Carnage is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #360. Carnage was created by writer David Michelinie and artist Mark Bagley. The character belongs to a race of amorphous extraterrestrial parasites known as the Symbiotes. The Carnage symbiote is usually depicted as an offspring of Venom. The symbiote has taken many hosts. The original and most notable host is serial killer Cletus Kasady. Other hosts include Karl Malus and Norman Osborn.
|First appearance||Cameo appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #360 (March 1992)|
Full appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man #361 (April 1992)
|Created by||David Michelinie|
|Alter ego||Various hosts|
|Place of origin||Ryker's Island, New York|
|Team affiliations||Carnage's Family|
|Notable aliases||Spider-Carnage, Carnage Cosmic, Superior Carnage, Red Goblin, The Red Slayer, Goblin Childe|
The Carnage symbiote was derived by writer David Michelinie while Mark Bagley designed the Carnage symbiote. The symbiote was designed to be a darker version of Venom and was created due to the writers not wanting a replacement for Eddie Brock as Venom. Carnage was in part created due to Venom’s immense popularity with fans. The character was originally meant to be named "Chaos" and then "Ravage" before being settled on "Carnage".
When Eddie Brock's Venom symbiote soon returned to be bonded again, allowing Venom to escape prison, the symbiote left its offspring in the cell; due to its alien mindset, the symbiote felt no emotional attachment to its offspring, regarding it as insignificant, and thus never communicated its existence to Brock via their telepathic link. The new symbiote then bonded with Brock's cellmate Cletus Kasady through a cut on his hand, transforming him into Carnage. The bond between the Carnage symbiote and Kasady was stronger than the bond between Brock and the Venom symbiote. As a result, Carnage is far more violent, powerful, and deadly than Venom. Kasady and the symbiote would then be a main antagonist in "Maximum Carnage" and Kasady would continually be the most recurring character to use the Carnage symbiote in many publications.
Spider-Carnage (Ben Reilly)Edit
It eventually transferred itself to Spider-Man—Ben Reilly at the time—when Ben bonded with it in order to prevent it from hurting any innocent people, creating Spider-Carnage. Ben's willpower held out against the symbiote's murderous desires long enough for him to return it to Ravencroft. Reilly subsequently attempted to destroy the symbiote by subjecting himself to a potentially lethal blast of microwaves, but it escaped back to Kasady after the microwaves forced it to separate from him.
Superior Carnage (Karl Malus)Edit
After Kasady was lobotomized, he was broken out of prison by the Wizard and Klaw, who intend to recruit him into the Frightful Four and turn him into their own version of Venom. After a failed attempt to control Kasady, Wizard transfers the Symbiote to Dr. Karl Malus. Dr. Malus was enraged and under the influences of the Symbiote tried to kill his teammates, but he was subdued by Klaw and controlled by Wizard, who renames him "Superior Carnage" and equips him with weapons.
The trio are confronted by the Superior Spider-Man and during their battle the Wizard loses his control over Carnage and he is fatally injured once Spider-Man accidentally drops him due to the shock of finding out Wizard read his mind and knows about Otto Octvaius. Carnage, now free, goes on a rampage and starts to kill anyone in front of him. Klaw tries to stop him, but due to his weapon being damaged he fails and realizes that the only way is for the Wizard to take back control. Both Carnage and Klaw make their way outside. Carnage fights the Superior Spider-Man and admits that although he liked using weapons, for him ripping and slashing the bodies is better. Klaw tries to get the Wizard to control Carnage again, but is killed by Carnage and the explosion separates the Symbiote from its host, only to bond with the injured Wizard.
