We knew the X-Men were coming to Marvel’s movies, but we didn’t expect it to happen like this. In the Marvel/Sony sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, movie fans are introduced to Shriek, a recurring villain from the Spider-Man comics universe. In the process, Venom 2 might just be the first movie to officially put a mutant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Confused? Let’s dive in. (Warning! Spoilers ahead for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.)
Who is Shriek in the Marvel Comics?
Shriek’s first appearance can be traced back to May 1993 in Spider-Man Unlimited #1, written by Tom DeFalco with art by Ron Lim. However, her in-universe origins were originally pretty murky. She had two different names early on, Sandra Deel and Frances Louise Barrison, but Deel was later revealed to be an alias.
What’s clear is that Shriek is a mutant and her powers focus on sound manipulation. Those powers we activated in the comics when was put in Cloak’s (of Cloak and Dagger) Darkforce Dimension (as revealed in Spider-Man Vol. 1 #36, July 1993).
Despite being a mutant, Shriek never appears in the X-Men comics, though she does show up in Deadpool vs. Carnage. She also plays a role in Marvel Zombies, where she teams up with a zombified Mystique.
In Venom 2, Shriek’s powers basically mean she can scream so loud it breaks stuff. In the comics, her sonic powers also give her the ability to fly and create a defensive shield. In addition, Shriek has psychic powers which allow her to bring out the inner darkness in others, which usually leads to bloodshed.
Another difference between the comics and Venom: Let There Be Carnage is Shriek’s connection to Carnage himself (aka, Cletus Kasady). In both formats, she’s Kasady’s partner both in crime and romance, but in the movie, their connection goes back to their shared childhood at St. Estes, a home for troubled youth. (In the comics, it’s a “Home for Boys,” but in the movies, girls are allowed, too.)
In the comics, Carnage just happens to rescue Shriek while breaking out of prison. In the movie, their connection is much deeper and becomes one of the driving motivations of the film.
But enough about all that, the important thing here is that Shriek is a mutant, and that’s an even bigger deal than you might think. However, before we proceed, I need to give one final super-serious spoiler warning, because beyond this point, we’re going to be talking about Venom 2’s post-credits scene.
Is Shriek the MCU’s first mutant?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way, at the end of Venom: Let There Be Carnage, a post-credits scene does the unthinkable, it connects the Venom movies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s unclear exactly how (more on that here), but after Venom does some Symbiote mojo, he and Eddie Brock and teleported into another dimension just in time to see Tom Holland’s face on the TV as Spider-Man’s identity is exposed. It’s the same exact footage from Spider-Man: Far From Home, but it’s still a huge deal.
Again, you can head here for a full breakdown of what this all means, but we’re here right now to talk about Shriek. We know she’s a mutant, and we know Venom 2 takes place in the same multiverse as the MCU. So by the transitive property, Shriek is the MCU’s first mutant.
What that means is up for debate, but there’s no denying that it’s true. And if one mutant exists in the MCU, then more are sure to follow.
Venom: Let There Be Carnage is in theaters now.