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Absolute Carnage Reading Order Checklist

Absolute Carnage Reading Order Checklist

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Without a doubt, Carnage is one of, if not, the most dangerous Spider-Man villain. Every time he appeals this relentless killer leaves bodies in his wake as he chaotically kills for no reason.

Carnage will be in the limelight between August and October when he headlines in Absolute Carnage, a symbiote-themed event by the Venom creative team of writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman.

The spawn of Venom is on the hunt for everyone and anyone who has ever worn a symbiote. Knowing Carnage, this probably means that that if you’re one of his targets that it’s not going to end well for you.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s Donny Cates talking about the event.

Donny Cates talks about Absolute Carnage.

With so many different tie-ins, comic book events like Absolute Carnage can be confusing – especially if you’re not overly familiar with Marvel’s symbiotes. Lucky for you, the Absolute Carnage Reading Order Checklist is here to save the day!

It’s got the recommended reading order, background reading, a guide to all of the tie-ins, release dates, creative teams, and much more.

Jump To:

Do I have to read all of the tie-ins?

The tie-ins are side-stories which create a larger richer story when you read more of them. Buying all the tie-ins will be a very expensive exercise. That being said, if you just read Absolute Carnage #1-4 then you should be fine.

As suggested by writer Donny Cates, Venom will be the tie-in that’s the most essential. This makes sense considering Cates is writing the main storyline too. By this logic, if you can only get one tie-in Venom will be the one that gets the most bang for your buck.

If you want to expand Absolute Carnage even further, then pick-up and tie-ins that appeal to you the most based on the characters involved or story situations.

Amazing Spider-Man #361 cover by Mark Bagley and Randy Emberlin.
Amazing Spider-Man #361 cover by Mark Bagley and Randy Emberlin.

Background Reading

Since Carnage will be hunting down everyone who has ever had a symbiote, you might be compelled to do a bit of homework before you tuck into Absolute Carnage. If that’s the case, the below list are the comics I suggest checking out.

Since there’s soooo much to read, I’ll leave it up to you as to how much you to read. Don’t stress if you don’t do any background reading as Marvel try to make their events as new-reader friendly as possible by letting you know the background details you need to know at the beginning of the comic.

Amazing Spider-Man #252
Written by Tom DeFalco and Roger Stern. Art by Ron Frenz.

Introduces the symbiote concept into the Marvel Universe. This issue was recently reprinted as part of the Facsimile Edition program.

Spider-Man: The Many Hosts of Carnage TPB
Collects Amazing Spider-Man #361, #410, #431; Spider-Man (1990 series) #67; Spectacular Spider-Man (1976 series) #233; Carnage (2010 series) #3; Carnage USA #1-5; Superior Carnage #3-5, Annual #1; Amazing Spider-Man #798-800.

Spider-Man: The Many Hosts of Carnage is a collection of Carnage stories from different points in his history. This will be released in late September.

Notes on this collection:

The Amazing Spider-Man #361
Written by David Michelinie. Art by Mark Bagley.

This is the first appearance of Carnage. Check this issue out if you want to read his origin.

Web of Carnage
Written by Dan Jurgens, Tom DeFalco, Howard Mackie, and Todd Dezgo. Art by Dan Jurgens, Mark Bagley, John Romita Jr, and Art Thibert.

Web of Carnage is 4-part crossover which features stars Peter Parker’s clone, Ben Reilly. Parts 2-4 are included in the trade paperback in this but for some reason, part 1 is not included.

Reading order for this crossover is:

  • The Sensational Spider-Man #3 (1996 series) – Part 1
  • Amazing Spider-Man #410 – Part 2
  • Spider-Man #67 – Part 3
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #233 – Part 4

The Sensational Spider-Man #3 will be easy to track down on eBay or Comixology.

Amazing Spider-Man #431
Written by Tom DeFalco. Art by Joe Bennett.

Carnage takes over the Silver Surfer!

Carnage (2010 series) #3
Written by Zeb Wells. Art by Clayton Crain.

Introduces Doctor Tanis Nieves as a host of Carnage.

Carnage USA #1-5
Written by Zeb Wells. Art by Clayton Crain.

Carnage takes over everyone in Doverton, Colorado.

Superior Carnage
Written by Kevin Shinick. Art by Stephen Segovia.

Carnage gets an upgrade with Karl Malus as his new host.

Amazing Spider-Man #799-800
Written by Dan Slott. Art by Stuart Immonen.

Norman Osborn is the monstrous new host of Carnage as the Red Goblin.

Outside of the Spider-Man: The Many Hosts of Carnage TPB, these are the other comics to read if you want to do more background reading.

Maximum Carnage
Written by Tom DeFalco, Terry Kavanagh, J.M DeMatteis, and David Michelinie. Art by Mark Bagley, Sal Buscema, Ron Lim, Tom Lyle, and Alex Suviuk.