Red Goblin (Norman Osborn)Edit
Following the events of Secret Empire, the Carnage symbiote was stolen from an old S.H.I.E.L.D. storehouse by the then-powerless Norman Osborn. He initially found himself overwhelmed by the symbiote's desire for mindless slaughter when he allowed it to merge with him, but he has been able to 'persuade' the symbiote to let him take control of Carnage's powers to show it something other than 'boring' mindless slaughter. Using this combination of powers during the "Go Down Swinging" storyline, Norman is easily able to tear through Human Torch, Clash, Silk, Miles Morales, and Agent Anti-Venom, with the combination of the symbiote and the Goblin serum rendering Carnage immune to its traditional weaknesses, eventually transferring part of the symbiote to his grandson Normie enough to turn him into a miniature version of Red Goblin. The Carnage symbiote is seemingly destroyed by Spider-Man when he hits it with an exploding gas tank, however, because the symbiote was attached to Norman when Peter destroyed it, he wonders what sort of effect that might have had on his old foe's mind. Later as Spider-Man visits Norman in Ravencroft, it's revealed that Norman's mind appears to have been completely fried and now believes that Spider-Man is actually Norman Osborn and he is Cletus Kasady. It's not clear whether or not he's faking it or if he had actually lost his mind. Meanwhile, Harry manages to remove the Carnage symbiote from Normie. Not all of it has gone.
There have been other, shorter term hosts for the symbiote.
Though bonded to Kasady's bloodstream the symbiote found a way to ditch its host by travelling through the Ravencroft Institute's water pipes overwhelming Ravencroft's chief, John Jameson. Carnage used him to commit further murders before eventually bonding with Spider-man, who was Ben Reilly at the time.
Carnage Cosmic (Norrin Radd)Edit
During a subsequent rampage, the Carnage symbiote briefly attempted to take control of the Silver Surfer, who was visiting Earth at the time to welcome the Fantastic Four after their return to life following the battle with Onslaught. As it turned out, Galactus had consumed a planet that many Symbiotes lived on, and the species had made it a race memory so that each future Symbiote could remember it, as well as the Surfer who had been Galactus's herald at the time. Upon seeing the Silver Surfer, the Carnage Symbiote abandoned Kasady and bonded with the Silver Surfer, becoming the Carnage Cosmic. Spider-Man and the Surfer managed to return the Symbiote to Kasady, who was dying from stomach cancer, and then the Silver Surfer proceeded to seal both host and Symbiote in an unbreakable prison in an attempt to force him to reflect on his sins for eternity.
Scorn (Tanis Nevies)Edit
After Carnage was ripped in half by the Sentry outside the Earth atmosphere it is later discovered that, although the host was presumably killed, the symbiote survived by becoming dormant and returned to Earth, where it was discovered by Michael Hall, a competitor of Tony Stark. He brought Shriek and her doctor, Tanis Nevies, so he could use Shriek to keep the symbiote alive in order of using the properties of the symbiote, to create prosthetic limbs and exo-suits which respond in the same ways as a symbiote. One such person, Dr. Tanis Nieves, is outfitted with one of these prosthetic arms after she is caught in an attack by the Doppelganger, who tried to rescue Shriek. When near the symbiote, her arm goes wild and forces her to kill several scientists before the symbiote forcefully bonds to her, becoming the new Carnage. After the symbiote uses Tanis to break into a Hall Corporation facility, it is revealed that Kasady is alive (although both of his legs have been severed), his body preserved by the symbiote and repaired by Hall's prosthetics. Kasady reclaims the symbiote and becomes Carnage once more, attempting to avenge his captivity while Spider-Man and Iron Man struggle to stop him. It is then revealed that Carnage was once again pregnant, and the suit's spawn briefly bonds to Tanis, but she removes it from herself and the symbiote bonds to Shriek before being torn from her. Scared of Shriek's malice, the symbiote arm then rebonds to Tanis, creating a new hero, Scorn, who defeats Shriek and forces her to use her sonic shriek to weaken Carnage, but he escapes.
Wizard (Bentley Wittman)Edit
Ultimately, Spider-Man brings out Kasady's body to successfully draw the symbiote into it, which immediately devours Dr. Malus and then prepares to finish off the Wizard. However, Klaw ephemeral spirit focuses his sound manipulation powers one last time for a split second to create a powerful sonic blast that disables Carnage, allowing the symbiote to be recaptured. In the epilogue it is shown that the symbiote has managed to repair the Wizard's and Kasady's brain damage.
