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Quote1 I was hollowed out inside... empty... just like my other. We were both sick... because we were incomplete... but not anymore. We healed each other... made each other whole. Neither one of us can survive without the other. Forget host. Forget symbiote. There is only Carnage. Quote2

Cletus Kasady is a deranged and sociopathic serial killer and mass murderer who has bonded with an alien symbiote to become the notorious super-villain Carnage.

Following a dark and disturbed childhood which culminated in him burning down an an orphanage,[25][26][27][28] Cletus became a serial killer and was eventually convicted for eleven consecutive life sentences. Incarcerated at Ryker's Island Prison, Cletus eventually became cellmates with Eddie Brock, who had been separated from the Venom symbiote. When the alien returned to rescued Eddie, it left behind its asexually-produced offspring. The newborn symbiote bonded to Cletus and amalgamated with his blood, transforming him into the monstrous Carnage.[3][29]

Over the years, Carnage became a recurring enemy to Spider-Man, Deadpool,[30] the Avengers,[31] and most notably Venom. Notoriously, Carnage once led a group of other killers and monsters on a rampage across Manhattan. Seemingly killed by the Sentry,[32] Carnage eventually returned more powerful than ever and began harboring megalomaniacal ambitions of conquest and godhood.

Cletus perished while separated from his symbiote, but a cult worshiping the symbiote god Knull bonded him to a new symbiote linked to the dark god, reanimating him. The undead Carnage's plan to free Knull from his interstellar prison was opposed by Venom, who killed Cletus but freed Knull in the process.[33] After destroying Knull as well, Venom became the new King in Black, but Cletus enacted a plan from within the Symbiote Hive-Mind to overthrow him.[24] Absorbing Iron Man's Extrembiote,[34] eventually Cletus and the Carnage symbiote had a falling out, the serial killer expunging it from the Extrembiote; as Carnage pursued its own dreams of godhood, Cletus assimilated the ruins of St. Estes into the Extrembiote, turning it into an extension of himself, confident the Carnage symbiote would see the error of its ways and eventually return to him.[35][21]


Early Life[]

Information regarding Cletus Kasady's birth and childhood are known only through secondhand accounts and his own flawed recollections. Purportedly, he was born in the Ravencroft Institute to a mother with paranoid schizophrenia, who died shortly after his birth.[9]

Remanded into the custody of a physically-abusive old woman who may or may not have been his biological grandmother, Cletus "put her out of her misery" by pushing her down a flight of stairs.[26] As such, Cletus was sent to live with Roscoe and Louise — who were either foster parents or actually his biological father and step-mother.[9] While in their care, Cletus tortured and killed his mother's dog, Fifi, since he believed his step-mother loved the dog more than him.[27] Afterward, Roscoe killed Louise either by accident while beating Cletus,[26] or while attempting to stop Louise from killing Cletus in retaliation for him killing her dog.[28] Regardless, Roscoe was arrested and received no defense from Cletus during his trial, having been sentenced to execution.[27][36] As an orphan, Cletus was sent to the St. Estes Home for Boys, where his antisocial behavior quickly made him the target of bullying and abuse from both the other orphans and the staff. During his time at St. Estes', Cletus befriended a boy named Billy Bentine after he took the blame for a fire Cletus started as a prank;[37] and at some point in his teenage years he fell in love with a girl who ultimately broke up with him — leaving him despondent and depressed.[36] When Cletus confessed his feelings to a girl he had a crush on, he was scornfully rejected and retaliated by pushing her in front of an oncoming school bus.[25] Ultimately, Cletus set St. Estes' Home for Boys ablaze, murdering the disciplinarian administration and orphans who had bullied him in the process.[25][38]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 345 0001

Birth of Carnage

Meeting Venom[]

As an adult, Cletus became a notorious cannibalistic serial killer,[29][39] but he was ultimately arrested and sentenced to eleven consecutive terms at Ryker's Island;[40] though he bragged of having killed a dozen more people.[41] An opportunity for early parole presented itself in the form of his new cell mate, Eddie Brock,[29] who was the former host of an extraterrestrial symbiote once bonded to Spider-Man — having been separated from it during a battle with Spider-Man and the supervillains Styx and Stone.[42] Cletus initially intended to kill Brock, but upon realizing who he was extended an offer of friendship and attempted to convert Brock to his nihilistic and homicidal philosophy that laws and morality were meaningless.[19] Brock was disgusted by Kasady's worldview and quickly developed an antagonistic relationship with his cellmate, brutally beating him on multiple occasions,[26] and Cletus came to dismiss Brock's claims of having been Venom and that the symbiote would return to him as a delusion.[29]

Becoming Carnage[]

Fed up with his cell-mate's disdain towards him, Cletus decided to murder Brock using a shiv he'd created. Before he could do so, the Venom symbiote entered their cell through the window and bonded to Brock, who — transformed into Venom once more — incited a destructive jailbreak. Unknown to its human host, the symbiote was pregnant and gave birth during the disastrous rescue.[40] Left behind in the midst of the riot that ensued, the symbiote's spawn bonded with Kasady,[43] entering into his bloodstream through a cut on his hand and amalgamating with his blood.[3] Empowered far beyond the levels of Spider-Man and Venom combined, Kasady dubbed himself Carnage and made good his escape — intent on using his new-found power to disseminate his lethal doctrine: his first victim, a security guard named Ramone he pulled through the bars of his cell;[44] the second, Gunther Stein, being randomly chosen from a telephone book.[45]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 361 0002

Embarking on a citywide killing spree, Carnage was confronted by Spider-Man. However, the wall-crawler's amazing arachnid-like abilities were insufficient to subdue Carnage, who--in part to his insatiable bloodlust,[46] had strength and abilities far exceeded those of his predecessors, Venom and Spider-Man.[41] This forced Spider-Man to enlist the aid of the Fantastic Four and reveal his continued survival to Venom, his hated foe. Venom was reluctant to ally with Spider-Man, but despised Kasady even more and agreed to help. Facing the combined might of Spider-Man and Venom, Carnage was captured and his symbiote seemingly destroyed.[47] He was imprisoned first at the Vault and then his birthplace, Ravencroft Institute.[48]

Maximum Carnage and Ravencroft Imprisonment[]

A doctor at Ravencroft, hoping to find a "cure" for his madness, drew blood from Kasady unwittingly enabling Kasady to transform into Carnage; who went on to recruit an army of psychopathic supervillains — including Shriek, Demogoblin, Carrion, and Doppelganger — to take over New York City. Using Shriek's "psychic channel" powers, he also drove ordinary New Yorkers to attack one another. Carnage and his "family" were ultimately driven back by Spider-Man, Venom and a number of other superheroes and anti-heroes, with Carnage and Shriek being remanded to Ravencroft.[49][50][51][52][53]

Under the care of Dr. Ashley Kafka and Dr. Camille Pazzo, Cletus learned that Carnage Unleashed, a video-game based on his exploits, was being made--Dr. Kafka having licensed his likeness to Extreme Violence Video Games in exchange for royalties--and negotiated access to the game's online server as part of his computer privileges. Cletus began secretly dispatching his symbiote through phone lines--reducing the alien to its cellular level--to kill those developing and beta-testing the game; drawing the attention of Venom. Hacking Ravencroft's security systems to escape, Carnage took Dr. Pazzo hostage and began slaughtering beta-testers over the dial-up internet, leading to a cyberspace clash with Venom that left Cletus comatose.[54]

When an army of Symbiotes invaded Earth,[55] Cletus awakened from his coma and learned he could feed on the other symbiotes to increase his own's mass,[56] growing in size to possibly exceed Manhattan Bridge in height.[57] However, Kasady's bloodthirsty endeavors ultimately culminated with his return to Ravencroft, where he was psychoanalyzed by Dr. Matthew Kurtz, Dr. Kafka, and John Jameson; in turn attempting to indoctrinate them into his nihilistic worldview.[39][36] Cletus attempted to escape by sending the Carnage symbiote out through a gap in his prison's security measures, and it took over John Jameson before transferring to Peter Parker's clone Ben Reilly, who'd taken over as Spider-Man.[58][59] As the symbiote tried to corrupt him,[60] Ben sought out Cletus in an attempt to learn how to control it, though Cletus only mocked him. Ben was able to fight off the symbiote, whereupon it returned to Cletus.[61]

When a new warden attempted to cut costs by shutting down Ravencroft's high-tech security measures, Carnage promptly escaped and went on another killing spree. Encountering the Silver Surfer, Cletus was shocked when his symbiote expressed an instinctual hatred towards the former Herald of Galactus and abandoned him. While the Carnage symbiote took over the Surfer and rampaged, Cletus was hospitalized and discovered to have terminal cancer. This prompted the Carnage symbiote to return to him, whereupon they were both petrified by the Silver Surfer.[62]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Webspinners Tales of Spider-Man Vol 1 14 001

