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|First appearance||As Cletus Kasady:
The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991)
The Amazing Spider-Man #361 (April 1992)
|Created by||David Michelinie
|Alter ego||Cletus Kasady
Carnage Family/Maximum Carnage
Carnage (Cletus Kasady) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as an enemy of Spider-Man. The character first appeared as Cletus Kasady in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991) and as Carnage in The Amazing Spider-Man #360. Carnage was created by writer David Michelinie and artists Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley, based on elements of the precursor character Venom. In 2009, Carnage was ranked as IGN's 90th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other hosts
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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 The 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 morality. 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 The Amazing Spider-Man #344 and first appears as Carnage in issue #361. 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.
After a 2004 appearance in New Avengers the character was presumed dead and was absent from comics for nearly six years. A 2010-2011 limited series titled Carnage featured the return of the symbiote, where it temporarily found a new female host before reuniting with Kasady. The comic was released as a tie-in to the "Big Time" storyline in The Amazing Spider-Man. This was followed by another five-issue limited series titled Carnage U.S.A. and published 2011-2012. Carnage was next seen in the 2012 "Minimum Carnage" crossover storyline between Scarlet Spider vol. 2, Venom vol. 2, and two one-shots titled Minimum Carnage Alpha and Minimum Carnage Omega. He is set to return in the Superior Carnage storyline.
Fictional character biography
Cletus Kasady is a psychopath and a homicidal sadist. He is a deeply disturbed individual with a dark past: as a child, he killed his grandmother by pushing her down a flight of stairs, tried to murder his mother by throwing a hair dryer into her bathtub, and tortured and killed his mother's dog. After the latter, his mother then tried to kill Cletus, and was apparently beaten to the brink of death by Kasady's father, who received no defense from Kasady during his trial. As an orphan, Kasady was sent to the St. Estes Home for Boys, where his antisocial behavior made him the target of abuse from both the other orphans and the staff. Kasady gained revenge by murdering the disciplinarian administrator, pushing a girl (who laughed at him for asking her to date him) in front of a moving bus, and burning down the orphanage. It was during his brutal years at St. Estes that Kasady acquired his philosophy that life was essentially meaningless and futile, that "laws are only words", and came to see the spreading of chaos through random, unpatterned bloodshed as "the ultimate freedom".
Kasady became a serial killer. He was then captured and sent to Ryker's Island prison for 11 murders—though he bragged about killing a dozen more—where he shared a cell with Eddie Brock, who had lost the alien symbiote that transformed him into the supervillain Venom. Brock's symbiote soon returned and bonded with him again, allowing him to escape prison. Unknown to Brock, the symbiote left its offspring in the cell; due to its alien mindset, the symbiote felt no emotional attachment to its offspring, regarding it as insignificant, and thus never communicated its existence to Brock via their telepathic link. The new symbiote then bonded with Kasady, transforming him into Carnage. He escaped prison, and began a series of murders, and at the scene of each crime, wrote "Carnage" on the walls with his own blood. He was found by Spider-Man, though the hero proved to be no match for Carnage's powers. In desperation, Spider-Man made a truce with Venom to fight Carnage. Carnage was defeated with sonic weaponry, but the symbiote lived on because it had become merged with Kasady's bloodstream through a cut incurred during the fight.
Kasady is taken to The Vault, a prison for super-villains—then Ravencroft Institute, a facility for the super-human criminally insane. A doctor at the facility, hoping to find a "cure" for his madness, draws blood from him—unwittingly enabling Kasady to transform into Carnage—who goes on to recruit an army of psychopathic supervillains including Shriek, Demogoblin, Carrion, and Doppelganger to take over New York City. Using Shriek's "psychic channel" powers, he also drives ordinary New Yorkers to attack one another. Carnage and his "family" are ultimately driven back by Spider-Man, Venom, and a number of other superheroes and super-antiheroes, with Carnage and Shriek being remanded to Ravencroft.
Web of Carnage
During a subsequent jailbreak, he made it his mission to kill his only childhood friend, Billy Bentime—hoping to refute the notion that friendship should be paid in kind. Carnage nearly defeated Spider-Man until Bentime tricked Carnage into reverting to human form, enabling Spider-Man to knock out Kasady with a simple punch.
