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Abandoned Love: So Is Carnage Still the “Spawn” of Venom or What?

by  in Comic News Comment

Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer without explaining that the previous story was retconned away. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

Inspired by an Abandoned Love a few weeks back about how Black Cat suddenly forgot who Venom was despite him nearly killing her in battle before, commenter PM Agria suggested another case of a dropped plot involving Venom and Carnage, something a lot more notable – you see, Carnage isn’t actually the spawn of Venom anymore! Or, well, he SHOULDN’T be the spawn of Venom, but people have just dropped that plot…

Introduced in full in Amazing Spider-Man #361 (by David Michelinie, Mark Bagley and Randy Emberlin), Carnage was a new symbiote-based villain…


The idea was for Marvel to slowly have Venom become sort of anti-hero, and with him taking on that anti-hero role, they would have Carnage become the new VILLAIN villain.

In Amazing Spider-Man #362, they confirm that Carnage is the spawn of Venom (and yes, I imagine the use of the word “spawn” was intentional)…



So that was the status quo for years. Venom was the “father” and Carnage was the “son.”

That is, until Peter Parker: Spider-Man #10 (by Howard Mackie, John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna), when Venom re-absorbed Carnage into himself…




And ta da! No more Carnage!

A couple of issues later, in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #13 (by Mackie, Lee Weeks and Robert Campanella), Spidey fights a symbiote-less Cletus Kassaday, who is still calling himself Carnage and has just soaked himself in other people’s blood (but mostly red paint)…



This was the case until 2000’s Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #14, by Howard Mackie, Graham Nolan and Scott Koblish. You will never guess how Carnage returns! Read on to the next page to discover the silliness…

Kassaday follows Spider-Man to the Negative Zone for a caper involving Blastaar. While there, Kassaday just happens to find ANOTHER symbiote…in the Negative Zone! And thus, Carnage returns!



How awesomely silly is that?

This “identical symbiote” routine was promptly dropped by the next time Carnage showed up, as he battled Venom in Venom vs. Carnage, with them right back to being related…




But as noted in that aforementioned Black Cat Abandoned Love, Venom vs. Carnage wasn’t exactly all there on continuity.

However, in the mini-series Carnage U.S.A., Marvel even spells it out on the recap page…


And more recently, in the crossover Minimum Carnage, we have Agent Venom (the Venom symbiote now with Flash Thompson) says it explicitly…


So this is one of those special dropped plots where it was completely dropped RIGHT AWAY.

Thanks to PM Agria for suggesting this one! If YOU can think of a notable example of a dropped comic book plot like this one, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com!