Linked to the Negative Zone symbiote

Loss and Restoration of the Carnage Symbiote[]

While contained in a specialized super-max cell in the Manhattan Correctional Facility, Cletus was attacked by Venom, who ripped the Carnage symbiote from his body and devoured it.[63] Without the symbiote, Kasady attempted to reassume the Carnage persona by covering himself in red paint and continuing his killing sprees, claiming that he still possessed at least some of Carnage's strength and convinced that he only needed to kill Spider-Man and Venom to regain his symbiote. Spider-Man nevertheless easily defeated him in a fight, and he was sent back to prison.[64] Guided by remnants of the Carnage symbiote within his body, Kasady travelled to the Negative Zone, where he struck an alliance with Blastaar — offering to aid his conquest of Earth. Cletus found a second symbiote that had been sealed away and bonded with it to become Carnage again, turning on Blastaar in an attempt to force him to destroy reality itself. Stopped by Spider-Man and Dusk, Cletus was returned to Manhattan and arrested, but regained his symbiote.[65]

Birth of Toxin[]

Venom Vs

Carnage vs. Venom

During a battle with Venom, Carnage discovered his symbiote was about to give birth. Feeling threatened by its existence, Carnage attempted to suppress the birth and destroy it.[66] However, Venom wanted to raise and train the new symbiote as an ally and partner. Weakened by the actual birthing, Carnage was unable to kill the newborn, bonding it to Patrick Mulligan, a New York City cop. Venom named the new symbiote Toxin, after himself.[67] Fearing that Toxin would grow to become someone like Spider-Man, Venom made a temporary alliance with Carnage to kill his "grandson",[68] but in the end they were defeated by the combined efforts of Spider-Man, Toxin, and Black Cat.[69]

Robert Reynolds (Earth-616), Cletus Kasady (Earth-616), and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from New Avengers Vol 1 2 001

The Death of Carnage?

Raft Break-Out[]

Imprisoned in the Raft, Carnage participated in an attempted breakout but was grabbed by the Sentry, who flew him into orbit and ripped him in half at the waist.[32] According to Iron Man's computer, Cletus may not have been inside the symbiote when the Sentry ripped it apart,[70] but this assessment was incorrect.

Mass Carnage[]

Cletus was placed into a dormant state by the Carnage symbiote to keep him alive, though it nearly perished after several months.[71] Orbiting Earth, Carnage's body crashed into a satellite owned by Hall Industries,[72] and was recovered by Michael Hall, a competitor of Tony Stark. Hall proceeded to retrieve Carnage's body from space and separated Cletus from the symbiote, placing him in a hospital as a John Doe. Using the symbiote, Hall created prosthetic limbs and exo-suits which responded in the same ways as a symbiote. Cletus was subsequently outfitted with a prosthetic lower body and placed in containment in a cell under Hall Industries corporate headquarters.[73]

The Carnage symbiote eventually reunited with Cletus by taking over Dr. Tanis Nieves, Shriek's psychologist, who had been outfitted with one of the prosthetic arms derived from it after she was caught in an attack Doppelganger.[74] Reunited with his symbiote and Shriek, Cletus became Carnage once more and battled Iron Man and Spider-Man. When confronted by Hall Industries' Iron Rangers, who were outfitted with symbiote-based armour, Cletus was informed by the Carnage symbiote that it had developed the ability to produce and control offshoots of itself as a result of Hall's experimentation. Using this power, Carnage killed and assimilated the Iron Rangers' suits to become "Mass Carnage". Meanwhile, Nieves' prothesis was revealed to be a new spawn of Carnage, which turned her into a new symbiote called Scorn. Scorn forced Shriek to use her sonic attack on Mass Carnage, who was revealed to be a construct, the real Carnage having escaped with Doppelganger.[71]

Carnage, U.S.A.[]

Directed by his symbiote, Cletus arrived in Doverton, Colorado and took over their population by controlling them with offshoots of his symbiote, proclaiming this city the new capital of a new symbiote sovereign state. Part of the Avengers, along with the Thing, arrived to stop him, but were possessed by the symbiote's copies,[31] though Spider-Man managed to escape with the help of a resistance movement of non-infected citizens.[75]

When a squad of symbiote-augmented super-soldiers called the Mercury Team attacked the zone along with Scorn in search of Carnage,[76] Spider-Man and the resistance appeared to help them. Agent Venom appeared just in time to save Spider-Man's life from Cletus, but when Scorn used a sonic weapon to sever the bond between Cletus and Carnage, she also affected Venom.[77] Leaving Cletus against an invalid Flash Thompson, the two rogues symbiotes started fighting using animals. The Avengers and Scorn managed to weak Carnage's and destroy Cletus' cybernetic legs using a sonic weapon, while a gorilla with Venom's took it back to Flash; when both of them were fighting. The Carnage symbiote was captured by Scorn, while Cletus was taken into custody in a Quinjet.[78]

Minimum Carnage[]

Venom Vol 2 26 Textless

Vs. Agent Venom and Scarlet Spider

Cletus was put into custody in the Thunderbolts Mountain and the remnants of the Carnage symbiote on his person were seemingly destroyed, though it regenerated within his blood once more. Cletus was contacted by beings of the Microverse, who managed to see inside his mind and offer him a treat: they would give him the Microverse to get a whole new universe to kill in exchange for his services. Transforming into Carnage and escaping, Cletus traveled to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Texas and used a new technology to escape to the Microverse, even after Scarlet Spider tried to stop him.[79]

Once in the Microverse, Carnage betrayed his allies, who wanted to bring him to their master, Marquis Radu, in order to create a symbiotic army; and killed most of them[80] while Venom and Scarlet Spider followed him to the Microverse.[81] After dealing with the Scarlet Spider, Carnage was taken prisoner along with Venom, who was captured along his allies, the Enigma Force, by Marquis Radu's army.[82]

The Venom and Carnage symbiotes were replicated and hybridized to create the powerful army which would destroy the Microverse. Cletus managed to take control over the symbiotic army and used it to escape to the regular universe,[83] where he was finally defeated by the combined efforts of Venom and Scarlet Spider, who used a special weapon given to them by the Enigma Force. After being stung by the Scarlet Spider, Cletus cured his wounds, but was left in a catatonic state, meaning that the symbiote was now in full control of his body, although it was put into custody once more and sedated.[84]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Superior Carnage Vol 1 1 0001

Carnage symbiote weakened due to the Frightful Four member, Klaw

Superior Carnage[]

Carnage was freed from imprisonment by The Wizard, who, still thinking Cletus was in control of the symbiote, wanted to make him part of his newest Frightful Four. However, Carnage was unaffected by The Wizard's powers and attacked him. Before Carnage was able to finish him off, Klaw was able to stop Carnage and save The Wizard.[85] After realizing that Carnage could not be affected by his powers, and could not be separated from his host by traditional means since the Symbiote was embedded in Cletus' blood, The Wizard began transferring Carnage to a new host by transfusing Cletus' blood into Karl Malus.[86] Later, The Wizard blew up his secret base, with Kasady still inside, apparently killed.[87]

However, Cletus survived the explosion, with some major skin burns, and was recovered by Superior Spider-Man's Spiderlings. When the Carnage symbiote bonded to The Wizard, Otto decided he could use the symbiote's preference for Cletus in order to make it abandon The Wizard, by taking Kasady to the scene, and contain the alien before it could merge with its original host. However, the mission failed, and Cletus became Carnage once more as the Spiderlings failed to contain the symbiote. Carnage rampaged through the scene until Klaw, whose sonic body had been dispersed, managed to redirect lightning to Carnage and separate him from Kasady. Both beings were taken separately to custody. Unknown to Spider-Man, the symbiote's rebonding with Kasady fixed the villain's brain, who was now no longer lobotomized.[88]

Cletus became a model prisoner, for which he was transferred to Kramer Penitentiary. He was fatally wounded by a fellow inmate, who was paid by Dr. Jenner, Cletus' psychologist who wanted to become Carnage's new host. Kasady was suffocated to death with a pillow by Jenner in Kramer's infirmary. When the Carnage symbiote escaped containment and returned to Cletus, it refused Jenner's offer to become its new host, and bonded and reanimated Cletus, becoming Carnage once more and killing the entire staff and prisoners to send the message to the world that "Carnage was back."[18]

Deadpool vs. Carnage[]

Deadpool vs

Vs. Deadpool

Cletus decided to go 'back to basics' and went on a seemingly random killing spree with no reason or patterns to his victims. However Deadpool was able to find a pattern in Carnage's madness and continually found him much to Cletus' frustration. Playing mind games with Carnage, Deadpool was able to put doubt in Cletus in the existence of chaos and that all his actions were being controlled by an outside force. This came to a head when Carnage almost killed Shriek, and he placed himself in an unlocked jail cell to wait until his mind was clear of doubt again.[89]


When the Red Onslaught was unleashed, Magneto recruited numerous villains to stop the madman's Stark Sentinels. He approached Carnage in his self-confinement, and convinced Cletus to join him as there would be nothing more chaotic than him saving the world.[90] Noticing Deadpool was part of Magneto's team, Carnage joined intending to exact revenge, but following the inversion spell which changed the moral axis of those in the island, they parted amicably.[91]

AXIS Carnage Vol 1 2 Textless

Your Friendly Neighborhood... Carnage?!