Though bonded to Cletus Kasady's bloodstream, the symbiote found a way to ditch its host by travelling through the institute's water pipes, overwhelming Ravencroft's chief, John Jameson, and using him to commit further murders. It eventually transferred itself to Spider-Man—Ben Reilly (Peter Parker's clone) at the time—when Ben bonded with it in order to prevent it from hurting any innocent people, creating Spider-Carnage. Ben's willpower held out against the symbiote's murderous desires long enough for him to return it to Ravencroft. Reilly subsequently attempted to destroy the symbiote by subjecting himself to a potentially lethal blast of microwaves, but it escaped back to Kasady after the microwaves forced it to separate from him.
During a subsequent rampage, the Carnage symbiote briefly attempted to take control of the Silver Surfer, who was visiting Earth at the time to welcome the Fantastic Four after their return to life following the battle with Onslaught. The Surfer and Spider-Man were able to return the symbiote to Kasady, and the Surfer then sealed Kasady in an unbreakable prison in an attempt to force him to reflect on his sins for eternity.
Death and resurrection
Having tracked Kasady to a prison specially designed to hold him—how he escaped the Surfer's prison has yet to be established—Venom eventually reabsorbs the Carnage symbiote into his own body "for good". Without the symbiote, Kasady attempts to re-assume the Carnage persona by costuming himself in red paint and continuing his killing sprees, claiming that he still possesses at least some of Carnage's strength and convinced that he only needs to kill Spider-Man and Venom to regain his symbiote, but Spider-Man nevertheless easily defeats him in a fight. Kasady, however, eventually finds another symbiote who had been kept sealed in the Negative Zone, and bonded with it to form the second Carnage.
In Venom vs. Carnage #1-4, the Carnage symbiote reproduces, with Kasady implanting a spawn of it into Patrick "Paddy" Mulligan, an Irish-American police officer who was recently married and expecting a child. Mulligan became Toxin—who single-handedly overpowered both Venom and Carnage. Nevertheless, Mulligan remained determined to use his new-found powers for good—learning as much as he can from Spider-Man—while leaving behind his wife and newborn son in order to protect them from danger.
It is later discovered that, although Kasady was presumably killed, the symbiote survived by becoming dormant and returned to Earth. The Doppelganger and Shriek return, hoping to repair the symbiote. Using the properties of the symbiote, Michael Hall, a competitor of Tony Stark, creates prosthetic limbs and exo-suits which respond in the same ways as a symbiote. One such person, Dr. Tanis Nieves, is outfitted with one of these prosthetic arms after she is caught in an attack by the Doppelganger. When near the symbiote, her arm goes wild and forces her to kill several scientists before the symbiote forcefully bonds to her, becoming the new Carnage. After the symbiote uses Tanis to break into a Hall Corporation facility, it is revealed that Cletus Kasady is alive (although both of his legs have been severed), his body preserved by the symbiote and repaired by Hall's prosthetics. Kasady reclaims the symbiote and becomes Carnage once more, attempting to avenge his captivity while Spider-Man and Iron Man struggle to stop him. It is then revealed that Carnage is once again pregnant, and the suit's spawn briefly bonds to Shriek before being torn from her. Scared of Shriek's malice, the symbiote arm then bonds to Tanis, creating a new hero, Scorn, who defeats Shriek and forces her to use her sonic shriek to weaken Carnage for Spider-Man and Iron Man. Carnage, however, escapes with the Doppleganger and swears to make a bloody comeback.
