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Marvel's Absolute Carnage sends fans on Willy Wonka-style treasure hunt

The comic company hides original sketches by Mark Bagley, the symbiotic Spider-Man villain's co-creator, in 20 copies of the issue, and invites people who find them to share on social media. Seven have been found.

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A few copies of Marvel's Absolute Carnage No. 1 hide a cool surprise.

Marvel Comics

Carnage Rules! The first issue of Marvel Comics' Absolute Carnage hit shelves last week, but the publisher on Tuesday revealed that it's organized a treasure hunt Willy Wonka would be proud of. Much like the Golden Tickets of Roald Dahl's classic tale, Marvel hid "original, hand-drawn sketches" by the Spider-Man villain's co-creator Mark Bagley in 20 copies of the comic.

"What will the 20 sketches depict? That would be spoiling the fun!" wrote Marvel's Jamie Frevele in a post about the treasure hunt. "You'll have to get your sticky tendrils on your own copy of Absolute Carnage No .1 -- then turn to the back cover to see if you're one of the lucky ones."

The sketches are tucked away on a framed page on the back inside cover, and Marvel invited those lucky enough to find a sketch in their copy to post them on social media using the hashtags #absolutecarnage and #carnagerules.

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So far, seven of the sketches -- 1, 5, 6, 9, 14, 18 and 20 -- have been found and shared. 

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This Spidey sketch was on eBay for $4,000.

Marvel Comics/eBay user timl

Sketch No. 5 -- of Spidey -- was on eBay for $4,000, but the auction ended without any bids. The seller told CNET they planned to put it up again "in the next week or so."

Absolute Carnage, by writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman, sees the symbiote-empowered serial killer trying to resurrect an evil alien god, with Venom and Spidey teaming up to stop him. You might've seen Carnage's human half, Cletus Kasady, in the Venom midcredits scene last year, but the villain made his costumed debut in 1992's Amazing Spider-Man No. 360.

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to continue digging through every copy of Absolute Carnage I can find.

Originally published Aug. 14, 9:30 a.m. PT.
Update, Aug. 30 at 4:05 a.m. PT: Adds details about the fifth sketch.