When it comes to sheer brute strength, Carnage is very much stronger than his sire Venom. The primary reason for this is that each evolution of the symbiote is stronger than the last and also because Carnage bonded with a human whose psychotic and unhinged personality traits were amplified.
Anyone who has seen Marvel’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) will have come across the scene where Venom initially declined the opportunity to face off with Carnage, and despite prevailing in that battle, several observers have wondered whether Carnage is stronger than Venom, and why. This article answers those questions.
While there have been sightings of the character Venom across several Marvel and Sony miniseries over the years, the first live-action version of Venom was seen in Sami Raimi’s Spider-man 3 when the symbiote emerged from a meteor that had crash landed in central park, New York City to bond with Peter Parker and later with journalist Eddie Brock.
However, the movie’s character was afforded very little screen time for anyone to truly understand its origins. Those missing aspects became readily apparent in Sony’s Venom (2018), which essentially cut out the Spider-man narrative in the beginning to unravel the origin story of the symbiote.
In Venom, the symbiote is depicted as one of four symbiotes transported to earth by astronaut John Jameson at the behest of the Life Foundation CEO Carlton Drake (portrayed by actor Riz Ahmed). In keeping with the ethos to eliminate the Spider-man narrative, journalist Eddie Brock becomes the symbiote’s first host, and during their interaction with each other, we get to learn more about Venom and where he comes from.
According to the events of the movie, Venom originates from the fictional planet of Klynar. Part of his connection to Brock hinges on the fact that they are similar in terms of social standing. The movie portrays Eddie as a journalist with a failing career after his initial run-in with the Life Foundation prematurely ended his career and essentially made him a loser.
On his home planet, Venom is equally considered a loser because he is the weakest of the symbiotes, lacking several traits, including the ability to shapeshift at will.
The Origin of Carnage
Like his sire Venom, Carnage has had several origin stories, but the two most prominent versions come from the Amazing Spider-Man comic book series and the live-action version in Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
For the comic book version, the character Carnage was first seen in issue #360 of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book series after Peter Parker responded to news reports of a monster that resembled Venom but with a red-colored body as opposed to Venom’s signature black.
The series further went on to reveal the fact that the symbiote had been created at Ryker’s Island, where Brock and a serial killer named Cletus Kasady had shared a cell. Coincidentally, Eddie and Venom’s escape from prison coincided with the birth of Carnage, who had been left behind before ultimately bonding with the psychotic Kasady.
The live-action account of Carnage’s origin story removes the Brock and Kasady being cell mates story arc. Instead, it unravels a storyline that sees Eddie Brock as a journalist visiting Kasady to interview him before his impending execution.
Just before Eddie left the facility, Cletus bit him and drew what he thought was blood. The serial killer’s remark that he had tasted blood before, and Eddie’s certainly did not taste like blood, hinted at the fact that he had bitten off a portion of Venom. That small portion later grew separately inside him and metamorphosed into Carnage.
Who Is Stronger, Carnage or Venom?
Throughout the events of the comic book and live-action versions of Carnage and Venom, Carnage has always been portrayed as being way stronger than Venom, a fact that is readily made known to viewers at the first sighting of Carnage in Amazing Spider-Man #360, where Peter Parker noted that Carnage was significantly stronger than Venom.
Carnage’s superior strength to Venom was also alluded to in Venom: Let There Be Carnage by the latter’s fearful reaction to coming face to face with the symbiote it had sired. We came to know, though, that like Venom, Carnage has a bunch of weaknesses that Venom and several other nemeses of the symbiote exploited to devastating effect.
In terms of their weaknesses, Venom and Carnage are both vulnerable to heat and sound, albeit to varying degrees compared to each other. For instance, Carnage’s vulnerability to heat is higher than Venom’s, but it is less vulnerable to sound compared to its sire.
Why is Carnage Stronger Than Venom?
Carnage’s superior strength to that of Venom is down to a variety of factors. Firstly, the spawn of a symbiote is always stronger, and given that Carnage was birthed by Venom, that principle applies to them.
The second reason why Carnage is stronger than Venom is the host it occupies. It’s a well-established fact that symbiotes amplify the characteristics of the hosts they occupy, and dangerous hosts do not come any higher than serial killer Cletus Kasady whom Carnage bonds with more often than not throughout the comic book series and live-action movies.
Kasady’s lack of empathy and morals, coupled with his extremely violent and murderous streak, sets him up as the perfect host for Carnage whose daddy issues with Venom align flawlessly with that of its host, who struggles with the same PTSD.
How is Carnage Stronger Than Venom?
Carnage is stronger than Venom in a variety of ways, including physical abilities. As previously mentioned, those superior physical abilities were developed as a result of the blond bond Carnage shares with Kasady as well as the amplified serial killer appetites Carnage picked up from Cletus’ bloodstream.
Carnage showcased his superior strength during the final fight scene of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, where Venom only prevailed after Carnage had been distracted by Shriek.
Why is Venom Scared of Carnage?
Venom’s fear of Carnage stems from the coloring of his vermillion enemy and the far stronger physical ability that coloring portends. In the scene where Eddie and Venom encounter the Carnage-covered Kasady in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, viewers were shocked to see the symbiote, who had shown no fear up to that point, turn tail and run at the sight of the red-colored Carnage.
Even Eddie was shocked at Venom’s unwillingness to take on a red one, as he described Carnage, and had to promise to let him eat the heads of anyone he chose after the confrontation to get him back to the battlefront. Venom’s fearful reaction to seeing Carnage unearthed a lot of questions about the reaction.
For the most part, the answers to those questions have been linked to Carnage’s color, which resulted from the blood bonding between the symbiote and his host Cletus.
Consequently, that blood bond, which is a higher level of bonding with a host, and is absent from Venom’s relationship with Brock, makes Carnage unhinged, more unpredictable, and more powerful than Venom, hence the fear.