In the aftermath of his return, Carnage sets off west to Doverton, Colorado. He bonds most of the town to copies of his symbiote. Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye and the Thing attempt to defeat him but all except Spider-Man are bonded to copies. With the Avengers team compromised and Spider-Man out of communication, they send in another team consisted of symbiote-enhanced special forces. Dr. Tanis Nieves as Scorn goes along with the separated parts of Hybrid which make up Agony, Phage, Riot, and Lasher, but they are heavily outnumbered since Carnage controls the entire town. Captain America breaks free of his hold long enough to make an emergency call for back up to none other than Venom. Flash Thompson in the Venom symbiote sets off to Colorado to kill Carnage. The enhanced special forces keep fighting but Carnage sends the controlled Avengers after them, then was when Spider-Man comes with the unaffected residence of the town. The melee is particularly fierce when Venom intervenes with sonic rounds. Venom is about to kill Carnage with a gun in the mouth but Spider-Man stops him. Before Venom or Carnage can recover, Scorn uses a construction vehicle to carry the two to a device she built. She reveals that her device is meant to permanently remove the bonds from Carnage and Venom, but the hosts are still in there, leaving a legless Flash Thompson alone with Cletus Kasady. After the symbiotes fighting with themselves and the Avengers team, Venom finds its way back to Flash Thompson while Scorn is able to capture and contain the Carnage symbiote. The series ends with Cletus being captured and dragged into the back of a prison vehicle.
Carnage escapes prison yet again with the help of microns. Venom is sent to the prison and discovers Kasady has escaped. Carnage flees to Houston, Texas and causes havoc, attracting the attention of the Scarlet Spider. Carnage takes the scientist Dr. Ketola, an expert in inter-dimensional transportation, as a hostage and escapes into the Microverse. He is defeated by Venom and Scarlet Spider, who use a sonic bomb from the Microverse to temporarily separate Kasady from the symbiote. Scarlet Spider then impales Kasady through the eye, lobotomizing him. Carnage goes into a catatonic state: The symbiote is keeping his body alive, similar to a life-support system, but Kasady's brain and mind are believed to be irreparably damaged, leaving the symbiote in control.
Kasady, now lobotomized, later broken out of prison by the Wizard and Klaw, who intend to recruit him into the Frightful Four and turn him into their own version of Agent Venom. Carnage breaks free from the Wizard's control and nearly kills him, but is subdued by Klaw. Taking Carnage into their hideout, the Wizard tries to take control of Cletus' mind, but fails due to it being too damaged. The Wizard then transfers the Symbiote to Dr. Karl Malus. Dr. Malus was enraged and under the influences of the Symbiote tried to kill his teammates, but he was subdued by Klaw and controlled by the Wizard, who renames him "Superior Carnage" and equips him with weapons.
Malus tells Klaw not to be fooled as while he is forced to obey the Wizard, if his control slips the Symbiote will take control and turn against them. After taking all the weapons and starting to move to the city hall, the Wizard blows up the hideout with Kasady still inside, seemingly killing him. While storming the city hall, Superior Carnage states that Kasady was a fool who wasted so much time on chaos while there was much more to be accomplished with a little focus. However, when the Wizard's control slips for a moment Carnage begins to revert to his original form until the Wizard regains himself.
The trio are confronted by the Superior Spider-Man and during their battle the Wizard lose his control over Carnage and he is fatally injured. Carnage, now free, goes on a rampage and starts to kill anyone in front of him. Klaw tries to stop him, but due to his weapon being damaged he fails and realizes that the only way is for the Wizard to take back control. Both Carnage and Klaw make their way outside. Carnage fights the Superior Spider-Man and admits that although he liked using weapons, for him ripping and slashing the bodies is better. Klaw tries to get the Wizard to control Carnage again, but is killed by Carnage and the explosion separates the Symbiote from its host, only to bond with the injured Wizard. Ultimately, Spider-Man brings out Cletus' body to successfully draw the symbiote into it, which immediately devours Dr. Malus and then prepares to finish off the Wizard. However, Klaw focusses his sound manipulation powers one last time for a split second to create a powerful sonic blast that disables Carnage, allowing the symbiote to be recaptured. In the epilogue it is shown that the symbiote has managed to repair the Wizard's and Cletus' brain damage, followed by Kasady writing "CARNAGE RULES" on his cell wall.