After the symbiote had died in captivity, a sample of the symbiote was being examined by Dr. Carla Unger, until the sample entered into her body. When she went home, the symbiote formed around her and then she with the symbiote killed her abusive husband. After that, the symbiote consumed her and went to other hosts to get back to Kasady. When the symbiote arrived to an injured Kasady, a scientist, who wanted the symbiote for himself tried to kill Kasady, but the symbiote rebonded to Cletus.
Goblin Childe (Normie Osborn)Edit
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As Eddie Brock explained, the Carnage symbiote was born with abilities even more singular than those of its progenitor—due to the fact that it gestated in an environment alien to it—Earth. The alien symbiote endows Kasady with physical strength greater than that of Spider-Man and Venom combined and shape-shifting abilities, allows him to project a web-like substance from any part of his body including the formation of weapons, and enables him to plant thoughts into a person's head using a symbiote tendril. Much like Spider-Man, Kasady has the ability to cling to virtually any surface, and has a version of Spider-Man's spider-sense, as the symbiote can relay information to him from any angle and grants Kasady the ability to "see" in any direction, warning him of incoming threats. He can rapidly crawl, walk, or run across even slick surfaces. The Carnage symbiote has abilities similar to that of Spider-Man as a direct result of the Venom symbiote's first host, Peter Parker, who transferred some of Spider-Man's power into the symbiote.
He is able to regenerate damaged body tissues much faster and more extensively than that of an ordinary human. This has been shown as powerful enough to allow him to regenerate from decapitation. However, after being torn in half by the Sentry, he was fitted with artificial legs, but this occurred while he was separated from the symbiote. Kasady is also immune to the effects of all Earthly diseases and infections as long as he remains bonded with the symbiote. Like Venom, the symbiote is vulnerable to sound (to a much smaller degree than Venom) and heat (to a much larger degree than Venom), and is undetectable to Spider-Man's spider-sense. Unlike Venom, Carnage can launch parts of his symbiote at enemies in the form of solid weapons such as darts, spears, knives, axes, etc., although they disintegrate into dust within ten seconds of leaving Carnage's body. Carnage also has the unique ability to warp his appendages into different arms, legs, and even wings. This is shown on several occasions when Carnage mutates his fingers and arms into what look like large swords.
Kasady has full control over the size, shape, color (usually red and black), texture, and hardness of his symbiote (and any part thereof). Like Venom, he can make his symbiote look like normal clothing (which he has done on rare occasion), or act as "camouflage". With the symbiote bonded to his bloodstream, he can "regenerate" his costume from scratch simply by bleeding. His symbiote has the peculiar ability to block its parent's (Venom's) ability to sense and track it. The symbiote is also able to rapidly adapt to new environments: when Kasady was taken into space by the Sentry, the Carnage symbiote was able to save his life by growing small sacks around his mouth that converted carbon dioxide into oxygen, allowing Kasady to stay alive long enough for him to be recovered.
In some interpretations, the Carnage symbiote is vampiric, feeding on and thus endangering his victims by only a mere touch. The symbiote has also shown the ability to call parts of itself back to the main symbiote, reintegrating them. It can also send irresistible commands to parts of itself that are in technology; these were used to break the bones of the Iron Rangers when they challenged Carnage while wearing symbiote-enhanced technological exo-suits. Using these last two abilities, Carnage absorbed the five Iron Rangers, grew to an enormous size, and became blue.
Finally, Carnage's powers have always been abnormally enhanced from the maniacal will and insane worldview that Kasady has had from the age of 8 years old. Kasady sees chaos and random, undirected violence as reality, and considers order and virtue to be illusions. He takes an almost artistic pride in his mayhem, likes to leave a trail for others to follow (usually leaving the phrase "Carnage Rules" written in his own blood), and is recklessly willing to take on the most dangerous and powerful opponents and victims. On rare occasions, however, he has deliberately spared individuals to serve as witnesses for others: for instance, Joe Robertson's wife Martha during Savage Rebirth. Kasady is essentially taking revenge on the whole world for the torments, both real and imagined, of his childhood.
