- —Eddie Brock[src]
Eddie Brock is the former-villain-turned-hero Venom. Starting his career as a failed reporter unwittingly due to the actions of Spider-Man, he would go to Our Lady of Saints Church to ask God forgiveness before attempting suicide. However, a symbiote that was earlier discarded there by Spider-Man sensed his anger and merged with him, becoming one of the deadliest foes of Spider-Man.
Going by the alias of Venom, he would give birth to another symbiote that bonded with the serial killer Cletus Kasady to become Carnage. For a time, Eddie agreed to a truce with Spider-Man and moved to San Francisco and became the antiheroic "Lethal Protector" of an Underground City, but returned to villainy following a failed stint as a government assassin. Parting ways with the Venom symbiote, Eddie began to seek redemption for his dark past and eventually became Anti-Venom, and Toxin, a spawn of Carnage, before finally returning as Venom.
Coming into contact with the God of the Symbiotes, Knull, Eddie eventually discovered he had a son named Dylan. Eddie freed Knull from his prison to save his son from Carnage, but redeemed himself after killing the dark god during his invasion to Earth, becoming the new King in Black.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins
- 1.2 From Success to Failure
- 1.3 Birth of Venom
- 1.4 Stalking the Spider and Early Career as a Supervillain
- 1.5 Short Reprieve and an Uneasy Alliance
- 1.6 "Final Confrontation"
- 1.7 The Lethal Protector
- 1.8 Romance and Madness
- 1.9 The Hunger
- 1.10 Government Agent and Return to Villainy
- 1.11 Toxin the Newborn
- 1.12 Life with Cancer and the "Inner Venom"
- 1.13 Anti-Venom: New Ways To Live
- 1.14 Return of Anti-Venom
- 1.15 The Revengers
- 1.16 Spider-Island
- 1.17 Becoming Toxin
- 1.18 Anti-Carnage Task Force
- 1.19 Back in Black
- 1.20 War against the Poisons
- 1.21 Protecting the Dinosaur-People
- 1.22 Venom Inc.
- 1.23 The Poisons Strike Back
- 1.24 The Seventh Spawn of Venom
- 1.25 God of the Symbiotes
- 1.26 Left Abandoned and War of the Realms
- 1.27 Absolute Carnage
- 1.28 Venom Island and Beyond
- 1.29 Second Symbiote Invasion
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Paraphernalia
- 5 Notes
- 6 Trivia
- 7 See Also
- 8 Links and References
Born in New York, Eddie Brock was raised as a Roman Catholic in suburban San Francisco. His father, Carl Brock, was cold and unloving towards him because he blamed Eddie for his wife's death during childbirth. Eddie constantly attempted to obtain his father's approval, though even after excelling in school, he only received half-hearted encouragement. Eddie often stole things from other children, just so he could "find" these items to gain their friendship. He also suffered from bullying as a child. When Eddie was a teenager, he stole his father's car and snuck out to get drunk with some friends, attempting to sneak it back home before his father noticed. In the process, he accidentally ran over the son of Ms. Lewis, one of his neighbours. Eddie was horrified by what he had done and intended to plead guilty, but his father ordered him to plead innocent and brutally beat him when he refused to do so. While the charges were dropped when he plead not-guilty, covering up the incident almost bankrupted Carl Brock, ruining his reputation and further amplified his hatred and resentment towards his son.
In his teenage years, Eddie gained entrance to ESU's journalism program by fabricating an internship, and he romanced law student Anne Weying. Though exceptional in athletics, Brock switched his major in college to journalism after reading an article on the Watergate scandal. Upon graduating, he moved to New York City and married Anne. As a member of the Associated Press, he obtained a job as a journalist for the Daily Globe. He proved himself to be highly talented, though even this did not get his father's approval.
From Success to Failure
Early in his career as a reporter, Brock faced down the shadowy alien Krobaa, and uncovered illegal human testing at Devlin-MacGregor Pharmaceuticals, although threats on Anne's life prevented him from reporting that. He later began to suffer from severe anxiety, which was soon discovered to be adrenal cancer. With just months to live, Brock wanted to break a big story, and thought he had found this story when he was accidentally contacted by Emil Gregg, who claimed to be the serial killer Sin-Eater. Eddie wrote front-page exclusives of the Sin-Eater, protecting his identity under the First Amendment, until a crisis of conscience and pressure from the police and his editor forced him to write an exclusive article revealing Gregg as the Sin-Eater.
