When Marvel announced the upcoming Absolute Carnage event that is set to unleash the new and improved Carnage on the heroes of the Marvel Universe, comic fans were quick to see connections to the previous Carnage-centric event, Maximum Carnage. The symbiotic serial killer Cletus Kasady was set to become one of Marvel’s deadliest villains, but despite his involvement in a few larger events and a number of mini-series over the years, Carnage hasn’t really lived up to his own hype.
That doesn’t mean he isn’t responsible for some truly awful acts of violence, murder, mayhem, and unrestrained carnage. Today we are going to take a look at 10 of the worst things Carnage has ever done to get ready for the atrocities sure to come in Absolute Carnage.
10 MULTIPLE MURDERER BEFORE HE WAS AN ADULT
Fans first met Cletus Kasady as an incarcerated adult sharing a jail cell with Eddie Brock, with his former crimes as a serial killer known to Brock and the public at that time. However, before this introduction and his eventual meeting with the offspring symbiote of Venom that would result in the birth of Carnage, Kasady had already established his sociopathic sadism as a young child.
Over the years fans have learned a bit more about Cletus’ past, which includes the torture and killing of his mother’s dog with a drill and the death of his grandma after he pushed her down the stairs. However, it was his arson of the St. Estes Home For Boys that followed a series of youthful murders that really helped plot his path to Carnage.
9 THREW A BABY OUT A WINDOW AS A DISTRACTION
Following Kasady’s bond with the alien symbiote, he embarked on a murderous spree, taunting Spider-Man and the police with the words “Carnage Rules” written in his blood at a crime scene. Spider-Man was no match for Carnage in their first meeting, and he was forced to team up with his enemy Venom in order to stop the greater symbiotic threat.
It was during one of the first encounters between the three that Carnage really showed his character. In an attempt to escape from Spider-Man and Venom from an apartment building their fight had crashed into, Carnage grabbed a nearby baby and threw it out a window to distract Spider-Man and Venom, allowing him to escape at the potential cost of the infant’s life.
8 DROVE HIS PSYCHIATRIST INSANE
Carnage has always had a damaging influence on the people around him. Even Spider-Man has temporarily succumbed to the darkness and despair Carnage seems to radiate, and a number of other villainous characters have been sucked in by his unique energy. However, it wasn’t until Warren Ellis and Kyle Hotz’ Carnage: Mind Bomb that fans saw the true extent of that influence.
Locked in Ravencroft Institute, Carnage is visited by a high-ranking government psychiatrist with questionable methods who dives into Cletus Kasady’s history. He fails to account for the bond between Cletus and the symbiote, and Carnage manages to drill portions of his symbiote into the doctor’s brain, infecting him, and turning him into a raving cannibalistic madman.
7 KILLED A RESTAURANT FULL OF PEOPLE
It’s not always the huge mass extinction events that showcase the worst things Carnage has done. A good example would be in the opening pages of Deadpool vs Carnage by Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin, following a news report that Cletus Kasady is on the loose. A local sheriff in a diner remarks how much he’d like to find Carnage, only to discover Cletus is seated beside him.
What follows is an escalating display of violence and murder in the small town diner, starting with the Sherriff and quickly moving to a few men who tried to intervene. Finally, as Carnage blocks all the exits following his attack, he finishes the rest of the diners off, with much of the violence thankfully occurring off-panel.
6 ATTACKED HOUSTON WITH A MINI CARNAGE ARMY
Whereas “Maximum Carnage” was a grand story that brought Carnage’s destructive ways to the streets of Manhattan, the similarly named “Minimum Carnage” was a smaller scale crossover between Agent Venom and the second Scarlet Spider, and brought the horrors of Carnage to the Microverse. There he was manipulated into a battle for control of the Microverse.
While in the Microverse, Carnage’s symbiote was replicated and created an army of miniature Carnages that then escaped into the Macroverse by way of Houston, Texas. There the mini Carnages began laying waste to civilians before forming a giant Carnage to battle Agent Venom and Scarlet Spider, who managed to ultimately stop the bloodshed.
5 MASSACRED MANHATTAN AND CAUSED A DEADLY RIOT
The 90s saw the release of what has become the most popular Carnage story ever, “Maximum Carnage.” The storyline was even adapted into a video game, which only further reveals just how popular Carnage had become in the few years since his debut. The 14-part maxi-series wound through the monthly Spider-Man titles and featured a large number of heroic guest stars.
This was because Carnage, joined by a deadly “family” of villains, had gone on a murderous spree across the streets of Manhattan, slaughtering hundreds if not thousands of people. To make matters worse, Carnage (aided by the empathic powers of Shriek) turned New York citizens into a violent murderous mob, almost bringing the city down to Carnage’s unique brand of chaos.
4 INFECTED A WHOLE TOWN WITH HIS SYMBIOTE
While Carnage carelessly put a baby’s life in danger in an earlier horrible act, that was in the early stages of his bond with the Carnage symbiote. Over the years their bond deepened and grew dark, and Carnage’s atrocities made previous acts of violence pale in comparison. In 2011’s Carnage U.S.A. by Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain, Cletus took over a whole town with his symbiote.
He accomplished this by eating a huge herd of cattle to bulk up his symbiote, and then flooded the drains of a small town, taking over the residents through torture, manipulation, and symbiotic control. He even managed to take control of the Avengers for a time, though they eventually won the day. Carnage’s devastation to the town and its residents was a new level of evil for the villain.
3 MURDERED HIS OFFSPRING
Symbiotes produce offspring asexually as fans first learned when the Venom symbiote unknowingly spawned the symbiote that would join with Kasady to become Carnage. The Carnage symbiote itself has also produced a few offspring over the years, all of whom Carnage has attempted to kill at one point or another for fear of them being a more powerful symbiote than he has become.
The first offspring became known as Toxin and bonded with a number of hosts before joining with Eddie Brock. Toxin was later sacrificed along with two other recent offspring, Raze, and Panacea, to stop a Darkhold-powered Carnage. He also recently killed the host of another offspring, the technopathic Scorn, though it’s unclear whether the symbiote was also killed by Carnage.
2 INFECTED BENJY PARKER
Usually, Carnage does enough terrible things in the mainstream Marvel universe that we don’t need to look in alternate realities to find horrible deeds. but this one is so traumatizing to the Spider-Man family it had to be discussed. The event took place in the MC2 universe, a future timeline where Peter and Mary Jane Parker had a daughter named May who became the heroic Spider-Girl.
Unfortunately, when Spider-Girl and her family came up against the Carnage symbiote, it showcased how dangerous it still was without Kasady as its host. The symbiote infected Peter and MJ’s young son Ben (Benjy) Parker Jr., who became Kid Carnage until Spider-Girl managed to sonically destroy the symbiote, tragically deafening Benjy in the process.
1 BONDED WITH NORMAN OSBORN TO BECOME THE RED GOBLIN
During “Go Down Swinging,” Dan Slott’s finale to his decade long run on Amazing Spider-Man, two of Spidey’s greatest villains teamed up to take on the web-slinger. Norman Osborn had always been one of Spider-Man’s greatest villains as the Green Goblin, and he even rose in status to threaten the majority of the Marvel Universe during the Dark Reign era.
Norman bonded with the Carnage symbiote during a time when it was separated from Cletus Kasady, and they became the creature known as Red Goblin. Norman’s insanity intensified while the Goblin formula enhanced the symbiote. This also led the twisted creation of the Goblin Childe, a symbiote possessed Normie Osborn who will likely be forever tainted by the symbiote.
NEXT: Absolute Carnage: All You Need to Know About Marvel’s Deadly Summer Event