After the inversion, Cletus returned to New York, stopping a robbery and apprehending the Squid with zero fatalities.[92] Even though the spell brought out a desire to do good, his sociopathic tendencies made it hard for him to behave like a hero, causing him to brutalize criminals and still be treated as a villain. After saving reporter Alice Gleason from a new Sin-Eater, whom Kasady seemingly killed, he kidnapped her to teach him how to be a real hero.[7] Alice agreed to help him be good as long as he promised not to hurt her, which he accepted. They headed to a church for Cletus to confess his sins but he attacked a tomb digger thinking he was robbing from the graves. Alice instead recorded his confession in her phone and secretly sent it to her boss. He later stopped a bank robbery but tried to burn the bank to stop future robberies. He fled as the police arrived but Alice fell and was kidnapped by the Sin-Eater while Carnage was surrounded by the police.[25] Despite being shot down by two missiles, Carnage located the Sin-Eater and rescued Alice. The Sin-Eater — who claimed to be the spirit of Emil Gregg — fed on Carnage's sins, growing into a giant while Cletus feels the burden on his conscience being relieved. Carnage defeated him by overloading him with a last sin: that he loved all the destruction he caused, and the Sin-Eater dwindles into a shriveled corpse that disintegrates. Feeling reborn, Carnage thanks the Sin-Eater's corpse for absolving his sins before having his head shot off by Alice. Regenerating, Carnage asked why she betrayed him, and Alice admitted that she had lied to him about being a good person and had only been using him for personal gain, screaming at the newly arrived police to open fire. Carnage misinterpreted her betrayal as a warning that falling in love was dangerous, and reaffirmed his desire to become a superhero while escaping.[93]

Magneto Vol 3 11 Textless

Joining the Astonishing Avengers

Cletus was later reunited with the other inverted villains to form the Astonishing Avengers in order to stop the inverted heroes.[94] Before the later-known "Battle of Manhattan," Carnage acted as the face of the Astonishing Avengers, dubbing them the "Axis of Evil", and had them take all of the blame for the actions of the inverted heroes in order to protect the reputations of the X-Men, Avengers, and Inhumans in the aftermath at the expense of the newly achieved heroic reputations of himself and Hobgoblin.[95] The Astonishing Avengers fought the inverted X-Men in Manhattan, who were trying to detonate a gene bomb which would've killed everyone in the planet who wasn't a mutant.[96] As the time was running out and there were no options left, while the Avengers were distracting the X-Men, Carnage decided to sacrifice himself and use the symbiote to wrap around the bomb and contain the explosion, seemingly killing him. Before his apparent death, Cletus asked Spider-Man to build an extravagant memorial for him.[97] His death was seemingly confirmed when Wasp found the remains of the Carnage symbiote around the area where the bomb had been. After Cletus' apparent death and in the aftermath of the battle itself, Peter Parker was seen building the memorial as he had promised.[95]

Nova Vol 5 27 Textless

Making new friends


Cletus was able to survive the gene bomb's explosion, though he lost his legs in the process. Cured of his inversion after a counterspell was cast and disgusted by his behavior as a hero, he went to Carefree, Arizona, to pay a visit to a new friend he'd made during the time he was inverted,[98] a friend he was willing to "help", Sam Alexander aka Nova. Cletus left a message signaling his return in the form of murdering a random bystander who he had asked where to find the boy as proof that he was reverted to his natural moral axis.[99]

After learning that Sam's mother worked at a local diner, Cletus took her hostage there in order to get his attention, but, tired of waiting, Cletus decided to kill her. Nova arrived before he could do so and took him away from the diner to an empty area in order not to hurt anyone. While fighting, Nova tried to convince him that he wasn't Sam Alexander, but Cletus didn't believe him. After being wounded by the Nova Force, Cletus fled to let his symbiote heal him as the police arrived. The next day, already healed from his burns, Cletus attacked Sam again, this time at his school.[100] While attacking Sam, Carnage saw Nova flying around the area, thus making it impossible for the boy to be Nova (unbeknownst to him, that was Sam's mother wearing his helmet). Enraged, Carnage followed the false Nova, but lost sight of her. He then started to attack innocent people to try and get Nova's attention, provoking a new battle between them.

Carnage was taken by Nova to the sky and then punched into the parking lot below, the impact setting off the cars' alarms, dizzying Cletus and his symbiote. Cletus was then thrown by Nova, who had already realized Carnage's weakness to loud sounds, into an Anthrax (a heavy metal band which Cletus was a fan of) show nearby. As the symbiote screamed in pain, Cletus fled to the road, but was attacked by Nova again. He threw a car at Nova, who caught it midair, and took advantage of it to punch him. As he was about to finish his opponent off, Carnage was hit by a truck. He was then tied in metal plates by Nova, and left by his symbiote as he revealed he wanted to kill Nova because he wanted to erase any memory of his good deeds from the time he had his moral axis inverted from anyone who remembered it. He was left by Sam in Ryker's Island.[101]

The Darkhold[]

Having escaped from Ryker's, Carnage was lured to Grey Ridge Mine in West Virginia by the FBI upon learning its chief of security, Manuela Calderon, was the sole survivor of Kasady's first mass murder. A task force that included FBI agent Claire Dixon, Army soldier John Jameson (aka Man-Wolf), and Eddie Brock (the latest host of the Toxin symbiote) attempted to capture Carnage, but the plan fell apart when Carnage and several FBI agents fell through a fracture into a played-out section of the mine, an occurrence set up by the owner of the mine, Barry Gleason, who turned out to be a member of the occult group known as the Darkholders. Gleason lured Carnage deeper into the mine until he reached a secret temple, where Gleason and the Darkholders attempted to sacrifice Carnage in a ritual that involved the Darkhold, a book of ancient times that made reference to Carnage as the "Red Slayer." The ritual resulted in the unexpected enhancement of Carnage's powers, prompting Kasady to take the Darkhold with him when he slip away from the FBI's task force.[102]

Carnage Vol 2 15 Textless

Carnage and Chthon

Carnage would soon make his way to an uncharted island where he could unlock the Darkhold's powers. On his way there, he hijacked a freighter a group of Darkholders planned to use to bring Carnage to said island, and learned in the process the Darkhold's connection to Elder God Chthon. The FBI's task force followed him to the ship, now joined by Darkhold expert Victoria Montesi, and tried to stop him. Carnage used the Darkhold on Claire Dixon, turning her into his own symbiote-possessed puppet named Raze. In an attempt to destroy Carnage, Raze and the Darkhold, the task force blew up the freighter. Carnage survived, and was found adrift at sea by young sailor Jubulile van Scotter. Carnage infected Jubulile with a symbiote, which created a psychic connection between the two, but she managed to escape and was later found by the anti-Carnage task force.[103]

Once he reached the island and reunited with Raze, Carnage delved deeper into its territory until he found the Chthonic temple and the altar. He performed a ritual that summoned Chthon to the world with the intention to destroy it. Kasady attempted to have Chthon reward him with more power, but failed. Having tracked down Carnage to the island and subsequently the temple, the task force confronted him. Chthon was confronted by Jubulile, who was empowered by her symbiote, the Toxin symbiote absorbed from Brock, and the Raze symbiote absorbed from Dixon. Jubulile was given more power when Montesi took the Darkhold from Carnage and fed her psychic energies from all over the world, allowing her to become powerful enough to banish Chthon. Montesi also used the Darkhold on Carnage, casting a spell that stripped Kasady of his symbiote and reshaped it into a cage that detained him. The members of the task force later parted ways, with Calderon and Jameson deciding to deliver Kasady to the FBI.[104]

Kasady was subsequently stripped of the Carnage symbiote, with it having been kept separate from him at the Lock Box before being stolen and delivered to Norman Osborn.[105] Osborn ultimately ripped the Carnage symbiote off when he realized that Cletus would get the credit if he killed Spider-Man while bonded to it, but the symbiote installed a copy of Cletus' psyche into Osborn's mind when it was killed in the process of bonding to him, giving him a new split personality.[106]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage III (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Venomized Vol 1 3 002

Carnage's short-lived new symbiote

The Poison Invasion[]

