Ever since his appearance in comic books, Venom has gone on to become one of the most popular Marvel characters. At first, Venom was villainous but over time the story arc of the character has painted him as more of an antihero. At one point he was one of Spider-Man’s biggest rivals but the two eventually turned out to be reluctant allies in their pursuit of Carnage, whom it just so happens is another Symbiote. That said, one bone of contention among comic book fanatics is whether Carnage is Venom’s son.
Carnage is Venom’s son. Like most organic beings, Venom’s race known as the Klyntar also reproduces and creates other symbiotes. Venom spawned an offspring while he was rescuing Eddie Brock from prison. The newborn symbiote bonded with Eddie’s cellmate Cletus Kasady and became Carnage.
This article will explore who Venom is first and foremost before diving into Carnage’s origin story in the comic books to shed a light on whether the latter is Venom’s son. We’ll also see whether Venom has any other offspring and much more. So, keep reading to get the full story.
Who is Venom in the Marvel comics?
Venom is a sentient alien Symbiote who possesses an amorphous liquid-like form and survives by bonding with a host, mostly human. The dual-life form that emerges receives powers and usually refers to itself as “Venom”.
Venom’s origins can be traced to a race of Symbiotes on the planet Klyntar. After these beings bond with a host, the combined entity normally has a personality based on both the symbiote and the host, although sometimes one side may dominate the other.
Originally, in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 released in 1984, the Symbiote was introduced as a living alien costume. However, in May 1988’s Spider-Man edition The Amazing Spider-Man #300 the Symbiote made its first full appearance as Venom.
Its first human host was none other than Spider-Man who eventually separated himself from the creature after learning its true evil nature. This was in The Amazing Spiderman #258. The Symbiote went on to merge with other hosts, most notably Eddie Brock who was its best host.
Venom has long endured as one of Spider-Man’s most prominent archenemies. However, Venom has steadily evolved into an antihero. Venom slowly distanced himself from his original goal of ruining Spider-Man’s life to become a force for good instead, even putting aside his differences with Spidey to help him at times.
Carnage’s origins in the Marvel comics
To understand Carnage and Venom’s relationship, we need to explore the origin of the character in the comics.
Carnage is a supervillain in the Marvel comics, first appearing in 1992’s The Amazing Spider-Man #359. The inspiration behind the character’s creation by David Micheline and Mark Bagley was the popularity of Eddie Brock’s Venom who was at the time a popular character among comic book lovers. Carnage’s debut was technically a cameo appearance and his full outing was in The Amazing Spider-Man #361.
So, how did Carnage come to be in the comics?
In Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #333, Venom and Styx face off in a fight that eventually sees Eddie Brock survive but his Symbiote is presumed dead. The authorities arrive to apprehend the villains and Eddie Brock is arrested and incarcerated in prison.
Eddie shares a cell with Cletus Kasady. This is different from the movie depiction where we see Eddie go to prison to interview Cletus. Cletus is a psychotic murderer born in the psychiatric prison at Ravencroft.
Cletus was troubled from an early age. He had a near-death experience where his heart stopped momentarily but he was revived by a member of the Klyntar, Knull so he could free the latter in the future.
As a boy, Cletus killed his grandmother and attempted to murder his mother as well. Eventually, he gets sent to an orphanage, St. Estes Home for Boys. He burns the place down, killing several people, and is declared clinically deranged. It is while he serves eleven consecutive life sentences on Ryker’s Island that he encounters Eddie Brock. The two develop an antagonistic relationship.
Soon, we discover that the Venom Symbiote wasn’t actually dead but merely incapacitated. After recovering, it seeks out Eddie who is in prison, and re-bond with him. It helps Eddie break out of prison to resume their quest for revenge against Spider-Man.
However, Venom was about to spawn, and unbeknownst to them, it leaves behind a Symbiote. The newborn Symbiote sought out the nearest available host who was Cletus and latches on to him, entering his body through a cut on his hand and it eventually amalgamates with his blood. The two are a perfect match and have an insatiable bloodlust bond that makes them even more powerful.
Transformed, Kasady dubs himself “Carnage” and goes on a months-long killing spree. Most notably, he leaves the message “Carnage Rules” written in blood at every scene of a murder he commits. An interesting note is that, unlike Venom, Carnage is a singular entity and refers to himself as “I” instead of “We”. This is because the Symbiote merged directly into Kasady’s bloodstream.
Is Carnage Venom’s son?
From the above, we can rightly conclude that Carnage is Venom’s offspring. He is more like a son than a brother to Venom. You did read that right, Carnage is Venom’s son. Like most organic beings, Venom’s race known as the Klyntar also reproduces and creates other Symbiotes.
In the comics, Carnage and Venom’s relationship is tenuous at best. As earlier mentioned, when escaping prison with Eddie, Venom unwittingly left behind his offspring in Brock and Cletus’ cell. This means that the Symbiote didn’t feel any emotional attachment to the offspring.
Venom and Carnage have fought on numerous occasions in the comics with Carnage seemingly the victor most of the time. Most notably, Carnage is more powerful than Venom. This is because the symbiote offspring possesses the powers of the parent’s first host. This means that Carnage, in addition to his powers, has the powers of Spider-Man.
The two Symbiotes differ in their appearance. While Venom is black, Carnage is red. This difference can be attributed to the different ways in which they bond with their host. While Eddie and Venom bonded directly, Cletus and Carnage bonded through his blood.
Does Venom have other offspring?
Yes, he does. The Venom symbiote has seven offspring. The first is Carnage who is also the best-known. While a captive of Life Foundation, the Venom symbiote was forced to spawn Lasher, Riot, Agony, Phage, and Scream. The seventh, Sleeper, was spawned in Alchemax’s astrobiology lab.
Venom also has two clones. The first, Mania, was created by the Ararat Corporation in a plot to wipe out all life on Earth. The second, Anti-Venom, was created when Martin Li accidentally infused remnants of Venom in Eddie’s body with Lightforce, fusing them with his white blood cells.