Two of Spider-Man’s most famous villains, Venom and Carnage, have had a long and complicated relationship in the comics. Their dynamic was further explored in 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage and in ongoing comic events like Maximum Carnage and Absolute Carnage.
With new attention being brought to these iconic characters, many new fans are diving back into the comics to learn a bit more about the two superpowered rivals. From unlikely bunkmates to symbiotic enemies, there are quite a few interesting details about Venom and Carnage’s unique relationship that separates them from other characters.
Updated on May 10, 2023, by Scoot Allan: Marvel’s Summer of Symbiotes event promises to expand the deadly alien family, though it all still boils down to Venom and Carnage. Carnage will challenge Eddie Brock’s place as the current King in Black in the Summer of Symbiotes, further straining their already intense relationship.
13 Eddie Brock And Cletus Kasady Shared A Prison Cell
After a few defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, Eddie Brock was finally separated from the Venom symbiote and sent to jail. He shared a cell with a twisted serial killer by the name of Cletus Kasady. The two didn’t exactly hit it off, but things were about to get a whole lot more intense.
The symbiote found its way back to Brock and bonded to him again in his cell before escaping. However, the Venom symbiote asexually reproduced and left its first spawn behind. The new symbiote found its first host in Cletus Kasady and became Carnage.
12 Carnage’s Appearance United Bitter Enemies
When Kasady escaped prison, he went on a deadly rampage and earned his new moniker of Carnage. He encountered Spider-Man and easily bested the wall-crawler in their first meeting, which left the hero with a very difficult decision to make. Peter Parker had to ask one of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains for help.
Surprisingly, Venom agreed to associate with his arch-enemy against the greater threat. The lethal protector fancied himself a hero and wanted to end Carnage’s spree. Even together, they struggled to defeat the new monster but would eventually prove victorious. Of course, this was only the first of many battles.
11 They Formed Teams To Take Each Other Down
The 1993 Maximum Carnage comic event was a huge crossover that began with Kasady escaping from the Vault, a prison for superhumans. He joined a few other supervillains to form a dark new family. This group included his new girlfriend, Shriek, whose abilities allowed her to cause nearby people to go into a mob mentality and riot in NYC.
The only way to combat this new and expanding group of villains and monsters was for the good guys to create their own team. Spider-Man and Venom worked with a number of other heroes to try and stop the madness. The alliance was rocky, to say the least, but ultimately it proved to be successful.
10 Carnage Isn’t The Venom Symbiote’s Only Offspring
The Venom: The Lethal Protector series followed Eddie Brock as he moved to San Francisco and started helping a society of underground homeless people. He soon encountered the Life Foundation who captured him and forcibly extracted five of the offspring still remaining within the Venom symbiote.
This led to the creation of Riot, Lasher, Phage, Scream, and Agony, which the Life Foundation planned to use as a superpowered strike force. Spider-Man arrived on the scene to help save the day and seemingly destroyed the symbiotes. However, The five Life Foundation symbiotes survived and continued to play a role in events like Extreme Carnage.
9 Both Symbiotes Have Bonded With A Spider-Man
Before finding Brock, the Venom symbiote bonded to Peter Parker/Spider-Man. That union initially seemed to suit Peter well, as he had increased strength and speed, unlimited webbing, and the suit could form and vanish at will. That all changed when he discovered the symbiotic nature of the suit, and his rejection of the new costume led to the creation of Venom.
Years later, the Carnage symbiote left Kasady behind in prison and escaped to find a powerful new host. While on a rampage with a temporary host, the Carnage symbiote encountered Peter Parker’s clone Ben Reilly, who was operating as Spider-Man at the time. Carnage considered Reilly a better host and the alien forcibly took control over Ben until he could overcome it.
8 Venom Once Consumed The Carnage Symbiote
During one of Kasady’s many stays in prison, a janitor cleaning the hallway outside his cell confronted the serial killer. The janitor turned out to be none other than Venom in disguise, and he was there for a surprising reason. He didn’t seek to kill or even injure Kasady but instead wanted to take back what he saw as his.
Venom grabbed the weakened Carnage symbiote from within the cell and consumed it whole, burping as Kasady looked on in horror. When Venom later savagely beat Spider-Man in battle, the red symbiote was visible in a vein-like pattern across his body. Kasady later bonded to a dark duplicate of the Carnage symbiote that he discovered in the Negative Zone.
