If you’ve stayed until the mid-credit scene of Venom, you’re probably wondering who’s the guy with the insane red hair getting the Hannibal Lecter treatment. That would in fact be one of Venom’s greatest enemies, Cletus Kasady aka Carnage. We’ve already broken down his appearance in the film and what it means for the Venomverse but this time around we’re taking a look another important question. Is Carnage stronger than Venom? In the world of comics, the rivalry between these two symbiotes is a classic. In 2004, we got one of the best written runs revolving around the two simply entitled Venom Vs Carnage. And now we’re going to get a chance to see these two juggernauts go mono a mono on screen.
Judging this battle, we’ll be taking a look at their background, experience and power sets. Seeing that there isn’t a lot to go on for Carnage on screen at the current moment, we’ll also be analyzing aspects of their comic book versions to see how it could play out in the future sequel. This is it, folks! Place your bets and get your comic book collection cocked and ready because this is Venom Vs Carnage.
Let’s start with our main man first, Venom. We got a slightly different version of the character in the film. The main drive for Brock in the comics was to get revenge on Spider-Man for destroying his career and sending him into a downward spiral. It just so happened that the symbiote was also at the church when Peter Parker rejected it. Seeing a mutual hatred in Brock, it bonded with the disgraced journalist to create the villain Venom. While the disgraced journalist aspect was still kept in tact, just replace Parker with Carlton Drake, his primary motivation has changed. Eddie here isn’t so much a disgruntled, vengeful foil to Drake than he is a man with a genuine moral compass. Eddie brings out the best in Venom in lieu of Venom feeding on Eddie’s negative emotions.
Based on the limited time we had with Cletus Kasady, it seems that Sony will be staying faithful to the nature of the character. For those who haven’t gotten caught up in his history, Cletus Kasady is a bloodthirsty psychopath with one hell of a mean streak. When Eddie Brock escapes from prison using the Venom symbiote, an offspring bonds with Cletus. His insane personality fed over into the symbiote, creating Carnage. He along with his new symbiote would be a thorn in Spider-Man and Venom’s side for a long time. So much so that in an issue of Spider-Man Vol.1, the two of them had to team up with one another just to stop Carnage.
In terms of experience, it’s safe to say that Eddie, in the context of the film canon, has a lot more than Kasady. We’ve seen in the film that the man already has a working relationship with the Venom symbiote. Both of them being quite comfortable with each other, both on and off the battlefield. Why does this matter? Simply put that a symbiote is only as strong as its host. In Marvel Knight Spider-Man #8, we see that Venom bonds with a weak-willed and pathetic host named Angelo Fortunato. After getting his butt handed to him by Spider-Man, he cowardly flees the scene only to have the Venom symbiote abandon him. The mental and emotional state of a host could potentially sway the outcome of a fight.
And while, Eddie’s moral code might be a hindrance in battle, I believe Kasady’s insanity and disregard for life would be a greater disadvantage. Yeah sure, he’ll go all out in his insatiable need for murder and mayhem but that’s exactly the problem. Carnage’s singular mindset could lead to his downfall. Furthermore, Kasady isn’t exactly the smartest man in New York. So coupling Venom’s mentally stable host and extensive experience against Carnage’s unpredictable and violent host, I’d have to give it to Venom in this department.
Powers and Abilities
Intelligence and mental state aside, the arsenal these two warriors bring to the fight also count a great deal. Now, this can be a tad tricky, seeing that Carnage and Venom share a lot in common. So let’s just get the similarities out of the way. Both of them have superhuman strength and a rapid healing factor. They also share the ability to produce webbing, shapeshift and create constructs such as blades, tendrils and shields. Both symbiotes bear weaknesses to sounds between the range of 4000-6000 hertz and extreme heat like all symbiotes. That’s about where Venom’s abilities in both comics and film portrayals end. Carnage, on the other hand, that’s a different story.
Unlike Venom, his tendrils aren’t just made to grab or incapacitate, they’re made to impale! Another unique ability that Carnage possesses is that he can produce and launch projectiles at his opponents, like Riot. Venom, however, has yet shown that capability. One very interesting and terrifying power that this red Symbiote has is that he can quite literally possess people! Yes, I’m not kidding. In the 2011 comic book run Carnage USA, we see him infect an entire town with his symbiote, turning them into his murder puppets. Venom most likely won’t be affected by this. Still, if Carnage is able to create copies of himself in future films, Venom is gonna have one heck of a fight on hand. Carnage clearly has the edge here.
So who would win a fight? In a straight-up battle with no preparation, Carnage would probably take the day. His unpredictable nature, lack of empathy and deadly abilities would overwhelm Venom, especially if it’s their first encounter. Taking into account that Venom does have moral boundaries and Carnage doesn’t, it’s completely possible that the latter would exploit the former’s altruistic nature. If he’s able to infect people, he could force Venom into a moral dilemma by possessing nearby civilians and making them fight him. Moreover, we’ve seen in the comics that it takes the combined effort of both Venom and Spider-Man to take him down. I’m sure in the sequel, Venom would probably find some way (most likely some weapon) to defeat Carnage. He may even exploit Carnage’s lack of experience and insanity. All that, however, relies on Carnage not taking him out in the first round, and Carnage aims to kill. So what do you guys think? Do you believe the black bruiser could stand a chance again the crimson crazy? Or is he just another victim? Be sure to comment down below to let us know!
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