Kasady was re-incarcerated in Ravencroft, placed in a specialized cell that kept him immobilized and suspended off the ground. When the Poison Hive attacked Earth-616, Kasady was approached by Poisoned incarnations of Morbius, Kraven the Hunter, and Lady Deathstrike, who mocked how pathetic he was without the Carnage symbiote or his legs. Pleased that Kasady's insatiable bloodlust was intact, the Poisons brought him onboard their flagship and offered him the chance to become Carnage again if he allied with them. Kasady — unaware that the Poisons intended to consume him before he became a threat and use the ensuing Poison Carnage as a weapon of mass destruction — eagerly accepted, believing they would return his beloved symbiote to him. He was instead used as a test subject and forcibly bonded a new symbiote that the remnants of the Carnage symbiote in his blood attempted to reject, causing him excruciating pain in the process.[107] Upon breaking free, he began to rampage but was quickly consumed by an unbound Poison.[46] Despite Poison Doom's precautions, Cletus' psyche was able to mostly-resist being consumed,[108] and Poison Carnage only pretended to be loyal to the Hive.[109] He attacked Alchemax alongside Poison Doctor Druid, Poison Killer Thrill, the Poison X-Force, and Poison Thundra; but was angered when informed their mission wasn't to fight but to bolster the Hive's ranks.[110]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) from Venomized Vol 1 4 001

Poison Carnage

Poison Carnage threatened Poison Doctor Druid into teleporting him and the other Poisons back to their ship. Once there, Poison Carnage battled both Venom and Spider-Man, nearly decapitating the former and impaling the latter. He was ultimately tossed into space by Venom and Danger.[109]

Prophet of the Void[]

After the Poison Queen's death, Poison Carnage's crystalline exoskeleton and consumed symbiote crumbled to reveal Cletus Kasady somehow restored to humanity. As gravity took hold of Cletus, the remnants of the original Carnage symbiote emerged in an attempt to shield his body from the reentry plasma but perished despite its Darkhold-augmentations, leaving him badly burnt. Cletus crash-landed in the desert and died from his severe injuries, his body being recovered and ID'd by authorities.[3]

Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616), Grendel (Symbiote) (Earth-616), Cletus Kasady (Earth-616), Scorn (Symbiote) (Earth-616), and Tanis Nieves (Earth-616) from Web of Venom Carnage Born Vol 1 1 001

Bonded to the Grendel symbiote's offshoot and in the thrall of Knull

The Cult of Knull, an apocalyptic cult dedicated to worshiping Knull and led by a corrupted Scorn, attacked the convoy transporting Cletus' body to retrieve it, and later stole a sample of the primordial Grendel symbiote from the Maker's Project Oversight laboratory.[111] Scorn bonded the piece of the Grendel symbiote to Cletus, intending to turn him into Knull's new vessel. Reanimated by the primordial symbiote, Cletus was psychically connected to the dark god, fighting against his will for control of his now-undead body. Cletus' connection to Knull was broken when he ripped out Scorn's spine to consume the trace remnants — or codex — of the Carnage symbiote left over from her time as its host and consumed it. Altering the piece of the Grendel symbiote to match the appearance of the Carnage symbiote, Cletus decided to help free Knull, intending to ultimately betray the dark god and seize his power for himself, and set out to hunt down and consume the codices of the other symbiote hosts, living and deceased.[3][112] Assuming leadership of the cult, Carnage subsequently conquered San Francisco's underground city -- which Venom had once guarded as the Lethal Protector -- and used his newfound abilities to infect the inhabitants with symbiote "brain worms" — maggots infected with the Carnagized Grendel symbiote — sending them to hunt down those who possessed symbiote codices.[113]

Web of Venom Carnage Born Vol 1 1 Virgin Variant

Dark Carnage's second form, after absorbing Tanis Nieves' Carnage codex

Recruiting Shriek and Doppelganger once more, Carnage returned to Doverton, Colorado and claimed the codices of the Carnage symbiote left in its populace; infecting John Jameson with the Carnagized Grendel symbiote so that he could act as a sleeper agent.[114] Carnage -- now sporting Knull's spiral emblem on his forehead -- traveled to Philadelphia to claim Andi Benton's symbiote codex, killing her aunt Sarah and the Monsters of Evil, though Andi used the demonic powers of her Hell-Mark to escape.[8] Carnage returned to Manhattan, but during the War of the Realms he opted to sit out the combat and chaos rather than reveal himself prematurely; establishing a lair in the sewers and subways under Grand Street, and infecting more homeless people and animals with the Carnageized Grendel symbiote to act as his minions.[115] After the war's end, Carnage began sending his minions out to hunt for codices,[116][117][118] and resurrected Emil Gregg to torment Eddie.[119] Carnage and his followers also exhumed the bodies of every deceased people who'd bonded to a symbiote, harvested their codices, and left the desecrated bodies in a mass grave in the shape of Knull's spiral.[5]

Greatly empowered, Kasady was transformed into "Dark Carnage" -- a thirteen foot-tall skeletal monster with Knull's spiral on its forehead and a white dragon/spider emblem on his chest. Harvesting the codices of the Weapon V super-soldier program and Leonard Elkhart, a one-time host of the Venom symbiote,[13][120] Dark Carnage traveled to Nicaragua and attacked Alejandra Jones, whose Spirit of Vengeance had at one point melded with the Venom symbiote and transferred a codex into her. Despite interference from another Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch, Dark Carnage ripped out Alejandra's spine and ate it, temporarily absorbing her Spirit of Vengeance. Delighting in his new demonic powers, Dark Carnage battled Ketch but was retrieved by his followers when they started to fade. Chastised for losing sight of the cult's goals, Dark Carnage lashed out at them before resuming the hunt for codices.[121]

Absolute Carnage Vol 1 1 Bradshaw Variant Textless

Dark Carnage's third form, sporting Knull's spiral on his forehead

Upon arriving in Manhattan, Dark Carnage attempted to break into the old Avengers Tower, impersonating Eddie Brock and allowing himself to be arrested. Kasady informed the police of his resurrection and plan to unleash Knull in such a way as to make Brock look like a raving lunatic, and was imprisoned in Ryker's Island. Still posing as Brock, Kasady was confronted by Lee Price — who had formerly hosted the Venom symbiote and was currently the host of the Mania symbiote — in the prison cafeteria. When Price threatened him, Kasady ripped the Mania symbiote out of him and bonded to it, destroying the security cameras in order to frame Brock. Transforming into Dark Carnage, Kasady slaughtered the inmates in the cafeteria and broke out of the prison; making his way to the mainland and selecting Spider-Man as his next target.[6][122]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616), Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616), Edward Brock (Earth-616), and Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 1 001

Dark Carnage's skeletal fourth form, sporting Knull's dragon emblem on his chest

Noticing Eddie Brock and his son Dylan, Cletus pursued them into the subway and pushed Eddie and Dylan in front of an oncoming train — in mockery of what Eddie had once done to Spider-Man. The Venom symbiote rebonded to Eddie and derailed the train to save him and Dylan, and Cletus transformed into Dark Carnage; laughing off Venom's attacks and attempting to rip the Venom symbiote off Eddie so that he could absorb it. Eddie managed to incapacitate Dark Carnage by grabbing onto the third rail — exploiting the Carnagized Grendel symbiote's vulnerability to electricity — but Cletus quickly recovered. Setting his sights on Norman Osborn, Cletus made his way to Ravencroft and activated John Jameson to keep Spider-Man and Venom — who has shown up to protect Osborn — occupied. Cletus infected the inmates with the Carnagized Grendel symbiote — turning them into four-armed red-and-black monsters resembling the Doppelganger — and sicced his army on Spider-Man and Venom before throwing Spider-Man through the door of Osborn's cell. Amused by Osborn believing himself to be Cletus Kasady, Dark Carnage bonded him to the Carnageized Grendel symbiote and turned him into a duplicate of his original Carnage form[5] — much like what Norman himself had done with his grandson, Normie Osborn, to transform him into the Goblin Childe.[106]

Taking over the asylum and indoctrinating the inmates into his cult, Dark Carnage claimed Shriek's codex and resurrected Demogoblin using her corpse as a vessel.[123] After Deadpool interrupted the cult's gathering and burned down Ravencroft, Kasady marked him as a priority target due to him having the codex of the Hybrid symbiote.[124] Growing increasingly annoyed by Osborn's delusion of being Cletus Kasady, Dark Carnage returned to his lair underneath Grand Street and unleashed his horde on the city:[11] sending the symbiote-doppelgangers to rampage and flush out former hosts in-hiding; "Demagoblin" and Man-Wolf after Misty Knight;[125] the Knull-corrupted Riot, Agony, Phage, and Lasher after Normie to claim his Carnage codex; and Osborn after the Scorpion to claim his Venom and Mania codices; and the resurrected Knull-corrupted Scream after Andi Benton to claim her Mania codex.[126][127][128] He also sent Will o' the Wisp, Conundrum and Freak after Deadpool, with Osborn arriving soon after.[129] When Scream betrayed him, Dark Carnage personally killed its host — Patricia Robertson — though the Scream symbiote transferred to Andi Benton, who escaped.[130]

