Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Extreme Carnage

Go To

Extreme Carnage is a 2021 Marvel Comics miniseries launched as a follow-up to Absolute Carnage, Scream: Curse of Carnage, and King in Black; and being followed up by Venom (2021).

In the wake of Carnage and Knull's attempts to conquer and/or destroy the Earth, humanity is now acutely aware of how dangerous symbiotes can be. Taking advantage of the growing climate of paranoia and prejudice, Senator Peter Krane, a charismatic but ruthless politician with ambitions of presidency, rallies the xenophobic Friends of Humanity organization to his cause. Alchemax establishes a paramilitary task-force of Guardsmen to hunt down any and all symbiotes — something that poses a problem for Scream (Andi Benton), the newly-resurrected Agent Anti-Venom (Flash Thompson), and the new Toxin (Bren Waters). Worse, Carnage — thought to have been killed once-and-for-all by Venom — endures as a codex within the Symbiote Hive and is plotting a resurgence involving the Life Foundation symbiotes Phage, Lasher, Riot, and Agony.

Following Extreme Carnage's shake-ups to the symbiote serial killer's status quo, Carnage Forever — an anthology title — and Carnage Vol. 3 by Ram V were announced for 2022.

The series consists of:
  • Extreme Carnage Alpha by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, with art by Manuel Garcia
  • Extreme Carnage: Scream by Clay McLeod Chapman, with art by Chris Mooneyham
  • Extreme Carnage: Phage by Steve Orlando, with art by Gerardo Sandoval
  • Extreme Carnage: Lasher by Clay McLeod Chapman, with art by Chris Mooneyham
  • Extreme Carnage: Riot by Alyssa Wong, with art by Fran Galan
  • Extreme Carnage: Toxin by Steve Orlando, with art by Gerardo Sandoval
  • Extreme Carnage: Agony by Alyssa Wong, with art by Fran Galan
  • Extreme Carnage Omega by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, with art by Manuel Garcia

These comics contain examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: Flash isn't too sure if Peter Krane has been taken over by Carnage, but he's assuming that he has. Agony reveals he's wrong and he figures it out too late: it's his son Arthur.
  • Archnemesis Dad: As established in King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #3, Bren Waters' father is a high-ranking member of Alchemax's Guardsmen, who are in charge of hunting down and capturing any aliens — and especially symbiotes — that they encounter. When fighting Andi Benton, he gives the reason that he wants to make the world a safer place for his son... while being completely oblivious to the fact that his son is the host of the Toxin symbiote, having unwittingly tried to capture or kill him in their first encounter. Toxin's tie-in establishes that he's a Punch-Clock Villain, as while he's stern and often distant he does care deeply about his son.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: The main cover for Extreme Carnage Omega shows the "Carnage-Infested" Phage, Riot, Agony, and Lasher symbiotes roaring while perched on a heap of corpses.
  • Badass in Distress: The main cover for Extreme Carnage: Lasher shows the "Carnage-Infested" Lasher capturing Andi Benton — who is without the Scream symbiote. Indeed, Andi is separated from the Scream symbiote after it succumbs to Carnage's control in the second issue, forcing her to kill it, and is subsequently attacked by Phage.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: As Flash Thompson points out to Bren Waters in the final issue, while the heroes made it out alive and most of the Life Foundation symbiotes were put into containment by Alchemax, that's pretty much all they have going for them. The Friends of Humanity are more popular than ever, it's only a matter of time before the Life Foundation symbiotes escape, Iron Man was hospitalized and Carnage assimilated his Extrembiote, Agony is still at large, and Arthur Krane — a sociopathic serial killer with the potential to become the next Cletus Kasady — is now a US senator and The Quisling for Carnage.