A piece of the symbiote (which had died in captivity) escapes containment and sets out in search of Cletus, who is bedridden due to having been stabbed by a fellow prison inmate. A doctor, anticipating that the symbiote will come seeking Cletus, smothers the killer in the infirmary, wanting the alien for himself. When the symbiote breaks into the facility, the doctor offers himself to the creature, but it rejects him, and returns to Cletus after resuscitating him. Carnage proceeds to asphyxiate the doctor, rampage through the prison, and escape.
Deadpool vs. Carnage
Much later, Carnage clashed with Deadpool, who believed it was his destiny to hunt Carnage. When Carnage tore Deadpool to pieces, Deadpool bonded with the four symbiotes Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony. Bonded with the four symbiotes, Deadpool tricked Shriek into thinking she killed Carnage. After that, Deadpool tricked Carnage by forcing Shriek to impersonate Deadpool and Carnage wounded Shriek in the process. Afterwards, Carnage, now broken that he almost killed Shriek, allows himself to be arrested by authorities and placed in an unlocked cell, waiting to be his own man. As he waited to be his own man, Carnage vowed revenge against Deadpool for tricking him.
During the AXIS storyline, Magneto starts to recruit villains in order to combat Red Skull's Red Onslaught form. He manages to convince Carnage by saying he'll cause more chaos by becoming a savior and so Carnage agrees. When he sees Deadpool he tells him that they are "going to have words after this".
During the battle with Red Onslaught, Doctor Doom and the Scarlet Witch cast a spell which alters the moralities of almost everyone present, Carnage included. Filled with the irresistible urge to be a hero, Carnage returns to New York and goes around "saving" people, largely oblivious to the fact that he is causing more harm than good. This is proven when Spider-Man finds that Carnage had saved a family from Squid and his gang, the Tentacles. At the same time, a new Sin-Eater is murdering journalists, which unscrupulous reporter Alice Gleason uses to try and boost her popularity by feigning severe distress over the killings. Believing Alice's crocodile tears and convinced that she is a kindhearted and empathic person, Carnage rescues her from the Sin-Eater and abducts her with the intent of having Alice teach him how to be "a great hero". However, after Carnage defeats the Sin-Eater by overloading his foe with all his old sins, Alice turns on Carnage and convinces the police that he has been attacking her, but the inverted Carnage simply concludes that she is teaching him that a true hero must be alone to protect others and swings away.
Faced with the threat of the morally-inverted Avengers seeking to enforce their power and the inverted X-Men working with Apocalypse to take control of Manhattan, Spider-Man and the aged Steve Rogers are forced to work with Magneto and the "Astonishing Avengers" of Carnage and the other inverted villains. Although unable to destroy the X-Men's gene-bomb, which would have killed all humans in the blast radius, Carnage sacrifices himself to contain the blast with his own symbiote, Spider-Man describing Kasady's sacrifice as the worst man he ever knew doing the most noble thing he'd ever seen. With the crisis concluded, Peter Parker sets out to create a gold-and-rhinestone memorial to Carnage as he promised Cletus he would before his sacrifice. After the heroes and villains are inverted, a videotape is released in which the Astonishing Avengers—with Carnage as their "spokesman"—proclaim themselves to be the "Axis of Evil", taking responsibility for the Avengers' and the X-Men's actions during the inversion at the cost of their own brief time as heroes.
However, Cletus was somehow able to cheat death again, though he lost the lower half of his body in the process, and went to Carefree, Arizona, to pay a visit to a new friend he made during the time he was inverted, a friend he was willing to "help", Sam Alexander aka Nova. Cletus left a message signaling his return in the form of murdering a random bystander who he had asked where to find the boy as proof that he was reverted to his more natural moral axis.
After learning that Sam's mother works at a local diner, Cletus took her hostage there in order to get his attention, but, tired of waiting, Cletus decided to kill her. Nova arrived before he could do so and took him away from the diner to an empty area in order not to hurt anyone. While fighting, Nova tried to convince him that he wasn't Sam Alexander, but the maniac didn't believe him. After being wounded by the Nova Force, Cletus fled in order to let his symbiote heal him as the police arrived. In the next day, already healed from his burns, Cletus attacked Sam again, this time at his school.
