Dark gods who existed in the shadows before time began. Cults of worshippers dedicated to a return to the void, killer rednecks and every single hero you can think of in the crosshairs of a maniac who seeks to return life itself to the shadows. Man, either I’m reading the synopsis for a new comic book event which sounds metal, or I’ve wandered into the Black Sabbath section of a music shop again.
This year’s big marvel event sees none other than Cletus Kasady on a rampage, as the most lethal symbiote to ever exist is on a mission in Absolute Carnage. A story years in the making, Absolute Carnage will fold out across four issues written by Donny Cates and drawn by Ryan Stegman. This being comic books, there’s so much more to the tale than just a mere quartet of comic books.
So where does one even begin? Right here with this handy dandy primer!
Remember Carnage? Back in the 1990s, he may have just been one of the deadliest enemies that Spider-Man ever faced. Born from the Venom symbiote and bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasaday, Carnage was able to easily overpower both Spider-Man and Venom when they first tangled with him. His biggest claim to fame came during the 1993 Maximum Carnage saga, that saw the crimson symbiote run riot across New York City and incite the the isle of Manhattan into a bloodthirsty mob of violence along the way.
Years later and no longer as big a threat as he once was, Carnage suffered his most ignominious defeat yet: Being flown into outer space by the Sentry and ripped in half.
He got better! His body preserved by the remnants of his symbiote and outfitted with prosthetic legs by a sinister tech wizard by the name of Michael Hall, Carnage eventually bounced back and began a new reign of terror. Across feuds with Spider-Man, Deadpool and the Scarlet Spider, Carnage was even a lethal hero for a while after the Axis event inverted his morality because comics books.
With the status quo eventually restored and Carnage back to his more murderous habits, the stage would eventually be set for Carnage to think bigger than ever.
A multiverse of Venoms bonded to various Marvel heroes, forming one of the mightiest teams in all of reality to combat a threat that even the nigh-unstoppable symbiotes feared: The Poisons. With a threat at their doorstep that no Venom symbiote was immune to, Carnage was emploted as the ultimate weapon against the Poisons due to his natural immunity to their predatory powers.
Carnage would eventually find himself turning allegiances and joining the Poisons, but he was once again flung into outer space where he was left to drift amongst the stars for all eternity. Well, until a mysterious cult managed to get their hands on him, thanks to the symbiote regenerating enough power and steering the body of Cletus Kasady back to Earth.
The cult of Kull
Quick history lesson! Think the symbiotes that Venom came from are an alien race? Well yes and no, because they’re actually the creation of the most ancient of evils. Known as Knull, this dark god predates even the mighty Celestials, and he forged a blade from the shadows that he commanded to help him in his war to extinguish the light of a newly born universe.
A war with no end, Knull would eventually retreat to a planet and create the parasitic symbiotes from the darkness that he commanded. Conquering worlds and using their species as fodder for his symbiote army, Knull’s reign would eventually be stopped by the Mighty Thor when he severed the symbiote connection to their master and allowed them to develop as their own species.
Knull would eventually resurface centuries later, bringing with him a massive symbiote dragon by the name of Grendel that was barely stopped in its tracks by Venom and his allies. Knull himself would be sealed within the symbiote homeworld of Klyntar.
And here we are! The cult of Kull, led by a former Carnage symbiote host (that’s a whole other can of worms don’t ask) have assembled! They got their hands on a crispy-fried Kletus, his Carnage symbiote and a sample of the Grendel symbiote that was stolen from the Maker’s lab (Who happens to be the evil Reed Richards of the Ultimate Universe). Carnage is restored, stronger than ever and powerful enough to resist even the control of Knull himself.
Carnage is now hellbent on freeing Knull, a task that requires him to track down everyone who has ever played host to a symbiote before, living or dead. Every one of these former and active hosts possess what is called the Codex, a trace amount of the psychic remnants that connect a symbiote to Knull. The more codexes that Carnage consumes, the stronger his bond to Knull and the closer he comes to freeing the god of darkness himself.
How many heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe have played host to a symbiote? Plenty, because Absolute Carnage is promising that this year, no one is safe.
Everyone is a target
- Venom #15 (June 12th)
- Symbiote Spider-Man #3 (June 12th)
- Deadpool #14 (June 19th)
- Amazing Spider-Man #24 (June 26th)
- Fantastic Four #11 (June 26th)
- Immortal Hulk #20 (July 3rd)
- Black Cat #2 (July 3rd)
- Invaders #7 (July 17th)
- Captain Marvel #8 (July 17th)
- Avengers #22 (July 31st)
Absolute Carnage – August issues
- Absolute Carnage #1
- Absolute Carnage: Scream #1
- Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety #1
- Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1
- Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #1
- Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1
- Venom #17
- Absolute Carnage #2
Absolute Carnage – September issues
- Absolute Carnage: Scream #2
- Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1
- Venom #18
- Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #2
- Absolute Carnage: Ghost Rider – Symbiote of Vengeance #1
- Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #2
- Absolute Carnage #3
- Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #2
- Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1
- Amazing Spider-Man #30
Absolute Carnage – October issues
- Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1
- Absolute Carnage: Scream #3
- Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #3
- Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #3
- Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #3
- Amazing Spider-Man #31
- Venom #19
- Absolute Carnage #4
Last Updated: July 12, 2019