Appearing in 1st story
- Frightful Four
- Agent Venom (Flash Thompson) (Photo)
- Black Tarantula (Carlos LaMuerto) (Photo)
- Future Foundation (Mentioned)
- Bentley Wittman (Mentioned)
- Black Bolt (Blackagar Boltagon) (Mentioned)
- Jackal (Miles Warren) (Mentioned)
- New York City
- Wizard's Secret Lair
Synopsis for 1st story
At the Wizard's base, Cletus Kasady is chained naked to a rusted operating table. As the Wizard recaps his plan to turn Cletus into his own version of Agent Venom, Klaw asks him how he intends to control Carnage if Cletus is lobotomized, and the Wizard explains that he'll just recalibrate his helmet to control the symbiote instead of the host. When Klaw points out that he has a picture of the Black Tarantula instead of Agent Venom, the Wizard dismisses him in a fit of paranoia before being interrupted by Karl Malus, the paraplegic surgeon who once specialized in creating supervillains. The Wizard states that Malus is the fourth member of the team and will be in charge of sculpting the new Carnage to his liking, ominously telling Malus that if someone screws with you, you pay it forward.
The Wizard has Cletus unchained and recalibrates his helmet, telling Klaw to release the symbiote. Carnage promptly attacks him, forcing Klaw to step in and suppress it despite the Wizard's protests. Malus tells Klaw that Black Bolt afflicted the Wizard with dementia for trying to take back his son, expressing doubt in the Wizard's sanity. The Wizard rebukes him and asks that he stay, then says they should try again.
Swinging through the nighttime city, Otto Octavius, the Superior Spider-Man, argues with Mayor J. Jonah Jameson about whether to pursue Carnage or finish taking down the Jackal. Inwardly, Otto laments the Wizard's degrading sanity and the inhumanness of Black Bolt's punishment leaving him with only months to live. Otto wonders if this attempt to revive the Frightful Four isn't just a suicide mission on the Wizard's part, before deciding to take him down.
In the Frightful Four's lair, Malus urges the Wizard to give up after repeated failures to control the Carnage symbiote. The Wizard's dementia confuses him briefly, and Malus points out that the unlike the Venom symbiote, the Carnage symbiote has integrated itself into Cletus' bloodstream, making it a part of him and impossible to control unless transferred to someone with a working brain. The Wizard has an epiphany, comparing Malus' handicap to Flash Thompson's own, and tells Klaw to prep Malus for infusion. Klaw tells the alarmed Malus that he has indeed noticed the Wizard's decaying mental state, but that the Wizard has both cloned him and brought him back from the dead to do his bidding, Whispering in Malus's ear that he is the Wizard's family, Klaw punches Malus across the face, knocking him to the floor. Ignoring Malus's pleas, Klaw drags him to an operating table while the Wizard preps a blood transfusion unit. The Wizard attaches a mind control device to Malus' chest and connects him to Cletus, proclaiming that his son will think he is a god, and announcing himself Malus' lord and master. Malus' sclera turn black, his irises red, and a long serpentine tongue protrudes from his mouth as the symbiote is transferred to him.
• CARNAGE IS CAPTURED! But can the Wizard and Klaw subdue him long enough to create their SUPERIOR CARNAGE?
• KEVIN SHINICK (Avenging Spider-Man) and STEPHEN SEGOVIA (X-Treme X-Men) perform unspeakable acts to create their own monster issue!