While attacking Sam at school, Carnage saw Nova flying around the area, thus making it impossible for the boy to be Nova (unbeknownst to him, that was Sam's mother wearing his helmet). Enraged, Carnage followed the false Nova, but lost sight of her. He then started to attack innocent people to try to get Nova's attention, which he got. A new battle ensued between them both. Carnage was taken by Nova to the sky and then punched him into the parking lot below, the impact setting off the cars' alarms, dizzying Cletus and his symbiote. Cletus was then thrown by Nova, who had already realized Carnage's weakness to high sounds, into Anthrax (a heavy metal band which Cletus was a fan of) show nearby. As the symbiote screamed in pain, Cletus fled from there to the road, but was attacked by Nova again. He threw a car at Nova, who caught it midair, and took advantage of it to punch him. Ready to finish off his opponent, Carnage was hit by a truck. He was then tied in metal plates by Nova and left by his symbiote as he revealed he wanted to kill Nova because he wanted to erase any memory of his good deeds, from the time he had his moral axis inverted, from anyone who remembered it. He was left by Sam in Ryker's Island.
Powers and abilities
As Eddie Brock explained, the Carnage symbiote was born with abilities even more singular than those of its progenitor—due to the fact that it gestated in an environment alien to it—Earth. The alien symbiote endows Cletus Kasady with enhanced physical strength greater than that of Spider-Man and Venom combined and shape-shifting abilities, allows him to project a web-like substance from any part of his body including the formation of weapons, and enables him to 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, and has a version of Spider-Man's spider-sense, as the symbiote can relay information to him from any angle and grants Kasady the ability to "see" in any direction, warning him of incoming threats. He can rapidly crawl, walk, or run across even slick surfaces. The Carnage symbiote has similar abilities of that of Spider-Man's as a direct result of the Venom symbiote's first host, Peter Parker, who transferred some of Spider-Man's power into the symbiote.
He is able to rapidly regenerate damaged body tissues much faster and more extensively than an ordinary human. It is not known, however, if he can fully regenerate severed limbs or missing internal organs; he was fitted with artificial legs after being torn apart by the Sentry, but this occurred while he was separated from the symbiote. 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 sound (to a much smaller degree than Venom) and heat (to a much larger degree than Venom), and is undetectable to Spider-Man's spider-sense. Unlike Venom, Carnage can launch parts of his symbiote at enemies in the form of solid weapons such as darts, spears, knives, axes, etc., although they disintegrate into dust within ten seconds of leaving Carnage's body. Carnage also has the unique ability to warp his appendages into different arms, legs, and even wings. This is shown on several occasions when Carnage mutates his fingers and arms into what look like large swords.
Kasady has full control over the size, shape, color (usually red and black), texture, and hardness of his symbiote (and any part thereof). Like Venom, he can make his symbiote look like normal clothing (which he has done on rare occasion), or act as "camouflage". With the symbiote bonded to his bloodstream, he can "regenerate" his costume from scratch simply by bleeding. His symbiote has the peculiar ability to block its parent's (Venom's) ability to sense and track it. The symbiote is also able to rapidly adapt to new environments; when Kasady was taken into space by the Sentry, the Carnage symbiote was able to save his life by growing small sacks around his mouth that converted carbon dioxide into oxygen, allowing Kasady to stay alive long enough for him to be recovered.
In some interpretations, the Carnage symbiote is vampiric, feeding on and thus endangering his victims by only a mere touch. The symbiote has also shown the ability to call back parts of itself back to the main symbiote, adding it to the parts that already make up the symbiote. It can also send commands that cannot be resisted to parts of itself that are in technology, used to break the bones of the Iron Rangers when they challenged Carnage while wearing symbiote-enhanced technological exo-suits. Using these last two abilities, Carnage absorbed the five Iron Rangers, and consequently grew to an enormous size and assumed the color blue.