The most famous of all the Carnage stories. This one was mentioned in the video above so I’m including it in this list.

The reading order for Maximum Carnage is:

  • Spider-Man Unlimited #1 (1993)
  • Web of Spider-Man #101
  • Amazing Spider-Man #378
  • Spider-Man #35
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #201
  • Web of Spider-Man #102
  • Amazing Spider-Man #379
  • Spider-Man #36
  • Spectacular Spider-Man #202
  • Web of Spider-Man #103
  • Amazing Spider-Man #380
  • Spider-Man #37
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man #203
  • Spider-Man Unlimited #2

Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6
Written by David Michelinie. Art by Mark Bagley, Ron Lim, and Sam DeLarosa.

I’ve put this in here because it introduces the Scream symbiote character and there is a tie-in called Venom: Lethal Protectors.

Venom: Separation Anxiety #1-4
Written by Howard Mackie. Art by Ron Randall.

Another Venom miniseries which has an Absolute Carnage tie-in named after it.

Deadpool vs. Carnage #1-4
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Salva Espin.

This miniseries say Deadpool as a host of Carnage.

Venomized
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Iban Coello.

This features many different venomized versions of Marvel’s heroes. This is the third act of the Venomverse saga.

Symbiote Spider-Man #1-5
Written by Peter David. Art by Greg Land.

This is a 2019 miniseries which explores the period of Spider-Man history where Spidey was Venom’s host. It is worth checking out as there is an Absolute Carnage tie-in also called Symbiote Spider-Man.

Venom (2018 series) #1-16
Written by Donny Cates and Cullen Bunn. Art by Ryan Stegman., and others.

This Venom series is the one that has been setting up the foundations for Absolute Carnage.

Venom: First Host #1-5
Written by Mike Costa. Art by Mark Bagley.

This series reveals the secret history of the symbiotes.

Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Danilo S. Beyruth.

Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Danilo S. Beyruth.

Reestablishes Kletus Kasaday as Carnage and begins to set up elements of Absolute Carnage.

Web of Venom: Funeral Pyre #1
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Alberto Jiminez Albuquerque and Joshua Cassara.

This leads right into Absolute Carnage with Carnage beginning his hunt.

Everyone's a Target teaser for Absolute Carnage by Greg Land.
Everyone’s a Target teaser for Absolute Carnage by Greg Land.

Everyone is a Target

Everyone is a Target are “post-credit scenes” in the back of selected comics which tease the build-up to Absolute Carnage.

These are the comics you’ll need to track down if you want to read them.

  • Venom #15 (June 12th)
  • Symbiote Spider-Man #3 (June 12th)
  • Deadpool #14 (June 19th)
  • Amazing Spider-Man #24 (June 26th)
  • Fantastic Four #11 (June 26th)
  • Immortal Hulk #20 (July 3rd)
  • Black Cat #2 (July 3rd)
  • Invaders #7 (July 17th)
  • Captain Marvel #8 (July 17th)
  • Avengers #22 (July 31st)

When Marvel does these kinds of “post-credit scenes” there is no particular reading order to them. For sake of organisation, I’ve ordered them based on the release date.

Absolute Carnage #1 comic book cover by Ryan Stegman. Marvel Comics.
Absolute Carnage #1 cover by Ryan Stegman.

Absolute Carnage Reading Order

After all the Background read and post-credit scenes, we’re falling up to the main event. This is the reading order for Absolute Carnage for those who want to read everything.

Free Comic Book Day 2019: Spider-Man/Venom

NOTE: You can read Free Comic Book Day: Spider-Man/Venom here it for free if you missed out on it at Free Comic Book Day.

Absolute Carnage #1 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available August 7th

Absolute Carnage: Scream #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Gerardo Sandoval.
Available August 14th

Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman. Art by Brian Level.
Available August 14th

Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Marcelo Ferreira.
Available August 21st

Absolute Carnage #2 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available August 28th

Venom #17
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available August 28th

Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Flaviano Armentaro.
Available August 28th

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Federico Vincentini.
Available August 28th

Absolute Carnage: Scream #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Gerardo Sandoval.
Available September 4th

Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1 (Tie-In)
Written by Peter David. Art by Francesco Mobili.
Available September 4th.

Venom #18
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available September 11th

Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Marcelo Ferreira.
Available September 11th

Absolute Carnage: Ghost Rider – Symbiote of Vengeance #1 (Tie-In)
Written by Ed Brisson. Art by Juan Frigeri.
Available September 11th.

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Federico Vincentini.
Available September 25th

Absolute Carnage #3 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available September 18th

Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #2 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque.
Available September 18th

Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Tie-In)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Ryan Ottley.
Available September 25th.

Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1 (Tie-In)
Written by Al Ewing. Art by Filipe Andrade.
Available October 2nd.

Absolute Carnage #4 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available October 9th.

