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Quote1 There is no right. No wrong. No black or white. There is only life and death. Blood and the abyss. The universe is black and red. Truth is chaos... God is carnage. Quote2
-- Scorn

Appearing in 1st story

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Synopsis for 1st story

Several years ago, Louise Kasady lies on her back in a padded room at Ravencroft Institute, screaming as she goes into labor. No doctors come to assist her, and her son - Cletus Kasady - is born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his throat. The newborn Cletus dies nineteen minutes and thirty-eight seconds after his birth, before abruptly resuscitating - his irises black with red spirals instead of pupils. Narrating these events, the leader of the symbiote-worshiping cult states that well into adulthood Cletus claimed to remember this experience; and that after he died he found himself trapped inside a cage made of darkness, which he identified as Hell. The cult leader goes on to state that this experience was what drove Cletus to become a serial killer obsessed with the freedom of unrestrained chaos. The cult leader states that Cletus' second rebirth came when he was imprisoned at Ryker's Island, when a creature of living darkness shattered the walls of his prison cell and left a piece of itself behind; that his union with the Carnage symbiote unwittingly awakened him to his destiny as an agent of the Void.

Standing in a dark room illuminated only by the screens and candles, the cult leader - a woman wearing a purple-and-silver bodysuit under her cloak - addresses a gathering of cultists proclaims that a new age of darkness is coming, stating that many have worn their god's living darkness, but that only Cletus Kasady was chosen by it and that he shall be the agent of their god's revival. Lighting a torch, she sets a section of the floor ablaze in the shape of Knull's dragon emblem. Holding up her torch, the lead cultist illuminates ancient engravings depicting the battle between the Grendel symbiote and Thor Odinson; pieces of the symbiote-dragon falling to Earth, bonding to humans, and being worshiped. Standing before an engraving depicting Knull in his full glory, the head cultist proclaims they serve their god so that they can join him in the Void, together and forever. As the acolytes chant, the woman notes that according to rumor Cletus Kasady - their god's chosen one - is dead. Images appear on screens hidden in the darkness, showing the Sentry ripping Carnage in half; but as an image depicting Carnage's takeover of Doverton, Colerado appears, the priestess proclaims he was reborn a third time. Noting that Carnage died again, she states he was reborn a fourth time and continued serving the interests of the Abyss by reviving Chthon - an image of Carnage summoning the eldritch god appearing. The lead cultist notes that even she is unsure what became of Carnage following that, only that he was stolen from them and said to have died for good - referring to him being consumed by the Poisons.

In a flashback, Poison Carnage floats through space, orbiting the Earth. As gravity takes hold of him and he enters the atmosphere, the Poison's crystalline exoskeleton shatters and the consumed symbiote crumbles away to reveal Cletus Kasady alive and well. The remnants of the original Carnage symbiote in Cletus' body emerge and reform, attempting to use the augmentations bestowed upon it by the Darkhold to shield Cletus from the reentry plasma. Severely burned, Cletus punches an odd spiral-shaped crater into the ground; and as the Carnage symbiote perishes - having sacrificed itself to save him - he desperately reaches after its crumbling remains before succumbing to his own wounds. Declaring this to have been Carnage's most beautiful rebirth yet, the lead cultist states that the severe burns and impact of falling from orbit killed Cletus yet again; and that his body was found by locals and turned over to the authorities, who ID'd him using dental records. From there, the cult attacked the convoy carrying Cletus' body and slaughtered the guards transporting it.

As a pair of cultists carry out a stasis pod containing Cletus' badly-burnt body, the lead cultist produces a vial containing a sample of symbiote biomass, which she states was taken from Project Oversight and belonged to Knull's symbiote-dragon. In addition, the cult's assault team stole the Maker's data and theories on symbiote codexes - the trace remnants of living abyss left in their former hosts' bodies. Holding up the vial, the lead cultist states that the tiny piece of Knull's dragon contained within should enable them to commune with him, and that all they need is an amplifier.

The lead cultist pours the sample of the Grendel symbiote into Cletus' stasis pod and he resuscitates as it begins to bond to him, struggling and screaming in protest. The lead cultist watches gleefully as the stasis pod ruptures to reveal a massive black monster with distorted red dragon emblems on its chest and back, red vein-like markings on its arms and legs, and a red spiral on its face. The Grendel laughs maniacally as the cultists chant "Forever! Together!", but suddenly doubles over in pain and snarls at them to shut up. As the Grendel thrashes and claws at its head, exposing Cletus' screaming face, one of the acolytes asks what's happening and the lead cultist replies that Knull and Cletus are connected and fighting for dominance. As the Grendel symbiote covers Cletus and roars, the lead cultist steps forward and disrobes to reveal herself as Scorn, stating she can help make him complete - as she contains a codex of the Carnage symbiote from when she was bonded to it. Calling Cletus the dark carnage of Knull made flesh, Tanis laments that she is merely his scorn. As several cultists carry a surgical bed and equipment into the room, Scorn offers to undergo a risky operation to extract her Carnage codex and make him whole. The Grendel instead grabs Scorn and rips her spinal column out, devouring it. The Grendel symbiote assimilates the Carnage symbiote's codex, severing its link to Knull and granting Cletus control. As the Grendel symbiote adopts the appearance of his old symbiote, the reborn Carnage states that he had no clue what Scorn had been talking about, but that she was right and he wants more. Grabbing a cultist, Carnage exclaims that he'd had a vision of Knull conquering the universe and wants to talk to the dark god again, demanding to know how. As Carnage hungrily licks his face, the cultist explains that they theorize if Carnage absorbs enough codexes, then Knull's symbiote will be complete and awaken him, enabling him to break free from his prison. Agreeing to this plan, Carnage asks where the codexes are, and the cultist explains that they're within the bodies of everyone who's ever bonded to a symbiote. Killing the cultist, Carnage turns to see images of the dozens of people - living and dead - who have bonded to a symbiote, remarking that he'd better get to work.

Solicit Synopsis

• Join DONNY CATES as he continues to snake his tendrils through the VENOM mythos – this time visiting the sickening sociopath called CARNAGE!

• A cruel cannibal obsessed with death and murder, few mourned Cletus Kasady after he seemingly died in VENOMIZED.

• But now a cult devoted to the madman has gathered, hoping to resurrect their fallen idol and return his madness to the Marvel Universe...

Notes

  • Robert Maverick's Red Hulk form is incorrectly shown among the various past and present symbiote hosts; Thaddeus Ross having been the one to host a symbiote.
  • While it is implied in this issue that Cletus was resurrected, Donny Cates revealed in a podcast that he is undead, having been reanimated by the Grendel symbiote.[1]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Griffin Sheridan, Ryan Stegman (28 July 2019). VENOM BOIZ! w/Donny Cates: Road to “Absolute Carnage”. PodBean. Retrieved on 29 July 2019.



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