Finally, Carnage's powers have always been abnormally enhanced from the maniacal will and insane worldview that Cletus Kasady has had from the age of 8 years old onward. Kasady sees "chaos" and random, undirected violence as reality, and considers "order" and virtue to be illusions. He takes an almost artistic pride in his mayhem, likes to leave a trail for others to follow (usually leaving the phrase "Carnage Rules" written in his own blood), and is recklessly willing to take on the most dangerous and powerful of opponents and victims. On rare occasions, however, he has deliberately spared individuals in order to serve as witnesses for others—for instance, Joe Robertson's wife Martha during Savage Rebirth. Kasady is essentially taking revenge on the whole world for the torment—both real and imagined—of his childhood.
Aside from Cletus Kasady, the Carnage symbiote bonds briefly with John Jameson,[volume & issue needed] before bonding with Ben Reilly, creating Spider-Carnage, and later with the Silver Surfer to become Carnage Cosmic. Later the suit forcefully bonds itself to Dr. Tanis Nieves after the apparent death of Cletus, in the process becoming the third Carnage. In every case, however, the symbiote eventually returns to Cletus Kasady; one storyline saw a doctor deliberately trying to claim the symbiote for himself by killing Kasady while he was separated from the symbiote, but the symbiote bypassed him to restore Kasady.
In the MC2 future timeline, Carnage bonds with Spider-Girl's friend, Moose Mansfied. He also infects Spider-Girl's little brother, 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.
In a later timeline, samples of the symbiote are used to create "Biopreds", living weapons that the government use to try to stop Mayhem, Spider-Girl's part-symbiote clone, who, after killing the real Spider-Girl, became a murderous vigilante, eventually killing the hero American Dream. The Biopreds run wild, however, decimating the world and its defenders. Mayhem, seeing the error of her ways, goes back in time and sacrifices herself to stop her past self from killing Spider-Girl, ensuring the events that led to the Biopreds' creation never occurred.
Following the Spider-Verse crisis and the deaths of various Spider-Men, the new 'Web Warriors' - Spider-Men who travelled the parallel worlds to help realities that had lost their Spider-Men - visited the Marvel 1602 universe, where they encountered a 'Sinister Sextet' led by Canice Cassidy, who claimed to be possessed by a demon, although he was swiftly defeated by an acid that Pavitr Prabhakar had created to neutralise symbiotes.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Carnage is a self-regenerating vampiric organism. This version is created from DNA samples of both Curt Conners and Peter Parker and combined with samples from Richard Parker's symbiotic suit research. When Carnage was first introduced, it was a blob of instinct, with no intelligence or self-awareness, with its only aim to feed on the DNA of others, including Gwen Stacy, to stabilize itself. After feeding on multiple people, Carnage turns into a damaged form of Richard. Carnage and Peter battle and Peter throws Carnage into a fire factor steel chimney, seemingly killing the beast. However, the organism assumes Gwen's form (albeit imperfectly) until the Carnage symbiote gets absorbed by Eddie Brock, leaving and returning Gwen to a healthy duplicate of the original.
Carnage teams up with and later turns against the Joker during Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered Minds #1, the two men meeting when behavioral psychiatrist Cassandra Briar attempts to use the two men—regarded as humanity's most twisted minds—as tests for a chip she has developed that will allegedly 'lobotomise' their homicidal instincts. However, the Carnage symbiote neutralizes Kasady's chip after it is implanted, with Kasady simply pretending that the chip had worked so that he could meet the Joker. After Carnage removes Joker's chip, the two psychotics briefly enter into an alliance before their differing methods of murder cause a clash; Carnage favors numbers and actually seeing the death of his victims close-up in his murder sprees while the Joker prefers the artistry of his usual traps and tricks, Carnage dismissing the Joker's methods as slow while Joker sees Carnage as an amateur as anyone can just go out and kill people. Carnage responds by ambushing and threatening to kill Batman in order to be "theatrical". 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 Gotham— himself and Carnage included— rather than see Carnage kill Batman. While defeating the shaken Kasady after his panic causes him to lose control of the symbiote, Batman reflects that many serial killers kill so many to try to escape death themselves by "appeasing" the Grim Reaper with their own sacrifices, and that Carnage—far from being a monster or even a "common street punk"— is little more than an overgrown "little boy", albeit with lethal powers.
