Appearing in 1st story
- Weapon V (First appearance)
- Mars Team (Only appearance; disbands)
- V1 (Robert Urquhart) (Real name first revealed) (Main story and recap) (Death)
- V4 (Ezra Sheppard) (Real name first revealed) (Death)
- V2 (Matthew Johns) (Real name first revealed) (Death)
- V3 (Bob Russell) (Real name first revealed) (Death)
- Numerous unnamed members (Only appearance; death on-screen in main story and appear in recap)
- Mars Team (Only appearance; disbands)
- Janice Sung (Real name first revealed) (Main story and behind the scenes in flashback)
- Dark Carnage Symbiote (Main story and recap)
- Dark Carnage (Cletus Kasady) (Main story and recap)
- Dr. Andrew Breen (Only appearance; dies) (Main story and flashback)
- Weapon Plus (Main story and recap)
- Sonia Sung (Mentioned)
- Clay and Sonya's children (Referenced)
- Eaglestar PMC (Recap)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked) (Recap)
- Axis (Mentioned)
- Department X (Recap)
- Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes) (Recap)
- Grendel Symbiote (Recap)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Recap)
- U.S. Government (Mentioned)
- Mercury Team (Recap)
- USMC (Named only) (Recap)
- Project Rebirth 2.0 (Recap)
- Agent Venom (Flash Thompson) (Recap)
- Symbiote Imperium (Mentioned)
- God (Knull) (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Klyntar (Main story and flashback)
- Dragons (Mentioned)
- Cyborg Bears (Recap)
- Alien Gods (Mentioned)
- Demigods (Mentioned)
- Apes (Mentioned)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Location Classified
- Weapon V Headquarters (Only appearance; on-screen in main story and appears in recap)
- Canada (Main story and flashback)
- Ujanka (Recap)
- Germany (Recap)
- Soviet Union (Recap)
- United States of America (Recap)
- Vietnam (Recap)
- South Vietnam (Recap)
- Sternbot (Behind the scenes)
- Sheppard's Symbiote (Only appearance; dies)
- Urquhart's Symbiote (Only appearance; dies)
- Johns' Symbiote (Only appearance; dies)
- Russell's Symbiote (Only appearance; dies)
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield (Recap)
- Winter Soldier's Bionic Arm (Recap)
- Phage Symbiote (Recap)
- Venom Symbiote (Recap)
- Dr. Breen's Symbiote (Only appearance; dies) (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for 1st story
In a classified Weapon Plus facility, Professor Billy Junger watches footage taken from the Weapon V base showing several symbiote-augmented supersoldiers being killed and eaten by a skeletal red-and-black monster with a white spiral on its forehead and dragon emblem on its chest. Junger asks where the surviving members of Weapon V's Mars Team are, and is told they are M.I.A.
Two days later, Clayton Cortez drives a semi truck through the forests of Drumheller, Alberta, thinking to himself that he's going to miss Canada, but that it's come time for him and his family to relocate again. Clayton mentally notes that he hasn't been fair to his mother-in-law, Janice, and that his wife, Sonia, wants them to make an effort to get along, thinking to himself that he'll do anything to make it up to her.
As he enters the log cabin where they've been staying, he's greeted by the sight of several men in combat armor holding Janice hostage. As a man with a heavily-scarred face - Robert Urquhart - jubilantly asks if Clayton remembers his old commanding officer, Clayton has a flashback to Urquhart's days as the ruthless leader of Eaglestar PMC and starts to transform into Weapon H, shouting that he'll smash him. Urquhart tells Clayton to calm down or he'll order Bob Russell to decapitate Janice, who tells the soldier to go ahead since Claton already ripped out her heart by marrying her daughter.
Urquhart laughs and complements Janice's attitude, saying that if Clayton had had half of her moxie he wouldn't have betrayed them. Clayton asks if Urquhart's presence means that Eaglestar is after him, but Urquhart responds that he's working for a different group altogether. When Clayton asks what he wants, Urquhart responds that he wants what he always has - for Clayton to kill something for him. Clayton refuses, blaming Urquhart for his transformation into a Hulk with Adamantium claws, and demands to know how Urquhart and his team found him. Urquhart responds that Weapon Plus always keeps tabs on its experiments, he and his soldiers activating their symbiote bio-armor and introducing themselves as members of Weapon V.