    Flash Thompson: "Won"? Have you not been paying attention? We didn't win, Bren. A lot of people died. We could've died. Carnage put Iron Man in the hospital, and took his "Extrembiote" tech. We don't even know what that thing is capable of yet. The world saw this today, and people are more scared of us that they've ever been. People are sleeping with guns under their pillows tonight. They're gonna be glaring at each other on the street, on the bus or in the classroom, looking for any reason to yell "alien". The Friends of Humanity's numbers are about to skyrocket, if they haven't already. And the governor of New York just appointed Arthur Krane to his dad's senate seat. Peter Krane's a martyr now, and Arthur's the new poster child for the anti-alien movement. We didn't win this one at all, kid. Between Carnage being on the loose and Arthur Krane's star on the riseā€¦ I think we're all in a lot of trouble.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • In Extreme Carnage Alpha, Carnage is shown dragging Flash Thompson into the Symbiote Hive-Mind in an attempt to infest his Anti-Venom symbiote.
    • In Extreme Carnage: Scream, Carnage drags Andi Benton into the Symbiote Hive-Mind and successfully infests the Scream symbiote until Andi cuts loose with her Hell-Mark.
    • In Extreme Carnage: Toxin, Carnage attempts it again with Toxin to try and subdue his child and get him to submit to Carnage's hive. It fails and Toxin chases him out of their corner of the Symbiote Hive-Mind.
  • Big Bad: The Dark Carnage symbiote, controlled by Cletus Kasady's codex from within the Symbiote Hive-Mind, is the main instigator of the event.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder:
    • After Carnage drags him into the Hive-Mind in an attempt to take over his symbiote, Flash comes to his senses having transformed into Agent Anti-Venom and about to impale his new friend Hank with an arm-blade, reacting in horror at what he almost did before running off.
    • The "Carnage-Infested" Phage sports a pair of Predator-esque wrist-blades on his left arm.
    • The "Carnage-Infested" Riot has a massive red-tipped blade emerging from the back of his right arm.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • The Friends of Humanity, usually an X-Men-centric hate group, have come back into focus. Even Tony Stark points out they used to be jokes before now.
    • In Extreme Carnage: Scream, Doppelgänger — not seen since Absolute Carnage and a brief cameo in Ruins of Ravencroft — is shown to have been shipped to Alchemax to be experimented on.
  • Canine Companion: Extreme Carnage: Phage shows that following Knull's defeat, Phage — wanting to enjoy the simple life — bonded to a large wolf-like dog named Mitch, who belonged to minor Daredevil foe Buck Cashman. When Carnage puts out his call, Phage is compelled to maul Buck and start eating him alive.
  • Captured Super-Entity:
    • While Iron Man is no longer wearing his Extremis-augmented symbiote-dragon armor from King in Black, which he's dubbed an "Extremebiote", he's keeping it in his lab and is smugly confident about his ability to control it. Flash warns him that treating it as a mere suit of armor could end in disaster, since it's a living creature with a mind and will of its own.
    • Extreme Carnage: Scream establishes that Alchemax has managed to capture a small symbiote-dragon and is performing experiments on it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Alpha, Iron Man shows Flash the Extrembiote suit from King in Black and Flash warns him against assuming he can control it like his other suits, since it's a symbiote with a mind of its own. In Omega, Carnage hijacks control of and assimilates it when Iron Man tries to use it against him, leaving Tony hospitalized and Carnage as an Extremis-augmented symbiote-dragon.
  • Continuity Snarl: Extreme Carnage: Scream has Carnage state that Scream is to be the first of his "siblings" to be recruited to his new Hive, and implies the events to be happening more-or-less concurrently with Peter Krane's interview at the end of Extreme Carnage Alpha. Extreme Carnage: Phage shows that the Phage symbiote was actually the first to be recruited weeks before Carnage targeted Scream, and that the events of Extreme Carnage: Scream happened a few weeks after those of Alpha.
