WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Absolute Carnage #3 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
The Marvel Comics crossover Absolute Carnage teased that nobody in the Marvel Universe would be safe from a newly empowered Cletus Kasady, now on a dark mission to resurrect Knull, the dormant god of symbiotes. The crossover hit the ground running by delivering on its promise with terrifying, horror-tinged glee as Carnage and his zealous cult of followers possess, murder and maim several prominent figures across the Marvel Universe.
The latest issue of the bloody crossover event has Eddie Brock immediately grief-stricken that he was unable to save Miles from his horrific fate. The first line of writer Donny Cates' script is an echo one of the most heart-breaking lines from Avengers: Endgame, reframed here for Miles' tragic transformation. As the monstrous version of Miles thrashes Venom mercilessly, the only line that can initially enter Eddie's mind is "I lost the kid."
Although Cates has clarified that he wrote the line before he saw Endgame ("Thought about changing it and then thought, nah, someone will make an article about it and get us some fun free press"), it's what a weakened Tony Stark told Steve Rogers upon his return to Earth. That was, of course, a reference to the loss of Peter Parker in the finale of Avengers: Infinity War.
Peter's death would haunt Tony throughout Endgame, serving as his primary motivation to help the surviving heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to develop a time-travel strategy to undo Thanos' victory and resurrect Peter, along with half of all life in the universe.
Although here Cates' MCU reference was mere coincidence, in his Guardians of the Galaxy run, the writer made Star-Lord's love of David Bowie comic book canon by naming his newest spaceship after the late visionary rock star. He also brought the romantic relationship between Peter Quill and Gamora to comics after years of the duo simply being teammates and friends, unlike their cinematic counterparts.
The "I lost the kid" line is undeniably heartbreaking. While he's certainly no stranger to the world of superheroes, Miles is still relatively innocent, befitting his age, with his entire life ahead of him. And with Eddie recently discovering he's a father himself, to the young boy Dylan Brock, Venom has become especially protective of younger male figures like Miles.
One of the first superheroes that Eddie Brock crossed paths with in Cates and Ryan Stegman's run on Venom was Miles Morales, and the two battled a symbiote dragon together in the streets of New York City. While hardly a mentor or surrogate father figure for the teenage superhero, Eddie developed a soft spot for Miles, and the last thing the tortured antihero would want for him is to undergo the same nightmarish symbiote bonding process. While Eddie lost the fight to keep Miles out from Carnage's sway, he hopefully hasn't lost the larger fight against Carnage.