When the Carnage symbiote was joined with Norman Osborn, the resulting combination was immune to traditional symbiote weaknesses of sound and fire, although Anti-Venom's touch was still dangerous.
In the MC2 future timeline, Carnage also known as Specimen 297, bonds with Spider-Girl's friend, Moose Mansfied, who wanted to use the symbiote to cure his father from cancer. He also infects Spider-Girl's little brother, turning him into a miniature version of himself. Spider-Girl uses the sonic blasters of the villain Reverb to destroy all traces of the symbiote.
In a later timeline, samples of the symbiote are used to create Biopreds, living weapons that the government use to try to stop Mayhem, Spider-Girl's part-symbiote clone, who, after killing the real Spider-Girl, became a murderous vigilante, eventually killing the hero American Dream. The Biopreds run wild, however, decimating the world and its defenders. Mayhem, seeing the error of her ways, goes back in time and sacrifices herself to stop her past self from killing Spider-Girl, ensuring the events that led to the Biopreds' creation never occurred.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Carnage is a self-regenerating vampiric organism. This version is created from DNA samples of both Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and the Lizard, and combined with samples from Richard Parker's symbiotic suit research. When first introduced, the organism was a blob of instinct, with no intelligence or self-awareness, with its only aim to feed on the DNA of others, including Gwen Stacy, to stabilize itself. After feeding on multiple people, Carnage turns into a damaged form of Richard. Carnage and Peter battle to which Peter throws Carnage into a fire factor steel chimney, killing the beast. But before its death, the organism splintered into a replica of Gwen's form.
In Ultimate Spider-Man #98 "Gwen" appears to have no memory of her "death" and believes she was in a hospital, from which she has escaped. In issue #100, after a raft of revelations, the stress of the situation enrages "Gwen". She transforms into Carnage before leaping out the window.[volume & issue needed] In the next issue, "Richard Parker" claims "Gwen" should not have met Peter at all, and was merely an experiment in stem cell research. This Gwen/Carnage fights with the Fantastic Four, Nick Fury, and the Spider-Slayers drones, until she is knocked unconscious by a beam of light, and taken into custody. In issue #113, Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin causes a massive prison break from the Triskelion. An inmate appearing to be 'Gwen' walks out amidst the chaos, disappearing in the shadows. It has been revealed the creature posing as Gwen Stacy is still the original Ultimate Carnage Spider-Man faced earlier in its run. After "devouring" Gwen, this incarnation of Carnage has gone on to mimic her "essence" and now believes itself to be Gwen Stacy.[dead link]
During the "War of the Symbiotes" storyline, Gwen/Carnage's back story in the Triskelion is revealed. It is shown Gwen has been taking some form of therapy with Tony Stark. However, when the Green Goblin broke out of the Triskelion, Gwen escaped and went to Peter Parker's old house in a confused and terrified state, with Carnage's face on her body. During an exchange between Peter and Gwen, Eddie Brock attempts to attack Aunt May and retake his symbiote. In a rage, Spider-Man engages Eddie on a nearby rooftop. During the fight, Gwen is shown to be able to use her symbiote to fight off Eddie, but Eddie's symbiote reconstitutes itself upon contact with Carnage and absorbs the symbiote, rendering Gwen an ordinary girl.
On Earth-311, Canice Cassidy believed that he was bonded to a demon and formed the universe's version of Sinister Six called Sinister Sextet with Electro, Hobgoblin, Karnov (Earth-411's version of Kraven the Hunter), Magus (Earth-311's version of Mysterio), and Serpent (who is similar to Lizard) as its members. The dimension-hopping Web-Warriors who aid dimensions (who lost its Spider-Man) defeated Sinister Sextet, and as they round up their captives, they notice that Electro escaped, unbeknownst to the group, followed them to the Great Web.
- During Spider-Verse, a version of Carnage is seen by Jessica Drew on the Web of Life and Destiny.
- In the second volume of Spider-Verse during Secret Wars, Carnage was one of the mobsters taken down by that universe's Spider-Man and the Web Warriors.
