Problems with the MCU as a comic fan – A followup to “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Problems with the MCU as a comic fan - A followup to “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Addison Keeley, Assistant Editor


One will find it nearly impossible to find a movie about a comic book character (s) without fans of the actual comics drawing comparisons with the depiction of the character in the movie to their portrayal the comics, whether positively or negatively.

Perhaps because I am admittedly far from being as educated of a fan as many Marvel comic fans are, I do not let any edits to a character deter me. However, I could not help but to notice some of these character tweaks that could not be ignored in the movie. For instance, one is not going to find Venom dancing and partying in the club, especially if not boded to host, Eddie Brock. The origin story for Carnage was heavily condensed and altered, understandably for cinematic purposes, but the villain being weak to sound (which he is normally immune to, unlike Venom) and being somewhat bigger than Venom in base form was different to say the least.

For what it was worth, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was a fun movie and I would definitely watch it again. Quality-wise, it will not blow anyone away, yet I do not think it is supposed to. The on-screen bond between Hardy and the symbiote was entertaining and plenty of laughable moments were produced because of this. Overall, Hardy did a very good job playing/voicing two different roles in this film, connecting to the pathos appeal at times in human and CGI form alike.

The climatic battle at the end was exciting. Nearly every film or TV show with a superhero, villain, etc deriving from a comic character tends to diminish the abilities of said characters to some degree. I personally felt in terms of raw power, Carnage was not nerfed. He showcased some impressive abilities and feats throughout, but the ending is where more problems arise. As the aforementioned added weakness to sonic-level sound came into play, Venom ate not only the symbiote that Carnage is composed of, but also (when off-angle) the head of Cletus Kasady. Not only is this one example as to why the movie should have been laced with a darker tone to warrant an “R” rating instead of a “PG-13” one with all of the head-biting scenes merely being alluded to instead of shown, but it also produced my biggest gripe of the film, there will likely be no more Carnage.

As someone who is a fan of Marvel comics and very invested in the lore, portrayal and effectiveness of the symbiotes throughout the franchise, the death of Carnage and his host is very disappointing to me. There are a handful of symbiote-based characters who have appeared through the years and notably a numerous amount happen to be spawns of Carnage. His presumable, permanent death in the MCU logically prevents the likes of any of his three offspring (Toxin, Scorn, and Raze) being graced with their first and perhaps only movie appearances. These three characters have their own distinctions from the other symbiotes and unique storylines as well.

Toxin, for example, is the hulking-son of Carnage with the respectable story and praise-worthy power that could potentially produce a great film should the character be given a big movie role. While currently retconned in the comics, Toxin is an anti-hero like his “grandfather”, Venom, and his motives are based off of the fact he hates symbiotes due to due being attacked and created by Carnage in the comics. With Toxin using his powers to fight crime due to having a cop as a host, his hatred towards Carnage and other symbiotes, and having a list of impressive feats such as beating both Venom and Carnage easily by himself, I think a movie appearance of his would be dreamy. With the death of Carnage meaning no team-up with Venom and no Toxin altogether, I am forced to be left dreaming.

A friend enlightened me that upon seeing the recent online leaks of upcoming Marvel material, symbiote-God, Knull is scheduled to appear in the next and assumed final Venom movie, which will also feature an anticipated meeting of Venom’s famous nemesis, Spider-Man, who led to his creation in the first place.

For a fairly recent character to the Marvel universe (first identified in 2018), Knull has made quite an impact and established himself as a rather pivotal character to the company. With Knull accomplishing a long list of feats such graphically killing the highly-respected Sentry with adroitness, beating up Silver Surfer, and beheading a Celestial before time then possessing the other ones, describing him as “powerful” and “brutal” seems like an understatement. Due to several aspects of “King in Black” not being touched on-screen yet, such as no actual introductions of Silver Surfer or Sentry to the MCU, one cannot help but to expect a film with Knull to be rushed and underwhelming. One also may get the sense that a complex and imposing character like Knull will be low-balled. With the deadly supervillain being able to do things like effortlessly beat the Avengers (who are undoubtedly more formidable in the comics than on-screen), should Knull be only provided with one film and only face the team of Venom and Spider-Man, this would honestly be disrespectful to the character. Nor is Knull peripheral enough of a character to warrant just one single movie.

The two solo-films of Venom as well as his ever-growing list of achievements in the comics (killing Knull and Carnage’s most powerful form, creating his own universe, etc.) is further cementing his fan-favorite status amongst casual and hardcore fans alike, while concurrently launching him higher on the list of Marvel’s most powerful roster members. I cannot help but to be ecstatic for the character. The continuous burnishing of his power in the comics puts him in a level soaring above other symbiotes, despite the primitive figure initially being considered weaker than a handful of them for a long time, like Carnage, Toxin, and Anti-Venom, who also will likely never receive the luxury of a major movie appearance. Venom’s influence has produced an insufferable amount of symbiotic characters with their own respective stories, allowing the symbiotes to make an immense amount of appearances in the Marvel universe.

Before I saw, “Let There Be Carnage” I let my fandom get carried away and theorized that a series of films on the symbiotes would be produced over the years before a Knull film wrapped things up several years down the stretch, but this seems unlikely. I should not be surprised, nor should I or any other comic fan be surprised that any lesser popular character not ever be gifted with a movie or TV show appearance. This will not deter me from watching any MCU installments, but it does make me wish I was writing and directing the films myself.