- And then... just like that... I feel it. Above the pounding heart of Spider-Man below me. Putting his life on the line once again to protect the innocent. To protect my son. Through the endless demons clawing their way out of the shadows of my past. I can feel it rising in the air. Cutting through the screams of a carnage-born god. Sending ripples of electricity through my codex-laden spine... boiling. Just below the surface. Aching to get out. For the first time in a very long time... I feel it. Hope. They fall into me. Black rain. Burrowing and growing. The codices... writhing and connecting with my own. The voices of their former hosts screaming into my mind. Captain America's voice barking orders and war strategies. Wolverine's rage igniting my blood into ancient fire. I see through Hawkeye's diamond-scalpel eyes. The Thing's ungodly strength turning my muscles to stone. They all melt together inside of me. Many voices becoming one. The power... not like anything I have ever felt before... something... new. Something better. We are the fury of this red-drenched city. Clothed in the armor of an avenging legion. This ends with us. All of us. Because we're stronger when we're together. And together... we. Are. Venom.
- -- Eddie Brock
Appearing in 1st story
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Bonds to the Venom, Carnage, Riot, Agony, Lasher, Phage, Sleeper, Dreadface, Mania, Tyrannosaurus, and other symbiote codices)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
- Venom / Hulk (Bruce Banner) (Loses the Venom Symbiote)
- Dylan Brock
- Normie Osborn
- Spider-Man (Miles Morales) (Freed from his symbiote's control and leaves the Church of the New Darkness)
- Captain America (Steve Rogers)
- The Thing (Ben Grimm)
- Wolverine (Logan)
- Church of the New Darkness
- Sleeper Symbiote (Mentioned)
- The Jury (Mentioned)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
- Yahweh (Invoked)
- Deadpool (Wade Wilson) (Mentioned)
- Mac Gargan (Mentioned)
- The Maker (Reed Richards) (Mentioned)
- God (Knull) (Mentioned)
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton) (Referenced)
Races and Species:
- Prime Marvel Universe
- Green Door (Mentioned)
- Dark Carnage Symbiote
- Venom Symbiote (Assimilated into the Dark Carnage Symbiote)
- Spider-Man's Suit and Web-Shooters
- Jury Armor
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield
- S.C.I.T.H.E. (Destruction)
- Fantastic Four Uniform
- Wolverine's Suit
- Adamantium (On Wolverine's claws)
- Legion symbiote (First appearance) (Unnamed)
- Norman Osborn's Carnage offshoot
- Rex (Mentioned)
Synopsis for 1st story
As the Venomized Hulk smashes the maniacally laughing Dark Carnage through the wall of Rex Strickland's warehouse, Eddie Brock notes that being separated from the Venom symbiote would once have filled him with crippling despair at being alone. As Eddie leads Spider-Man, Dylan Brock, and Normie Osborn to a door, he assures Dylan that Sleeper can handle itself. Asking Spider-Man to protect Dylan and Normie with his life, Eddie heads to the base's armory; Spider-Man incredulously asking if Eddie is suicidal. Eddie explains that most of the weapons once belonged to the Jury and are effective against symbiotes, but Spider-Man reiterates that without the Venom symbiote Eddie is powerless and will die. Eddie begs Spider-Man to do this for him, and Peter reluctantly agrees.
Noting that he'll need backup, Eddie asks how much longer the other heroes will be incapacitated by the S.C.I.T.H.E. for; Spider-Man guessing it will take ten minutes but that they'll be weakened by it. Equipping himself with a powered armor gauntlet and Captain America's Shield, Eddie says he can work with pretending to be a hero for that amount of time; Dylan watching in despair as his "big brother" heads off to his death - closing the door behind him. Facing off against the horde of Carnage doppelgängers, Eddie notes that, while their roars are deafening, all he can hear is the silence in his head; nonetheless lashing out with Captain America's shield against monsters he didn't stand a chance against even with the Venom symbiote. As the Carnageized Miles Morales arrives and pounces at him, Eddie resolves to take a leaf out of Spider-Man's playbook and go down swinging.