Bruce Banner (Earth-616), Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616), Cletus Kasady (Earth-616), and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 4 001

Again disguising himself as Eddie Brock, Dark Carnage snuck into the warehouse where Eddie, Spider-Man, and a number of other former symbiote hosts were hiding in to use a machine called the S.C.I.T.H.E, which could non-fatally remove codices. Approached by Spider-Man, who fell for his disguise, Cletus learned that Dylan Brock was Eddie's son. When the real Eddie arrived, accidentally revealing that Spider-Man was Peter Parker, Dark Carnage unveiled himself and summoned a horde of Carnage Doppelgangers to attack the warehouse. The Venom symbiote, tired of Eddie's refusal to face Dark Carnage for fear of orphaning Dylan, decided to bond with Bruce Banner, though Carnage killed him in the middle of it. However, as Dark Carnage had no idea who Banner was, he was shocked when Banner resurrected as the Savage Hulk and completed the bonding, delivering a powerful blow that he actually felt.[131]

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616), Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616), and Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 5 001

Dark Carnage's fifth form, after absorbing the Venom symbiote and numerous additional codices

As they battled, Dark Carnage sensed the One Below All's power and wondered what would happen if he forced open the Green Door and merged it with Knull's eldritch darkness; though the Venomized Hulk rebuked his offer of an alliance. Stabbing tendrils into the Hulk's brain, Dark Carnage forced him to revert into Bruce Banner and then ripped the Venom symbiote off of him. Assimilating it, Dark Carnage transformed into an even more powerful form sporting draconic wings and horns, and pauldrons and arm-wraps resembling Knull's. With the Carnageized Grendel symbiote now powerful enough to free Knull from his prison, Dark Carnage took off; pursued by Eddie Brock — who had merged the codices harvested using the S.C.I.T.H.E. into a duplicate of the Venom symbiote.[132]

As they fought in midair and on the rooftops, Dark Carnage gloated that he was on the cusp of victory and could see his horde about to kill Eddie's allies, telling Eddie to give up and let himself be consumed. Caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of Cloak, Dagger, Iron Fist, Firestar, Morbius, Deathlok, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, and Scream turning the tables; Dark Carnage was tackled through the ground and into the tunnel where Dylan Brock and Normie Osborn were hiding.

Cletus Kasady (Earth-616) and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Absolute Carnage Vol 1 5 001

The death of Cletus Kasady

Snaring Dylan, Dark Carnage mockingly told Eddie that he had tricked him into claiming the remaining codices and that he now faced a decision in which both choices -- letting Dark Carnage kill Dylan or killing Dark Carnage to save Dylan -- would lead to Knull reawakening. Manifesting a Necrosword from his symbiote, Eddie impaled Dark Carnage before cutting him in half, Cletus' corpse falling apart as the merged Grendel and Venom symbiotes left him for Eddie.[19] Cletus' remains were subsequently taken away by the authorities.[133]

Posthumous Activities[]

Cletus Kasday (Earth-616) and Carnage (Symbiote) (Earth-616) from Venom Vol 4 24 001

Cletus' codex torments Eddie within the Hive-Mind

Despite the death of his physical body, Cletus' consciousness was preserved within the Symbiote Hive-Mind via his codex, enabling him to posthumously control the Grendel symbiote's offshoot.[9][2][24] When the Carnage-ized Grendel symbiote bonded to Eddie Brock, Cletus dragged Eddie's consciousness into the Hive-Mind and tormented him with nightmares of his worst fears come to life, intending to control his body and use it to pick up where he'd left off.[134][135]

After Eddie was saved by Dylan and the Venom symbiote, Cletus bonded the Carnage-ized Grendel symbiote to a shark and escaped the Isla de Huesos. After several weeks, Cletus attempted to take part in Knull's invasion of Earth, taking over one of the crew of a whaling ship. However, by that point Eddie had defeated Knull and become the new God of Symbiotes, telepathically telling Cletus that Carnage had no place in his reformed Symbiote Hive. As hundreds of symbiotes controlled by Venom attacked him, Carnage was thrown into the ocean and the Carnage-ized Grendel symbiote was devoured by a horde of symbiote-controlled sharks.[2]

Infection through the Hive-Mind[]

Cletus used a surviving piece of the Dark Carnage symbiote to take over a fish before transferring to another great white shark. Swimming to the Indian Ocean, he took over a Somali pirate employed by a local warlord before slaughtering him and his militia, then transferred to an arms dealer employed by Alchemax. En route to New York, Cletus devoured the crew of the plane before eating a driver who mistook him for a "Doctor Miller".

Furious at Eddie having become the new King in Black, Cletus came up with a plan to usurp the throne using the power bequeathed to him by Knull, or failing that to become a God Butcher to oppose Eddie's status as the new Symbiote God.[112] Using Knull's power, Cletus seized control of some of the symbiotes that had been left behind on Earth, unsuccessfully attempting to take over Flash Thompson's Anti-Venom symbiote. Consuming the Alchemax arms-dealer from the inside, Cletus planned to take control of Senator Peter Krane — a member of the Friends of Humanity who was plotting to use the growing anti-extraterrestrial sentiment to enhance his political career and run for President.[24] Cletus bonded the Carnage symbiote to Peter's seemingly kindhearted son Arthur Krane, intending to transfer from him to Peter, but was delighted to discover that Arthur was actually a sociopathic serial killer like himself, and co-opted Arthur's plot to assassinate his father and take his place as Senator.[34] Cletus lured Flash into a trap at one of Peter Krane's political rallies, tricking him into believing that Peter was the symbiote's host.[24]

Venom Vol 4 35 Unknown Comic Books Exclusive Rapoza Virgin Variant

Coinciding with a televised broadcast of one of Krane's interviews, Carnage reached out to the Phage symbiote, corrupting it and directing it to bond to Buck Cashman, who joined the Friends of Humanity as Peter Krane's head of security.[136] Carnage also reached out to the Lasher symbiote — which had taken William, an old man with dementia, as its host — but it refused to join him. Cletus exploited William's desire to regain his memories in order to lure him to Washington, D.C., William's body perishing at some point during the days-long journey. Confronting William's codex within the Hive-Mind, Carnage thanked him for bringing Lasher to his "family" before killing him.[137]

Carnage's attempt to corrupt the Scream symbiote was thwarted by Andi Benton, leading Carnage to dispatch Phage to assassinate her after she was arrested by Alchemax.[138][136] While Phage was able to badly injure Andi, the intervention of Agent Anti-Venom led to her bonding to Silence, a new symbiote created from Scream's remains and a sample of Anti-Venom, and almost killing Phage with her cleansing touch.[137] Corrupting the Agony and Riot symbiotes, Cletus sent Agony and its host Gemma Shin — who was complicit in his plot — to spy on Hank — who Flash had sent as a spy.[139] Shortly before his plot commenced, Cletus contacted Gemma and Agony through the Hive-Mind to reaffirm their loyalty to the cause, revealing to Andi — who was trying to spy on them — that he knew they were coming and that it was a trap.[140] Revealing Arthur to be the Carnage symbiote's host, Cletus killed Peter Krane on public television and revealed Arthur's dark secrets to Agent Anti-Venom. Iron Man intervened wearing his Extrembiote suit, separating the Carnage symbiote from Arthur Krane, but Cletus hijacked control of the Extrembiote — causing it to break Stark's arms — and assimilated it into the Carnage symbiote, transforming it into a symbiote-dragon. Having accomplished his goals, Cletus escaped with Agony and later sent Gemma to keep an eye on Arthur Krane, who had taken his father's place as senator but was depressed without the symbiote.[34]

However, despite having claimed a symbiote-dragon as his new body, Cletus decided against pursuing his plans of godhood, leading to a falling out with the Carnage symbiote that saw it expelled from the Extrembiote.[112][141] Returning to the ruins of St. Estes, Cletus assimilated the building into the Extrembiote, turning it into an extension of himself, and began waiting for the Carnage symbiote to see the error of its ways and return to him; amusing himself by helping a young girl murder her abusive parents and by psychologically and physically torturing those who entered his domain -- goading them into mutilating and ultimately killing themselves in exchange for twisted insights into their own personalities.[35][21] Approached by serial killer Kenneth Neely, Cletus learned of Carnage's pursuit of godhood but initially refused to help stop his former symbiote, insulted by Neely saying they were alike. When Neely further aggravated him by saying he'd become a bystander, however, Cletus decided to set out and remind the world of why it should fear him.[141]

Carnage Reigns[]

Taking Kenneth to Todd's Diner in Brooklyn, Cletus became impatient while waiting for the massive quantity of food he'd ordered and slaughtered the staff and other patrons, leaving only Kenneth alive.[142] When the NYPD and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) arrived, Cletus used the Extrembiote to make it look like the diner was intact and active -- luring Miles into an ambush with Kenneth's help and attempting to eat him. When the Scorpion -- press-ganged into NYPD Julia Gao's Cape-Killer unit -- intervened, Cletus manifested duplicates of himself from the Extrembiote to devour the soldiers accompanying Gargan and taunted him over their last altercation. While Miles attempted to escape, Cletus disguised himself as one of the diner's waiters to trick him and attempted to eat him again when they were alone. Miles' Venom Strike overloaded the Extrembiote's arc reactor, which unleashed a surge of energy that obliterated the diner.[143] Leaving a copy disguised as one of his victims as a distraction for Miles and Gargan, Cletus returned to his old lair in the abandoned subway station under Grand Street to plan out his next move, noting that Miles' Venom Strike had briefly jump-started the Extrembiote's technological components.