En-route, Mars Team's head of R&D - Dr. Andrew Breen - explains that after the disappearance of Captain America during World War II, the Weapon Plus supersoldier initiative was established to create a replacement for him, in opposition to Soviet Russia's Department X; however, in 1965 S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered an alien dragon made of living darkness - codenamed "Grendel" - frozen in a glacier, causing Weapon Plus to realize that the true threat came not from Earth but from among the stars.
Following this, Weapon Plus metastasized into multiple programs in a paranoia-fueled effort to prepare for whatever extraterrestrial threats lay in wait. In 1966, S.H.I.E.L.D. established the Sym-Soldier Program by bonding samples of living abyss extracted from the Grendel to a group of wounded soldiers. This backfired horribly and the program was officially declared a failure and shut down, Weapon Plus surreptitiously appropriating as many personnel and samples as it could - giving rise to Weapon V.
As the U.S. Government continued to experiment with symbiote supersoldiers like Agent Venom and Mercury Team, Weapon V monitored their efforts from the shadows, learning from their mistakes and advances, and appropriating technology and data. Clayton interrupts, asking what all that has to do with himself and his mother in law. Dripping black eyedrops into his eyes, Dr. Breen remarks that while Weapon V's current-generation symbiote bio-armor has been made psychically stable through viral surgery, the Sym-Soldiers' prototypes succumbed to mental instability and that he now knows why.
Seven weeks prior, the Grendel awakened and attacked New York City, confirming his theory that the symbiote-dragon is part of a malevolent hive-mind controlled by an alien god that has chosen the symbiote-augmented serial-killer Carnage as its avatar. Clayton remarks that he thought that Carnage was dead, but Breen replies that two days ago Carnage - bonded to an offshoot of the Grendel symbiote - attacked Weapon V Headquarters and killed almost everyone there, and appears to be able to track other symbiotes and is preying upon them for an unknown reason. When Clayton asks how this is possible, Breen states that Carnage has made contact with the alien god and become a demigod called the Red Messiah; Urquhart snapping at him to shut up, telling Clayton to ignore Breen's unorthodox theories, and announcing that they've arrived.
As Mars Team steps out into the interior of a large warehouse, Urquhart announces that they'll lure Carnage into the kill box and take him out with incendiary and sonic weapons, Clayton mockingly asking why he thinks they'll fare any better than they did two days prior. Urquhart responds that they now know what they're up against and have Clayton as a secret weapon, agreeing to leave Clayton and his family alone for good if they succeed in killing Carnage. Clayton asks how they plan on luring Carnage, Urquhart telling Breen to show him the countermeasures he'd whipped up. Breen produces a canister containing the symbiote-augmented cloned brain of a telepath, which he says has been masking their presence from Carnage, and Urquhart promptly shoots it - stating over Breen's protests that now either Carnage dies or they do.
Elsewhere, Cletus Kasady washes his hands in a gas station restroom, singing to himself. Suddenly sensing Mars Team, he steps over a decapitated corpse and makes his way to a bus, gleefully remarking that he's hungry for leftovers and is never late to dinner.
In the warehouse's office, Janice remarks to Dr. Breen that she'd wanted her daughter to marry a doctor. Adding more black eyedrops to his eyes, Breen remarks that his degrees in parapsychology and xenobiology got him recruited by Weapon V right out of graduate school. Picking up several papers and beginning to redact them with a felt pen, Breen laments never having gotten the opportunity to study the original Grendel or the Sym-Soldiers' prototypes, and that Weapon V's symbiotes have had their connection to their dark god burnt out. Janice, realizing that Breen is not altogether sane, grumbles that she preferred having a knife to her throat; but as portable radio chatter announces they've made contact, Breen remarks that he'll have the final data needed.
On the warehouse floor, a bus smashes through the wall, Clayton transforming into Weapon H and stopping it. From one of the catwalks, Urquhart tells him to recon the bus, and Clayton sees that the driver and passengers have had their heads ripped off. Not seeing anything alive, Weapon H begins to give the all-clear only to hear the bus' toilet flush. Cletus Kasady steps out of the bus' restroom and quips that he has a small bladder and wanted to go before the fun started; Weapon H announcing that he's made contact. Transforming into his Sym-Soldier form, Urquhart fires an RPG and blows up the bus. Blasted back, Weapon H berates Urquhart for almost hitting him, and is told to get over it and confirm that Kasady is dead. As Weapon H eyes the inferno and remarks that anything inside the bus has been reduced to ashes - especially since Kasady is weak to fire, Carnage emerges from the flaming ruins - laughing and saying that he's wrong.