7 Both Men Suffered From A Very Human Illness
A retcon would reveal that Brock was suffering from cancer before bonding with the symbiote and that the illness was part of the reason the alien was attracted to him. It fed off the adrenaline that his cancer produced as well as his hatred for Spider-Man. Kasady also discovered he was suffering a similar fate.
Advanced stomach cancer caused Cletus Kasady intense pain when separated from Carnage. In a storyline where the psychotic alien briefly bonded to the Silver Surfer, the intergalactic hero chose to return the symbiote to Kasady to save his life before encasing them in an armored prison.
6 They Teamed Up To Kill Carnage’s First Offspring
Just as Venom had done so before him, Carnage eventually reproduced as well which didn’t thrill Kasady. Venom felt that the new spawn could be an ally in the fight against evil (and Spider-Man). However, he also knew of an inherent risk with the child being the 1000th in their line, which could mean it grew up to become the strongest symbiote in the Venom family.
Carnage wanted to kill the new symbiote, but the spawn bonded to a police officer named Patrick Mulligan to become Toxin. Patrick tried his best to resist the alien’s dark urges and become a hero, so Venom and Carnage formed a short alliance to take out the immediate threat. Even combined, Toxin defeated his progenitors and survived to find his own path.
5 Both Romantic Interests Bonded With Symbiotes
Venom has had a few relationships over the years. Brock’s ex-wife Anne Weying was shot by the Sin-Eater, so the Venom symbiote bonded with her to save her life. This created the deadly She-Venom, resulting in a few deaths until Brock was able to call the alien back to him. A second turn as She-Venom and a deteriorating mental state eventually led to Anne’s tragic death.
Kasady’s on-again, off-again other half Shriek bonded with the Carnage symbiote to help free Kasady Cletus, resulting in another offspring. The union was very short-lived, and the offspring bonded with a scientist named Tanis Nieves to become Scorn. Shriek’s ongoing bond with Carnage later led to her transformation into the Demagoblin.
4 Both Have Operated As Heroes For Different Reasons
Eddie Brock genuinely sees himself as the hero of his own story, and that extends to helping innocent people whenever possible. Over time, this willingness to do the right thing, and his mellowing toward a certain web-slinger, means Venom became a hero instead of a dangerous monster.
The only time Carnage entertained any notion of doing the right thing came when he and other villains appeared in the AXIS event. A magical spell inverted the moral compasses of all involved. Carnage genuinely developed into a hero, but his newfound drive conflicted with his ever-present murderous desires. He helped during the AXIS event but soon reverted to normal.
3 Venom And Carnage Can Access A Symbiotic Hive Mind
The introduction of the symbiotic god Knull brought the Venom and Carnage symbiotes closer than ever. Knull’s return unlocked the symbiotic hive mind that connected all of the God of Darkness’s creations. The hive mind also gave Knull the ability to control other symbiotes, though Venom and Carnage eventually freed themselves from his control.
Eddie Brock took control of the symbiote hive mind when he killed Knull and took over as the King in Black. He cut Carnage from the hive mind in an attempt to finally kill him. However, Carnage discovered he could create his own symbiotic hive mind, and he extended his control over the Life Foundation symbiotes in his earliest bid to regain power and challenge Venom.
2 Carnage Wants To Kill Venom To Become King In Black
While Carnage and Venom have wanted to kill each other for years, and have even come close quite a few times. This is usually due to their ongoing hatred for each other, though Eddie Brock’s ascension to the King in Black gave Carnage a new purpose.
Cletus Kasady, whose mind now resided within the Carnagized Extrembiote created by Iron Man, set out on a multiversal mission to kill Venoms so he could take over as the new King in Black. Carnage further increased his power set to become one of the most powerful symbiotes in order to reach his goal, making him potentially more powerful than even Venom’s King in Black form.
1 Venom And Carnage Can Both Access The Necrosword
Fans first witnessed the awesome power of All-Black the Necrosword when it bonded to Gorr to become the God Butcher. He massacred powerful gods on his mission of revenge until Thor eventually stopped him. Knull actually created All-Black, and he wielded the Necrosword when he attacked Earth in the King in Black event.
As the new King in Black, Eddie Brock has been able to summon All-Black. His son Dylan bonded with the Venom symbiote and has also been able to summon the Necrosword due to his unique connection to the hive mind. However, Carnage consumed the symbiote codex from Malekith, which gave him the ability to summon his own version of the Necrosword known as All-Blood.
NEXT: 10 Best Spider-Man & Venom Comics
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