Although that edition of the paper sold out immediately, that same day Spider-Man captured and revealed the true identity of the Sin-Eater to be Detective Stan Carter. Gregg was found to be Carter's delusional neighbor, making Brock a laughingstock among his fellow journalists. Fired from the Daily Globe, he was forced to write venomous drivel for a tawdry tabloid. Anne left him, his father disowned him and his future appeared to be over. Brock blamed all of these problems on Spider-Man and began an intense physical workout program hoping to reduce the stress of his life. However, such physical exertions only increased his violent obsession with Spider-Man. Although his body had been honed to perfection, Brock’s mind was reduced to an all-consuming vessel of hatred focused on Spider-Man.
Birth of Venom
Some time after Eddie's life took these drastic changes, he was overwhelmed by shame and despair and decided to visit Our Lady of Saints Church to beg forgiveness from God before intending to commit suicide. Once inside the church, he was caught by surprise when a symbiotic alien attacked and bonded with him - drawn by his despair, adrenaline, and fierce hate, on which it fed. The symbiote bonded mentally and physically to Brock, revealing that it had been posing as Spider-Man's black costume but that Spider-Man had rejected and tried to kill it using the church's bell tower. Brock's rage and hatred toward Spider-Man further corrupted the symbiote, causing it to become increasingly vicious and bloodthirsty.
Brock soon discovered that the costume gave him all of Spider-Man's powers, adding its biomass to his already large frame and increasing his strength to levels surpassing those of Spider-Man. Agreeing to permanently bond to the symbiote, Brock learned a great deal about Spider-Man, including his secret identity; and at the symbiote's suggestion chose to name their merged form "Venom" out of resentment over being forced to write drivel for tabloids.
Stalking the Spider and Early Career as a Supervillain
Brock taunted Peter Parker with minor assaults, such as pushing him in front of an oncoming train and then grabbing his ankle while scaling an Atlantic City building; taking advantage of the symbiote's ability to cancel out the wall-crawler’s spider-sense - presumably by projecting conflicting frequencies upon Spider-Man's brain waves. Venom finally made a bold move when he confronted Parker's wife, Mary Jane Watson, at their old Chelsea apartment. Although Venom’s twisted sense of morality did not allow him to seriously harm Mary Jane, Spider-Man immediately realized the nature of this threat. Remembering the symbiote's weakness, Spider-Man retrieved a sonic blaster from the Fantastic Four, and fired the blaster at Venom. Spider-Man then discovered that the symbiote could not be separated from Brock because it had completely bonded with him. Spider-Man rationalized that further use of the weapon on Venom might kill him and decided to relent. Trying to escape and rethink his options, Spider-Man was caught unaware by Venom. He captured Spider-Man and secured him to the inside of the church bell with a considerable amount of webbing. Spider-Man narrowly escaped being crushed by the bell’s clapper before defeating Venom by forcing him to deplete his webbing supply, of which the alien symbiote was actually comprised. Before the alien could regenerate enough of its mass to become a renewed threat, Spider-Man brought Venom to the Fantastic Four who imprisoned him in a sonic containment cell. The Fantastic Four then shipped Venom to the government super-prison in the Colorado Rockies called the Vault.
A young Guardsman, Hugh Taylor, who had just been assigned to the Vault was fooled into thinking that Venom was a fallen colleague and released the gate mechanism, which imprisoned the criminal. Venom killed the naive guard and escaped to New York City. Later on, to avenge his son, General Orwell Taylor founded the armored vigilante team known as the Jury.
While hitchhiking back to Spider-Man in Manhattan, he thwarted the criminal activity of a small militia in Missouri. This marked the first time he used the symbiote heroically and demonstrated his soft spot for those he deemed innocent.
