Venom: Let There Be Carnage is now in theaters, and the movie's long-rumored post-credits scene lays out some big implications for the Venom franchise (and possibly Sony's other Spider-Man adjacent films) going forward.
But beyond the obvious consequences of the scene (which we won't spoil just yet), there are some interesting, if not totally apparent, potential comic book connections in the stinger that just might inform exactly what the events of the scene mean in the moment - and what the effects could be for future movies.
OK, now's the time to turn back if you don't want any Venom: Let There Be Carnage spoilers - even for the stinger, which is largely unrelated to the rest of the movie's plot.
Spoilers ahead for Venom: Let There Be Carnage
In the stinger scene for Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Venom sits in a hotel room, with Eddie and the Symbiote discussing the Multiverse in somewhat vague terms. The symbiote states he wants to show Eddie some of what the symbiotes have experienced in their history.
Suddenly the lights flicker and the room shifts slightly, and the TV flickers with static, before showing JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson revealing Peter Parker's secret identity as Spider-Man in the same video shown in Spider-Man: Far From Home - indicating that if they weren't before, Eddie and Venom are now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or that their world and the MCU are now connected.
Eddie, confused, asks the symbiote what it did to cause the disruption - but the symbiote insists that it had nothing to do with the event (which seems to be some kind of Multiversal incursion). So what actually happened in that moment? How did Venom manage to make his way to Spider-Man's world?
Into the Venomverse
The answer may lie in the 2017 Marvel Comics event Venomverse, in which Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote are called into an alternate world of the Multiverse by that world's Doctor Strange to fight off a horde of symbiote-absorbing villains known as the Poisons.
Teaming up with Venom-ized versions of other popular Marvel heroes to fight off a horde of equally Poison-ized characters, Venom leads Strange's team in fighting the Poisons - eventually turning to none other than Carnage to help push them to victory.
Though there's nothing in the scene to directly indicate a connection to the comic book story, the clues are there, especially considering what we know of Spider-Man's MCU future.
In Venomverse, Venom travels through realities under Doctor Strange's power (admittedly the Strange of another world - or to use a hot button term, a Variant).
The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home shows Doctor Strange using Multiversal magic to attempt to conceal Peter Parker's secret identity (we mentioned that it was revealed to the whole world back in Spider-Man: Far From Home).
But things go wrong, and the villains of previous Spider-Man film franchises including Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, and Electro are summoned to the MCU from their own worlds of the Multiverse, which seems to be the explanation for the separate Spider-Man franchises.
At the same time, Spider-Man is rumored to appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which could easily connect to the Venom stinger based on just the title.
What are the chances that whatever caused the apparent Multiversal transition in Venom: Let There Be Carnage, was the same botched spell that Strange cast which summons Doctor Octopus and the others from their respective worlds?
And if that's the case, what are the odds Tom Hardy's Eddie Brock/Venom could wind up as one of the members of the Sinister Six that seems to be building?
Judging by that stinger scene - and the potential comic book connections it seems to seed - stranger things could happen.
Venom is about to get a new comic book title launching on October 27.