The Marvel Universe’s premiere serial killer has just attained godhood, but what does it mean for his rivalry with his living alter ego?
The following contains major spoilers for Carnage #8, available now from Marvel Comics.
Over the past few months, the Carnage symbiote has embarked upon a murderous campaign to become the Marvel Universe’s most powerful god. Along the way, he has undergone some truly astounding changes, though none is as surprising as the transformation that his human alter ego has recently emerged from. As it turns out, Cletus Kasady isn’t nearly as far gone as the rest of the world would like to believe, and he might just beat his other half in the race toward becoming the King in Red.
While the titular symbiote of Carnage #8 (by Ram V, Rogê Antônio, Erick Arciniega, and VC’s Joe Sabino) is busy carving its way through Niffleheim with Malekith in tow, its former host is embarking on a far different sort of journey. In the ruins of St. Estes, the orphanage where Cletus grew up, streamer Scott Rawson uncovers ghosts unlike any he could have expected. Chief among them is Cletus himself, who has grown closer to his old home than ever before. As a matter of fact, Cletus and St. Estes are quite literally one and the same, and adding Scott to their shared body count is only another step along the way towards attaining the godhood he never wanted to begin with.
Cletus Kasady Has Become Marvel’s God of Death
It was after Eddie Brock ascended to the throne of King in Black and slaughtered Knull, that Carnage became obsessed with claiming that kind of power for himself. This seething hatred pushed the last remaining piece of Carnage to survive after its apparent death with Cletus’ Codex still residing deep within it. Unfortunately for the murderous pair, Cletus found himself disinterested in becoming a literal god. This drove a wedge between them which Carnage could not abide, and so it separated itself from Cletus’ Codex, leaving him behind in the Extrembiote armor they had previously stolen from Tony Stark.
At the time, this appeared to be the end of Cletus as fans know him best, especially since a portion of his Codex had latched onto Detective Jon Shayde. Instead, it was just the beginning of a new era for a new Cletus Kasady. Existing as a being of pure symbiote like Eddie or Flash Thompson, Cletus now has all the power that Carnage once afforded him. And, with the Extrembiote armor, he also has a slew of entirely unique abilities that have allowed him to bond with St. Estes as it stands. Beyond turning the decrepit orphanage into the Marvel Universe’s most twisted haunted house, Cletus has come to realize that the extent of his powers now are greater than they ever were when bonded to Carnage.
Cletus Kasady Has Officially Outgrown Carnage
In fact, Cletus is so powerful at this point that he may very well fit the definition of a god, albeit on a smaller scale than what Carnage has set out to achieve. Cletus isn’t stealing powers from his victims, but he is absolutely adding to his own. He also exists in a state of being that is effectively immortal, which is certainly one of the biggest boons that being a god has to offer. Even if Cletus isn’t necessarily a divine being, he is more than anything he or Carnage had genuinely expected for him.
There is no question that as of this moment, Cletus Kasady is deadlier than ever. What is infinitely more concerning is that, in his current state, there is almost no hope of anyone figuring out that he is at the heart of St. Estes’ latest mystery. Worse still, that mystery is likely to be relegated to the realm of urban legend before it is taken seriously. This only gives Cletus all the more time to continue cutting down those who step through his doors, at least until he decides to open them up to the rest of the world.