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Cletus Kasady was bad news long before becoming Carnage, the Spider-Man foe with the bloodbath M.O. The creation of writer David Michelinie, this convicted mass murderer was first seen in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 #344–#345 (1991) as the cellmate of Eddie Brock, the brutish felon who had melded with an alien symbiote to become Venom. Barely in his twenties, Kasady, the product of parental abuse and neglect, is serving hard time for eleven savage murders, including those of his father and several classmates. When the Venom symbiote breaks Brock out of prison to re-bond with its host, this otherworldly entity spawns an offspring that merges with Kasady. In issue #361 (1992) by Michelinie and artist Mark Bagley, the results of that union are evidenced when Spidey faces Kasady in his new, grotesque form: Carnage, the superstrong slaughterer. Mightier than Spider-Man and Venom combined, the astoundingly lithe Carnage could weave webs, adhere to and climb surfaces, and fashion ejectable and elongating weapons, including blades and snares, from his blood-red costume. While nearly unstoppable, the symbiote that empowered Carnage showed vulnerability to sonic vibrations and extreme heat. After his original 1992 slash-clash with Spider-Man, the supervillain serial killer returned in 1993 in the mega-part “Maximum Carnage” storyline and clawed his way into the web-slinger's life on several other occasions; Spider-Man was forced to ally with others, from the Fantastic Four to Venom himself, to stop Carnage's butchery and return Kasady to the maximum-security Ravencroft Prison. Carnage met his demise in New Avengers #2 (2004), when the no-nonsense superhero Sentry flew the killer into space and ripped him to shreds. Continuing the lineage of the original Venom symbiote is Carnage's own offspring, which overrode the body of ex-cop Pat Mulligan; this supervillain was “born” in the miniseries Venom vs. Carnage (2004), then headlined a six-issue 2005 Marvel miniseries bearing his name: Toxin. An alternate incarnation of Carnage was introduced in the 2000s in the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man, the reimagining of the wall-crawler's adventures. Ultimate Carnage, co-created by artist Bagley and writer Brian Michael Bendis, is not an alien but rather the genetic creation of Dr. Curt (the Lizard) Connors. In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, Carnage massacred Peter's friend Gwen Stacy. Scott Cleverdon voiced Carnage in the multiepisode “Sins of the Father” arc in the FOX Kids animated Spider-Man series (1994–1998). Carnage has been featured in 1994 and 2000 video games as well as Toy Biz action figures, including a gruesome 2005 Ultimate Carnage figure accompanied by a shriveled corpse of Gwen Stacy.
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.