Resuming his vendetta, Brock brutalized the Black Cat, menaced May Parker and bested Spider-Man in combat on an isolated Montauk, Long Island beach. However, this time, Spider-Man used psychological warfare upon Venom, by taunting the alien symbiote to return to him. The alien, torn by its love-hate relationship for Spider-Man, tried to leave Brock and to re-establish its link with its original owner, but the trauma of trying to detach itself from Brock’s nervous system was too much to bear. The alien and Eddie Brock were both knocked unconscious and subsequently returned to the Vault, where they were incarcerated.
Eddie then faked his own suicide and escaped the Vault again. He attacked Spider-Man in Central Park, but abandoned the battle to save an innocent baby. When Venom returned to his underground lair, he was followed by Styx and Stone in the hope of finding Spider-Man. Unfortunately for them, Venom escaped the sewers in his human guise. Venom lured Spider-Man into a confrontation in his sewer lair, but when Styx and Stone intervened and attempted to kill Spider-Man. Fortunately for Spidey, albeit in a bad way, Venom would not allow anyone else to kill Spider-Man save himself and attacked them. Despite Spider-Man's best efforts to save Venom, Styx touched the symbiote with his carcinogenic touch, seemingly killing it in the process. Returned to human form, Eddie Brock was sent to a normal prison at Ryker's Island.
Short Reprieve and an Uneasy Alliance
In Ryker's Island, Eddie was placed in the same cell as the nihilistic sociopath Cletus Kasady, a notorious serial killer, and developed an intense mutual hatred of him after learning he'd boasted of killing dozens of innocents. Later it was revealed the symbiote was merely sent into a comatose state, apparently immune to Earthly diseases, and when it recovered it sought Eddie out and rebonded to him. In the ensuing breakout, however, the suit left a small asexually-produced offspring behind it which bonded to Kasady and transformed him into Carnage. Unaware of this development, Eddie captured Spider-Man and battled him on a deserted island in the Caribbeans, away from people and innocents in the hope of killing him alone. However, Spider-Man later realized that Venom would only be happy if he knew that Spider-Man was dead. Faking his death, Spider-Man made Venom believe that he had died, and thus was able to escape. Happy at last, Venom saw there was no reason to return to civilization, having all he needed on the island, and stayed there.
One day as he web-swings through the jungle, Eddie hears unfamiliar voices and tracks them to the beach, where he spies a group of arms dealers unload stolen military tech from a yacht at sea. As no one had been to the island since he had arrived, Eddie follows them to the mines and decides to kill them. When the symbiote cuts off Eddie's "We are Venom!" catchphrase to point out that they need a new codename now that Spider-Man is dead, Eddie agrees to "Vengeance", transforms, kills them, and blows up the mines.
In a plan to help his father, Darkhawk hijacked a cargo plane which crashed onto the island. The two fought mostly because Eddie, using the name Venom again, desired privacy. After the symbiote sensed Powell's innocence, misleading the hero into thinking that he was dead. His peaceful solitude was also interrupted by his stint as an unwitting pawn of Nightmare, to torment Wolverine inside a dream zone. Subsequently, Venom and Wolverine allied to try and foil Nightmare's scheme. At one point Wolverine seemingly saved Eddie's life.
A few months later, however, Carnage began a mass-murdering rampage throughout Manhattan, killing hundreds of people. Spider-Man attempted to stop him, but swiftly learned that despite his superior experience he was outmatched. Realizing that Carnage possessed a symbiote, Peter reluctantly realized that he needed Venom's help in order to stop this menace. Contacting Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, they traveled to the Caribbean island where Venom resided. When Venom realized that Spider-Man was alive, he attacked the two. After a brief spat, Venom listened to what Spider-Man had to say. Promising to help Spider-Man stop Carnage in exchange for his freedom, Spider-Man reluctantly agreed, starting the first of many uneasy alliances with each other.
Returning to New York, Venom and Spider-Man attempted to stop Carnage's rampage twice with equal failure. In their final attempt at Madison Square Garden, they stopped Carnage after he began trying to kill J. Jonah Jameson. Turning on the sound system to the maximum frequency, Spider-Man stopped Carnage. He then proceeded (albeit reluctantly) to use the sound waves on Venom before he attacked him, still possessing enough hatred and strength to choke him. His attempt to kill the wall-crawler, however, was stopped by the Fantastic Four, who Venom realized were behind this plan all along. Venom's hatred for Spider-Man now grew greater than ever.
