Yes, the Venom and Carnage symbiotes are related. But their respective human hosts are not in any way related by blood.
The pair, of course, just might go down in history as two of the most popular Spider-Man antagonists ever. And there may be more to their connection than their shared alien origin.
In this post, we’re gonna go through Marvel comics history to shed more light on their connection.
How Did Venom Create Carnage?
After having contact with a plague virus, the Venom symbiote falls into a coma. Temporarily powerless and practically incapacitated, the alien separates from Eddie Brock, its human host. As for Brock, he is sentenced to jail in Ryker’s Island Prison.
After some time, however, the symbiote is fully recovered and searches for Brock. Venom successfully reunites with the imprisoned Brock and helps the former Daily Globe reporter break out of prison.
In the process of freeing its human host, the symbiote produces an offspring. But deeming its spawn insignificant, Venom leaves its offspring behind. Unfortunately, the spawn proceeds to bond with the nearest human host it can find. That host happens to be Brock’s cellmate, the serial killer Cletus Kasady.
The symbiote fused with Kasady’s homicidal tendencies and formed the villain we now know as Carnage, or more accurately, the first and original Carnage (Marvel comics has since introduced several versions over the decades).
It is worth mentioning that Carnage is far from being the only offspring produced by Venom. Other symbiotes such as Agony, Lasher, Mania, Phage, Riot, Scream, and Sleeper are all spawns of the original Venom alien creature.
Why Is Carnage Red?
When Venom’s offspring found Kasady, the cold-blooded murderer was bleeding from a cut on his hand. So the symbiote bonded straight with its human host through the bloodstream.
This bonding process is unique. It meant that the symbiote had direct access to its human host’s blood. This gave Carnage its unique red-blood color.
How is its bonding process different from Venom? When the Venom symbiote first came to Earth, it disguised itself as Spider-Man’s suit (which went on to become iconic in its own right as the black Spidey costume). It bonded with Peter Parker’s body over his skin, not directly through his blood. This explains why it took time for the symbiote to have full control of the superhero’s physical faculties or only manipulated Peter’s body while he was sleeping.
By the time it bonded with Eddie Brock, the alien symbiote had grown stronger (having absorbed all of the Web-Slinger’s powers and abilities). But still, its bonding process with Brock was achieved through external means, not via the bloodstream.
While it’s true that the Carnage symbiote’s bonding with Kasady was direct, it was also more chaotic. That’s what happens when you fuse yourself with the very blood of a man who’s not only mentally unstable but also morally corrupt to his core.
This might explain why Carnage sometimes looks like he’s just exploded, with veins, tendrils, and stretches of skin bursting out of his body all the time. This is in sharp contrast to Venom’s appearance, who sports jagged teeth and leverages limited shape-shifting abilities, but otherwise conforms to a mostly stable human form.
Of course, this is the explanation for Carnage's appearance as it is supposed to make sense according to the logic within the Marvel comics universe. But we’re betting that he looks that way because it’s simply awesome.
And we got writer David Michelinie and long-time The Amazing Spider-Man illustrator Mark Bagley to thank for that. These are the two guys credited with the concept and creation of one of the most memorable and nasty villains ever encountered by the Wall-Crawler.
Interesting bit of trivia: Carnage was intended to be called "Chaos," but another comics publisher beat Marvel to it. The creators’ next choice was "Ravage," but that name was ultimately scratched to make way for a separate Marvel character, Ravage 2099. Fortunately, Marvel assistant editor Eric Fein suggested “Carnage” and the rest, as they say, is history.
Is Venom Carnage's Dad?
Yes, you can say that Venom is Carnage’s dad, but that would imply there was a mother in the first place.
But just to be clear, Venom’s species (officially known as the Klyntar) do not follow the usual gender conventions, especially those that traditionally apply to most Earth-based animal species (including humans.
As such, Venom’s kind can reproduce asexually, which means they don’t require a member of the opposite sex to produce an offspring.
Symbiiotes typically spawn a single offspring throughout their natural life. But that doesn’t mean they are incapable of producing more.
Case in point: Venom has spawned about half a dozen “children” already, although some of those offspring were produced without Venom’s consent. Even the Carnage symbiote has brought forth at least three children.
Symbiotes also have complex family dynamics. That would be a nice way of saying that parent symbiotes generally don’t give love and affection to their offspring the way regular humans do with their kids.
Having said that, some symbiotes can nurture their offspring, if they choose to, or if influenced by their human host.
