott Cleverdon. Due to being a Saturday morning cartoon, Carnage was not allowed to be depicted killing people. Cletus Kasady first appeared in the episode "Sins of Fathers" where he is captured by the police in his home after planning to explode a bomb over New York. In prison he shared a cell with Eddie Brock (who had recently lost the symbiote) who finds Cletus very frustrating. In the episode "Venom Returns" the symbiote finds Eddie in prison and rebonds with him and escapes; Cletus then becomes jealous of Eddie's powers as he sees Venom flee the prison, saying he wants the power for himself. Baron Mordo, servant of the demon Dormammu, appears in front of Cletus with the Carnage symbiote and explains that it has the same power as Venom. He makes a deal with Cletus to have the symbiote power in exchange for serving Dormammu; Cletus accepts the offer and bonds with the symbiote, turning into Carnage, and then escapes the prison. Carnage and Venom team up with each other and steal the portal device so Dormammu can travel to earth and consume souls. In the next episode, "Carnage", after Venom betrays Dormammu, Carnage is offered the ability to absorb the life force out of people so Dormammu can have enough energy to consume souls on earth. Carnage accepts, eager to witness the destruction Dormammu would wreck on the world. Carnage also kidnaps Eddie's girlfriend Ashley. Spider-Man calls for Iron Man's help in order to stop Carnage and send Dormammu back to his own reality. Venom also joins forces with Spider-Man to help save Ashley. A final showdown results in a fight between Spider-Man, Carnage, Dormammu, Iron Man and Venom in an underground cave where Carnage has released Dormammu. Iron Man discovers Carnage must be sent into the portal as well in order for it to close. As Carnage is sucked into the portal, he grabs Ashley saying that he will not leave unless someone goes with him. Venom then pounces on Carnage, releasing Ashley as Carnage and Venom are sucked into the portal as it closes. In the series finale, the Carnage symbiote is seen arriving on an alternate Earth through a portal, merging with that reality's Spider-Man with Cletus Kassady's psychopathic personality- although evidence suggested that the Spider-Man it merged with may have been a clone- and driving him insane, the resulting 'Spider-Carnage' developing a weapon that can destroy all reality out of his anger at the torment he has suffered since acquiring his powers, his plans only being thwarted by a team of alternate Spider-Men assembled by the Beyonder and Madame Web. The "original" Spider-Man follows Spider-Carnage to yet another alternate dimension, but being no match for the symbiote in a fight, Spider-Man locates Uncle Ben, who in this reality is still alive. Ben convinces the alternate Peter Parker to try and separate from the Carnage symbiote, but the bond is too strong, and he ultimately commits suicide by leaping into a blank dimension, thus saving all of reality.
  • Carnage appears semi-regularly in Spider-Man Unlimited voiced by Michael Donovan. This version is leaner, and more sane than other versions.

Video games

  • Carnage is a boss character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge, The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes, and Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage and its sequel Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety.
  • Carnage is a boss in the 2000 Spider-Man video game voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. He assists Doctor Octopus in a plot to establish a symbiote invasion. After Spider-Man defeats Carnage, the symbiote attaches itself to Doctor Octopus turning him into the Monster-Ock. It destroys much of the underwater base when chasing Spider-Man. When the base exploded, the symbiote had protected Doctor Octopus from harm. The Carnage symbiote then detaches itself from Doctor Octopus and heads back into the underwater base.
  • Carnage appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game. This version is Peter Parker who was injected with micro-symbiotes by Adrian Toomes. It breaks free and fights Venom. After being defeated, Venom absorbs the Carnage symbiote into himself.
  • Carnage is a playable character in the PSP version of Spider-Man: Friend or Foe voiced by Fred Tatasciore. At the end of the game, Nick Fury dubs the research of the meteor shards "Project: Carnage."
  • Carnage is a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. He is only available for download, and is the first downloadable content character outside of the six characters to be featured in an updated version for the PS3 and Xbox. The DLC pack was at first removed but recently became available once more until December 2010. The DLC also includes an extra mission where the player fights Carnage after fighting several other bosses from the game.
  • Spider-Carnage appears as an alternate costume in the Nintendo Wii version of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.
  • Ultimate Carnage appears as a villain in a Ultimate segment in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Here Carnage has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and brought to the same research facillity as a fragment from the tablet of order and Chaos. Carnage proceeds to use the tablet to wreak havoc upon the facillity and has been granted the abillity to make lesser duplicates of himself. Spiderman infiltraits the facillity to both retrieve the tablet and stop Carnage's rampage.


The Universal Orlando Resort's 2002 Halloween Horror Nights featured a haunted maze entitled "Maximum Carnage". The maze was designed to be a trip through Carnage's hideout and contained all his henchmen and the remains of various superheroes. The house was located in "Island under Siege", formerly Marvel's superhero island. Carnage also was the icon chosen to represent that specific island for the event. The event's main icon, "The Caretaker," chose him based on his disregard for life and desire to see total chaos.


The song "Carnage Rules" by Green Jellÿ which is featured as the first song on their album "333" is written about the character and is used as the theme song for the Maximum Carnage video game.


  • Amazing Spider-Man #344-345, 360-363, 378-380, 403, 410, 430-431, Annual #28
  • Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life #1
  • Carnage: Mind Bomb #1
  • New Avengers #1-2
  • Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol. 2 #10, 13
  • Sensational Spider-Man Vol. 1 #3
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1 #201-203,233
  • Spider-Man Unlimited Vol. 1 #1-2
  • Spider-Man Vol. 1 #35-37, 67
  • Spider-Man and Batman #1
  • Spider-Man: The Jackal Files #1
  • Venom Carnage Unleashed #1-4
  • Venom Carnage #1-4
  • Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
  • Web of Spider-Man Vol. 1 #101-103
  • What If? Vol. 2 #108


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