  • The Corruption: Despite being reduced to a mere codex in the Symbiote Hive, Cletus Kasady is attempting to make a comeback by creating a Hive of his own, emitting a psionic call that causes other symbiotes to succumb to his will — with them being "Carnage-Infested" as a result. Agent Anti-Venom and Toxin feel the call in Extreme Carnage Alpha and Extreme Carnage: Toxin but are able to reject it, though Scream, Phage, Riot, and Agony aren't so lucky. Lasher wants nothing to do with Carnage, who resorts to manipulating the symbiote's host — an elderly man with dementia — instead.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: While Liz Allan has had numerous morally grey and even black moments as the CEO of Alchemax, in Venom (Mike Costa) and Venom (Donny Cates) she maintained a relatively amiable relationship with Venom (Eddie Brock) and Agent Anti-Venom (Flash Thompson); even letting Eddie, his son Dylan, and the Sleeper symbiote live at her house in the wake of Absolute Carnage. While The Amazing Spider-Man (2018) portrays her as one of the good guys, Extreme Carnage establishes that following the events of King in Black she's green-lit cruel and unethical experiments on captured extraterrestrial and extra-dimensional entities — including former symbiote hosts — and nearly OK'd the Guardsmen being outfitted with lethal ordinance.
  • Corrupt Politician: The new leader of the Friends of Humanity, Senator Peter Krane, is a demagogue who wants to exploit growing anti-extraterrestrial sentiment in the wake of King in Black to become the President of the United States, even if it means deporting the likes of Thor and Hyperion, or inciting a genocide. Even worse, he's seemingly been possessed by Carnage.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • Only a handful of the comics end up using the "Carnage-Infested" designs for the symbiotes, with Agony and Omega drawing most of them with their usual appearances. Phage in particular is drawn as being solid yellow, rather than also having black markings.
    • In Omega, Gemma Shin is drawn with a Caucasian appearance and wavy brown hair, as opposed to her East Asian appearance and straight black hair in Extreme Carnage: Agony.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Silence and Agony, the only girls on their respective sides, face off during the climactic battle in Omega.
  • Discard and Draw: In Extreme Carnage: Scream, Andi kills the Scream symbiote in self-defence when Carnage turns it against her. In Extreme Carnage: Lasher she bonds to a symbiote created by Dr. Steven combining Scream's remains with a sample of Anti-Venom, which dubs itself Silence and possesses a combination of Scream's powers and Anti-Venom's.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: After the Scream symbiote succumbs to Carnage's influence in Extreme Carnage: Scream, Andi unleashes the demonic flames of the Hell-Mark on it, begging it not to make her destroy it. Unfortunately, Scream doesn't listen — accusing Andi of betraying and lying to it — and tries to kill her, forcing Andi to immolate it with hellfire.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • It may have been kidding, but the Carnage symbiote seems horrified when Andi Benton attacks the Scream symbiote with hellfire in Extreme Carnage: Scream.
      Carnage: What the hell're you doing? You can't do that to your symbiote —
    • Arthur Krane expresses distaste for the sexism that Gemma Shin is subjected to by other Friends of Humanity campaign workers, and was presumably being sincere about it since, unlike with everyone else, he had no reason to put up a Nice Guy façade around Gemma.
  • Evil Counterpart: Cletus was imbued with Knull's power during Absolute Carnage, which — even posthumously — lets him serve as a dark counterpart to Eddie Brock's post-King in Black status quo.
  • Evil Overlooker: On the primary covers of Extreme Carnage Alpha and Extreme Carnage Omega, Carnage is shown looming over the other characters present.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In Agony, Flash is more than certain that Carnage and the Life Foundation symbiotes are gunning for the President, believing that they're going to attack during the dedication to the victims of Knull's invasion. But, when no one attacks as the President's leaving, Flash realizes he's gotten it all wrong: the President isn't the target and Peter Krane isn't Carnage's new host — Krane is the target and the host is his son, Arthur!
  • Fighting a Shadow: In Extreme Carnage: Toxin, Carnage pulls the Toxin symbiote into the Hive-Mind and tries to corrupt it, but Toxin refuses to comply and fights back — even devouring Carnage. While Toxin assumes this makes him the king of the Hive, Agent Anti-Venom and Silence inform him that that was just a manifestation and that Carnage is still at-large both in the living world and the Hive Mind.
  • Hypocrite: Andi Benton is initially opposed to letting Bren Waters join her and Flash's team, citing that he's Just a Kid. Andi was just a scrawny teenager herself when she became Mania, and that didn't stop her from trying to take down Philadelphia's organized crime syndicates or threatening the likes of Mephisto.