While hunting for Spider-Man, Venom attacked the Bar with No Name and picked a fight with Wolverine, who he'd previously crossed paths with when pulled into the Dimension of Dreams by Nightmare. While Venom was defeated, Wolverine noted they weren't so different and chose to spare Venom, advising him to overcome his bloodlust and make something better of himself. While Venom initially disregarded this advice, it laid the groundwork for his transition into an antihero.
Venom escaped when Hag and Troll killed the Vault Guardsmen transporting him to prison. Brock wanted to avenge the murders, which led him into a battle with Demogoblin, Doppelganger,and a legion of Deathspawn with help from Spider-Man, Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze. Simultaneously, Ghost Rider and Johnny Blaze prevented Venom from attacking Spider-Man, and Venom was forced back to the Vault.
Venom soon sprung himself from the prison, and immediately sought Spider-Man out in what was meant to be their final battle. Learning that Parker's long-lost parents had resurfaced (unaware they were actually robot duplicates), Venom kidnapped them in order to protect their innocence from his corruption. Spider-Man contacted Eddie's ex-wife, Anne Weying, in order to gain info on his whereabouts, which led Spider-Man to Thrill World where he found Venom waiting. Eddie noticed Ann, who had traveled there to try and reach him one last time. As the Wild Pack arrived, a battle ensued. An amusement ride fell next to Anne and Eddie couldn't hold it on his own. As Eddie started to falter, Spider-Man assisted him in holding the tremendous weight, and together they tossed the ride aside. Afterwards, Venom began to resume the fight with Spider-Man, but Anne stopped him, reminding Eddie that Spider-Man just saved an innocent life. Pondering this fact for a moment, Eddie realized that by not killing Spider-Man, more innocent lives could be saved. Venom then made a deal with Peter: so long as Spider-Man did not go after them, they would not go after him. Agreeing to the terms, Spider-Man watched as Venom attached a web line to a nearby helicopter, departing for a new city where he wouldn't interfere.
The Lethal Protector
After his truce with Spider-Man, Venom relocated to his hometown of San Francisco. Some cops recognized Eddie Brock and tried to bring him in, but he turned into Venom and incapacitated them. Venom saved a handful of homeless people from being abused by criminals and in gratitude revealed their underground society descended from survivors of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Seeking revenge for Venom's murder of his son, General Orwell Taylor sent his task force called the Jury, to take down Venom, but ultimately failed. Venom was then taken prisoner by the Life Foundation and was forcefully made to spawn five more symbiotes. During this time, Venom managed to convince a pursuing Spider-Man - who had read about how Venom was beating up police officers and broke the truce by going to find him - that he was dedicated to protecting innocent people enough to solicit his help; though Spider-Man remained wary of Venom's ruthless aggression. He managed to incapacitate the other symbiotes and escaped the Life Foundation. The man responsible for the Life Foundation and the symbiotes, Roland Treece, planned on killing the underground civilization in order to obtain a large mass of gold supposedly buried within it. Enlisting Spider-Man's aid once again, Venom thwarted his evil scheme. Saving the citizens of the underground city, they awarded him their vote of acceptance to take up residence there as their guardian.
When Venom heard the news of Carnage leading a massacre across New York City, he went there to stop the villain, but was outnumbered by Carnage and his minions. He took up alliance with Spider-Man and many other superheroes in an effort to stop Carnage and his henchmen. Venom advocated the use of lethal force against Carnage but Spider-Man refused this tactic, putting them at odds. The heroes eventually succeeded, with Venom tackling Carnage into a generator system, rendering him unconscious. Spider-Man and Black Cat believed that Venom had sacrificed himself to save them from Carnage, but Venom survived and returned home.
During his period of vigilantism, Eddie crossed paths with other superheroes and anti-heroes such as the Punisher, Darkhawk, Daredevil, Iron Man, Morbius, Mace, Hulk, and Vengeance. In one of these encounters he attempted to rid his symbiote of its weakness to fire and sound by acquiring a bio-virus, but was convinced by Daredevil that his weaknesses actually provided him an opportunity to prove himself as a hero.
