What you need to know before watching ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’ – recap of 2018’s movie and Venom’s arc in Marvel Comics

Neel Asit Shah
  • Here is a quick refresher on the anti-hero who has come a long way since being a villain in the Spider-Man comics and films
  • After more than a year of coronavirus-related delays, the movie is set to open in Hong Kong on Wednesday, October 13
Neel Asit Shah |

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“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” is set to hit Hong Kong cinemas on October 13. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP

This article contains spoilers for Venom (2018) and the comic book event King in Black.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage – the hotly anticipated sequel to 2018’s Venom – hits Hong Kong’s cinemas tomorrow, reconnecting fans with the alien symbiote and its host, Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy).

The film follows investigative reporter Eddie Brock soon after the first film, as he lives in San Francisco while attempting to secretly fight crime with Venom. His life is thrown into disarray, however, when incarcerated serial killer Cletus Kasady takes an interest in him and bonds with the terrifying Carnage symbiote.

Because of multiple coronavirus-related delays, it has been three years since the first movie was released, and you might need a quick refresher before seeing the new one.

Who is Venom?

Introduced in the original comics in 1988 by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, Venom is the name of the alien symbiote that bonds to Brock after it was separated from its first host, Spider-Man. Brock’s journalistic reputation had been tarnished by Spider-Man, and with the help of Venom, he became one of the most famous and dangerous villains to ever face Spider-Man.

Venom quickly became a fan favourite and got his own series in 1993 – the seminal Venom: Lethal Protector, which served as the main inspiration for the 2018 film.

The series saw Brock distancing himself from Spider-Man by moving to San Francisco and deciding to use his powers for good. He slowly became more of an anti-hero rather than an outright villain.

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Similar to the comics, 2018’s Venom presents the character as a hero, and the story is based in San Francisco. But there are no references to Spider-Man because of a complicated deal between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios.

The first movie also takes cues from the famous 1995 story arc Planet of the Symbiotes, which sees a spaceship of symbiotes arriving on Earth, which Brock and Venom must now defend.

Most recently in Marvel Comics, Brock and Venom were at the centre of the massive King in Black comic book event. At its end, Brock became the god of all symbiotes, and his son, Dylan, became the next Venom.

What happened in 2018’s Venom?

We last saw Brock in San Francisco after defeating the evil Life Foundation, and his ex-fiancé Anne Weying believes Venom is dead. Little does she know that Eddie and Venom have stayed bonded, and are fighting crime together.

Tom Hardy (left) plays Eddie Brock, and Michelle Williams plays Anne Weying in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP

During the mid-credits scene, Eddie visits serial killer Cletus Kasady, who is in prison but promises to bring “carnage” after his escape. Fans of Venom would have recognised Kasady as the eventual host of the terrifying symbiote Carnage, one of Venom and Spider-Man’s greatest foes.

What is Carnage?

Carnage was created in 1992 by David Michelinie and Mark Bagley to be a darker, more chaotic villain that could replace Eddie Brock, who had become a hero. In the comic books, the symbiote bonds to Kasady in his prison cell, turning him into the supervillain Carnage.

From the trailers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, it seems as if the film will follow this origin story.

Woody Harrelson plays Carnage in “Venom: Let There Be Carnage”. Photo: Sony Pictures Entertainment via AP

We can expect the new movie will explore the symbiote’s visceral effect on its hosts, as director Andy Serkis has promised that the team “pushed [the PG-13 rating] to the very limits [with] the danger and darkness and the threat and the menace of Carnage”.

The movie also seems like it will lean into the sillier aspects of Venom and Brock’s symbiotic relationship, with some early reviews even categorising the film as a twisted romcom.

As for any superhero movie, fans will definitely want to stay for the post-credits scene, which should not be missed.

This film contains depictions of violence and use of strong language.

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