Along with the announcement of 2018’s Venom sequel being delayed due to the COVID-19 situation, we’ve also gotten confirmation on its title. Come June 2021, Venom: Let There Be Carnage will be making its way into theatres. The symbiote bonded serial killer Cletus Kassidy aka Carnage was hinted to be a possible villain as far back as a mid-credits scene in 2018’s Venom. In the scene, we see a crazed Cletus Kassidy, played by Zombieland’s Woody Harrelson, making a rather ominous promise to reporter Eddie Brock, “When I get out of here and I will, there’s gonna be carnage.” Carnage is one of the most dangerous psychopaths in the Marvel universe and has been a mainstay foe for both Spider-Man and Venom.
All this excitement at the prospect of seeing the blood-soaked symbiote rampaging through San Francisco has got us thinking. What other baddies from Venom’s rogue gallery could we be seeing in the future? Turns out that Eddie has a long list of enemies gunning for him and his symbiote. All possible candidates for future film foes in the Venomverse.
1. Jack ‘O Lantern
Don’t let the name full you. This guy doesn’t go around pulling pranks and giving kids candy. Instead, he’s a homicidal maniac who hates Venom with every fibre of his being! Jack never exactly had a normal childhood, he grew up torturing small animals and was secretly raised by a masked gangster named Crime-Master. Over the years, his adoptive father taught Jack how he could hone his sadistic tendencies to become an effective killer. At some point in his life, Jack visited his true mother and father before violently executing both of them. He would then go on to become Jack O’ Lantern, a violent assassin who is known for scooping out his victim’s brain and lighting their heads on fire! Needless to say, Jack is one bad dude.
His criminal exploits eventually led to him facing off against Venom. A fight that left Jack’s face seriously deformed and good a number of his front teeth knocked out. From that day on, Jack swore to make Venom pay for what he did to him. Keeping in line with the gritty, over-the-top violent tone set in Venom, Jack O’ Lantern is exactly the kind of insane psychopath Venom would cross paths with. There’s always been an element of body horror and gore established in the film. So to have a deformed Halloween-themed murderer roaming the streets at night hunting for Venom would not only be completely apt, but absolutely badass. Venom is a walking nightmare to the criminals and scum of San Francisco. Perhaps it’s time the symbiote knew fear.
2. The Red Goblin
Cletus Kassidy isn’t the only one to have been bonded to the Carnage symbiote. Everyone from Hulk to Wolverine to even Captain America has been possessed by the rogue symbiote at some point. One of its more willing hosts just so happens to be Norman Osborn, the Green Goblin. As the Goblin, Osborn had heightened strength and speed due to exposure to his experimental “Goblin Formula”. It had the added effect of making Osborn bat-shit insane as well. When his abilities and insanity were taken away from him by Spider-Man, Osborn searched for another way to gain power. He found it when he bonded a sliver of the Carnage symbiote to himself. He then combined both the effects of the Goblin Formula and the symbiote’s abilities to become the Red Goblin! Double the power and twice as insane.
If Sony was ever looking for a way to have a Venom-Spider-Man crossover film, then the Red Goblin is exactly what they need. It’s Spider-Man and Venom’s greatest adversaries combined into one deadly nemesis. In the comics, it took the combined strength of both Spider-Man and Eddie Brock’s Venom to take down the Red Goblin, and the two barely made it out alive. This scarlet menace has all the intelligence and refinement of Norman Osborn and all the weapons and abilities of both Carnage and the Green Goblin. It would be nothing short of epic to see the two square off against a powerhouse the likes of the Red Goblin.
Speaking of the wall-crawler making his way into the Venomverse, let’s forget one of Venom’s most famous enemies: Spider-Man, namely Peter Parker. Both Peter and Eddie have had a long history of animosity with each other in the comics with Peter exposing Brock’s shady practices and ruining his journalist career. More out of spite than actual noble intentions to be honest. I think it’d be a fun idea to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man form a rivalry with Venom. Instead of having it be a hero-villain dynamic in which either one of them is a straight-up bad guy, the two of them could have a sort of competition with one another. It could start with Peter Parker rubbing Eddie the wrong way at work at the Daily Bugle as a junior photojournalist. This could lead to Eddie could possibly uncovering Peter’s secret double-life as Spider-Man.
Then, the two of them could meet each other again on the rooftops of New York as their respective alter-egos. Spider-Man calls Eddie out as a violent vigilante and Eddie points out the hypocrisy of Spidey’s statement. This will eventually lead to Spider-Man and Venom getting into multiples skirmishes with each other throughout the film. That is until the two of them decide to either unite forces to take down an even bigger threat or they learn to respect one another and co-exist. And who knows? Maybe the two of them could end up working together as a crime-fighting buddy-cop duo. Venom‘s director Ruben Fleischer sees this as a very strong possibility.
4. The Jury
After the events of Venom, it’s safe to assume that Eddie and his symbiote aren’t exactly on good terms with the Life Foundation. On the count of him killing their CEO Carlton Drake during his time as Riot’s host. They were robbed of their priced research and left publicly disgraced. It’s possible that they may wish to recoup their losses and take revenge on Eddie for foiling them. Interestingly enough, the Life Foundation in the comics has an anti-symbiote task force: the Jury. A team of armed and deadly operatives led by Orwell Taylor, a general whose son was murdered by none other than Venom. If the Life Foundation were to judge Venom to be a great enough threat, they may send the Jury to claim his head.
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, the whole idea of a group of symbiote-hunters sporting gaudy armour and giant shoulder pads is a little 1990s. That being said 2018’s Venom wasn’t exactly known for its subtlety or nuance. A team like the Jury could really lean into the franchise’s camp factor and inject a good bit of fun into the mix. It would definitely fit into the tone of the Venomverse’s offbeat brand of gallows humour. Sony could always alter the team’s appearances to make them a little more grounded and menacing like way Logan made the Reavers look. Aesthetics aside, the Jury is a fairly formidable opponent for Eddie. They’re experts on all things symbiote-related and have specially designed weapons to take them down. They’d be a neat way to tie in the events of the first film with the rest of the sequels going forward.
In late November 2018, writer Donny Cates made some truly groundbreaking contributions to the Venom mythos. For the longest time, the history of Venom’s race, the Klyntar has been shrouded in mystery. Some claim they are dangerous biological parasites, others say they were once noble warriors dedicated to defending the galaxy. The true, horrifying origin of the Klyntar, however, can be traced back to one particular individual, Knull. A primordial god of darkness older than time itself. A creature who waged a bloody crusade against all of creation, and crafted the deadly god-killing Necrosword from his shadow, before it was stolen by Gorr. After the loss of his weapon, he set about using his dark powers to create life, the Klyntar. Yes, for all intents and purposes, he is the God of the Symbiotes and if ever awaken from imprisonment, all life in the universe would be doomed.
If Sony is serious about trying to expand the Venomverse into a true franchise, then Knull is the kind of gamechanger they need. A villain on par with Thanos, if not greater, who is directly tied to the origin of Venom and his race. Imagine the Venom symbiote having his allegiances torn between his friend Eddie and his literal maker and god! The first film had established themes of friendship and identity, that Eddie and the Venom symbiote could find purpose in each other and not conform to the roles given to them by society or anyone. The franchise finale could be the ultimate test of both Eddie and the Venom symbiote’s resolve when confronted with evil as great as Knull. It’s only a matter of time before Knull makes his way into the Venomverse. God is coming!