Venom learned he was being hunted by a criminal group, which led to his second encounter with Darkhawk. Venom expressed to Darkhawk how he felt betrayed by him, due to Darkhawk attacking him and swearing to turn him over to the authorities for his past crimes, despite Venom seemingly sparring Darkhawk's life in their previous encounter. Venom bested him in battle but resisted killing him as a return favor for his aiding him in battle against the Seekers. Venom offered to ally however Darkhawk believed Venom was intent on killing and swore to bring him to justice. Venom was then heavily assaulted and knocked unconscious by Darkhawk to prevent him from possibly killing their target. Despite this, Venom was still able to escape Darkhawk. Venom also briefly clashed with Wolverine when both antiheroes were pulled into the Dream Dimension by the demon Nightmare, though they begrudgingly set aside their differences and worked together to escape.
Romance and Madness
During his tenure as the Underground City's protector, Eddie began to be tormented by demons from another dimension called the Realm of Madness, who plotted to lure Venom into their world by seeking to drive him increasingly insane. He also became romantically involved with Beck Underwood, a lawyer and above-ground contact of the underground society. A company called Scarmore Inc. was behind some illegal experiments in which they fused a virus with liquid mercury; however, all the substance did was sicken anyone who worked with it, both physically and mentally. Scarmore Inc. hired Black Tom and Juggernaut to kidnap Beck, who was prosecuting the company; and while protecting Beck from the Juggernaut, Venom became submerged in the mercury virus.
The mercury virus turned out to be sentient and bonded to Venom, augmenting his strength and figure drastically while simultaneously manipulating him, leading to Venom attempting to kill the company president but actually killing a janitor by mistake; and becoming increasingly aggressive during an intimate moment with Beck that went awry. In a rematch with Juggernaut, Venom was thrown into the Realm of Madness; battling the demons Necromancer (taking the appearance of Ghost Rider), Paranoia, and Dusk. The demons explained that every time someone went mad they fell into the Realm of Madness for an amount of time, and the degree of Venom's madness meant he could remain there indefinitely. Bickering with the symbiote and the virus, Venom eventually conquered his conflicting personalities and the demons inside the realm, and was sent back to Earth. Venom attempted to rescue Beck from the Juggernaut, who got fed up and left after Scarmore Inc.'s second-in-command exposed incriminating evidence against the corporation. Beck ended her romance with Eddie, only forgiving him for nearly assaulting her because he hadn't been in control of himself; and Venom expelled the Mercury Virus from his system. Despite everything, Venom respected the sentient virus and welcomed a reunion if he ever needed another power boost.
Returning to New York, Eddie found himself deprived of sleep and growing more and more delusional; with people appearing as demons and monsters to him. Everything he ate tasted like garbage, and he had a craving for something but did not know what it was. Using his old resources and skills as a journalist to find trouble, he went to a bar filled with criminals and started a fight for the sake of punishing the guilty and working up an appetite. He took down everyone in the bar fight with little effort, before suddenly devouring one of the men's brains. Hearing the other bar patrons' screams snapped Eddie out of his feeding. To Eddie’s disgust, he felt the symbiote asking him for more; Eddie stood up to his other and refused to feed it. The symbiote separated from Eddie and went off on its own to hunt. In his attempts to warn the innocents of New York about the alien, Eddie (nude without the symbiote) was arrested.
Eddie was eventually handed over to Doctor Paine, who thought that Eddie had organic brain syndrome; but unknown proteins in his system, enlarged pores and a severe lack of phenethylamine in his brain proved otherwise. Paine listened to Eddie, and he was allowed to leave the hospital due to Paine's ulterior motives. Eddie stocked up on different supplies so as to better combat the rampaging symbiote, since he decided that he could not live with what it had become. Their mental link allowed Eddie to see through its attempt to ambush him and Eddie first tried to talk to the creature, but it raged at him and he had no choice but to fight it. Eventually, he downed the alien and had it at his mercy. Stating the symbiote was sick he gave it a dose of phenethylamine, which he overheard Dr. Paine mention. Having eaten all it could leech from Eddie, the symbiote needed it from other sources. The other brains couldn't feed it nearly as much as Eddie’s due to his emotional attachment, and after digesting it the alien calmed down. Dr. Paine and his orderlies ambushed them, took the symbiote and left Eddie. After escaping an explosion he sensed that Paine was torturing & experimenting on the symbiote. He snuck into the complex, found the symbiote, and freed it to become Venom again. With his powers returned Venom defeated the orderlies before impaling Doctor Paine. Wanting to torture him, Paine retorted to Venom that he wouldn't be able to feel any of it; in response, Venom absorbed all the phenethylamine from the doctor's brain leaving him with an insatiable hunger for brains. Eddie later found that chocolate was also a good source of phenethylamine, removing the need to feed for the time being; though the symbiote quickly grew dissatisfied with this solution and tormented Eddie until he begrudgingly agreed to let it take over.