In other media
- Carnage / Cletus Kasady appeared in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Scott Cleverdon. This version of Cletus Kasady was never shown killing anyone but still a deranged psychopath with a heavy criminal record. Introduced in the episode "Venom Returns", he is captured by the police after planning to explode a bomb over New York. In prison, he shares a cell with Eddie Brock. After the original symbiote goes in their prison and rebonds with Brock and escapes, Baron Mordo appears in front of Cletus and explains that another symbiote has the same symbiotic powers. When Mordo makes a deal with this symbiote power in exchange for servitude to Dormammu, Cletus accepts the offer and bonds with the new symbiote, turning into Carnage and escapes the prison. Carnage and Venom are given vampiric powers to steal life energy so that Dormammu can escape into this dimension and consume. Carnage mockingly refers to Venom as 'Dad'. Carnage, Venom and Dormammu are ultimately imprisoned in Dormammu's dimension. In the episode "The Haunting of Mary Jane Watson", a robotic version of Carnage appeared in Mysterio's underground hideout. In the series finale, Spider-Men from different dimensions undertake a mission to stop an alternate version of Spider-Man that has bonded with the Carnage symbiote and become the omnicidal supervillain Spider-Carnage.
- Carnage appeared in Spider-Man Unlimited, voiced by Michael Donovan. In this version, the symbiote is in complete control of it host, and works well with Venom. They traveled to Counter Earth to join the Symnoptic, a similar hive mind of symbiotes. In the series finale, the High Evolutionary separates Carnage and Venom from their respective hosts. Cletus Kassady is last seen as the Synoptic emerge on Counter-Earth.
- Cletus Kasady has a non-voiced appearance in The Spectacular Spider-Man. He has a cameo appearance in the episode "Reinforcement" as a patient wearing a Santa Claus hat in Ravencroft during a group therapy session with Doctor Octopus and Electro when Kraven the Hunter attacks to break out the two villains. Carnage was originally set to appear had there been a third season.
- Carnage appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series. The first version (with Dee Bradley Baker reprising the role from early Spider-Man games) is a modified form of the Venom symbiote that has a red tongue, makes screeching noises and can turn his body spiky. In the episode "Carnage", the Green Goblin injects Peter Parker with a symbiote sample (but Peter's spider cells makes the organism unstable and imperfect), thus Carnage is formed with Peter as its host. The Goblin, approving of this new 'son', sends Carnage to eliminate Spider-Man (not knowing that Peter and Spider-Man are one and the same). Carnage attacks Nick Fury and battles the S.H.I.E.L.D. Trainees. Carnage fights through Spider-Man's allies but stops when Harry Osborn absorbs the symbiote to free Peter while Venom returns to form, leaving Carnage inactive. The second iteration later appears in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six as a completely different creature (with Dee Bradley Baker as the 'prime' version's and mass-produced versions' voice, and Fred Tatasciore reprising the role from several Marvel video games as Carnage's further mutated forms). In the episode "The Symbiote Saga" Pt. 1, the Carnage symbiote is created by Michael Morbius under HYDRA's orders. After being injected with Doctor Octopus' vampire bat DNA serum, Morbius retaliates by throwing the Carnage symbiote on Doc Ock. Spider-Man and Flash Thompson use a sound device on the Carnage symbiote which removed the organism from its host and also neutralized the nanites that changed Doc Ock's appearance. The Carnage symbiote then turns into its familiar form, speaking and acting on its own, no longer needing a host and plans to cause chaos, tricking Spider-Man and Agent Venom into exploding Carnage so that the civilians below can become infected by the symbiote's fragments. In the episode "The Symbiote Saga" Pt. 2, the Carnage fragments possess every civilian in Manhattan including the Hulk and Shriek. Spider-Man had to work with Captain America, Agent Venom and the New Warriors to fight them even when some Carnage-possessed civilians reawaken Anti-Venom. Harry, upon getting control of Anti-Venom, sacrifices Anti-Venom's powers to undo Carnage's control on the civilians. However, Carnage's remains were coming back together. In the episode "The Symbiote Saga" Pt. 3, the Carnage remains reassemble into one giant creature that envelopes Midtown High. While fighting passed the Mini-Carnages, Spider-Man, Agent Venom and The Patrioteer find that Mary Jane Watson has been transformed into the Carnage Queen (voiced by Tara Strong) as the mutated Morbius uses a mind-control device on Carnage Queen. Morbius and Crossbones later further HYDRA's plans to use deactivated HYDRA missiles confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. below Midtown High to send Carnage drones to every city in the world. Upon Spider-Man breaking the mind-control device, Carnage Queen fends off Morbius and Crossbones as Spider-Man, Agent Venom and Patrioteer reveal their respective identities to Mary Jane to break free from the Carnage symbiote. Unknown to anyone, some residue of Carnage is still within Mary Jane.
