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After bonding to the Dark Carnage symbiote, Cletus Kasady pledged allegiance to the dark god Knull and usurped leadership of an ancient symbiote-worshiping cult.[12] To facilitate his hunt for everyone who had ever bonded to a symbiote, Dark Carnage attacked the Underground City and established a Spire manifested from his symbiote at its center. Infecting the populace and several feral animals with offshoots of his symbiote, Dark Carnage then sent them to hunt down former symbiote-hosts.[13]

First Rampage

The original iteration.

Travelling to Doverton, Carnage infected Eric Morrell with a piece of his symbiote before sacrificing him to Knull. John Jameson attempted to intervene, but was also infected and turned into a sleeper agent,[14] capturing Misty Knight and imprisoning her in the Ravencroft Institute.[15] Making his way to New York, Dark Carnage began infecting animals and homeless people, establishing a second Spire underneath Grand Street.[16][17][18][19] Using Knull's power, Dark Carnage corrupted the Hybrid symbiote - which seperated into the Agony, Lasher, Phage, and Riot symbiotes - and sent them after Normie Osborn.[20][21]

When he was finally ready, Dark Carnage attacked Eddie Brock and his son Dylan - who managed to escape when the Venom symbiote rebonded to Eddie.[9] Dark Carnage had Jameson slaughter the guards stationed at the Ravencroft Institute, arranging a trap for Venom and Spider-Man should they try to rescue Norman Osborn.[15] Springing his trap, Cletus broke into Ravencroft and infected the inmates with pieces of his symbiote, turning most of them into a horde of four-armed Carnage Doppelgängers.[9] With his shock troops now ready, Dark Carnage infected Osborn with a piece of his symbiote to turn him back into Carnage.[9] Unleashing his horde across the city,[2] Dark Carnage took Ravencroft as his base of operations, inducted the remaining inmates into the symbiote-worshiping cult, and resurrected Demogoblin using Shriek as a sacrifice.[15]

When Deadpool burnt the institute to the ground, Dark Carnage relocated his base of operations to the Spire under Grand Street. Over the next several hours, Dark Carnage unleashed his army into the city, directing them to devour civilians or infect them with pieces of his symbiote to swell his ranks.[4] Dark Carnage resurrected the Scream symbiote to serve as one of his generals, sending her after Andi Benton.[22] Sending Osborn after Scorpion resulted in Miles Morales being taken over by an offshoot of the Dark Carnage symbiote, turning him into a unique six-armed Carnage Doppelgänger.[5] Man-Wolf, Miles, and Scream broke free of Dark Carnage's control,[23][24][25] though Miles succumbed to his symbiote once again.[1] Despite taking over the Maker, Hybrid was seemingly killed by Dylan Brock, Sleeper, and Hawkeye.[26]

Once the heroes had regrouped and established a base of operations at Rex Strickland's warehouse, using a machine to non-lethally extract codices, Dark Carnage infiltrated it disguised as Eddie Brock before summoning his horde to crush those who opposed him and claim the remaining codices. Out of desperation, the Venom symbiote bonded to Bruce Banner and unleashed his Savage Hulk persona, though Dark Carnage defeated him and assimilated the Venom symbiote - apotheosizing into an even more powerful form. Miles was freed from his symbiote by Eddie, who bonded to the codices extracted by the Maker's machine and amalgamated them into a gestalt symbiote.[1]

As Venom battled the apotheosized Dark Carnage, Spider-Man defeated Norman Osborn with help from the demonic Kindred;[27] and Dylan seemingly destroyed Osborn's offshoot of the Dark Carnage symbiote. With re-enforcements turning the tide against Dark Carnage's horde, Dark Carnage forced Venom to kill him in order to save Dylan - thereby unleashing Knull from Klyntar. With Dark Carnage's death, his symbiote was absorbed into Venom and the offshoots seemingly perished, freeing their hosts.[28]

Return of the Bleeding King

Despite the death of his physical body, Cletus' consciousness was stored in the Symbiote Hive as a codex and was able to pilot the Dark Carnage symbiote due to their uniquely strong bond.[29] Assimilating the Venom symbiote into the Dark Carnage symbiote, Carnage attempted to take over Eddie Brock but was stopped by Dylan.[30] Carnage survived Dylan's attempt to destroy him and bonded to a shark, prowling the ocean for several months before taking a new human host to take part in Knull's attempted conquest of Earth. At that moment, Eddie Brock vanquished Knull and became the new King in Black, granting him some of Knull's divine power and making him the nexus of the Symbiote Hive. Controlling dozens of symbiotes, Eddie sentenced Carnage to execution and directed the symbiotes to devour him, but a piece of the symbiote survived.[31]

