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Who are Venom and Carnage?

I first watched Venom (2018) at the end of 2019—pretty late to the game—mostly because the trailers made the movie come off as nothing more than your run-of-the-mill superhero movie. Tom Hardy was eventually the turning point for me as his acting is fun to watch and his portrayal of Bane, another comic villain in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, gave me hope. Suffice to say, I was extremely surprised with how much I liked the movie. My initial review on Letterboxd was:

Not the movie I expected, but definitely the movie that I needed. I loved it so much! "We are Venom" !!!!!!!! I'm so excited

Yes, not very elegant or anything particularly insightful from Post-Movie-Me, but can’t you just feel my excitement (or at least see that I wrote I was excited)? This is why I am thrilled for Friday, October 1st, when Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits the theaters. We get more of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and we get to finally see Woody Harrelson as serial killer Cletus Kasady for more than just a post-credit scene.

If you’re like pre-Venom me and the most you know about Venom or Carnage is that Spider-Man is somehow involved(?), then here are a few recommendations from our collection to get you started:

First, let’s get a refresher of what Venom is all about.

Venom (2018)

Investigative journalist Eddie Brock attempts a comeback following a scandal, but accidentally becomes the host of an alien symbiote that gives him a violent super alter-ego. Soon, he must rely on his newfound powers to protect the world from a shadowy organization looking for a symbiote of their own.

Venom: Dark Origin by Zeb Wells

On the day when a washed-up journalist met an organism from an alien planet, one of Spider-Man's greatest enemies was born - a force of evil and vengeance like no other in the Marvel Universe - Venom! But is it as simple as that? Discover the twisted roots that gave rise to a lifetime of malevolence for Eddie Brock and the symbiote!

Spider-Man: the road to Venom by Len Kaminski

Retells the story of Eddie Brock's transformation into Venom, including the saga of the Sin-Eater that led to Eddie's downfall and the dark origin of Venom, which reveals how two lost souls - with a shared hatred of Spider-Man - became one.

For more recommendations for Eddie Brock, check out his page on comic vine.

Next, let’s see who Carnage is.

Spider-Man: Vengeance of Venom by David Michelinie

When the web-slinger donned a sleek black costume of alien origin, he had no idea it would one day become his deadliest foe: Venom! See the misguided Eddie Brock in his earliest adventures as he tries time and again to take down the hated Spider-Man! Featuring the first appearance of Carnage. Plus: The Black Cat, Silver Sable and the Human Torch!

Carnage: Family Feud by Zeb Wells

Marvel's fan-favorite villain Carnage is back from the dead, as industrialist Michael Hall attempts to exploit the symbiote - engineering the next generation of prosthetic limbs and his own paramilitary security force, the Iron Rangers, in suits of hybrid battle armor. But when the alien intelligence asserts control of Hall's derivative tech, only Spider-Man and Iron Man stand in the way of an unprecedented wave of rioting and mass murder. And, Carnage has brought some friends. Collecting: Carnage 1-5

Venom Vs. Carnage (2004) by Peter Milligan

What's worse than one mayhem-producing symbiote? Two. What's worse than that? Three. That's right: Venom's offspring, Carnage, is about to have a baby itself - a creature of indescribable power and appetite. Question is, who's gonna bring up baby? Quick - someone call Spider-Man! Guest-starring Black Cat!

For more information on Cletys Kasady, check out his profile on comic vine.

Lastly, same fun bonus comics for those who want something more recent.

Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool (2020) by Frank Tieri

What's red and black with dead all over? Carnage takes on Deadpool once again in the mother of all sequels - and this time it's absolute chaos! At long last, Wade Wilson is ready to get his head on straight, so the Merc with a Mouth checks himself into the prestigious Ravencroft Institute. Unfortunately, the facility has another new arrival: the symbiotic psychopath called Carnage! And he isn't there for a group therapy session! Madness and mayhem abound in the can't-miss showdown of the year! Let's get crazy!

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales (2020)

It's business as usual for Miles Morales as he finds himself squaring off with Mac Gargan, A.K.A. THE SCORPION! But as a cult of Carnage's bloodthirsty acolytes swarms New York, Miles will learn the hard way that Scorpion has a history with Venom and the other symbiotes of the Marvel Universe! When Miles sacrifices himself protecting others, will he be taken by Carnage's dark doppelgangers? Or will he be able to resist being consumed by the dark symbiote?

-       By Kim Livingston, IT Department

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