How is Carnage born?

Carnage is one of the most iconic and dangerous supervillains in the Marvel universe. As a symbiotic offspring of Venom, Carnage was born with immense powers and a psychopathic bloodlust that makes him a formidable foe for Spider-Man and other heroes. But how exactly did this murderous creature come into being? Let’s take a closer look at Carnage’s twisted origins and the events that led to his “birth” as a supervillain.

The Origin of the Venom Symbiote

To understand Carnage, we must first look at his “father” – the alien symbiote known as Venom. The symbiote first appeared in Marvel comics as a living alien costume worn by Spider-Man. Peter Parker obtained the black suit on an alien planet during the Secret Wars crossover event. At first, Spider-Man enjoyed the suit’s abilities, as it enhanced his powers and transformed to resemble civilian clothing. However, he soon realized the symbiote was altering his personality and making him more aggressive. When he discovered the suit was a sentient alien attempting to permanently bond with him, Spider-Man rejected the symbiote.

The symbiote felt rage and hatred toward Spider-Man for abandoning it. It soon bonded with another host – Eddie Brock, a reporter who harbored a grudge against Spider-Man. The symbiote’s rage aligned with Eddie’s bitterness, and together they sought revenge as the supervillain Venom. The symbiote amplified Eddie’s physical abilities and granted him new powers, such as shapeshifting, webbing, and knowing Spider-Man’s secret identity. Venom became one of Spider-Man’s most formidable and recurring foes.

Cletus Kasady Becomes Carnage’s First Host

The events that led to Carnage’s birth began with the psychopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady. As a boy, Kasady exhibited disturbing behavior and tortured animals. His grandmother tried unsuccessfully to reform him, but he eventually murdered her. As an adult, Kasady became a serial killer, feeling no remorse for his gruesome crimes. He was caught, convicted, and sent to Ryker’s Island prison.

While in prison, Kasady shared a cell with Eddie Brock during a period when Brock was separated from the Venom symbiote. When Brock’s symbiote returned to free him from prison, it left behind its offspring. The offspring symbiote bonded with Kasady, transforming him into the supervillain Carnage. The symbiote amplified Kasady’s physical abilities and psychopathic tendencies, while also granting shapeshifting powers and the ability to shoot webbing. Carnage rampaged through the prison before escaping, beginning his career as a supervillain.

How the Carnage Symbiote Differs from Venom

As an offspring of the Venom symbiote, Carnage shares many traits and abilities with its progenitor. However, there are key differences that make Carnage more powerful and dangerous:

  • The Carnage symbiote is a purer version of the alien species, making it stronger.
  • It has a closer symbiotic bond with Kasady than Venom’s bond with Brock.
  • Carnage is unaffected by sonic attacks, which can disable Venom.
  • Carnage can shapeshift more extensively than Venom, morphing into axes, spikes, and other weapons.
  • Carnage bleeds a corrosive substance that melts through many materials.
  • Carnage is more chaotic and unpredictable in combat.

In short, the differences come down to the Carnage symbiote being more powerful and more psychologically aligned with its psychopathic host. This makes Carnage an especially dangerous foe, capable of immense destruction and violence.

Carnage’s Murder Sprees and Showdowns with Spider-Man

Once bonded with Cletus Kasady as his first host, Carnage went on numerous murder sprees across New York City and beyond. He took sadistic glee in random acts of violence, spraying people with acid blood and leaving messages scrawled in blood. Carnage’s body count escalated rapidly into the hundreds as he proved himself a remorseless serial killer.

Naturally, these rampages put Carnage into repeated confrontations with Spider-Man. Their early battles were difficult for Spider-Man, as he struggled to combat Carnage’s superior strength and durability. Making matters worse, Carnage would deliberately target innocent civilians, forcing Spider-Man to prioritize saving lives over stopping the villain. Their clashes often ended inconclusively, with Carnage escaping after the wanton destruction and death.

Over time, Spider-Man adopted new tactics and occasionally allied with others like Venom to gain an advantage over Carnage. The tables turned after Spider-Man used a sonic weapon on Carnage, weakening the symbiote and allowing him to be captured. But Carnage would always manage to escape captivity and continue his homicidal sprees anew.

Carnage Bonds with Other Hosts

Although Cletus Kasady is Carnage’s most infamous host, the alien symbiote has bonded with other individuals over the years:

Ben Reilly

A clone of Spider-Man known as Ben Reilly briefly bonded with Carnage when Kasady was catatonic. However, Reilly’s moral character made him reject the symbiote.

Karl Malus

Dr. Karl Malus drained the Carnage symbiote from Kasady to use it in medical experiments. When the symbiote escaped, it briefly bonded with Malus before returning to Kasady.

Silver Surfer

When the Silver Surfer drained Kasady of the symbiote, Carnage bonded with the Surfer. The Surfer’s nobility of spirit caused Carnage agony, leading it to return to Kasady.

Norman Osborn

Green Goblin Osborn bonded with the Carnage symbiote and gained amplified versions of Carnage’s powers. But the bond was unstable and corrupted Osborn’s mind, so he returned the symbiote to Kasady.

These unstable bonds with hosts besides Kasady demonstrated that he has the closest symbiosis with Carnage. The others could not harness the full potential – or madness – of the alien creature.