In Venomverse, when Venom and Eddie Brock from Prime Earth were recruited into a war between lethal protectors from across the multiverse and the symbiote-eating Poisons, the Venoms from the multiverse were on the ropes until Eddie had the bright idea to recruit the psychopath Carnage to their side. They summoned a Carnage that hailed from a world where he had succeeded in killing Venom, and while he was volatile at first, engaging in battle with the Resistance, when he realized he had the opportunity to fight "a buncha messed-up super-heroes" he decided to join the Venoms. For some reason, Carnage was immune to the Poisons, and he helped tip the scales in their favor as one last ditch suicide run and was left for dead alongside Poison Deadpool, and was seemingly killed when the Hive's ship was destroyed, after the heroes were sent back to their respective dimensions.
During the Secret Wars, when Elsa Bloodstone along with a child were in a world of zombified characters, they run into a zombie Carnage. He was killed when Elsa throwed Carnage's head to a zombie Sauron.
Spider-Man and Batman: Disordered MindsEdit
In other mediaEdit
- The Carnage symbiote appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and bonds with Cletus Kasady (voiced by Scott Cleverdon) and Spider-Carnage (voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes.) This original depiction appeared in the episodes "Venom Returns", "Carnage" and "The Haunting of Mary Jane Watson". This version was never shown killing anyone but still a deranged psychopath with a heavy criminal record. Cletus is captured by the police after planning to explode a bomb over New York. In prison, he shares a cell with Eddie Brock. After the original symbiote goes in their prison and rebonds with Brock and escapes, Baron Mordo appears in front of Cletus and explains that another symbiote has the same symbiotic powers. When Mordo makes a deal with this symbiote power in exchange for servitude to Dormammu, Cletus accepts the offer and bonds with the new symbiote, turning into Carnage and escapes the prison. Carnage and Venom are given vampiric powers to steal life energy so that Dormammu can escape into this dimension and consume. Carnage mockingly refers to Venom as Dad. Carnage abducts Ashley Kafka, resulting in Venom teaming up with Spider-Man and Iron Man. After the final showdown, Carnage tried to drag Ashley into Dormammu's realm with him, but Eddie sacrificed himself to save Ashley and falls through the portal with Carnage. Carnage, Venom and Dormammu are ultimately imprisoned in Dormammu's dimension.
- The Carnage symbiote appears in the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series, voiced by Michael Donovan. Like this version of Venom, Carnage gains the ability to change into a somewhat liquid form while the default appearance changes to appear taller, skinnier, and with boney protrusions.
- The Carnage symbiote was originally slated to appear if The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series had been renewed for a third season but never appeared.
- The Carnage symbiote appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker (humanoid form), and by Fred Tatasciore (various hosts and giant form). The first version is a mutated form of the Venom symbiote. In its self-titled episode "Carnage", the original version is created when the Green Goblin injects Peter Parker with a symbiote sample to be a perfect Venom but Peter's spider cells makes an unstable organism that has a spiked tongue, makes screeching noises, and can causes spikes to protrude from all over his body. The second iteration later appears in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six as a completely different creature. This version is the main focus in "The Symbiote Saga" three-parter as a weaponized symbiote for HYDRA. Created by Michael Morbius from a symbiote sample forcibly taken from Agent Venom, Morbius has the Carnage symbiote envelop Doctor Octopus after being injected with Doc Ock's vampire bat serum.
- The Carnage symbiote appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy episodes “Back In the New York Groove” and “Drive My Carnage”.
- In Jessica Jones, Karl Malus wear a pair of red glasses, which is a reference to Superior Carnage.
- The Carnage symbiote is a boss character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (1992), Spider-Man/X-Men: Arcade's Revenge, The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes, and Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage and its sequel Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety.
- The Carnage symbiote is the final boss in the 2000 Spider-Man video game, first appearing as a host of Cletus Kasady (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker) After Spider-Man defeats Kasady, the Carnage symbiote leaves Kasady and attaches itself to Doc Ock, turning into the Monster-Ock. It destroys much of the underwater base when chasing Spider-Man.
