How strong is Carnage? Powers and weaknesses explained in Marvel Comics

Christopher Baggett
Maximum Carnage key art

Despite being essentially the son of Venom, Carnage has a number of unique powers and skills that make him significantly stronger than his progenitor.

With Venom making his Marvel’s Spider-Man debut, fans immediately asked where Carnage was. 

While Venom may be the main attraction for many fans, it’s hard to deny how devoted Carnage fans are. The red-and-black symbiote slaughterhouse debuted in 1991’s Amazing Spider-Man #345 and immediately made an impression with his demented personality and love for all things murder. 

Carnage is the symbiote offspring of Venom, usually bound to Cletus Kasady, a serial killer who briefly shared a jail cell with Eddie Brock. Carnage is a sociopath who relishes murder and torture above all else. While he shares many of the same powers as other symbiotes, Carnage’s strong bond and relative subservience to Kasady’s whims mean his powers are kicked up a notch. 

Carnage’s powers and weaknesses in Marvel Comics

Whether you’re curious if he’s in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 or just want to know about Venom’s terrifying offspring, here are Carnage’s powers and weaknesses in Marvel Comics

Carnage lifts a helicopter
Because their bond is so strong, Carnage is stronger than Venom or Spider-Man.

Enhanced strength & durability

Like other symbiotes, Carnage has an enhanced degree of strength and durability. Because Carnage and Kassady have a stronger bond than most symbiotes, though, they also have a higher level of physical strength. 

When merged with Carnage, Kasady is capable of lifting around 50 tons, according to the 2008 edition of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. This puts him in a weight class above even Spider-Man or Venom. 

Cletus survived space
The Carnage symbiote was powerful enough to keep Cletus alive after he was ripped in half in space.

Enhanced healing factor

Carnage has also demonstrated a remarkably powerful healing factor. The symbiote actually survived being torn in half in the depths of space by essentially putting itself and Kasady in a coma. 

On multiple occasions, the symbiote has regenerated itself from remnants in Kasady’s body, too. At one point, the symbiote itself was actually dead, having been devoured by Venom. However, Kasady was able to bond with a similar symbiote from the Negative Zone, which absorbed Carnage’s memories from Kasady, essentially resurrecting him. 

Carnage bonds with Cletus Kasady permanently
Because it bonded with his blood, Carnage and Kasady’s bond is practically unbreakable.

Unbreakable symbiotic bond

The bond between Venom and its hosts is fairly tenuous, having been broken on multiple occasions. Carnage and Kasady have a much stronger bond, though, and are practically bonded on a molecular level. 

The Carnage symbiote entered Kasady’s body through a cut and bonded to his blood. Even in instances where Carnage is seemingly destroyed, remnants in his blood have proven able to regenerate. Attempts to separate the two have historically proven unsuccessful, with one attempt revealing that removing Carnage would kill Kasady. 

Carnage telepathically assaults a victim
The Carnage symbiote learned to use telepathy to attack its victims.

Telepathy

Carnage, like most symbiotes, has a degree of telepathy. It’s allowed the symbiote to carry on Kasady’s mission without him, using telepathy to download its memories and thoughts into new hosts if need be. 

It’s also become a preferred method of torture. As Carnage aged and became less interested in outright murder and more fascinated with inflicting pain, it would use telepathy to download Kasady’s memories of his serial killer sprees and past victims to mentally break victims. 

Carnage weakness to sonics
Sonics and heat still affect Carnage, but his resistance has grown over the years.

Heat & sound can usually harm Carnage…

Carnage has the typical symbiote weaknesses of heat and sound. We see those at play multiple times throughout the comics.

One of Maximum Carnage’s key moments is Venom putting himself through hell to use a sonic cannon on Carnage. However, by that point, Carnage had fully bonded with Kasady’s bloodstream, and the sonic blast wasn’t enough to separate the two. 

The Red Goblin can withstand heat and sound
The Goblin-formula infused Carnage symbiote was more resistant to heat and sound.

…but sometimes Carnage is immune to heat or sound

Carnage has actually undergone some interesting evolutions that changed or removed its weaknesses. He was, at one point, afflicted by the Darkhold and took on eldritch properties. As a result of this, he was no longer vulnerable to sonic frequencies, though he developed a new weakness to magic. 

At a later point, a fragment of the Carnage symbiote was treated with the Goblin Formula and bonded to Norman Osborn. The Formula mutated Carnage into a slightly stronger form, resulting in it losing its weakness to heat.

That’s all we have for now on Carnage’s powers and weaknesses in Marvel Comics. For more Spider-Man and comic book news, be sure to follow all of Dexerto’s coverage.  

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About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com