Carnage VS Venom Part 2

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
It's time for an epic showdown! In this instalment of Versus, we're pitting Marvel's most iconic symbiotes, Venom and Carnage, against one another to see which character reigns supreme. Our video includes such categories as Character Motivations, Intelligence, The Symbiote Bond, and more!

Carnage VS Venom Part 2

Welcome to WatchMojo, and in this instalment of Versus we’re pitting Marvel’s most iconic symbiotes, Venom and Carnage, against one another to see which character reigns supreme.

Remember, this is not just a debate as to who would win in a fight. These two deadly beings will be going head to head across five rounds in the ultimate pop culture showdown to judge the impact they’ve made.

Which symbiote would you want to share your body with if forced to choose? Tell us why in the comments below.

Round 1: Character Motivations

Venom has certainly done some terrifying things since making his debut in the 1980s. For all the head chomping, however, he’s ultimately a tragic character - at least when Eddie Brock is concerned. Peter Parker brought the symbiote to earth, but it was Brock who made Venom an icon. After losing his job at the Daily Bugle, Brock blamed Spider-Man. The symbiote felt similarly scorned by the webslinger, and so they united as Venom in a mission of vengeance. Realizing the error of his ways, however, Brock turned the symbiote’s bloodlust towards a more altruistic purpose as an antihero and “lethal protector”. Other characters have donned the symbiote after him, but Brock’s motivations are the heart of the character.

The apple might not fall far from the tree in terms of appearance, but Venom’s symbiote offspring is definitely cut from a very different cloth when it comes to motivations. Carnage has no interest in grudges or personal vendettas. He wants to kill—plain and simple. And as was made clear from his very first story arc, he’s all too happy to do it indiscriminately—even picking a name from the phonebook. When Venom’s symbiote offspring, Carnage, bonded with serial killer Cletus Kasady, it gave him the power to indulge in his darkest desires. And it would seem this relationship agrees with the symbiote’s violent nature.

Venom’s motivations may have begun as a simple drive for revenge, but they’ve evolved in complex ways to form a satisfying character journey. Carnage is a killing machine. We wouldn’t have Carnage any other way, but Venom is definitely the more complex of the two. Round 1 goes to Venom.


SCORE: Venom 1 / Carnage 0

Round 2: Physical Strength

Eddie Brock is already an impressive physical specimen. Later in his career, he pushed his human body to the limit and could lift 700lbs without assistance. When bonded with the Venom symbiote, however, he gets a massive powerboost. Earlier appearances of the character saw Venom’s physical strength topping out at about 11 tons, but with training Brock eventually got this up to 50 tons. When bonded with Mac Gargan, a later host, Venom pushed the limits up to 70 tons. And while it might not be “strength” per se, it’s worth noting that the Venom symbiote can actually replace missing limbs for its host—as it did for Flash Thompson as Agent Venom.

Carnage, like its host Cletus Kasady, has a notably slimmer build than Venom and Eddie Brock. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as Carnage is one seriously powerful villain. In the comics, Carnage has been shown to be capable of lifting more than 80 tons. And that’s when the symbiote and Cletus are just doing their usual villainous deeds. When feeding on negative emotions, Carnage becomes even stronger. Plus, the symbiote has been shown to increase its base strength substantially when bonded with larger and more powerful hosts, or by consuming other biomass to increase its size and strength proportionally.

This one is an open and shut case. Carnage packs the bigger punch and in doing so, ties it up!


SCORE: Venom 1 / Carnage 1

Round 3: Intelligence

Since their introduction in the comics, the symbiote species (Klyntar) has been shown to have varying degrees of intelligence. At times they come across as basic beings driven by animal instinct. Other times, a symbiote can be eloquent, insightful, a master manipulator or a complete chatterbox. Because it’s so inconsistent, we’re going to focus on the hosts instead, especially when under the influence of the symbiote. And in Venom’s case, we’d say that Eddie and the symbiote have done well for themselves. Brock is an experienced journalist and has been shown to have a keen understanding of the science behind the symbiote. While the symbiote can make him reckless, Venom is more often clear-headed than not.