Attacking Stark Unlimited's Greenwich Village headquarters intending to get a replacement Arc Reactor, Cletus decided to merge the Extrembiote with a Stark Sentinel MK II and hack into Stark's communications network; taking over Kenneth using an offshoot of his symbiote to serve as backup. When Miles and the Cape Killers -- the Scorpion, Taskmaster, Electro, and Hightail -- tried to stop him, Cletus absorbed Miles' Venom Strike and hacked into Stark's network, broadcasting a signal that turned anyone exposed to it into a bloodthirsty berserker under his control.[144] When Normie Osborn--host of the Rascal symbiote--was drawn into the conflict, Cletus sensed Normie's symbiote was partially comprised of the Carnage symbiote and was enraged when Normie was able to free Kenneth by absorbing his symbiote.[145] Deciding to recruit more backup, Cletus dispatched three symbiote-infused suits of Iron Man armor to a trio of fanboys who'd been celebrating his triumphant return. Attacked by a pair of modified Stark Sentinels, Cletus destroyed them but was infected by a cybervirus that severed his link to the Stark communications network. Enraged, Cletus mind-bombed Normie and the Rascal symbiote when they tried to absorb the Extrembiote and then transformed into a colossal armored symbiote-dragon.[146]

Cletus' rampage was interrupted by the arrival of Iron Man, clad in his Dragon-Slayer Armor tailor-made to vanquish the Extrembiote. Withstanding Iron Man's onslaught, Cletus mortally wounded Miles and summoned reinforcements when Iron Man was able to save Miles by encasing him in a suit of Iron Spider Armor.[147] Devouring Kenneth and reabsorbing his offshoots, Cletus decided to rejoin the Carnage symbiote on its quest to become a god and return to earth to utterly crush his enemies, but was distracted by Miles; enabling Iron Man to fly into the Extrembiote's chest and use his armor's arc reactor as an EMP to fry it from the inside out. Most of the Extrembiote was destroyed, but a piece survived and began to reform into a copy of Cletus' body.[148]

Return and Death[]

Somehow restored to a flesh-and-blood human body, Cletus was left enfeebled without a symbiote to empower him. Sensing that the Carnage symbiote had made a clone of him, Cletus prepared for their confrontation by injecting himself with concentrated antibodies in emulation of the Anti-Venom symbiote. Confronted by his clone, Cletus attempted to immolate him using a ruptured gas pipe, but was swallowed whole as he'd anticipated. Carnage vomited Cletus out half-digested and hung him from some ceiling pipes to exsanguinate, Cletus mocking the symbiote's goal of becoming a god-butcher until Carnage cut off the top of his head and ate his brain--absorbing his consciousness into that of the clone.[149]


Quote1 You're the city's greatest crusader for law an' order, but I know the real gospel! Laws are just words! An' order's somethin' society made up ‘cause it was scared! Once ya understand that--you're free to do anything! Quote2

Cletus Kasady is a nihilistic yet also gleefully sadistic, unhinged, deranged and ruthless sociopath with an insatiable bloodlust. Cletus for the most part lives by a philosophy of chaos, which to him is the belief that anyone and everyone should completely disregard the law and act solely on their own desires. [150] Cletus also believes that everyone is as sadistic and violent as himself but unlike him, they are too scared to admit it.[151][39]

However, despite his insistence otherwise,[39][131] Cletus was not born a monster and his nihilism and bloodlust have been shown to be a smokescreen for a bitter and broken man lashing out at a world he feels abandoned him and denied him a normal life.[36][152] While he displayed sociopathic tendencies as a child — namely mutilating and killing his mother's dog, and being enraptured by the Zapruder film — these were nurtured by the physical and psychological abuse at the hands of his grandmother, father, and the staff and other orphans at St. Estes Home for Boys;[153][154][26] Despite his antisocial tendencies, Cletus was genuinely happy to have made a friend in the form of Billy Bentine.[37] Even as an adult, this childhood friendship still meant so much to Cletus that despite his insistence otherwise, he was unable to bring himself to kill the memory he had of Billy.[36] Another one of Cletus' repressed memories shows him as a teenager, distraught at being rejected by a girl who said he'd changed after dropping out of school.[36]

After a childhood filled with abuse and torment, Cletus came to delight in wanton bloodshed as an adult— seeing murder as an art-form to be cultivated — and worship the ideal of chaos through random acts of violence; believing that laws and order are meaningless constructions, and that anyone is free to do anything they want simply because they can.[29][151][30] Cletus' gleeful bloodlust and extreme nihilism led many leading psychiatrists — including Ashley Kafka and Matthew Kurtz — to assume he was either simply born evil or that his symbiote had suppressed whatever humanity remained within him.[39] Later, Ashley Kafka set out to prove Cletus was a hypocrite who only loves chaos when he himself is in control of it. This led to Kafka (and John Jameson) entering Cletus's mindscape which he cultivated into a nightmarish charnel house, repressing any happy memories from his childhood — such as his friendship with Billy — within its depths and vehemently denying their existence. When Ashley Kafka confronted Cletus with these memories and accused him of desiring people in his life more than victims, he found himself unable to rebut her claims and chose to expel her from his mindscape rather than acknowledge this part of himself. Cletus had unintentionally proven her correct.[36]

Cletus has also repeatedly made attempts to form a family -- or at least his twisted perception of what a family should be, warped by the abuse he suffered as a child;[48][155][75][25][24][35] and when he first met Eddie Brock he extended an offer of friendship, believing them to be kindred spirits.[19] After bonding to the Carnage symbiote, Cletus acknowledged and embraced the father/son relationship between his symbiote and Eddie's, once again extending an offer of friendship. Brock refused once more and from that point on, Cletus considered him not only a sworn enemy, but also his father.[150] It's worth noting that Cletus referring to Eddie as his father is not exclusive to when Eddie is using the Venom Symbiote as Cletus has referred to Eddie as his “dad” independently of the Venom symbiote.[156] Furthermore, when Eddie bonded to the Toxin symbiote, Cletus still considered Eddie to be his “daddy” despite the Toxin symbiote being the child of the Carnage symbiote.[157] Considering the abuse Cletus suffered at the hands of his biological father,[36][26] as well as his difficulty remembering the details of his past,[25] it is very possible that Cletus uses his relationship with Eddie as a way to fulfill his warped desire for family and/or act out on the resentment he feels from his abusive upbringing.

As a result of his insatiable bloodlust, any alliances Carnage makes tend to be short-lived at best — usually ending in him turning on his allies in order to kill them. He once formed a team of bloodthirsty supervillains to assist him in conquering Manhattan, seemingly intending to kill them once he grew bored.[48] He also briefly allied himself with Blastaar for the sake of aiding in his attempted invasion of Earth, later betraying him in the hopes of killing trillions of people at once.[158] When briefly consumed by a Poison, Kasady's sheer bloodlust enabled his consciousness to subjugate that of the Poison; and he feigned loyalty to the Hive while in the presence of the Poison Queen, but quickly went rogue in order to pursue and fight against Venom and Spider-Man.[159]

When struck by the Illuminizer Ray amplified by Iron Fist's chi, Dagger's Lightforce, and — unintentionally — Shriek's psionic abilities, Cletus was forced to experience hope, compassion, and the possibility of healing and redemption — concepts that were anathema to him after years of abuse and bloodlust. This experience briefly left him traumatized, causing him to flee in terror at the thought of being killed by Venom and hallucinate the ghosts of his past tormentors — who he had murdered years ago — mocking him.[153][154]

After having his moral alignment inverted following World War Hate, Kasady desired to do good and repent for the monstrous acts he had committed, struggling to suppress his bloodlust and avoid killing.[7] While he was able to "atone" by feeding his sins to the demonic Sin Eater,[93] and attempted to sacrifice himself; his moral inversion ultimately wore off and became something Kasady considered a humiliation.[99]

At various times, Cletus has shown greater ambitions than wanton slaughter — attempting to conquer Doverton, Colorado and the Microverse — but he later dismissed these megalomaniacal endeavors as fool's errands and opted to go back to basics.[30] While he attempted to unleash the eldritch god Chthon in order to bring about the end of the world, expecting to be granted even greater power in exchange for his services; he made no effort to ally himself with the Darkhold Cult — largely because they intended to sacrifice him.[160] After bonding to an offshoot of the Grendel symbiote and being pronounced the Prophet of the Void by the Cult of Knull, Cletus zealously devoted himself to Knull;[3] claiming he desired to become the King in Black's lieutenant and take part in his annihilation of the universe,[11] even to the point of allowing Venom to kill him in order to ensure Knull's revival.[19] As his connection to Knull increased, Cletus developed a god-complex to the point of deifying himself even before the Grendel symbiote offshoot's godly power was fully restored.[114][8] According to the Carnage symbiote however, Cletus had secretly planned to betray Knull all along and take the King in Black's power for himself.[112]

Cletus has only ever shown genuine affection to two individuals – Shriek and the Carnage symbiote.