Outside, Dark Carnage gleefully brawls with the Venomized Hulk, noting that their mutual desire to destroy the world means they needn't be adversaries. Sensing the power of the One Below All through the Venom symbiote's bond to the Hulk, Dark Carnage glimpses the Green Door and expresses the desire to force it open and "paint it black" with Knull's living abyss. As Dark Carnage tells the Venomized Hulk to join him, the Venomized Hulk snarls that he talks too much and punches him in the face. Stabbing tendrils into the Venomized Hulk's brain, Dark Carnage interfaces with Bruce's mind and psychically tortures him as he'd once done to Matthew Kurtz, the Venomized Hulk screaming at Dark Carnage to get out of his head.
Inside the warehouse, Eddie struggles against the Carnageized Miles Morales, who perches on Captain America's shield and snarls that it's time for Eddie to die. Eddie notes that most heroes would go with the "I know you're in there somewhere" speech, but that he's been where Miles currently is and that Miles helped break him out of it with his bioelectric Venom Blast. Charging his gauntlet's arm-cannon, Eddie channels a surge of electricity through Captain America's shield and into Miles, electrocuting his symbiote. Freed, Miles groggily asks Eddie if he hurt anyone and where Carnage is. Eddie assures Miles that he's fine and explains that the Hulk is holding the line, but Miles - alarmed - interrupts and tells Eddie they need to get to them ASAP. Confused, Eddie says that the Hulk can handle himself, but Miles tells him that if Dark Carnage absorbs the Venom symbiote into his own he'll be powerful enough to free Knull.
Outside, the Hulk reverts into Bruce Banner, who passes out just as Eddie and Miles arrive; powerless to do anything except watch in horror as Dark Carnage rips the Venom symbiote off Bruce and assimilates it - transforming to sport draconic horns and sharp spikes protruding from his back, as well as black pauldrons and arm-wraps similar to Knull's. As Eddie despairs that Dark Carnage has won and now there's nothing anyone can do to stop him, Captain America places a reassuring hand on his shoulder and says he did a good job - nonchalantly punching away an attacking Carnage doppelgänger. As the Thing and Wolverine arrive, Captain America takes back his shield and the three superheroes charge Dark Carnage; Eddie noting that he keeps forgetting that he's not alone.
Miles shakes Eddie out of his stupor and points to where the Carnage doppelgängers are attacking the S.C.I.T.H.E., telling Eddie that the Maker lied about it destroying the harvested codices. His hope restored, Eddie fights his way to the machine; while outside Dark Carnage wipes the floor with the three superheroes and in the tunnels below Spider-Man struggles against the Carnagized Norman Osborn. Transforming his back spikes into draconic wings, Dark Carnage takes off - announcing his intent to finally unleash Knull. Punching a hole in its storage tank, Eddie is engulfed by the harvested codices, which bond to him and amalgamate with the codex within his own spine. Initially overwhelmed by the discordant echoes of their former hosts' minds, Eddie feels them all melt together into something new - granting him their former hosts' combined powers. Transforming his new gestalt symbiote into a replica of Venom, Eddie sprouts his own pair of draconic wings and declares himself to be the avenging fury of New York; taking off in pursuit of Dark Carnage.
THE PENULTIMATE CHAPTER OF THE SYMBIOTIC EVENT OF THE YEAR!
• Eddie Brock has taken a beating, lost the allies closest to him, and, after the shocking events of ABSOLUTE CARNAGE: #3, sees no way to take Cletus Kasady down once and for all without making the ultimate sacrifice.
• But what IS the ultimate sacrifice? Of the two beings that are bonded as VENOM, which will make it out alive?
- Spider-Man's fight against the Carnagized Norman Osborn is shown in more detail in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #30 and Amazing Spider-Man Vol 5 #31.
- According to Ryan Stegman, he and Donny Cates were unaware of how Saladin Ahmed intended to end the Miles Morales tie-in, which is why Miles gains control of his symbiote at the end of the miniseries but in the main Absolute Carnage series is still under its control.
- When Dark Carnage sensed the One Below All, he referenced The Rolling Stones' Paint It Black.
- Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (22 March 2020). VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Venom (2018) #1 Director’s Commentary. PodBean. Retrieved on 23 March 2020.
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