Cletus Kasady isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. Or is he just so criminally insane that he struggles to focus. His depiction over the decades has been rather inconsistent. At times, he comes across as downright conniving. An evil genius? Definitely not. But he can put together a devilish scheme and he’s got a creative mind when it comes to devising ways to inflict physical, emotional and psychological trauma on his victims. Other times, however, he’s often depicted as being a slave to his own worst impulses. His bloodlust and insatiable hunger for violence have repeatedly led him to act against his own interest by making rash decisions.

Marvel has a lot of brilliant villains. Neither Venom or Carnage should be counted among them, but if it’s a battle of the brains, Venom wins.


SCORE: Venom 2 / Carnage 1

Round 4: The Symbiote Bond

Venom's symbiote has been known to have wandering eyes. In fact, when it first bonded with Eddie Brock, it was often outwardly disdainful of the disgraced journalist. Symbiotes are attracted to power, and Eddie Brock, being a mortal man, paled in comparison to its previous host, Spider-Man. Over time, Eddie Brock and the symbiote did build a powerful connection, becoming a true team. The superheroics didn't always agree with the symbiote’s darker impulses, however, and so it also seemed happy to bond with Mac Gargan, a host it could more easily control. For better or worse, the symbiote and Eddie Brock keep reuniting. Together, they ARE Venom.

Whenever a symbiote bonds with a host, it influences their behavior. The thing is, that relationship goes both ways. Symbiotes learn from their hosts, taking on some of the host’s characteristics and desires as a result of their connection. This is especially true of a newborn symbiote and its first host. In the case of Cletus Kasady and the Carnage symbiote, that was a match made in hell. Because Cletus was so single-mindedly violent and sadistic, the Carnage symbiote is much the same. And so even when it is bonded with other hosts, it has historically brought a lot of Cletus Kasady’s sadism along for the ride. These two were made for each other.

Venom and Carnage have both formed incredibly strong bonds, but there’s no denying that Cletus and Carnage share something special and one of a kind. Carnage ties it up!


SCORE: Venom 2 / Carnage 2

Round 5: Greatest Victory

Venom has had quite the career. While he’s repeatedly experienced failure and embarrassment—most often at the hands of Spider-Man—he’s also done incredible things. He served as the Lethal Protector of the downtrodden, homeless and forgotten in San Francisco. He’s also saved a church full of children and the entire city of Las Vegas. But he’s never reached such heights as the events of the King in Black. By the end of the event, in Venom #200, it was confirmed that despite having previously been outmatched, the Venom symbiote had evolved to become the most powerful symbiote of its kind in the entire galaxy. That’s no small feat!

Carnage has never been one for elaborate plots or world domination. He’s a creature of simple but horrific pleasures. As such, measuring his success can be difficult. Looking back on his bloody career, however, there are some notable high points. He’s repeatedly pushed Spider-Man to his limits. And he’s outright defeated Venom. Over time, however, Carnage has developed new skills, like the ability to infect multiple hosts simultaneously. And in Carnage U.S.A., he tore through the American heartland, consuming biomass and enslaving people. This culminated in arguably his greatest achievement—infecting the Avengers and leaving Spider-Man to fight alone. Many villains have tried, but few have done it quite like this.

Venom is the most powerful symbiote of its kind. What else is there to say? While that’s all well and good, it’s what you do with that power that matters most. The fact that Carnage conquered the Avengers and did it without that title… is arguably even MORE impressive. And with that, Carnage takes the round!


OVERALL SCORE: Venom 2 / Carnage 3

It would seem that Venom has been bested by his own offspring! The crown goes to Marvel’s most sadistic symbiote, Carnage!

Did we pick the right symbiote? Keep the debate going in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to for more entertaining versus battles.