Who is Cletus Kasady, Woody Harrelson’s character in ‘Venom 2’?

Who is Cletus Kasady, Woody Harrelson’s character in ‘Venom 2’?

If you saw the 2018 Venom movie, you may remember that the post-credits sting was a little puzzling. The scene showed journalist Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) visiting a prison where he meets a murderer played by Woody Harrelson, with a distinctly Ronald McDonald-looking hairstyle. This guy is Cletus Kasady, and hell have a much bigger role in this years Venom 2.

After delivering a genre-savvy serial killer spiel, Kasady tells Eddie Brock that hes going to escape from prison, at which point theres gonna be carnage. Carnage is, of course, his supervillain name in Marvel Comics. So, who is Cletus Carnage Kasady, and what does he have to do with Venom?

Who is Cletus Kasady in Marvel comics?

Cletus Kasady is one of the main villains of the Venom comics, and like Eddie Brock, hes the human host of an alien symbiote. His symbiote is called Carnage, because all the Klyntar aliens sound like they were named after an edgy skateboard brand.

Kasady and Carnage were created in the early 1990s by artist Erik Larson and writer David Michelinie, who also co-created the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man (ie. Paul Rudd), War Machine, and Venom himself.

The key conceit of the Klyntar symbiotes is that while theyre all bloodthirsty killers, they have different personalities and theyre influenced by their human hosts. Over the course of Marvel canon, Eddie Brock has generally been portrayed as Venoms soulmate, offering a positive influence on Venoms violent nature. By comparison, it was basically a horror story when Peter Parker became Venoms host, because there was absolutely no overlap between a sweet-natured young superhero and a monstrous alien who liked to bite off peoples heads. Like Venom, Carnage has inhabited several human bodies, but Cletus Kasady is his most famous host, a human who was already a serial killer before the symbiote came along.

Kasady was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 as Eddie Brocks cellmate in Rykers Island supervillain prisonnot to be confused with the real-life Rikers Island. You can clearly see where Erik Larsons character design was influenced by the Joker:

When Venom arrived to break Eddie out of prison, he left his newborn offspring (or like some Venom goop) behind in the jail cell, where it bonded with Kasady. The Carnage/Kasady partnership left a trail of gory destruction in its wake, becoming a recurring supervillain in Marvel comics. His powers are basically the same as Venoms: shapeshifting, super-strength, healing, and various abilities borrowed from Spider-Man. But hes also a more formidable opponent because hes both stronger than Venom, and revels in pain and chaos. While Eddie Brock introduced Venom to a vague sense of morality and justice, Kasady just made his symbiote into even more of a monster.

Who is Carnage in Venom 2?

Venom 2 comes out in October 2020, and as Venoms post-credits sting suggested, Carnage will be the villain. Judging by the fact that hes still in jail, Cletus Kasady probably hadnt met the Carnage symbiote during that scene with Eddie Brock. However, this jail visit may set up a similar scenario to the comics, where Venom accidentally gives birth and/or leaves his genetic material behind in Kasadys jail cell, prompting him to bond with the Carnage symbiote.

Tom Hardy posted (and then deleted) a photo of Harrelsons Venom 2 costume on February 17, showing Kasady with shorter hair and wearing a Hawaiian shirt. So, it looks like the film will shift away from his admittedly ridiculous-looking wig in that prison scene. We dont know much else about his role yet, but we can expect a trailer to show up in the next couple of months. Venom 2 will also feature James Bond franchise star Naomie Harris as Shriek, a Spider-Man villain who is often paired with Carnage in the comics.

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