Government Agent and Return to Villainy
Placed on trial for murdering a police officer during one of his prison escapes, Venom was recruited via an ultimatum by the government's Overreach Committee to be a special operations counter-terrorist agent. Eddie agreed, but was tranquilized and had a thermite bomb surgically implanted in his chest to assure complete and utter obedience. As a government agent, Venom was sent after a plane hijacked by neo-fascists, the Soviet terrorist Dr. Yes and Terachnid, but chafed against the orders of his handler Agent Daryll Smith. Clashing with Spider-Man when he attempted to kill J. Jonah Jameson - having misinterpreted Smith's vaguely-worded order to intimidate him - Venom called off their truce and declared his intent to reveal Spider-Man's secret identity to the public, but was knocked unconscious by a dynamite explosion and awoke with partial amnesia - having forgotten Spider-Man's secret identity.
Following this, the Overreach Committee decided that Venom was too much of a loose cannon and attempted to detonate the thermite bomb in Eddie's chest. Tired of their disdainful treatment of him, Eddie had the symbiote perform surgery on him and extracted the bomb, using the blast to escape custody. Venom subsequently exposed the Overreach Committee to reporter Trish Tilby, but was attacked by up-and-coming superhero Stentor, Agent Smith - who had been ordered to silence him by the Overreach Committee), and Spider-Man - who had assumed Venom had returned to being a supervillain following the incident with Jameson. Retreating to the sewers but followed by Spider-Man, Venom's amnesia enabled Spider-Man to detect him with his spider-sense and bait him into a trap set by Agent Smith. After receiving a blow to the head, Eddie regained his memory of his obsessive hatred towards Spider-Man, but was subdued and injected with an overdose of dopamine inhibitor, forcibly separating Eddie from the symbiote and seemingly killing it.
The symbiote survived and eventually recovered, rebonding to Eddie - who subsequently relapsed into villainy. After the reunion, Venom joined the Sinister Six for a brief period in order to get at Spider-Man. After being scorned and humiliated by the group over the symbiote's mundane weaknesses, he began hunting down the other members of the team for revenge (including Electro, the Sandman, and Kraven the Hunter (Alyosha Kravinoff). Taking the Daily Bugle hostage when Sandman sought refuge there, Venom psychologically tortured the employees and implicitly killed some of them before Spider-Man's arrival. Angered by Spider-Man - who was in a cynical mood - mocking his threats of cannibalism as being empty, Venom decided to start following through with them and ate a chunk of Sandman - nearly killing him - before trying to eat Spider-Man, who chased him off with a lighter.
Desiring to repent and atone for his crimes, Eddie approached his ex-wife Anne Weying in hopes that she would agree to get back together with him and help him become a better person. However, Anne had been severely traumatized by the symbiote, and at the thought of having Venom back in her life she jumped out of her apartment window and killed herself. Venom blamed Spider-Man, who had resumed wearing the black suit and unwittingly contributed to her decision to kill herself; thus intensifying Eddie's hatred towards Peter even further.
Eddie subsequently relapsed into villainy again, and during a battle with the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, the Venom symbiote's tongue was severed and used by the Ararat Corportation to create a symbiote clone as part of a complicated scheme to wipe out all life on the planet with a horde of symbiotes. The sadistic symbiote clone eventually bonded to soldier Patricia Robertson, who travelled to New York to kill Venom. Flirting with her, Venom eventually absorbed the symbiote-clone into his symbiote to become more powerful than ever and decided to go along with the Ararat Corportation's plot, which ultimately never came to pass. When the Hyborian sorcerer Kulan Gath resurfaced in the modern era and attempted to conquer the world by turning it into a medieval-esque version of itself, Venom was one of the villains he enslaved using his magic - being sent after Red Sonja, who was indwelling the body of Mary Jane Watson. Gath attempted to take the Venom symbiote for himself, but Venom broke free of his control and attempted to eat him; though he was defeated and had his symbiote stolen by the sorcerer. After Gath was defeated, the symbiote escaped him and returned to Eddie.
