|Minimum Carnage Alpha #1 cover by Clayton Crain|
By Tim Stevens
This fall, Carnage wreaks havoc on the Marvel Universe again in the crossover event Minimum Carnage. Or does he?
Beginning in October with MINIMUM CARNAGE ALPHA and running through VENOM and SCARLET SPIDER for two months before concluding in MINIMUM CARNAGE OMEGA, the storyline sees a newly sprung Cletus Kasady doing what he does best: killing. However, the villain seems to be dancing to someone else’s directions this time.
“I think it's safe to say that fans will recognize Carnage in this story, in all his insane, horrific, murderous glory,” SCARLET SPIDER writer Christopher Yost assures before adding a significant caveat. “[But] Carnage is a victim here. A pawn in a much larger game. And frankly, after the events of the last few Carnage limited series, he's looking for a fresh start.”
“I think the biggest ‘change’ in Carnage's personality is that he's really looking for a new beginning,” VENOM writer Cullen Bunn continues. “This doesn't mean he's ready to go cold turkey from his murder sprees. Far from it. But he does want to go somewhere far from cruel corporations and meddling super heroes.”
“Fate drops that opportunity in his lap,” Yost concludes. “All he has to do is kill one more person.”
The association that offers Carnage this opportunity appear to be dangerous criminals in their own right, dangerous enough that one must wonder why they would bother with Kasady at all.
“This group is pretty violent and vicious, and they leave more than a few dead bodies in their wake,” Bunn reveals. “So, that introduces a new question into the mix. Why would this group of merciless, efficient killers need someone like Carnage? The answer puts Carnage on a path that, in his mind at least, leads to godhood.”
|Scarlet Spider #10 cover by Ryan Stegman|
Said path to godhood also leads the symbiote-wearer across the country and beyond.
“It starts in Colorado, goes through Houston, Texas, and ends up in one of the smallest locations in the Marvel Universe,” details Yost.
“The story takes place in a few locations,” Bunn elaborates. “A super-max prison. A secret research facility deep in the heart of Texas. And that's just the tip of the pile of dead bodies.”
Of course, this taking place in the Marvel Universe means that Carnage’s spree will not go unnoticed or unopposed; a Peter Parker and/or a Venom will certainly interfere. The difference this time? The Parker calls himself Kaine and Flash Thompson, not Eddie Brock, wears the Venom symbiote. The altered situation, however, will not prevent the duo from trying to stop Carnage.
“I think it's interesting to note that this is actually a chance for Venom and Scarlet Spider to be rid of Carnage,” teases Bunn. “Here's a chance for Carnage to become ‘someone else's problem,’ but neither Venom nor Scarlet Spider is willing to let Carnage go.”
“Venom obviously has the greater connection [as] both men are hosts to the alien symbiotes,” Yost notes, “Venom was on the scene last time Carnage was taken down, and has now taken personal responsibility over Carnage.”
“There's something [Carnage] needs in Houston,” Bunn reveals. “This sends him on a bloody road trip of sorts, with Venom hot on his trail, straight to Texas. That's where Carnage, Venom, and Scarlet Spider meet and go head-to-head. The Houston connection brings Scarlet Spider into the story.”
|Venom #26 cover by Patch Zircher|
“[Scarlet Spider] has no idea what's going on,” appends Yost. “Carnage is carving a bloody path through Houston and Scarlet Spider wants to know why.”
Regardless of the heroes’ motives, neither might be prepared for exactly what it means to tangle with the symbiotic serial killer.
“Carnage is the kind of evil that can't help but change you,” Yost argues. “Venom and Scarlet Spider are both characters that are working hard to overcome personal challenges, both are feeling out the whole 'hero' thing. So an encounter with Carnage could be catastrophic for both Flash and Kaine.”
“Both Venom and Scarlet Spider will be impacted by this story,” affirms Bunn. “The things they see, the things they do, will leave a mark on them. In many ways, Carnage is the worst of both of them. Cletus Kasady is the most horrific progression of a killer. Carnage is the most horrific progression of a symbiote. Both Scarlet Spider and Venom will come away from this encounter with a new respect and a new fear of what they could become.”
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