  • In the Back:
    • In Extreme Carnage: Riot, Riot butchers several of the bus passengers by impaling them from behind through their seats.
    • In Extreme Carnage: Agony, Hank is impaled from behind by Carnage, who leaves him to bleed out. In Extreme Carnage Omega, it's revealed that Hank bonded to the Sleeper symbiote, who returns the favor by carving Riot to pieces while he's distracted mocking Agent Anti-Venom over Hank's smartphone.
    • In Extreme Carnage Omega, Senator Krane is impaled from behind by Carnage, who rips him to shreds in front of the cameras.
  • Loser Deity: When Toxin sneers that he thought Venom killed Carnage, Carnage retorts that Eddie Brock is an incompetent replacement for Knull and is too busy elsewhere to care about the tribulations that the symbiotes stranded on Earth are suffering, or what Carnage is doing in his absence.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: While Carnage is the primary antagonist, his nemesis Venom is conspicuously absent from the miniseries' list of titles. Instead, the spotlight is being given to fan-favorite — but still relatively obscure — characters Agent Anti-Venom (Flash Thompson), Scream (Andi Benton), Toxin and its new host Bren Waters, Sleeper, and the other four Life Foundation symbiotes.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: While Arthur Krane is now Senator in place of his father and the Friends of Humanity are more popular than ever, he feels he's nothing without Carnage and begs Agony to bring the symbiote back to him.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • In Alpha, an airport driver mistakes the Alchemax arms-dealer who Carnage has taken over for the man he was sent to escort. Carnage plays along and then eats him when they're alone.
    • Flash assumes that Peter Krane is Carnage's host, but Agony reveals Carnage's new host to be Peter's seemingly mild-mannered son Arthur.
  • Monkey Morality Pose: Gemma Shin, Agony's host, has three sets of decapitated heads on her mantle with severed hands arranged in "hear no evil", "see no evil", and "speak no evil" poses.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Extreme Carnage: Agony, while out for a late-night jog to de-stress, Gemma Shin is accosted by a group of thugs who pull knives on her and leeringly tell her to smile for them. Gemma flashes an unsettling grin... and promptly transforms into Agony to deliver a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: After Andi Benton blasts the Scream symbiote with the full power of the Hell-Mark to prevent it from killing her, she collapses in despair upon realizing she can no longer hear its voice in her head and begs it not to be dead as it sloughs off of her.
  • No-Sell: While Carnage seemingly does cause the Lasher symbiote to go on a homicidal rampage, it bluntly ignores Carnage ordering it to meet up with him in Washington D.C., which surprises Carnage, who has to resort to manipulating Lasher's host, William, to get Lasher to D.C.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • Despite seemingly having been devoured by symbiote-sharks in Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2, a piece of the Dark Carnage symbiote survived and reconstituted itself by going on a feeding frenzy, still being piloted by Cletus Kasady's codex from within the Hive-Mind.
    • Invoked in Extreme Carnage: Phage, where Dr. Steven tells Andi he'll resuscitate the Scream symbiote after she immolated it at the end of Extreme Carnage: Scream, although Extreme Carnage: Lasher reveals that he wasn't able to resurrect the symbiote itself so much as splice its remains with a sample of Anti-Venom to create a new symbiote called Silence, and in Extreme Carnage: Agony Scream is shown in the Hive-Mind among the symbiotes Carnage has recruited to his cause.
    • In Omega, Hank, who was impaled and left for dead by Carnage at the end of Agony, is revealed to secretly be the host of the Sleeper symbiote, who promptly engulfs him and carves Riot to pieces as he mockingly gloats to Agent Anti-Venom over Hank's phone. Riot itself is carved to pieces by Sleeper, but the symbiote survives and is taken into containment by Alchemax.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In Extreme Carnage: Agony, Peter Krane's office is shown to be a toxic workplace, with his communications officer Gemma Shin being overworked by her boss and disparaged by her sexist male coworkers — who prevent her from attending important meetings by sending her to get them coffee, call her an Ice Queen, and openly suggest she got laid when she shows up to work in a good mood.
