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Quote1 We're all like her. We tell ourselves we're on the right side of the law, but really... we're all criminals inside, just waiting for an excuse to come out. Quote2
-- Len Elkhart

Appearing in 1st story

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  • White Rabbit's rabbit mech (Only in flashback)

Synopsis for 1st story

Walking down the nighttime street, Leonard "Len" Elkhart - a middle-aged judge and tourist from Indiana - thinks to himself that the rumors he'd heard about Manhattan being dangerous after dark weren't true. As he adjusts his fedora, the symbiote masquerading as Spider-Man's black suit erupts from the shadow and bonds to him. Taking over him, the symbiote sets off into the night, web-swinging to Peter Parker's apartment.[1] The symbiote unceremoniously crash-lands into a group of trash cans and separates from its interim host. As the symbiote oozes up the wall and into Peter's apartment, Leonard groggily wonders what happened and assumes he must have been mugged.[2]

Years later, Leonard Elkhart sits, handcuffed and wearing an orange jumpsuit, across from a prison parole board. As the parole board members offer their condolences regarding his prognosis, Leonard thanks them but says he hasn't been a judge since his arrest, telling them to just call him "Len". The parole board members inform him that they intend to determine whether he should spend the last months of his life as a free man, but Leonard expresses indifference towards their decision. Opening his file, one of the parole board members asks to discuss the circumstances surrounding his arrest, then wonders why Leonard is smiling. Leonard responds that he barely remembers anything of his life prior to his arrest, then recounts that after his divorce from his wife Lorraine he had decided to go to Manhattan as a tourist. In his first few minutes in the city, he had been awestruck by the sight of Spider-Man web-swinging overhead,[3] but as time passed he grew used to the sight of costumed vigilantes. One night as he was walking past the Baxter Building, however, he suddenly blacked out and regained consciousness outside an apartment building in Chelsea. Confused and worried, upon his return to Indiana he had gone to see his doctor.

Back in Fort Wayne, Leonard's doctor informs him that he has no idea what caused him to black out, Leonard wryly thanking him for his lack of help. Meeting his son, Daniel, in the lobby, Leonard jokes that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and only has a few hours left to live. Calling his father out on his bad sense of humor, Dan grills Leonard on the doctor's prognosis and is surprised to learn that they couldn't uncover anything, suggesting he get a second opinion. As they get into Dan's car, he asks his father when he's going to learn to drive, and Leonard fires back by asking how Dan's university courses are going. Daniel hesitantly replies that he's doing fine, exasperatedly asking his father if he's disappointed that he wants to be a writer rather than going into law. Leonard denies this, Dan attempting to change the subject by suggesting they get lunch. Pointing out a nearby KwikeeBurger, Leonard suggests they stop there - surprising Dan, who comments on his father's disdain for fast food. Leonard wryly responds that he despises fast food but his idiot son loves it, noting that there's no drive-thru.

Entering the store, they see a young woman furiously arguing with a cashier over not being able to get a breakfast burrito after eleven o'clock. As the manager steps out to see what the problem is, the woman grabs him and throws him across the room in a display of superhuman strength. A tall and muscular customer grabs her shoulder and tells her to settle down, but the woman slams him into the floor hard enough to shatter the tiles, shouting that all she wants is a breakfast burrito. A pair of police officers yell at the woman to get on the floor, the woman expressing surprise at how fast they got there. The cops reply they just happened to be stopping by for lunch, the woman grousing about their lousy timing before saying she'll make them work to arrest her. As more police cars arrive, the woman throws one of the cops through the window and across the street. Pinned to the ground by three cops, the woman complains that all she wanted was a breakfast burrito.

