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Resurrected by a cult dedicated to the worship of Knull and bonded to a piece of the deific primordial Grendel symbiote, Cletus Kasady begins hunting everyone who ever bonded to a symbiote in order to claim their codices - trace remnants of symbiote left in their bodies. Over the course of several months, "Dark Carnage" conquers the Underground City that Venom had once protected and sets up a Spire of living abyss to serve as an amplifier for his new hive-mind;[2] and claims the codices of the city of Doverton,[3] Alejandra Jones,[4] Leonard Elkhart,[5] numerous Weapon V personnel,[6] and countless deceased former hosts whose desecrated bodies the cult deposits in a mass grave.[7]

During the War of the Realms, Dark Carnage sets up a lair underneath Manhattan, establishing a second Spire.[8] Succumbing to Knull's corruption, the Riot, Agony, Phage, and Lasher symbiotes take over a family of four and set out for New York.[9][10] The theft of the corpse of Thaddeus Ross draws the attention of the Hulk, who begins investigating out of concern that something more sinister might be involved and discovers the mass grave, reporting it to the authorities.[11]

Absolute Carnage in New York[]

Infiltrating Ryker's Island, Dark Carnage kills Lee Price - attempting to frame Eddie Brock - before hunting Eddie and his son down. Despite rebonding to the Venom symbiote, Eddie is outmatched and only able to escape by exploiting the Dark Carnage symbiote's weakness to electricity. Reluctantly allying with Spider-Man, Eddie contacts the Maker - who has built a codex-extracting machine in Rex Strickland's Warehouse and wants to test it on Normie Osborn, one-time host of the Carnage symbiote. Peter and Eddie refuse and set out to retrieve Norman Osborn - who had bonded to the Carnage symbiote as the Red Goblin and now believes himself to be Cletus Kasady - from Ravencroft Institute before Carnage can do so.[7] Anticipating this, Dark Carnage has John Jameson - who he had infected with the Dark Carnage symbiote while slaughtering Doverton - kill the staff and set up a trap.[12] Attacking the institute, Dark Carnage infects the inmates with pieces of the Dark Carnage symbiote to turn them into a horde of four-armed Carnage Doppelgängers, and bonds Norman Osborn to an offshoot of the Dark Carnage symbiote to turn him into a replica of his original Carnage form.[7]

Spider-Man and Venom barely manage to escape and begin searching for the various heroes, antiheroes, and villains who have bonded to symbiotes.[13] Dark Carnage claims Ravencroft Institute as a base of operations and sacrifices Shriek to resurrect the Demogoblin. Misty Knight - who had been captured by Jameson - manages to escape and contacts Iron Fist, who rallies the other heroes who opposed Carnage during his first attempt to conquer Manhattan to rescue her.[12] Deadpool, seeking psychiatric help, comes across Dark Carnage's cult and burns the institute down - forcing Dark Carnage to relocate to his lair under Manhattan.[14][13]

As Dark Carnage's Carnage Doppelgängers rampage across the city, devouring or infecting everyone they come across,[15] Venom barely rescues Scorpion from Osborn but is unable to save Miles Morales from being infected by a symbiote and turned into a six-armed Carnage Doppelgänger.[16] Contacting Captain America, Wolverine, and the Thing, Spider-Man joins them in disabling the Spire underneath Manhattan, while Hawkeye infiltrates the Underground City in San Francisco and disables its Spire.[15] Hunted by the symbiote-infected Freak, Conundrum, and Will O' The Wisp, Deadpool kills them but is attacked by Osborn. Deadpool is saved by Spider-Man, who he allows to be captured in order to follow Osborn back to Dark Carnage's lair - blowing himself up and losing the lower half of his body in an attempt to kill Dark Carnage.[17] The Scream symbiote is resurrected by Dark Carnage and sent after Andi Benton, bonding to Patricia Robertson. When Scream breaks free from his control and protects Andi, Dark Carnage hunts them down and kills Patricia; the Scream symbiote bonding to Andi and helping her escape.[18] Iron Fist's team rescues Misty Knight and frees Jameson from his symbiote.[19] Returning home from fighting a Lovecraftian monster in deep space, Captain Marvel is eaten by the symbiote-infected Chewie and confronts a manifestation of Dark Carnage inside her. Carol manages to separate Chewie from the Dark Carnage symbiote - forcing the Flerken to regurgitate her - and is briefly taken over by it, but incinerates it with her cosmic powers; leaving Chewie in the care of Spider-Woman before joining the fight.[20]

While this occurs, Rex Strickland's Warehouse is attacked by Riot, Agony, Phage, and Lasher - who have taken over a family of four.[9][10] Dylan and Normie are rescued by Sleeper, who attempts to bond to Dylan but is captured by the Maker. To save Sleeper, Dylan frees the Life Foundation symbiotes; which merge into Hybrid and take over the Maker.[21] Dylan and Normie are saved by the arrival of Spider-Man's team, and Bruce Banner completes the Maker's machine, killing the Hybrid symbiote in the process.[22]

