Osborn, who was suddenly sane by the end of Superior Spider-Man, is looking to “get the madness back,” saying he’s tried “so many ways to be whole again.”
“Surgically. Psychologically. Spiritually. Even mystically. Nothing on Earth worked,” Osborn says in the privacy of his study.
Osborn unlocks a canister. A familiar red sludge oozes out of its prison.
“But you — you unearthly thing — you’re the answer, aren’t you? I can feel it! Madness in a jar.”
The blood red symbiote curls around Osborn’s hand. “Madness I can steal and make my own! Come, Carnage, meet your new master.”
The Carnage symbiote overtakes the maniacal Osborn, cackling with glee. “The rage!” he yells. “So much power! Such exquisite hate! The Spider won’t know what hit him!”
As he laughs, Osborn bonds with the symbiote — his speech bubbles turning gooey red.
“We’ll rip him open! Pull out all the squishy red parts!” Osborn, now the Red Goblin, declares. “First him — then the world!”
“No! That’s not what I want! I want an empire! A world to rule, not—“
Carnage interrupts. “—Tear apart! Slice it and hear it scream!”
Osborn argues with the alien creature’s bloodlust. “This is about the Spider!” he yells. “Killing Spider-Ma—“
Osborn loses control, Carnage taking over completely.
“There’s no ‘I’ here,” Carnage says. “And green’s out! There’s only red! We’re making everything red! They’ll be soaked in it! Drenched in it! And we are—CARNAGE!”
With Carnage’s return complete, the Red Goblin is born.
Osborn acquired the Carnage symbiote in last month's The Amazing Spider-Man #794, having sent a team of agents to retrieve the blood thirsty creature that was once bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady.
As longtime Amazing Spider-Man writer Dan Scott readies to depart the title, the issue wrapped up a near-forgotten plot thread from 2004's The Amazing Spider-Man #503 (penned by J. Michael Stracyznski), which saw Spider-Man rescue Tess Black, the daughter of Asgardian demigod Loki.
In return, Loki offered Spider-Man a favor of his choosing to be redeemed when he saw fit.
After accidentally freeing some supernatural bugs from the Santcum Sanctorum, Spider-Man called in the favor, telling Loki to reverse time to save the life of an innocent bystander who had been slain by one of the creatures.
Loki agreed, only for it to be revealed that Loki manipulated the situation to get Spider-Man to cash in his favor.
"I can't be in debt to a vacuous idealist who might do something reckless with his leverage," Loki monologues, saying he didn't want Spider-Man requesting Loki to turn over the title of Sorcerer Supreme back to Stephen Strange.
Threat Level Red continues in The Amazing Spider-Man #796, out February 21.