- Carnage is a boss character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (1992), 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 (Cletus Kasady) is the final 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 leaves Kasady and attaches itself to Doctor Octopus, turning into the Monster-Ock. It destroys much of the underwater base when chasing Spider-Man. When the base explodes, the symbiote protects Doctor Octopus from harm before detaching itself from him and retreating back into the collapsing facility.
- Carnage appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game. This version is Peter Parker injected with micro-symbiotes by Adrian Toomes. It breaks free and fights Venom. After being defeated, Venom absorbs the Carnage symbiote into himself, giving him complete control over the suit.
- 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. The character is featured on Vicarious Visions (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, later also PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC) versions of the game, and originally 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 360. 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.
- Carnage appears as a villain in the final Ultimate Marvel segment in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. A clone derived from Peter Parker's DNA and the Venom symbiote, Carnage has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and brought to the Triskelion, along with a fragment from the Tablet of Order and Chaos. S.H.I.E.L.D. began experimenting on Carnage and the fragment, combining them in hopes of creating a new kind of energy. Carnage absorbs the fragment and escapes containment, draining everyone he comes across of energy and using the power of the tablet to reanimate them as mindless zombies (which slowly mutate into symbiote creatures like himself). Spider-Man pursues Carnage throughout the burning ruins of the Triskelion, dealing with the villain's spawn and Spider-Slayers armed with flamethrowers (which identify Spider-Man as a threat due to his use of the symbiote-based Black Suit). Cornering his target on the highest floor of the Triskelion and gaining the assistance of some reprogrammed Spider-Slayers, Ultimate Spider-Man defeats Carnage and retrieves the final fragment, leaving the creature pinned under rubble. During the credits, Carnage is shown posing for pictures in prison.
- Carnage appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, as a playable character, voiced by Dave Boat.
- Carnage (Cletus Kasady) appears in the 2014 video game The Amazing Spider-Man 2, voiced by David Agranov. After Spider-Man chooses to save a civilian before chasing Carradine, Cletus kills Carradine shortly and gives a sign of "CK" mark from his full name before Spider-Man shows up, only to find Carradine's dead body. The police referred to him as the "Carnage Killer". After Spider-Man tracks him down with aid and training from Kraven the Hunter, he discovers Cletus as he is about to kill a civilian who saw him killing someone else. Although Kraven wants him to let Cletus kill his target so that Spider-Man can continue to track Cletus during his training, Spider-Man stops Cletus and sends him to the police. Cletus is somehow brought to Ravencroft for an experiment by Kingpin and Oscorp which transforms him into Carnage. He later creates hives on Ravencroft and even infects most of the people, including Kingpin's forces. Even though he is fully transformed into Carnage, he is still defeated by Spider-Man, when the suit is burned by fires started within the base. The game concludes with Kasady turned into custody.
- Carnage has been announced to appear as a boss in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Carnage appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by David Sobolov.
- Carnage was announced to be a team-up character in Marvel Heroes 2015, the online MMOARPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Action Role-playing Game), with Dee Bradley Baker reprising his role from 2000's Spider-Man game and the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series.
- Carnage appears as a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
- Carnage is a rare playable character in the "match-three" mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest.
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.
- Avengers & X-Men #6
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Artist Mark Bagley's era of The Amazing Spider-Man hit its stride as Carnage revealed the true face of his evil. Carnage was a symbiotic offspring produced when Venom bonded to psychopath Cletus Kasady."
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