Times Carnage Has “Died”

Given his immense power and psychopathic behavior, heroes have tried to kill Carnage many times over the years. But the villain has always managed to come back in one way or another:

Microwaved by Iron Man

After an especially destructive rampage, Iron Man captured Carnage and microwaved the symbiote when it tried to escape. This separated and apparently killed the alien, though Kasady later revived it using a blood ritual.

Torn in half by the Sentry

The superhero Sentry fought Carnage and ripped him in half. Kasady survived, but it took him a long time to regenerate enough symbiote biomass to become Carnage again.

Incinerated by the Ultimate Nullifier

Captain Universe used the reality-warping Ultimate Nullifier weapon to disintegrate Carnage when he became a cosmic threat. But a tiny sample of symbiote matter escaped, allowing Carnage’s eventual return.

Carnage has escaped destruction so many times through regeneration, cloning, or other improbable means that many heroes believe it is practically impossible to definitively kill him.

Carnage’s Offspring: Toxin, Scorn, and More

Like Venom before it, the Carnage symbiote has spawned numerous offspring that have bonded with other hosts:


Toxin is the first known symbiote “grandchild” of Venom. Carnage spawned Toxin, which bonded with NYPD officer Pat Mulligan. Toxin has similar abilities to Carnage but is not necessarily evil.


Scorn bonded with Dr. Tanis Nieves after a piece of the Carnage symbiote separated from Kasady. Scorn has corrosive blood like Carnage but can also form spike projectiles from her body.


The Hybrid symbiote consists of cells from the Venom, Carnage, Lasher, Riot, Phage, and Agony symbiotes. It has bonded with Scott Washington and other hosts, granting spider-powers with limited shapeshifting.

More offspring

Other symbiote offspring include Payback, Doppelganger, Carrion, and an untold number of others. Whenever Carnage produces “seeds” containing his genetic information, new symbiotic life can spawn, leading to more dangerous creatures.

Cletus Kasady’s Various Deaths and Resurrections

Cletus Kasady has met his end many times, both while bonded with Carnage and in his human form. But the psychopath always manages to come back from the dead:

Execution by the state

When captured after his first rampage as Carnage, Kasady was executed by the state via electric chair. Of course, the symbiote resurrected him almost immediately.

Falling into space

After a battle with Spider-Man and Venom, Carnage fell from Earth’s orbit into space. The extreme conditions were thought to have killed Kasady, but the symbiote preserved his body until their return.

Cured of the symbiote

Kasady was once separated from the Carnage symbiote and imprisoned while receiving psychotherapy. When near death from cancer, he tricked a nurse into bonding him with the symbiote, resurrecting Carnage.

More deaths

Carnage has been ripped apart, burned, drained of all fluid, and even decapitated – yet Cletus Kasady always revives. Perhaps no method of killing him permanently exists.

Carnage’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As one of Spider-Man and Venom’s deadliest foes, Carnage possesses incredible strengths that make him difficult to defeat. But he also has some vulnerabilities that heroes exploit when confronting him.


  • Superhuman strength, speed, durability, and reflexes
  • Sharp claws and teeth as weapons
  • Shapeshifting parts of his body into axes, spikes, and shields
  • Immunity to Spider-Man’s spider-sense
  • Can regenerate from injuries by absorbing biomass
  • Corrosive symbiote blood melts through many substances
  • Chaotic fighting style makes him unpredictable


  • Intense heat from fire or sonics weakens the symbiote
  • Cannot easily control or restrain his violent urges
  • Limited ability to fight multiple coordinated opponents at once
  • Completely dependent on having a host body
  • If separated from Kasady, the symbiote becomes erratic

Exploiting these weaknesses, especially sonic attacks and intense heat, offers the best chance of neutralizing Carnage and preventing further slaughter at his hands.

Carnage’s Threat Level

Government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers recognize Carnage as one of the greatest supervillain threats on Earth due to his powers combined with utter psychopathy. They classify him as an “omega-level” threat for the following reasons:

  • His sheer body count of innocent victims reaches into the hundreds.
  • He causes enormous property damage during his rampages.
  • His chaotic nature makes him impossible to reason or negotiate with.
  • He has superhuman abilities that make him difficult to contain.
  • He is highly resilient and quickly recovers from injuries.
  • His010potential for reproducing more symbiote offspring is dangerous.

Carnage revels in chaos, destruction, and murder simply for their own sake. He cannot be bribed, intimidated, or reasoned with in any way. This makes him completely unpredictable and uncontrollably violent – an omega-level threat capable of massive destruction if left unchecked.


Carnage stands out as one of the most ruthless and disturbing supervillains ever seen, inflicting cruelty and slaughter for no reason other than his own depraved amusement. The combination of the alien Carnage symbiote and the psychotic Cletus Kasady created the ultimate sociopathic killer – one who has repeatedly caused terror and taken innocent lives. Despite presumed deaths, Carnage always revives, perhaps making him effectively immortal. This has cemented his status as one of the foremost threats to humanity. Whenever Carnage appears anew, heroes like Spider-Man must utilize every resource available to protect innocents from this bloodthirsty monster. His twisted psyche and love of torture cements his position as one of the Marvel Universe’s scariest and most lethal villains.

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