As the Maker's machine extracts the assembled heroes' and villains' codices, Dark Carnage infiltrates Rex Strickland's warehouse disguised as Eddie Brock, learning Spider-Man's civilian identity in the process, and summons his horde to attack. Frustrated by Eddie's refusal to fight Dark Carnage, the Venom symbiote leaves him and bonds to Bruce Banner, who transforms into the Hulk after being killed.[23] Eddie tasks Spider-Man with escorting Dylan and Normie to safety while he armed himself with Captain America's shield and a Jury gauntlet.[24] While Spider-Man fights Osborn in the tunnels below,[25] Eddie frees Miles from his symbiote and learns that Dark Carnage is nearly strong enough to free Knull. Dark Carnage defeats the Venomized Hulk and rips the Venom symbiote off him, absorbing it to assume a new demonic form. Initially despairing, Eddie frees the extracted codices from the Maker's machine and bonds with them in order to pursue and stop Dark Carnage.[24]

As Eddie and Dark Carnage fight in midair and on the rooftops, Cloak arrives with Dagger, Iron Fist, Firestar, Morbius, Deathlok, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, and Scream as backup, turning the tide against Carnage's horde. With Spider-Man and Norman Osborn unconscious, the latter's offshoot of the Dark Carnage symbiote separates from him and attacks Dylan only to be destroyed when Dylan's powers activate. Eddie and Dark Carnage crash through the roof of the tunnel, the latter telling Eddie that he has already lost - regardless of whether he lets Dark Carnage kill his son or kills Dark Carnage to save Dylan, Knull will be freed. Deciding to save his son and reclaim his symbiote anyway, Eddie kills Dark Carnage, takes the Venom symbiote back, and absorbs the Dark Carnage symbiote into it.

With Dark Carnage's death, the Carnage Doppelgängers are restored to humanity, the heroes celebrating this as a victory. However, as Dark Carnage had predicted, Knull is reawakened and destroys Klyntar, seizing control of its constituent symbiotes and turning them into a fleet of symbiote dragons.[26]


During the fight with Dark Carnage, Eddie revealed Dylan was his son, leaving the boy hurt and believing Eddie had abandoned him. This causes Dylan to hide his powers from Eddie, powers he used when Norman's symbiote tried to hurt him and Normie.[27]

After being assimilated by the Venom symbiote, the Carnage-ized Grendel symbiote lay dormant for a few weeks before it began communicating with Eddie, threatening to take over him and slaughter the Avengers. Eddie returned to the Isla de Huesos to solve his current situation, but the Carnage symbiote caused his Quinjet to crash when he arrived, assimilating the Venom symbiote and separating from him. Alone, Eddie retrieved an armory he had left on the island years ago and tried to issue an ultimatum to the Carnage symbiote, offering it the island in exchange for the Venom symbiote. When Carnage attempted to take over him, Eddie cut off his left hand and fled into the jungle, using a communications tower to conduct a bolt of lightning and separate both symbiotes when the Carnage symbiote tried to bond to him again. Unfortunately for Eddie, the Carnage symbiote got to him before the Venom symbiote could, taking over him. Meanwhile, Dylan had kept a piece of Norman's Carnage symbiote in order to study and understand his powers; using it to track and help his father by transforming Venom into the form of a Tyrannosaurus rex. When both Eddie and Dylan overcame Carnage's will, Eddie was separated from it and bonded with Venom again. Unfortunately, Carnage survived, bonding to a shark to escape the island. Eddie would return to the mainland and inform the Avengers of Knull's arrival.[28]

List of Codices Claimed[]

These are the known symbiotes assimilated and hosts whose codices were harvested as part of this event and its leadup:

List of Casualties[]




Main Event[]



Recommended Reading[]


  • Absolute Carnage originated as the third arc of Donny Cates' Venom (Vol. 4) run, but was reworked into an event. Marvel's editorial department additionally refused to let Donny Cates kill off certain major characters.[36]
  • Marvel released "post-credit scenes" in the issues part of Everyone Is a Target as a build up for the event.

See Also

Links and References


  1. Spider-Ham #3
  2. Web of Venom: Unleashed #1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 Absolute Carnage #1
  8. Venom (Vol. 4) #15
  9. 9.0 9.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #17
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety #1
  11. Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1
  13. 13.0 13.1 Absolute Carnage #2
  14. Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1
  15. 15.0 15.1 Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1
  16. Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1
  17. Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #23
  18. Absolute Carnage: Scream #13
  19. Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #23
  20. 20.0 20.1 Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Venom (Vol. 4) #18
  22. 22.0 22.1 Venom (Vol. 4) #19
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Absolute Carnage #3
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Absolute Carnage #4
  25. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #3031
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 Absolute Carnage #5
  27. Venom (Vol. 4) #20
  28. Venom (Vol. 4) #2125
  29. Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1
  30. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (27 October 2019) ABSCARN BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: “Absolute Carnage” #1- Chapter Two Director’s Commentary PodBean. Retrieved on 29 October 2019.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Spider-Man/Venom) #1
  32. 32.0 32.1 Absolute Carnage: Scream #3
  33. Web of Venom: The Good Son #1
  34. Cates, Donny (16 October 2019) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "1: can’t tell you. 2: who says he didn’t take it?" Twitter. Retrieved on 16 October 2019.
  35. Absolute Carnage: Scream #1
  36. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (29 June 2019) VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Venom #1 Q and A PodBean. Retrieved on 2 July 2019.