Carnage (Cletus Kasady) is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as an enemy of Spider-Man. The character first appeared as Cletus Kasady in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991) and as Carnage in The Amazing Spider-Man #360. Carnage was created by writer David Michelinie and artists Erik Larsen and Mark Bagley, based on elements of the precursor character Venom. In 2009, Carnage was ranked as IGN's 90th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.
Writer David Michelinie created Carnage to be a darker version of Venom, intending to have Venom's human alter ego, Eddie Brock, be killed off in The Amazing Spider-Man #400 and have the symbiote continue to bond with a series of hosts. However, as Brock and Venom's popularity increased, Marvel would not allow him to be killed. Michelinie decided to create a new character: a total psychopath who, unlike Venom, had no sense of morality. The character was originally meant to be named "Chaos" and then "Ravage" before being settled on "Carnage." Carnage's human component, Cletus Kasady, was designed by artist Erik Larsen, who modeled the character after the DC Comics supervillain the Joker. Mark Bagley designed the Carnage symbiote.
Cletus Kasady was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 and first appears as Carnage in issue #361. He is the main villain in the 1993 "Maximum Carnage" crossover, a 14-part storyline crossover that spanned through all the Spider-Man titles. In 1996, two one-shot comics centered entirely around Carnage were released, entitled Carnage: Mind Bomb and Carnage: It's A Wonderful Life, both of which expand on his character.
After a 2004 appearance in New Avengers the character was presumed dead and was absent from comics for nearly six years. A 2010-2011 limited series titled Carnage featured the return of the symbiote, where it temporarily found a new female host before reuniting with Kasady. The comic was released as a...