As with any Spider-Man-themed movie, the new trailer for Venom: Let There Be Carnage is packed with some intriguing Easter Eggs for fans.
But there are also hints that Woody Harrelson’s Carnage isn’t the only villain in the film, and the other foes might add to the challenges Tom Hardy’s anti-hero faces.
Who is Venom?
It may seem odd to list the main character as a villain, but then again, Venom has never been a straight-up hero.
In 1984’s Secret Wars limited series, Spider-Man discovered what appeared to be a black costume with amazing abilities while on an alien planet. It could create its own webbing and mimic other clothing.
Eventually, Peter discovered the “costume” was actually an alien symbiote attempting to bond with him. He managed to drive it off with the alien hurt by the betrayal.
By chance, the symbiote found Eddie Brock, a reporter whose career was ruined when Spider-Man inadvertently revealed his greatest story was a fraud. Joined by their mutual hate, Brock and the alien became Venom, dedicated to destroying Spider-Man.
Brock held himself up as a “hero defending innocents” despite the bodies he left behind. Eventually, he broke away from his vendetta to become an anti-hero protecting others.
Since then, Venom has shifted with the symbiotes claimed by other hosts, but it came back to Brock, who bounces between his “heroic” tendencies and still wanting to crush Spider-Man, making him very unpredictable.
2007’s Spider-Man 3 has Topher Grace playing Brock who becomes Venom and destroyed at the movie’s end.
2018’s Venom movie softened the character but still the dark side waiting to turn Brock into a monster.
Who is Carnage?
During one of Venom’s periodic escapes from prison, the symbiote “gave birth,” which, to its species, was no big deal without any attachments to family. This new symbiote mutated under Earth’s atmosphere for new abilities.
It latched onto Brock’s cellmate of the time, sociopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady. A lover of pure chaos, Kasady became Carnage, killing for no rhyme or reason. Spider-Man was forced to join with Venom to try and defeat it.
Carnage has proven nearly impossible to destroy as a few times, it appears Kasady has been killed, but the symbiote manages to revive him. The suit is capable of such things as firing off pieces of itself as weapons and allowing Kasady to disguise his appearance.
The recent “Absolute Carnage” storyline had Kasady attempting to control all the symbiotes in the universe and was seemingly destroyed by Venom, but fans are doubtful he’ll be gone for long.
Kasady appeared in the post-credits scene for Venom and will become the full Carnage via undisclosed means.
Who is Shriek?
Spotted in the trailer is Naomie Harris as a young woman in a glass cell, unleashing what appears to be a sonic scream. This is Frances Barrison, aka Shriek.
In 1994’s Maximum Carnage storyline, Carnage was staging a bloody breakout at Ravencroft Mental Institution when he was surprised to hear one prisoner cheering him on. This was Shriek, a mentally disturbed mutant with the power to unleash sonic screams.
Recognizing a kindred spirit, Carnage brought her on as the pair united with other twisted figures into a force wreaking havoc across New York City. It took Spider-Man, Venom, and scores of other heroes to finally stop them.
Shriek has worked with Carnage a few times since, sharing his nihilistic view of the world and often aiding him as her sonic cries can hurt symbiotes like Venom.
The movie may follow the comics as Kasady breaks Frances out of Ravencroft to go on a spree, and notable how her eyes show the same glow as the chemical used to turn Kasady into Carnage.
Who is Toxin?
While it seems a mere tease, yet another symbiote may appear in the form of Toxin.
One scene in the trailer has Detective Patrick Mulligan (Stephen Graham) walking in a hallway while what looks like a symbiote reaches toward him. In the comics, Mulligan had come across Carnage just as the symbiote was “giving birth.”
This new symbiote appeared to be stronger than the other two, forcing a brief alliance of Venom and Carnage. Spider-Man also interfered with Mulligan managing to assert control of his symbiote and trying to use it for good.
Eventually, Mulligan was killed, and the Toxin symbiote made its way to Brock, who had lost his Venom symbiote and used the Toxin look as a new hero.
In the recent King in Black event, a new Toxin exists, teenager Bren Waters who is trying to decide whether to use the symbiote for good or evil.
All these enemies are likely to spark up this new film and make it hard to know who exactly the audience is supposed to root for.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage premieres in theaters September 24.More: Marvel, Spider-Man, Venom