Amazing Spider-Man #31 (Tie-In)
Written by Nick Spencer. Art by Ryan Ottley.
Available October 9th.

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Saladin Ahmed. Art by Federico Vincentini.
Available October 9th.

Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1 (Tie-In)
Written by Leah Williams and Zac Thompson. Art by Alberto Alburquerque.
Available October 16th

Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Marcelo Ferreira.
Available October 16th.

Absolute Carnage: Scream #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Cullen Bunn. Art by Gerardo Sandoval.
Available October 16th.

Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #3 (of 3) (Tie-in)
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque.
Available October 23rd.

Venom #19
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available October 30th.

Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Jed Mackay. Art by Stefano Raffaele.
Available November 6th.

Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1 (Tie-in)
Written by Emily Ryan Lerner. Art by Andrea Broccardo.
Available November 20th.

Absolute Carnage #5 (of 5)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Ryan Stegman.
Available November 20th.

Venom #20 (Tie-in)
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Iban Coello.
Available November 27th

Venom #21 cover by Mark Bagley. Venom Island.
Venom #21 cover by Mark Bagley.

After Absolute Carnage

So what should you read in the wake of Absolute Carnage? These are the comic that Marvel has revealed so far:

Scream: Curse of Carnage
Written by Clay McCleod Chapman. Art by Chris Mooneyham.
Series begins November 27th.

This new ongoing series follows the symbiote Scream in the wake of Absolute Carnage.

Venom #21 onwards
Written by Donny Cates. Art by Mark Bagley.
Available from December.

The Venom series continues after Absolute Carnage with a story called Venom Island. Based on the teasers, and the fact that classic 90’s Spider-Man artist Mark Bagley has been brought on board, this story will reference 1991’s Amazing Spider-Man #347.

Ruins of Ravencroft
Written by Frank Tieri. Art by Various

Ruins of Ravencroft are a series of one-shots that explore the Ravencroft’s history as it is being rebuilt. The one-shots include:

  • Ruins of Ravencroft: Carnage
  • Ruins of Ravencroft: Sabretooth
  • Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula

Ruins of Ravencroft will be followed up by a 5-part miniseries called Ravencroft.

Absolute Carnage Trade Paperbacks

Do you prefer to trade-wait? These are the trade paperbacks you’ll need to track down to read all of Absolute Carnage.

Absolute Carnage
Collects: Absolute Carnage #1-5 and content from Free Comic Book Day 2019: Spider-Man/Venom

Venom Volume 3: Absolute Carnage
Collects: Venom #17-20 and Web of Venom: Funeral Pyre #1

Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors
Collects:
Absolute Carnage: Lethal Protectors #1-3 and Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1

Absolute Carnage: Scream
Collects:
Absolute Carnage: Scream #1-3 and Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety #1

Absolute Carnage Vs Deadpool
Collects:
Absolute Carnage Vs. Deadpool #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1, Ravencroft stinger pages from Captain Marvel #8, Amazing Spider-Man #24, Deadpool #14, and Black Cat #2

Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales
Collects:
Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1-3, Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus #1

Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk and Other Tales
Collects:
Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1, Absolute Carnage: Symbiote Spider-Man #1, Absolute Carnage: Symbiote of Vengeance #1, stinger pages from Symbiote Spider-Man #3 and Immortal Hulk #20

Alternatively, there will also be an Absolute Carnage Omnibus that will contain all of the above content. This 800-page monster will be available on August 11th, 2020.

Have your say on Absolute Carnage

Will you be reading all of Absolute Carnage? Let me know in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.

Previous Marvel Reading Order: War of the Realms

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Comments (9)

  • I just have this very stupid question, are tie-ins considered to be canon or are they just non-canon fanservice (saying this after reading Absolute Carnage Miles Morales). Is this just a specific case where the tie-ins are like this

  • Considering the events in King of Black and the fact that Absolute Carnage leads into that, I\’d include New Avenger\’s 001 (2005) after Amazing Spider-Man 431 and before Carnage 003.

  • Is this reading order in “story order” or release date by book?

    I am finally getting to read the last 1/4 of the list but seems like some of these tie-in stories should be read earlier in the list (if this is story order).

    But admittedly it’s sometimes impossible to get Marvel stuff in “story order” LOL

  • I want you to recognize my scuptures of Venom and Carnage on display at the largest comic shop “Gateway Comics” between Dc and Richmond Va.
    I want to sculpt another Absolute Carnage like the ones on display for you. 540-907-7354

  • Is there a way to know if this list ever gets updated? My comic shop has a checklist for Absolute Carnage but it’s missing a few of the tie-ins later on. I’m gonna let them know that there is a more in-depth list. But is there an easily printable version of this as well? Thanks!

    • Hey Shane, the list gets updated whenever there is new information available. There’s a date up the top which says when the post was updated last. I don’t have a printable version of this yet. The only reason is that there is always the chance that things might change.

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