Are Venom and Carnage Brothers?
No, Venom and Carnage are not brothers. That would imply they share the same parent symbiote. But Venom gave “birth” to Carnage, so that makes Venom Carnage’s parent symbiote.
But the two do have a complicated albeit hostile relationship. For sure, most of their past encounters are of the kill-each-other kind. But in the comics, they have had a few friendlier engagements.
For instance, when Carnage was about to produce its first offspring (Toxin), Venom made an attempt to play a mentor role to the younger symbiote. The two even manufactured a temporary truce to their seemingly never-ending conflict to deal with the possibility of Toxin turning violent and unleashing hell upon them both and any living being it encounters.
What Is Venom and Carnage Combined?
Venom and Carnage combined is very, very bad news. But it did happen in Marvel comics pages quite recently.
In 2021, Marvel first published the Dark Ages comic book series. This is a limited series (six issues in total) that imagines an Earth (actually Earth-TRN891, not the regular Earth-616 in the Marvel universe) plunged into darkness (hence its title) and superheroes not only dealing with new and old threats in the years since, but also with their guilt brought about by failing to save the world from going dark in the first place.
One of these superheroes is Miles Morales. Unfortunately, this version of Miles Morales gets bonded to both Venom and Carnage symbiotes. The resulting entity is simply known as the Symbiote. And he’s a henchman under the ancient mutant known as Apocalypse.
But don’t worry – before the limited series wraps up, Miles Morales gets rid of the symbiotes, with the help of Iron Woman (that would be Pepper Potts), who burned the aliens off Miles’ body, and Storm, who struck the symbiotes with lightning, instantly vaporizing them.
So what’s the Symbiote like? Its powers are basically identical to Earth-616’s Venom symbiote. But because its personality is mixed with that of the murderous Carnage psyche, the Symbiote’s moral code is corrupted. Apocalypse easily manipulates the combined personalities to do his bidding, while overcoming Miles Morales’ natural heroic personality.
Can Venom Beat Carnage?
Yes, Venom can beat Carnage. In fact, the parent symbiote has emerged victorious over its offspring on a number of occasions in the comics. But almost always, Venom has had some help.
And he needs all the help he can get. That’s because on paper, Carnage is the more powerful symbiote.
For one, it’s younger. As shown in Marvel comics, newer generations of symbiotes are likely to be more powerful than the previous generations. That’s because they inherit the powers of their parent while also gaining new abilities from their human host.
The Carnage symbiote benefitted from inheriting Venom’s powers while also feeding off of Cletus Kasady’s insatiable bloodlust. This combination makes Carnage a formidable and unpredictable opponent.
So how does Venom defeat Carnage? By using his wits and experience, and with an assist from allies (usually our favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man) and Marvel’s writers.
During one of their first encounters, Venom was able to outlast Carnage while both of them were being bombarded with sound (a proven symbiote weakness) coming from stadium speakers.
Again, to be fair to Carnage, Venom almost always had assistance. The fact that Venom could only defeat Carnage by teaming up with other superpowered guys speaks highly of the red-colored symbiote’s toughness.
Can Anti-Venom Beat Carnage?
Yes, Anti-Venom can beat Carnage. But wait – who the heck is Anti-Venom?
Anti-Venom is another symbiote who made its first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man comics in 2008, during the New Ways to Die saga.
In this story arc, Brock is no longer Venom, but just an ordinary guy who has survived cancer. In fact, the Venom symbiote is now bonded to another guy, the villain Mac Gargan (originally the Scorpion).
When the new Venom meets Brock, the symbiote attempts to get back to its former human host. But when it touches Brock, it creates a strange reaction.
Unbeknownst to Brock, he was actually cured of his cancer through Lightforce (the same healing force used by the Cloak and Dagger duo). The antibodies in his body react with the original Venom symbiote to produce a new symbiote called the Anti-Venom.
The Anti-Venom symbiote inherits some of Venom’s powers, including superstrength, wall-crawling, and web-slinging. But it’s not vulnerable to fire and sound like other symbiotes. And true to its name, it can cure other people’s ailments.
So, Anti-Venom versus Carnage – who wins? Anti-Venom has an advantage because it’s younger. Although its lack of experience may also prove to be its undoing.
Another edge that the Anti-Venom symbiote has is that it’s toxic to any symbiote derived from Venom, which presumably includes the Carnage symbiote as well.