Appearing in 1st story
- Hall Industries (Main story and flashback)
- Carnage (Cletus Kasady) (Main story and flashback)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Shriek (Frances Barrison)
- Spider-Man's Doppelganger
- Sentry (Robert Reynolds) (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Hell (Referenced)
- Carnage Symbiote (Main story and flashback)
- Bleeding Edge Armor
- Spider-Man's Suit and Web-Shooters
- Iron Ranger Armor
- Hall Industries' Symbiote Prosthetics
- Scorn Symbiote (First appearance) (Unnamed)
Synopsis for 1st story
Several years prior, during an attempted escape from the Raft, Carnage is attacked by the Sentry. Despite Carnage looking forward to fighting such a powerful opponent, the Sentry simply flies him into space before ripping him in half at the waist. More upset over the lack of a fight than the loss of the lower half of his body, Cletus wonders if he is dying before the symbiote puts him into a coma to keep them both alive as long as possible. Cletus regains consciousness in a Hall Industries laboratory, where Michael Hall and a scientist go over how the symbiote kept him alive almost at the cost of its own life by recycling the carbon dioxide in his lungs back into oxygen. As they discuss salvaging the symbiote, Cletus tells it to kill them but it fails to respond. Realizing they're separating him from his "girl", Cletus becomes increasingly agitated before the scientists put him under; saying if he survives the symbiote's extraction they'll admit him to the trial hospital as a John Doe.
In the present, Spider-Man yells at Hall for keeping Cletus Kasady alive, imprisoned in his basement. Hall state that as far as Hall Industries is concerned Kasady is legally referred to as John Doe and that Spider-Man is obligated to refer to him as "the Patient". Royal Blue interrupts, saying that the front desk just sent out a distress call consisting of sobbing and choked gurgles. Horrified, Spider-Man realizes they're too late as Carnage rampages through the parking lot, gleefully demanding to know where Hall is so that he can have his revenge. Iron Man furiously states that he will see to it that Hall loses everything, Hall stammering that his Iron Rangers can handle the situation - their armor being built from a titanium alloy merged with the Carnage symbiote's biomass. As the Iron Rangers attack Carnage, the symbiote tells Cletus of its newly unlocked ability to create and control offshoots of itself, and he tests it out by speaking through Royal Blue. Horrified at the realization that the Iron Rangers' armor contains pieces of the Carnage symbiote, Spider-Man tells Hall to order the Iron Rangers to fall back, but Iron Man says it's too late.
As Carnage gleefully forces the Iron Rangers' suits to contort in grotesque manners - snapping Royal Blue's arm and breaking Burnt Orange's spine by folding him backwards - Iron Man opens fire with his repulsors. Carnage uses Gun Metal as a meat shield before assimilating him and Firebrick using his symbiote. As Carnage absorbs Paris Green and Burnt Orange, Royal Blue attempts to flee - begging Spider-Man to save him. Spider-Man snares Royal Blue's hand with a web-line, but it breaks as Carnage grabs him. Royal Blue screams for his mother as the Carnage symbiote assimilates his armor, suffocating and crushing him along with his companions. Transformed into a hulking biomechanical purple-black monster, Carnage boasts that he's more badass than ever.
In Hall Industries' basement, Dr. Nieves regains consciousness to see Doppelgänger leering down at her, asking if she's "darktar". Seeing Shriek kneeling over her, Dr. Nieves asks why she's wearing her old costume and Shriek responds that she's looking to reunite with her boyfriend. When Dr. Nieves says she hasn't seen him, Shriek flies into a jealous rage and grabs her throat, snarling that she knows Dr. Nieves was wearing her boyfriend's "clothes" and accusing her of trying to steal Cletus away from her. Abruptly releasing him, Shriek scornfully sneers that Dr. Nieves isn't anything special, muttering to herself that it doesn't mean that Cletus loves her more. Dr. Nieves asks what she means, Shriek snapping at her that she's carrying Carnage's child as she looks down to see that her prosthetic arm has transformed into a massive crimson talon.
As the cybernetically-augmented "Mass Carnage" trounces Iron Man and Spider-Man simultaneously, he gloats that this is the most fun he's ever had wearing dead bodies, noting that the combination of metal and symbiote feels funny. Iron Man rights himself and boasts that his Bleeding Edge armor is ten generations more advanced than the Iron Rangers' symbiote biotech, but Mass Carnage sneers that his pirouetting makes him look like a ballerina, grabbing him with a tendril and slamming him around. Inside the lab, Dr. Nieves panics as she feels the newborn symbiote probing her mind, pleading for Frances to help her. Shriek sneers at the irony of Dr. Nieves having someone else getting inside her head and trying to change what she is, grabbing her former psychotherapist's hair and slamming her head into the wall. Outside, Mass Carnage boasts that he is an ocean of hatred washing over the city, and that the only way to stop him is to give him Michael Hall. Spider-Man snaps that Hall is long gone and that he stopped Carnage once before, but Mass Carnage - continuing his metaphor - sneers that the tide just went out for a while and now it's coming back in. When Spider-Man mockingly asks if he's rehearsing for a poetry slam, Mass Carnage throws him into a street pole before grabbing him. Asking if Spider-Man likes jokes, Mass Carnage extrudes the mutilated corpses of the Iron Rangers and uses them as grotesque puppets to mock him.
Dr. Nieves continues to panic as the newborn symbiote tries to bond with her, Shriek mocking her by saying she'll have to indulge her inner darkness to feed it. Muttering that she can feel its hunger as her own and that it loves her, Dr. Nieves shouts that she has to accept her responsibility before shooting a furious glare at Shriek. Grabbing a shard of glass, Dr. Nieves desperatly amputates her prosthetic; Shriek picking it up and admiring it.
Enraged, Spider-Man pummels Mass Carnage and manages to force the symbiote off Cletus's face, shouting that he's going to tear the serial killer's head off. Iron Man tells Spider-Man to get out of the way before slamming an armored vehicle onto Mass Carnage, who remarks that he felt that one and asks for a time-out. Spider-Man refuses, but before he can renew his assault a sonic shockwave blasts him aside. Shriek - the newborn symbiote attached to her right shoulder and covering the right side of her face - asks Carnage if he missed her; Doppelgänger clutching a restrained Dr. Nieves as mind-controlled civilians begin to form a mob.
Spider-Man vs. Carnage vs. Iron Man. This book is the sound of heavy metal thudding on your brain.
- In the flashback to his fight with the Sentry, Cletus refers to the symbiote as a "girl" for the first time.
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Weekly Video Review
This review is of Carnage #4, and I gave it a 3/5.
— Nathan (Peteparker) (Earth-1218) (talk • contribs • email) 18:53, April 16, 2011 (UTC)