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 stakes just keep getting higher in Absolute Carnage, with the titular villain getting a godlike power boost, amassing an army of symbiotes to serve his will, and targeting most of the Marvel Universe. But in a much more quiet way, Absolute Carnage #3 hinted at a potentially devastating development for Spider-Man's personal life, bomb amidst all the madness: Carnage now knows that Spider-Man is really Peter Parker, and that could spell disaster for everyone the web-slinger cares about.
In a classic team-up with on-and-off nemesis Venom, Spider-Man tries to prevent Carnage from collecting the codexes of information left into the DNA of all past symbiote hosts. The pair are force to rely on Venom's ally, the Maker, the evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe, and at the end of Absolute Carnage #3 Spider-Man goes to the Maker's lab to meet up with Eddie and use the machine.
Just as the preparations are ready to unfold, Carnage reveals himself from his disguise as Venom's alter-ego Eddie Brock. The scene primarily focuses on Spider-Man inadvertently telling Carnage that the child hanging around with Eddie since the series' start is really Eddie's son.
However, the real Eddie Brock calls Spider-Man Peter when he shows up, and Carnage slyly mocks Spider-Man by calling him "Peter" too.
The action unfolds so quickly thereafter that the implications are not immediately dealt with, but the implications are potentially massive. Even before he bonded with the Carnage symbiote, the psychotic Cletus Kasady was one of the worst serial killers in the world. With a body count that's allegedly on par with dictators and plagues, the aftermath of Absolute Carnage could well see Kasady setting Peter's loved ones in his sights.
Of course, it's entirely possible that the moment received so little emphasis because Carnage has known Peter's identity all along. It's well established that symbiotes pass on much of the knowledge of their previous hosts, and Norman Osborn figured out Spider-Man's identity (again) in Amazing Spider-Man #697 after he had bonded with the Carnage symbiote in Amazing Spider-Man #695. While Norman ultimately went off the deep end (and suffered an intense, ongoing identity crisis), it's entirely possible that the high value intel has been in Carnage's back pocket all along.
Trying to understand the mind of a mad man is rarely a fruitful endeavor. Carnage's actions rarely follow a discernible rationale or logic, and in the previous issue he displays the patience his years of super villainy instilled in him. When Spider-Man and Venom narrowly escape he and his army's grasp, the raving Norman they tried to save insists they go after the duo.
Patience was not necessarily a virtue Carnage was known for in years previous. The blood-lusted psycho killer seemed to embody a raw desire to take what he wanted the moment he wanted it, and that most often came in the form of mass slaughter. This tease of foresight within the character makes him all the more menacing, especially when combined with the power amp that eradicates any vulnerabilities (other than electricity) that most symbiotes previously suffered.
With the next issue gearing up to feature a showdown between the murderous madman and a Venomized Hulk, it's hard to say what the immediate aftermath will be. But when the smoke settles and the story moves on to the next conflict, the possibility bubbles under the surface that Carnage could set his sights on Peter's personal life any time he wants.