Watching the fight from the office, Breen remarks that his theory has been confirmed. As he pours more black eyedrops into his eyes, Janice asks what they are; Breen turning to her - his eyes solid-black - and telling her that his eyedrops are actually samples of symbiote so that he could see what they do. Ranting that he had to see if Carnage was worthy of being the God of the Everblack's Red Messiah, Breen pulls out a box-cutter; Janice stammering at him to stay away. Scattering his notes - which have been redacted so that only the text "GOD IS COMING" is visible - Breen extends the box-cutter's blade and says that what he is going to do to her is the farthest thing from mercy possible.
On the warehouse floor, Carnage gleefully mocks Weapon H's attempts to cut him, declaring himself the razor that will cut humanity's throat. Weapon H snarls that he can take whatever Carnage can dish out and still put him in the ground, headbutting Carnage in the face. Gleefully quipping that his sadism and Weapon H's masochism make them a perfect couple, Carnage says he has a few chores to take care of before they can continue their dance. Ezra Sheppard and Matthew Johns radio Urquhart that the sonics aren't doing anything, Urquhart snapping at them to turn them up higher only to be informed that they're already so loud that their own symbiotes are about to die.
Carnage ambushes them and rips out their spines, devouring them as Urquhart shouts at Clayton to handle Carnage ASAP before he orders Breen to kill Janice. Weapon H snarls that if his mother-in-law has so much as a scratch on her he'll feed Urquhart to Carnage himself, tackling Carnage through the roof and up into the sky above the warehouse. Stabbing Carnage with his claws, Weapon H says that he can survive the fall, asking if the same is true for Carnage. Impaling Weapon H with bladed tendrils, Carnage gleefully quips that they'll have to find out together. Their impact punches a crater into the floor of the warehouse, Urquhart and Russell dropping several incendiary grenades into it and running as the crater erupts into a pillar of flames. Weapon H crawls out of the inferno, livid at having been burned, but Urquhart tells him not to forget that they have him on a leash.
Breen - shirtless and with a red spiral painted in blood on his chest - interrupts, telling Urquhart that Weapon H has served his purpose and proven that Carnage is the Red Messiah, chosen by the God of the Everblack to usher in the Interregnum of Blood before the coming of the Everlasting Age of Darkness. As Breen says that Weapon V is Carnage's sacrifice by right, Carnage emerges from the flames behind him - completely unharmed. Weapon H demands to know where Janice is, Breen simply saying that she is gone and that his role is finished. Urquhart orders Clayton to stand and fight, threatening his wife and children if he doesn't follow orders. Turning to Carnage, Weapon H tells him that he can have Urquhart and the rest of Weapon V, storming off as Urquhart shouts at him to come back. Looming over Urquhart, Carnage quips that he's not going anywhere.
As Carnage rips out Urquhart's spine, Weapon H desperately searches for Janice, who emerges from her hiding place completely unharmed. Hugging her, Weapon H apologizes and blames himself for her abduction, though she tells him it wasn't his fault. Later, at a safe location, Clayton asks what happened and Janice says that Breen simply freed her, saying that killing her would be the merciful thing to do and that letting her live was the greatest cruelty imaginable. When she asks Clayton what Breen was talking about, he replies that he doesn't know but that he'll protect her and Sonia with his life.
At the Weapon Plus headquarters, Director Junger goes over the footage of Weapon H's fight with Carnage, remarking that the data revealed is fascinating. Asked if they should dispose of their remaining samples of the Grendel symbiote, Junger gives the order to instead have them put in deep stasis and begin work on replicating Dr. Breen's psychic screening apparatus; noting that sooner or later Carnage will be stopped and that in the meantime they have other projects lined up, asking for a progress report on Weapon XXX.
After one of the pilot missions of the sym-soldier program, Rex Strickland was given a highly classified mission by Nick Fury himself. Where exactly did the ancient symbiote know as the Grendel come from?
Decades later, Carnage is on a rampage that will connect him to Knull the symbiote god and only Weapon H can stop him – by picking up where Rex left off!
- Carnage is initially drawn with Knull's dragon emblem on his chest, but subsequent appearances in the issue lack it.
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