Piloting the surviving piece of the Dark Carnage symbiote, Cletus slowly made his way back to New York - restoring the symbiote by devouring everyone he came across en route. Inspired by what Eddie had done, Cletus formulated a new plan to make a comeback using the power Knull had bequeathed him to create a rival Hive with himself as its nexus. Once back in Manhattan, Carnage infiltrated the xenophobic Friends of Humanity organization, bonding to Senator Peter Krane's estranged son Arthur Krane, and began to infect many of the symbiotes left behind on Earth with his will. However, Carnage's failed attempt to corrupt the Anti-Venom symbiote alerted Flash Thompson and Iron Man to his return.[29] Carnage subsequently corrupted the Phage,[32] Lasher,[33] and Scream symbiotes;[34] although the latter was killed by its host, Andi Benton. When Carnage sent Phage to assassinate Andi, she bonded to a new symbiote, Silence, and used its Anti-Venom-derived cleansing touch to all-but sever it from the Hive.[32][33] Carnage attempted to corrupt the Toxin symbiote, demanding it kill its host Bren Waters, but it refused and repelled him, subsequently broaching an alliance with Silence and Agent Anti-Venom. Carnage next corrupted the Riot symbiote and directed it to Washington, D.C., and sent the corrupted Agony symbiote and its host - Gemma Shin - to spy on Hank, a veteran who Agent Anti-Venom had sent to spy on Senator Krane as one of his bodyguards - and assassinate him if need-be.[35][36]

Carnage's plot proved successful, as he was able to assassinate Senator Krane on live television, directing Agony, Phage, and Lasher to slaughter the assembled civilians. However, Riot was vanquished by Sleeper, who had secretly bonded to Hank. Silence, Toxin, and Sleeper assisted the surviving civilians in escaping; battling Agony, Lasher, and Phage until a squad of Guardsmen sent to back them up arrived to capture the corrupted symbiotes. Agent Anti-Venom's battle with Carnage was interrupted by Iron Man, who separated the Carnage symbiote from Arthur Krane - unmasked as a sociopathic serial killer - using his Extrembiote armor. However, Carnage hijacked control of the Extrembiote and almost killed Tony, assimilating it into the Carnage symbiote to become a symbiote-dragon. Gloating that he was victorious, Carnage freed Agony and abandoned Lasher, Phage, and Riot to be separated from their hosts and imprisoned in Alchemax's astrobiology lab.

While Arthur Krane succeeded his late father as senator - which he had plotted to do even before bonding to Carnage - and the Friends of Humanity were more popular than ever, he had grown addicted to the power he'd wielded with the symbiote and begged Gemma Shin - who'd been sent to act as Carnage's emissary - to help him get it back; Gemma agreeing in exchange for his fealty to Carnage's cause.[37] Despite having helped exacerbate anti-symbiote tensions, Agony was later sent as an emmisary to join Mayor Wilson Fisk's Thunderbolts.[38]



Carnage's horde fights mainly with their fangs, claws, and tendrils; using their sheer numbers to overwhelm foes.


  • The Carnage Doppelgängers seem to have been based on the Outriders and Doppelganger.
  • Despite retaining some of the power he was granted, Carnage's method of bringing other symbiotes under his sway changed after Knull's death. During the events of Absolute Carnage, as a consequence of his body acting as a conduit for Knull's power, Carnage's presence was enough to overpower the free will of other symbiotes.[39] Later, after Eddie Brock's ascension to the position of King in Black, Carnage seemed to need the consent of the symbiote in order to induct them into his Hive;[32][35] if the symbiote refuses to answer his call, however, Carnage can still acquire a foothold into their mind by gaining the consent of the host instead.[33] This change may have to do with the reunion of Cletus and the original Carnage symbiote's codices,[29] as Andi Benton describes the pull of Carnage's influence as "undeniable [and] biological", as opposed to the Grendel symbiote, which has no biological relation to the Life Foundation symbiotes.[35]

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