The Comic Book Character
- Base-Breaking Character: People either love him for his Ax-Crazy ways, or see him as everything wrong with comics during the 90s
- Bizarro Episode: All of Cletus's appearances in-between Venom devouring his symbiote, and his temporary death in New Avengers.
- Complete Monster:
- Cletus Kasady (pre- and post-AXIS) is a psychotic, sociopathic, prolific Serial Killer even before he bonded with a bloodthirsty alien symbiote and took the name of Carnage; as a child, he killed his grandmother and pet dog, tortured his mother, killed the headmaster of his orphanage with a lead pipe, and then burned the orphanage down, and pushed a girl he had a crush on in front of a bus because she rejected him. As Carnage he became one of the worst enemies of Venom and Spider-Man both with his psychotic killing sprees through New York where he murdered anyone unfortunate enough to cross his path and if not for Venom and Spider-Man he would have killed thousands more. During the Maximum Carnage event, Carnage created a "family" of fellow super villains, using their powers to drive New York into homicidal insanity and to capture his "father" Venom, in whose captivity Carnage subjected to horrible torture. Not even his own family was safe from Carnage's psychosis and he brutalized his "wife" Shriek for ignoring his instructions before murdering their "son" Doppleganger when he tried defending her. Carnage has a habit of returning from death, always nastier than before, and the intense evil of Kasady and the Symbiote together results in one of Peter Parker's most murderous enemies.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, he is introduced as an Ax-Crazy lunatic willing to use a bomb to kill himself and everyone within a 200 meter radius just for giggles. After entering into the service of the Dimension Lord Dormammu and bonding with the offspring of Eddie Brock's symbiote, Kasady uses his newfound power and connections to become an even worse menace. Unlike Eddie who, when bonded with his symbiote, creates a combined persona called Venom, Cletus is so psychotic that he still remains completely aware and in control after bonding with his symbiote. First helping Venom steal an interdimensional probe, Kasady quickly displays contempt towards his "dad's" softness and proves himself willing to kill Venom on the flimsiest of pretexts. Kasady would later go on to steal the souls of numerous innocent people in order to summon Dormammu and herald The End of the World as We Know It. Once Spider-Man defeats him by letting him be sucked into Dormammu's home dimension, Kasady attempts to grab Eddie Brock's Love Interest, Dr. Ashley Kafka, to take her with him. He's only thwarted by Eddie sacrificing himself instead. Rampantly homicidal and needlessly sadistic, Kasady was a far cry from the usual Spider-Man villain, doing evil solely for the carnage it unleashed on the world.
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: His first fight with Venom and Spider-Man note . The duo tries to beat him by rushing him at the same time, and causally tosses them both through a wall.
- Crosses the Line Twice: The main appeal◊ of the character.
- Dork Age: Not many appreciated the weird changes made in Minimum Carnage.
- Fountain of Memes: The AXIS miniseries.
- Heartwarming Moments:
- As twisted as it may be, Cletus genuinely cares for the symbiote.
- The Inverted Carnage smothering Apocalypse's Gene Bomb in AXIS.
Spider-Man: Okay, brains failed—brute force it is. Tear out wires. Tear out wires until it doesn't blow up—Carnage: Now, I an't no sciencetition... but what I know about bombs, they don't respond well to force, kemosabe.Spider-Man: Help me, Cletus—we'll web it up—smother the blast—Carnage: No amount of webbing is gonna to stop that. Only thing that might hold it back—is me.Spider-Man: Cletus—this will kill you.Carnage: World's better off without me, can't argue that. No one in my family ever done anything for another person. Come from a long line of selfish dirtbags. Probably goin' back to caveman Kasady stealing pterodactyl eggs from the needy. You do me one favor, Spidey—'kay?Spider-Man: Anything.Carnage: You build a giant damned memorial in my honor, made out of gold an' jewels an' rhinestones, draped in the Confederate flag, right in the middle of bleedin' heart liberal New York City—an' I want it playin' Skynyrd's "Free Bird" around the clock!Spider-Man: I...Carnage: Promise!Spider-Man: I promise, Cletus.Carnage: *starts to sing "Free Bird" as he is engulfed by the explosion*
- Narm: Being a product of the 1990s, Carnage was once prone to being Totally Radical. He also looks like a frog on the cover of Deadpool vs. Carnage #3, and when he uses a tentacle to smack the Sin-Eater's shotgun in Axis: Carnage #3 the sound-effect produced is "Fap!"
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: A lot of people who hated Carnage started liking Carnage retroactively when he was killed off by a new, even less likeable character called "The Sentry". There was much rejoicing when Carnage was brought back, if not for his return, then at least for the fact the Sentry had been done away with and a more worthy figure could not get the honor of killing Carnage.
- Any time the symbiote oozes out of Cletus's wounds.
- Emil Gregg's rat and maggot-infested corpse in Axis: Carnage #2
- Captain Obvious Aesop: Gosh, who knew that grown-ups can sometimes behave more childishly than their kids?
- Visual Effects of Awesome: The moment where Nancy pukes over the table is superbly well-done, because Kate Winslet had to say her line "What lack of interest?" and then throw up in the same shot, which they did by having her conceal a small amount of fake puke in her mouth (so she could talk) and also run tubes up her body and jaw which could squirt out more fake puke, and then cover up the tubes using CGI.note