Shriek initially captured Cletus's attention when he heard her cheering on his killing spree in Ravencroft.[48] Cletus and Shriek quickly fell in love after this, with the two soon affectionately referring to one other as husband and wife.[155] They even adopted several “children” to join their “family” which embarked on a city-wide killing spree.[155] While their relationship started off rather strong, cracks would begin to show as Carnage lashed out at Shriek for going out killing without his permission.[161] Despite this however, Cletus would later show genuine concern and outrage when the Jackal beat and forcibly removed the Carrion virus from Shriek while the two of them were imprisoned in Ravencroft.[162] Years later, Cletus and Shriek would rekindle their relationship this time in a much healthier form.[30] After Shriek was seriously injured in a car accident, Cletus expressed rage and concern, refusing to even acknowledge the possibility that she might be dead.[163] Shriek recovered shortly after this, but Deadpool then tricked Cletus into almost killing her. This incident took a serious toll on Cletus, not only causing him to once again express rage and concern, but was also his breaking point which caused him to question his control over his own actions in isolation.[164][90] While the Carnage symbiote claimed that Cletus apparently intended to kill Shriek when he grew bored of her,[73] Cletus's actions tell a different story.

Cletus and the Carnage symbiote share a unique bond that is stronger than any other symbiote/host pairing.[24][165] Cletus sees his symbiote as his true self,[46] and believes that the two of them are incomplete without each other.[18] The feeling is very much mutual, as the Carnage symbiote has called Cletus its family and based much of its identity and goals on his own.[18][73][166][167] The two have been described as both halves of a whole, and as being closer than twin brothers.[16][141] When bonded to a new symbiote by the Poisons after being separated from the Carnage symbiote, Cletus was outraged and demanded that the new symbiote be removed and his original symbiote be returned to him;[46] and he was distraught when the Carnage symbiote perished attempting to save him from atmospheric reentry.[3]

According to the Cult of Knull, Cletus's sadistic nature is due to a vision he had of the dark elder god Knull when he was an infant.[3] However, this is completely false and was merely the Cult's way of sensationalizing Cletus as a messiah figure.[168]


Power Grid[190]
:Category:Power Grid/Fighting Skills/Normal:Category:Power Grid/Energy Projection/Single Type: Medium Range:Category:Power Grid/Durability/Bulletproof:Category:Power Grid/Speed/Superhuman:Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (75-100 ton):Category:Power Grid/Strength/Superhuman (25-75 ton):Category:Power Grid/Intelligence/Normal


Prior to their separation, the Carnage symbiote provided Cletus Kasady with a broad array of powers, some of which stemmed from its progenitor having been bonded to Spider-Man. Even without the symbiote, Cletus is still considered very dangerous, as his Antisocial Personality Disorder and obsession with chaos make him impossible to reason with and he has no trouble with killing with no motive. As a result of his symbiote and psychopathy, he is also immune to Ghost Rider's Penance Stare.[121] After his death, Cletus became a codex within the Symbiote Hive-Mind, but was still able to act in the physical world by piloting the Carnage-ized offshoot of the Grendel,[169] and by using the power he'd been granted by Knull to subjugate other symbiotes to his will.[24]

Knull's Empowerment: Being bonded to an offshoot of the symbiote-dragon known as the Grendel metaphysically connected Cletus to the dark elder god Knull, effectively turning Cletus into a demigod as that connection grew stronger.[8][19] Even after his death, Cletus' codex was able to use the power he'd been granted by Knull to maintain a presence in the physical world.[24]

  • Symbiote Domination: Inspired by the newly-apotheosized Eddie Brock's ability to command and control other symbiotes, Cletus used the power bequeathed to him by Knull in order to do the same, subjugating many of the symbiotes left behind on Earth to his will and bloodlust in order to create a rival Hive.[24]


Though he has had no formal training, the natural abilities granted to Kasady by the symbiote makes him a formidable combatant capable of holding his own against the likes of Spider-Man and Deadpool. However, even with the symbiote, his fighting skill is less refined than that of the experienced superheroes.[175][176][177] Even Eddie Brock and Patrick Mulligan have had more practice.[178][179]


Electricity: The Grendel symbiote is immensely vulnerable to high voltages of electricity, which easily incapacitates it.[5]

Sonics: The Grendel symbiote is vulnerable to loud noises, which incapacitate it and its offshoots.[123]

Additional Attributes

Insanity: Even without the symbiote, Cletus is a diagnosed psychopath, and is obsessed with chaos. His mental pathologies can also be exploited, allowing people to manipulate his actions.[38]



Carnage has fangs and claws courtesy of the symbiote, and can shape his limbs into various weapons.





  • As part of their sensationalization of Carnage as the chosen one of the dark elder god Knull,[168] the Cult of Knull fabricated a story that Kasady died of nuchal cord strangulation nineteen minutes after being born, only to be resurrected by Knull, an experience that allegedly proved to be the impetus towards both his bloodlust and obsession with chaos.[3][131]
  • Cletus Kasady has bonded with the most number of symbiotes out of any human, surpassing even Eddie Brock. The symbiotes he has bonded to include the original Carnage symbiote, countless symbiotes he assimilated into the Carnage symbiote during the Planet of the Symbiotes event, numerous hybridized clones of the Carnage and Venom symbiotes, the second and third Carnage symbiotes, and the Mania and Venom symbiotes through absorbing them into the Dark Carnage symbiote.
  • According to Ryan Stegman, Cletus Kasady's body count numbers from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.[184]
  • Kasady had a teddy bear named Binky in his orphanage. He went back for Binky after he escaped Riker's.[41]
  • Cletus was revealed to have terminal stomach cancer in the issues where the symbiote bonded to the Silver Surfer, though it hasn't come up since.[62]
  • Cletus has erroneously been depicted with blond hair in Amazing Spider-Man #362, Carnage: It's a Wonderful Life #1, Spider-Man #36, Peter Parker: Spider-Man #10, and Minimum Carnage: Omega #1, as opposed to his usual red hair.
  • Cletus initially used male pronouns when referring to the Carnage symbiote.[61] However, he then began referring to the symbiote with female pronouns for a time.[73][18] Recently however, he has returned to using male pronouns when referring to the symbiote.[180][141]
  • Cletus' favorite song is "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.[97]
  • Cletus is a fan of the thrash metal group Anthrax, the symbiote often making him listen to it with headphones.[101]
  • Carnage is the main villain on 2002's Universal Halloween Horror Nights, which was based on Maximum Carnage. However, Cletus managed to kill every hero who went after him (like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain America) and, with the help of other villains, took over the world.
  • It has been a point of contention among fans as to whether Cletus regrew his lower body after having been torn in half at the waist by the Sentry or whether the instances where he was shown with flesh-and-blood legs were simply him using the symbiote to simulate them. However, his legless state while stripped of the symbiote in Carnage Vol. 2, Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1, and Absolute Carnage do not match his state in Carnage Vol. 1 and Carnage, U.S.A..
  • Carnage is regarded as a messiah figure by two different apocalyptic cults dedicated to worshipping evil elder gods, the Darkholders and the Cult of Knull, having been prophesied to free both Chthon and Knull from their respective prisons. Both deities are inspired in part by elements from the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • While it is implied Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 that Cletus was resurrected, Donny Cates revealed in a podcast that he is undead, having been reanimated by the Grendel symbiote.[185]
  • When asked on Twitter if Dark Carnage's fifth form had a unique name, Ryan Stegman coined "Devil Carnage" and was pleasantly surprised when the fandom embraced and began using it.[186][187]
  • According to Donny Cates on Twitter, Cletus' middle name is "Cortland," after his great-great-great-great-grandfather.[188]
  • In Marvel Ultimate Comics: Absolute Carnage, Dark Carnage was voiced by Peter Kelamis.
  • In Death of the Venomverse #2, the Carnage symbiote states that an alternate version of Shriek has traces of the codex embedded in her cells due to her being "intimate" with her world's Cletus. This coupled with the fact that his bond with the Carnage symbiote has altered his DNA implies that intimacy with this universe's version of Cletus would have a similar effect. This may also imply that any children Cletus fathers could hypothetically be Human/Symbiote Hybrids.

