THE BRUTAL HISTORY OF MARVEL'S
By Lee Parham
Before Cletus Kasady and Carnage make their big screen debut in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, we take a look back on the chaotic history of one of Marvel Comics’ most terrifying villains.
Despite his now-iconic status, the character of Carnage is a relative newcomer in Marvel Comics lore, first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #362 in May of 1992.
Like his arch nemesis Venom, Carnage is an alien symbiote that attaches itself to a human host. In this case, that host is notorious serial killer Cletus Kasady.
Buckle up for one of the darkest and most brutal Marvel origin stories ever! In the comics, Cletus Kasady was born in the Ravencroft Institute for the criminally insane, a psychiatric prison.
Poor conditioning as a child led Kasady down a dark path at an extremely young age. His first act of aggression came when he fatally pushed his own grandmother down the stairs.
Next, Cletus attempted to kill his mother by dropping a hair dryer in her bathtub, but was unsuccessful.
Cletus’s mother took her anger out on her son, attempting to kill him. Her plans were thwarted when Kasady’s father intervened, beating his mother to a pulp and to the brink of death. Yikes.
Cletus declined to defend his father in court, which resulted in the young Kasady being sent to an orphanage. At the home for young boys, Cletus was bullied by his fellow orphans and the staff.
Years of emotional abuse and trauma drove Cletus off the deep end at a young age. Kasady exacted his revenge by burning down the orphanage and killing the administration.
These actions cemented Cletus as a serial killer. He quickly started to believe that life was meaningless and the only answer was to commit as much bloodshed as possible.
Horrible crimes eventually resulted in Kasady being incarcerated, where he shared a prison cell with none other than Eddie Brock. Venom eventually helped Brock escape, but left something behind.
A small piece of Venom, essentially his offspring, was able to infect Kasady’s body via a small cut in his hand. The newborn symbiote had no attachment to Venom and quickly bonded to Cletus.
Thus, Carnage was born! A symbiotic relationship between an emotionless alien and a serial killer. As one may guess, absolute mayhem ensued.
Carnage began to wreak havoc on the world, committing acts of mass murder and marking his crime scenes by writing the word “Carnage” wherever he went as a calling card.
Carnage soon became one of the most dangerous supervillains in Marvel comics, so powerful even Spider-Man was unable to stop him, which led to him making a truce with Venom.
Throughout the decades since Carnage’s first appearance, he’s taken on many forms and fought many foes, but his rivalry with Venom remained a constant.
Legendary actor Woody Harrelson is set to star as Cletus Kasady in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, pitted against Tom Hardy reprising his role as Eddie Brock and Venom.
You can witness the big screen birth of Carnage and the ultimate battle between the two symbiotic aliens in Venom: Let There Be Carnage this fall.