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The reputation of Carnage, one of Marvel’s most horrific villains, looms large. Created in the ‘90s by writer David Michelinie and artist Mark Bagley, the character is the second most popular symbiote character behind Venom. Serial killer Cletus Kasady inhabits the monster, fueling it with his own sadistic personality. The result is a truly terrifying villain, one who takes considerable pride in his decidedly devilish work. Perhaps culture’s obsession with serial killers is why Carnage and Cletus have long resonated.
While Cletus made his silver screen debut in the post-credits tag for the first Venom movie, audiences will see much more of him when he takes center stage in the (absurdly) named sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Considering the character’s legacy, Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock will have his hands full trying to take down the powerful combination of Cletus and Carnage. To help you prepare for the upcoming film, we’ve rounded up five of the best Carnage and Venom comics to read. Dive in—and be ready for a scare as you get more acquainted with one of Marvel’s most evil foes.