- The Ultimate Marvel iteration of the Carnage symbiote appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man video game. After failing to learn how the Venom suit works and being unable to remove it from its host, Eddie Brock, CEO of Trask Industries Bolivar Trask decides to create his own makeshift sample of the symbiote to replace it. Carnage is born after scientist Adrian Toomes injects Peter Parker with this sample, leading to a much more aggressive and uncontrollable symbiote monster, which knocks Toomes unconscious and escapes, wrecking havoc in the Trask building. After Eddie transforms into Venom, he chases Carnage around the building and defeats him, absorbing the symbiote off Peter, which gives him complete control over both suits, symbolized by a white spider emblem appearing on Venom's chest.
- The Ultimate Marvel iteration of Carnage appears as a villain in the final Ultimate segment in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. Derived from Spider-Man's DNA and the Venom symbiote that turned Carnage into its own entity without a host, Carnage has been captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and brought to the Triskelion, along with a fragment from the Tablet of Order and Chaos. Ignoring Nick Fury’s orders, S.H.I.E.L.D. recklessly began experimenting on Carnage and the fragment, combining them in hopes of creating a new kind of energy. Carnage absorbs the fragment and escapes containment, draining everyone coming across of energy and using the tablet's power to reanimate them as mindless zombies (which slowly mutate into symbiote creatures like itself). After Spider-Man received an emergency call from Nick Fury about what happen, he pursues Carnage throughout the Triskelion's burning ruins, dealing with the villain's spawn and Spider-Slayers armed with flamethrowers (which identify Spider-Man as a threat due to the use of the Venom symbiote Suit). Cornering his target on the Triskelion's highest floor and gaining some reprogrammed Spider-Slayers' assistance, Spider-Man defeats Carnage and retrieves the final fragment, leaving the creature pinned under rubble. During the credits, Carnage is shown posing for pictures in prison.
- The Cletus Kasady version of Carnage is a playable character in the PSP version of Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- The Cletus Kasady version of Carnage appears in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game, voiced by David Agranov.
- The Carnage symbiote is playable character as Cletus Kasady's "Carnage" alias and as Ben Reilly's Spider-Carnage in the mobile game Spider-Man Unlimited.
- In many Marvel related games, the Carnage symbiote appears in the host of his most notable alias Cletus Kasady, these games include Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2. Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel: Avengers Alliance,Marvel Super Hero Squad Online,Marvel Heroes 2015, Marvel: Future Fight,Marvel Puzzle Quest,Marvel: Contest of Champions and Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2.
- In Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2, when Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Gwen, and Spider-Man 2099 break into Alchemax, they start to fight scientists who have become possessed by the Symbiotes of both Carnage and Venom. Later, Green Goblin 2099 uses one shard of the Nexus of All Realities to fuse the Venom symbiote and the Carnage symbiote into a new creature, dubbed "Carnom" by Spider-Man, who is being controlled by the Goblin himself. Carnom fights and is defeated by the heroes. As they claim the shard, Carnom start chasing after Goblin 2099 in retaliation for its abuse.
During the 2002 Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure featured a haunted maze entitled "Maximum Carnage". The maze was designed to be a trip through Carnage's hideout and contained all his henchmen and the bloody remains of various Marvel superheroes. The house was located at Marvel Super Hero Island under the scarezone "Island Under Siege". Carnage also was the icon chosen to represent that specific island for the event, as he killed all of the superheroes and took over the "island", allowing criminals, gangbangers, and villains to roam free with no regards to law and order. The event's main icon, "The Caretaker", chose him based on his disregard for life and desire to see total chaos.
The main theme song "Carnage Rules" by Green Jellÿ, which is based on the song "The Mob Rules" by Black Sabbath.
Collected solo seriesEdit
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Carnage Vol. 2: The One That Got Away||Carnage Issues# 1-5, All-New, All-Different Point One #1 (Carnage story)||May 10, 2016||978-0785196341|
|Carnage Vol. 2: World Tour||Carnage Issues# 6-10||November 8, 2016||978-0785196358|
|Carnage Vol. 2: What Dwells Beneath||Carnage Issues# 11-16||May 9, 2017||978-1302902964|
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- Amazing Spider-Man #795
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