  • Private Military Contractors: In the wake of Knull's invasion, Alchemax — who has been eyeballing exploiting symbiotes for fun and profit since the days of Venom (Mike Costa) — has established a squad of Guardsmen with standing orders to capture and/or kill any symbiotes and other aliens they encounter regardless of whether they're good or evil — as seen in King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #3 and Venom (Donny Cates) Vol. 4 #35. The covers for Extreme Carnage: Riot, Extreme Carnage: Toxin, and Extreme Carnage: Agony show these Guardsmen fighting Toxin and the Carnage-Infested symbiotes.
  • The Quisling:
    • The Agony symbiote's new host, Gemma Shin, is willingly working with Carnage, and is portrayed as being a vile killer in her own right, taking things like the heads, limbs, and bones of the people that she kills and eats as Creepy Souvenirs.
    • In Extreme Carnage Omega, Arthur Krane — addicted to the power he had as Carnage — begs Gemma and Agony to help him get it back, swearing fealty to the Bleeding King in exchange for their assistance.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant:
    • Alpha shows that the Friends of Humanity are back in business and have changed their primary target from mutants to aliens, with their new leader Peter Krane planning to fan the flames of anti-alien sentiment to become the president.
    • Phage's new (and unwilling) host — at least for a couple of issues — was the minor Daredevil foe Bullet (Buck Cashman).
  • Series Continuity Error: In Toxin, Carnage refers to the Life Foundation symbiotes as Toxin's 'siblings'. They aren't, they're his cousins at best — they're the original Carnage symbiote's siblings.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Carnage tries to corrupt Toxin in Extreme Carnage: Toxin, Toxin refuses to willingly join Carnage's hive and fights back when Carnage attempts to force him to submit, being one of the only symbiotes other than Agent Anti-Venom to shake off Carnage's will via a Battle in the Center of the Mind.
  • Token Good Teammate: Doctor Steven sees himself as being this for Alchemax, as he is just about the only one of its employees who actually sees its test subjects as living beings and not just specimens.
  • To Serve Man:
    • For the first time, Carnage is outright shown eating people — devouring a Somali warlord and his retinue of mercenaries, the crew of an airplane, and an airport driver.
    • In Extreme Carnage: Phage, Phage is shown living up to its name by partially devouring Buck Cashman — whose hunting dog it had bonded to after King in Black — before bonding to his dying body, and also makes several Eating the Enemy threats when fighting Andi Benton. Phage also goes on a feeding frenzy in Omega, devouring Friends of Humanity supporters who are trying to escape.
    • In Agony, Agony chomps down on the head of one of the thugs who accosted her while out for a jog, and later in the issue Gemma Shin lightly admonishes the Agony symbiote for eating too much of the thugs, preventing her from getting a matching set of severed arms as trophies.
  • The Sociopath:
    • Gemma Shin happily tortures and kills would-be muggers, feeds them to the Agony symbiote, and uses their body parts to decorate her home. She's also a willing accomplice to Carnage's plot due to him having promised her something in return for her support.
    • In Omega it's revealed that goody two-shoes Arthur Krane is a sociopathic serial killer — having killed small animals as a child before moving on to murdering homeless people and eventually his classmates and ex-girlfriends, to the extent that Carnage considers him to be a kindred spirit.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: As illustrated by the design covers and most of the main covers, the heads and torsos of the "Carnage-Infested" versions of the Scream, Phage, Lasher, Riot, and Agony symbiotes are Carnage's customary blood-red with black vein-like tendrils to represent him having taken them over.
  • Villainous Glutton:
    • The Phage symbiote has decided to take its name to heart, and now is almost constantly making food and eating-related threats.
    • Gemma Shin lightly admonishes the Agony symbiote for eating too many of the thugs who attacked them, preventing her from getting a matching set of severed arms.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unclear if the Alchemax Guardsmen recaptured Doppelgänger or if he got away while they were dealing with Scream.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In Extreme Carnage: Scream, Andi lambastes Scream for so easily succumbing to Carnage's influence, while Carnage of all people berates Andi for attacking the Scream symbiote with hellfire.