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Fans who stuck around mid-way through the Venom credits scene saw Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock ride his motorcycle up to San Quentin prison for an interview with a prisoner. This is possibly the big exclusive he mentioned to his ex-fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams) at the end of the movie.
Who is Cletus Kasady?
There, Brock meets a red-headed Woody Harrelson, who a guard helpfully informs the audience is a serial killer named Cletus Kasady.
Kasady is passing the time by writing on the walls of his cell with his own blood, as one does. Kasady then warns Brock, “When I get out of here, there’s going to be Carnage.”
Who is Carnage?
Spider-Man fans might have recognized the name: Carnage is one of the main Supervillains to face off with Spidey (and the Avengers) in the comic books. In the comics, Cletus bonds with a symbiote named Carnage, just as Eddie bonded with a symbiote named Venom, to disastrous effects. A serial killer with super powers? That sounds pretty horrifying.
Cletus and Carnage’s union gets a bit complicated. In the comics, Eddie Brock does a stint in prison and his cellmate is none other than Cletus Kasady. While in prison, Venom produces an offspring named Carnage. (He reproduces asexually, in case you were wondering.) He doesn’t tell Eddie about it, and Venom and Eddie escape prison. Once they’re gone, Carnage bonds with Cletus.
Venom vs Carnage
Carnage is more powerful than Venom—in part because he has a psychopathic serial killer as a host rather than just an intrepid journalist. In the comics, Spider-Man convinces Venom to form an uneasy alliance in order to hunt down Carnage.
If Venom gets a sequel—which will depend on whether the movie can overcome poor critical reviews and still dominate the box office—Carnage will be the main baddie.
But it’s unlikely that Venom will get Peter Parker’s help to take down the super-villain. Marvel Studios (which is owned by Disney) and Sony struck up a deal that allows them to share the rights to Spider-Man. Per those terms, the two studios can co-create Spidey solo movies starring Tom Holland (like Spider-Man: Homecoming and its upcoming sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home), and Marvel Studios can use Holland in its films like Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.
Meanwhile, Sony is left to build out the Spider-Man universe with movies like Venom and Black Cat, but for right now that world is one bereft of its central character. The heads of both studios have made it clear that Holland’s Spidey won’t be appearing in Sony’s growing slate of movies. Spider-Man was never even mentioned in Venom. In fact, Venom’s cinematic world may be one without superheroes at all, just super-powered parasites.
Given that Carnage proves more powerful than even Riot in the comic books, Venom will have his hands full taking on Carnage in the second film. A brief scene in Venom suggested that Anne, too, could carry a symbiote without meeting dire consequences. Perhaps Venom can reproduce again, and the erstwhile couple could team up.