See Also

Links and References


  1. According to Donny Cates on Twitter, Cletus' middle name is "Cortland," after his great-great-great-great-grandfather.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1
  4. Cates, Donny (July 9, 2019) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "This is actually a REALLY good look at the new design for “Dark Carnage” Complete with carnage face, Cletus face, and corpse face. He's uh...not a good dude.." Twitter. Retrieved on July 10, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Absolute Carnage #1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Spider-Man/Venom) #1
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 AXIS: Carnage #1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Web of Venom: Funeral Pyre #1
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 King in Black Handbook #1
  10. Carnage #45
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Absolute Carnage #2
  12. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (June 29, 2019) VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Road to “Absolute Carnage” PodBean. Retrieved on July 2, 2019.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Carnage (Vol. 2) #4
  15. Deadpool (Vol. 9) #4
  16. 16.0 16.1 Carnage (Vol. 4) #1
  17. Carnage (Vol. 4) #3
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Superior Carnage Annual #1
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 Absolute Carnage #5
  20. Venom (Vol. 4) #21
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Carnage (Vol. 3) #8
  22. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #29
  23. Venom (Vol. 4) #25
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 24.8 24.9 Extreme Carnage Alpha #1
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 AXIS: Carnage #2
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  33. Absolute Carnage #15
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Extreme Carnage Omega #1
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  38. 38.0 38.1 Carnage (Vol. 2) #1
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Carnage: Mind Bomb #1
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  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Amazing Spider-Man #361
  42. Amazing Spider-Man #333
  43. Amazing Spider-Man #384
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  45. Amazing Spider-Man #360
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  47. Amazing Spider-Man #362363
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Spider-Man Unlimited #1
  49. Spider-Man Unlimited #12
  50. Web of Spider-Man #101103
  51. Amazing Spider-Man #378380
  52. Spider-Man #3537
  53. Spectacular Spider-Man #201203
  54. Venom: Carnage Unleashed #14
  55. Venom Super Special #1
  56. Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special #1
  57. Web of Spider-Man Super Special #1
  58. Sensational Spider-Man #3
  59. Amazing Spider-Man #410
  60. Spider-Man #67
  61. 61.0 61.1 Spectacular Spider-Man #233
  62. 62.0 62.1 Amazing Spider-Man #430431
  63. Peter Parker: Spider-Man #10
  64. Peter Parker: Spider-Man #13
  65. Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1314
  66. Venom Vs. Carnage #1
  67. Venom Vs. Carnage #2
  68. Venom Vs. Carnage #3
  69. Venom Vs. Carnage #4
  70. Mighty Avengers #8
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  72. Carnage #2
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 73.3 Carnage #3
  74. Carnage #12
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  76. Carnage, U.S.A. #3
  77. Carnage, U.S.A. #4
  78. Carnage, U.S.A. #5
  79. Minimum Carnage: Alpha #1
  80. Venom (Vol. 2) #26
  81. Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #10
  82. Scarlet Spider (Vol. 2) #11
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  84. Minimum Carnage: Omega #1
  85. 85.0 85.1 Superior Carnage #1
  86. Superior Carnage #2
  87. Superior Carnage #3
  88. Superior Carnage #5
  89. Deadpool vs. Carnage #14
  90. 90.0 90.1 Magneto (Vol. 3) #11
  91. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #3
  92. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #4
  93. 93.0 93.1 93.2 AXIS: Carnage #3
  94. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #6
  95. 95.0 95.1 Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #9
  96. Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #7
  97. 97.0 97.1 97.2 Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #8
  98. Nova (Vol. 5) #24
  99. 99.0 99.1 Nova (Vol. 5) #25
  100. Nova (Vol. 5) #26
  101. 101.0 101.1 101.2 Nova (Vol. 5) #27
  102. Carnage (Vol. 2) #15
  103. Carnage (Vol. 2) #610
  104. Carnage (Vol. 2) #1116
  105. Amazing Spider-Man #794
  106. 106.0 106.1 Amazing Spider-Man #800
  107. 107.0 107.1 Venomized #12
  108. Bunn, Cullen (May 4, 2018) Was Carnage really not assimilated by the Poisons, like Deadpool and Jean Grey, or that was the Poison exhibiting traces of his personality? Tumblr. Retrieved on May 4, 2018.
  109. 109.0 109.1 Venomized #5
  110. Venomized #4
  111. Venom (Vol. 4) #78
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 112.3 Carnage (Vol. 3) #3
  113. 113.0 113.1 113.2 Web of Venom: Unleashed #1
  114. 114.0 114.1 114.2 114.3 Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1
  115. Venom (Vol. 4) #15
  116. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 5) #24
  117. Fantastic Four (Vol. 6) #11
  118. Black Cat #2
  119. Venom (Vol. 4) #16
  120. Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1
  121. 121.0 121.1 121.2 121.3 Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1
  122. Cates, Donny (May 6, 2019) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "Yeah it's Cletus framing Eddie. He's “wearing” eddies face as he kills Lee." Twitter. Retrieved on May 6, 2019.
  123. 123.0 123.1 Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1
  124. Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1
  125. Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #2
  126. Venom (Vol. 4) #17
  127. Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1
  128. Absolute Carnage: Scream #1
  129. Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #2
  130. Absolute Carnage: Scream #3
  131. 131.0 131.1 131.2 131.3 131.4 Absolute Carnage #3
  132. 132.0 132.1 132.2 132.3 Absolute Carnage #4
  133. Deadpool (Vol. 9) #1
  134. Venom (Vol. 4) #24
  135. Venom (Vol. 4) #32
  136. 136.0 136.1 Extreme Carnage: Phage #1
  137. 137.0 137.1 Extreme Carnage: Lasher #1
  138. Extreme Carnage: Scream #1
  139. Extreme Carnage: Toxin #1
  140. Extreme Carnage: Agony #1
  141. 141.0 141.1 141.2 141.3 Carnage (Vol. 3) #11
  142. Carnage (Vol. 3) #12
  143. Carnage Reigns Alpha #1
  144. Carnage (Vol. 3) #13
  145. Red Goblin #5
  146. Carnage (Vol. 3) #14
  147. Miles Morales: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #7
  148. Carnage Reigns Omega #1
  149. Carnage (Vol. 4) #23
  150. 150.0 150.1 Amazing Spider-Man #362
  151. 151.0 151.1 Amazing Spider-Man #363
  152. Carnage (Vol. 2) #13
  153. 153.0 153.1 Spectacular Spider-Man #203
  154. 154.0 154.1 Spider-Man Unlimited #2
  155. 155.0 155.1 155.2 155.3 Spectacular Spider-Man #201
  156. Venom: On Trial #2
  157. 157.0 157.1 157.2 Carnage (Vol. 2) #5
  158. Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #14
  159. Venomized #45
  160. Carnage (Vol. 2) #15
  161. Spider-Man #37
  162. Spectacular Spider-Man #223
  163. Deadpool vs. Carnage #23
  164. Deadpool vs. Carnage #4
  165. Carnage (Vol. 3) #2
  166. Spider-Man #67
  167. Carnage (Vol. 3) #5
  168. 168.0 168.1 Cates, Donny (September 18, 2019) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "The part where “Knull resurrected him as a baby” is completely untrue. Remember, that “new origin” was being told to us by a deranged cult leader spinning their own new gospel. Ya gotta pay attention to all them little words next to the pictures sometimes, folks." Twitter. Retrieved on September 18, 2019.
  169. Venom (Vol. 4) #22
  170. Venomized #1
  171. New Avengers Most Wanted Files #1
  172. Spectacular Spider-Man #202
  173. Carnage, U.S.A. #15
  174. 174.0 174.1 Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (August 31, 2019) ABSCARN BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: “Absolute Carnage” #1- Chapter One Director's Commentary PodBean. Retrieved on September 1, 2019.
  175. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2
  176. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #11
  177. Deadpool Corps: Rank and Foul #1
  178. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #12
  179. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #14
  180. 180.0 180.1 Carnage (Vol. 2) #6
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  182. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (November 24, 2019) ABSCARN BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: “Absolute Carnage” Wrap-Up Retrospective PodBean. Retrieved on November 25, 2019.
  183. Marvel Universe: Map by Map #1 ; Mystic Realms: Calling Chthon
  184. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (June 29, 2019) VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Venom #1 Q and A PodBean. Retrieved on July 2, 2019.
  185. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (July 28, 2019) VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Road to “Absolute Carnage” PodBean. Retrieved on July 29, 2019.
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  187. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (October 27, 2019) ABSCARN BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: “Absolute Carnage” #1- Chapter Two Director's Commentary PodBean. Retrieved on November 3, 2019.
  188. Cates, Donny (May 8, 2020) DONNY CATES on Twitter: "Cortland. after his great Great great great grandfather. The new world's first serial killer" Twitter. Retrieved on May 8, 2020.
  189. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z #2
  190. King in Black Handbook Vol 1 1