The next day, Leonard oversees the trial of the woman, Lorina Dodson - whose last name he mistakes for "Dobson." Recognizing him from the restaurant, Dodson protests her innocence and accuses him of being impartial when he pronounces her guilty - calling him a "slithy tove" as she's dragged away. That evening, Leonard asks Dan what Dodson was making a reference to, and before remembering that it's a creature from Lewis Carroll's poem The Jabberwocky. As they pull into the driveway, they see Dodson wearing white facepaint with red lipstick and a triangular patch over her nose, short-shorts, stockings, and a rabbit-ear headband. Correcting Leonard's pronunciation of her last name, Dodson introduces herself as the White Rabbit, pulling out a large revolver. As she points the gun at Leonard and smugly states she wants revenge for how he treated her during her trial, Dan steps in between them and tells the White Rabbit not to do it. Dodson and Leonard both tell Daniel to get out of the way, but he vehemently refuses. Smirking, the White Rabbit pulls the trigger... and a small flag reading "bang" pops out the end. As the White Rabbit doubles over with laughter, gushing that they should have seen the looks on their faces, she sees that Dan has collapsed - the shock of her prank having caused a massive heart attack. As Leonard calls for an ambulance, the White Rabbit tries to use her electrified gloves as a makeshift defibrillator but is unable to resuscitate Daniel. Later, EMTs pronounce Daniel dead at the scene, the White Rabbit sorrowfully telling Leonard that she'd only wanted to scare them, apologizing as she's led away by the police. Furious, Leonard rounds on her and shouts that he'll make her sorry, but is restrained by another police officer.

At the funeral home, Leonard is berated by Lorraine, who blames his career as a criminal judge for their son's death. As Lorraine furiously storms off, a friend of the family tells Leonard that it wasn't his fault. Agreeing, Leonard angrily states that he knows whose fault it was. Returning home, Leonard gets the pistol his wife had gotten him - which he had never touched before - and loads it. Going to the courthouse, he walks into Dodson's trial with the intent of killing her. As the judge notes Dodson is unusually subdued, she says that while she may be a criminal she'd never killed anyone before and that Daniel's death had been a tragic accident, saying that she's truely sorry. Walking up behind her, Leonard pulls out his gun, but before he can shoot her one of the attendees grabs him and the gun goes off, killing the judge. As Leonard is handcuffed by the guards, the wall of the courthouse suddenly caves in to reveal a large rabbit-shaped mech. Grinning, Dodson announces that her ride has arrived before leaping onto the robot, chastizing the police for wasting their bullets shooting it. Addressing Leonard, she gleefully states that she had been feeling bad over killing Daniel up until he killed the judge, smugly adding that they aren't so different after all. Taking her words to heart, Leonard pled guilty and allowed the prisoners he'd sentenced to do as they pleased to him, hoping that they'd kill him. However, the beatings eventually stopped when the inmates realized he no longer cared about anything, and up until his diagnosis with terminal cancer he'd been left alone.

In the present, the parole board members tell Leonard he'll get their decision within the week. Leonard reiterates that he doesn't care what they decide, nihilistically stating that he no longer believes in ideals such as justice and that everyone has an inner criminal that only needs one bad day to rise to the surface and reveal their evil true nature. As he's led out, the parole board members sigh in exasperation.

Returned to his cell, Leonard settles on his bed but is interrupted by a voice asking how the hearing went. Turning, he sees the White Rabbit standing outside his cell, clinging to the wall of the prison's third floor. As Leonard demands to know what she of all people is doing, she comments on the view before remarking that she'd been keeping tabs on him and was hoping they could be friends, expressing her condolences for his diagnosis. Enraged, Leonard snaps that Dodson is insane if she believes that they could be friends, and she cheerfully agrees. Walking up to the cell, a guard asks who Leonard is talking to, and Leonard turns to see Dodson has vanished. As the guard tells him to step away from the door and asks how the parole hearing went, Leonard realizes he doesn't recognize the guard and asks who he is. His ruse exposed, the guard reveals himself as Cletus Kasady and transforms into Dark Carnage, remarking that he would have preferred to just waltz into the prison and slaughter everyone but that he's not at full strength yet. Leonard asks what Dark Carnage wants, and the symbiote-augmented serial killer-turned-cultist states that he's after the trace remnants of symbiote matter inside Leonard's body - left over from his run-in with the Venom symbiote years earlier. Leonard asks if Dark Carnage is going to kill him, expressing joyous relief when Dark Carnage says he is. Grabbing Leonard, Dark Carnage rips out his spine, spattering White Rabbit with his blood. As she screams, Dark Carnage turns and tells her to stay out of his way if she wants to live. As Dark Carnage walks away, Dodson wipes Leonard's blood from her cheek and retches, remarking that she needs to throw up.

Solicit Synopsis

AN UNTOLD TALE OF A SYMBIOTIC HOST FROM YESTERYEAR…

During its first visit to New York City, the alien symbiote that would come to be known as Venom bonded to a host that wasn’t Spider-Man or Eddie Brock. Face front, True Believers, as this mysterious man meets his destiny… at the hands of CARNAGE!

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