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Who Is Carnage? Woody Harrelson's Venom 2 Villain Explained

Carnage and Woody Harleson as Cletus Cassidy

Here is everything you need to know about Carnage - the villain of Venom 2 played by Woody Harrelson. When the character of Venom was first created in 1988, he was intended to be Spider-Man's most dangerous enemy ever. His popularity with fans, however, killed the original plans to see Venom destroyed in a climactic battle. This left Spider-Man's writers with the question of what to do to keep Venom around while also giving him another purpose beyond destroying Spider-Man.

Eventually they hit upon the idea of creating a new villain who would be so dangerous that Venom and Spider-Man would have no choice but to work together to deal with the greater evil. Enter Carnage - an insane serial killer with the same powers as Venom and Spider-Man, plus other abilities that made him into one of Marvel Comics' most dangerous villains. The introduction of Carnage also helped further cement Venom in his newfound role as an anti-hero - the lethal protector who helped the homeless and fought to protect the innocent but still hated Spider-Man and saw him as a threat to decent people everywhere.

Related: Sony's Three Spider-Man Movie Universes Explained

With Venom 2 on the way - and potentially eyeing a late 2020 release - moviegoers will eventually see Carnage for themselves on the big screen played by Woody Harrelson. But who is Carnage, really? What makes the Spider-Man character an ideal villain for Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock/Venom?

Carnage's Comic Origin Explained

Cletus Kasady Carnage comic book origins

First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #360, Peter Parker was first alerted to Carnage's existence after he tied news reports of a new serial killer to sightings of a monster whose description matched that of Venom. Fearing that Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote were on the rampage again (having previously been pacified after being tricked into believing they had successfully killed Spider-Man), Parker investigated only to be confronted by an entirely new symbiotic menace - one so dangerous that Spider-Man was forced to turn to Venom for help in stopping the far more dangerous Carnage.

Carnage was eventually revealed to be Cletus Kasady - a sociopath and serial killer, whom had previously appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #344. A born bad seed if ever there was one, Kasady killed his grandmother by pushing her down the stairs as a child and tortured his mother's dog to death. Much like the similarly violent Joker from The Dark Knight, Kasady developed an nihilistic personal philosophy and an obsession with spreading chaos through bloodshed. This let to his conviction on 11 counts of murder, though he claimed to have committed many more.

Kasady became the cell-mate of Eddie Brock in the high-security prison known as The Vault. Brock eventually escaped with the help of the Venom symbiote, which, unbeknownst to Brock, was about to produce a child, which it left in Brock's cell. The symbiote species didn't have any emotional attachment to their offspring, so it felt no need to inform Eddie that it was about to have a child or that it had just given birth once they rebonded. The symbiotic child then attached itself to the first host it could find, which turned out to be Cletus Kasady, giving birth to Carnage.

Carnage's Comic Powers Explained

Cletus Kassady as Carnage

As dangerous as Eddie Brock was as Venom, Carnage was even more threatening, having developed new powers that his parent never had. According to the Venom symbiote, this was due to the Carnage symbiote having gestated in an alien atmosphere, which altered its development. Because of this, Carnage is physically stronger than both Spider-Man and Venom put together. Carnage also has the unique ability to reshape parts of his symbiotic form into weapons and can even turn fragments of itself into projectiles, which can maintain their form for up to ten seconds once disconnected from his body. He also has the power to alter people's minds and memories, assuming he can make contact with their brain through a tendril.

Beyond that, Carnage has all of the other standard symbiotic powers, including shape-shifting and rapid-healing. He can change his appearance to mimic any form of clothing, though Carnage rarely does this as blending in and going unnoticed is usually the last thing he wants to do. More frequently Kasady uses this power to grow wings or extra limbs - another unique power that only the Carnage symbiote seems to possess. The Carnage symbiote is also notable in that his bond to Cletus Kasady is the strongest and most complete of any symbiote in Marvel Comics history. The symbiote lives in Kasady's bloodstream when it's not acting as his armored costume and can be regenerated from a single drop of Kasady's blood.

Related: 10 Superpowers Carnage Has That Venom Doesn't

Carnage also has all of the powers which the Venom Symbiote copied from Peter Parker, allowing it to cling to any surface and rapidly crawl across walls and ceilings. Carnage has also developed a form of Spider-Sense, being able to sense direct physical attacks coming thanks to a form of omni-directional vision. Like Venom, Carnage is also invisible to Spider-Man's Spider-Sense, due to it being too closely connected to Peter Parker for him to perceive it as a threat. Despite all this power, Carnage is far from invincible. He still possess the standard symbiote weakness to extreme heat and his connection to his host is disrupted by certain sonic frequencies. It's worth noting, however, that Carnage is far more vulnerable to heat and fire than Venom, yet far more resistant to sonic-based attacks than his parent, due to the stronger bond he has forged with Cletus Kasady.

Page 2 of 2: Woody Harrelson Is Carnage In Venom & Will Be Venom 2's Villain

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