Toxin the Newborn
Realizing that Carnage was about to give birth, Venom - now fully under the control of the symbiote - sought Cletus out and explained the birthing process to him. Carnage was disgusted and fled, feeling threatened by his nascent spawn's existence and attempting to first suppress the birth and then destroy the newborn. Venom, however, wanted to raise and train the new symbiote as an ally and partner. Weakened by the birthing, Carnage was unable to kill the newborn symbiote and implanted it in Patrick Mulligan, a New York City cop. Venom named the new symbiote Toxin, after himself. Venom and Carnage knew how powerful Toxin would be, and because he would most likely be a hero (since the host was a cop), they made a temporary alliance to kill Toxin. In the end, though, they were defeated.
Life with Cancer and the "Inner Venom"
Unbeknownst to Eddie, the symbiote had been modifying his memories and biochemistry to make him believe he had cancer and that it was the only thing keeping him alive; including falsifying memories of him having a sister named Mary Brock and an uncle named Dan Brock who had died of cancer. When this resulted in Eddie actually developing brain cancer, the symbiote attempted to forsake him and return to Spider-Man; while Eddie came to fear and resent it, seeing it as a demon sent to punish him for contemplating suicide. After seeing a spiritual movie, Eddie had a religious reawakening and decided to sell his symbiote off in a supervillain auction, swearing off his life of vigilantism and to donate the money to charity. The winner of the auction was Maggia don Vincente Fortunato, who gave the symbiote to his nebbish son Angelo, in hopes that he would finally make a name for himself. Eddie attempted to warn Angelo of the risks the symbiote entailed, but his warnings were disregarded. Unimpressed with Angelo's cowardice, the symbiote eventually left him right in the middle of a powered jump, abandoning its host in mid-air and leaving him to fall helplessly to his death. The symbiote sought out and bonded to Mac Gargan, the Scorpion, and after learning of Angelo's death Brock attempted to kill himself and was hospitalized.
Rapidly succumbing to his cancer, Eddie began experiencing hallucinations of the symbiote, representing his dark side. After a while of being tormented by these hallucinations, Eddie spotted Mary Jane Watson-Parker watching over Aunt May, who had been seriously wounded by sniper hired by the Kingpin. Eddie's dark side persuaded him to order a black suit similar to Spider-Man's and put it on with the intent of murdering Aunt May while she was in a coma. Eddie killed a nurse for getting in his way, but after sneaking into Aunt May's room he had a change of heart, finding he could not murder someone as innocent and helpless as Aunt May. Peter entered the room moments later to find Brock sitting on the shattered window, having slit his own wrists dozens of times. Believing he had done too many terrible things to live on, Eddie jumped out of the window, but Peter broke his fall by catching him. Awakening chained to his bed, Brock decided to take control of himself for the remaining days he had left, telling the hallucination of the symbiote that he was in control.
Anti-Venom: New Ways To Live
Still suffering from hallucinations of the symbiote, Eddie started working for Mr. Li and Aunt May at the F.E.A.S.T. center, where he worked serving food to the homeless. Thanks to Li's mysterious powers, Eddie was cured of his cancer, which he viewed as a miracle and a sign his life was turning around. Unfortunately, the current Venom entered the F.E.A.S.T. center looking for Spider-Man, the symbiote having sensed the presence of a former host. Eddie was attacked by Gargan, who mocked him for having given up the symbiote, but to both men's shock and horror the symbiote abruptly attempted to abandon Gargan and return to Eddie. However, a white symbiote - formed from the remnants of the Venom symbiote inside Eddie's body being altered and fused to his white blood cells by Martin Li's powers - repelled the Venom symbiote, which it was caustic to, and emerged from Eddie's body. Dubbing himself Anti-Venom, Eddie teamed up with Spider-Man to fight off the Thunderbolts and decided to call off his long-time vendetta after witnessing Spider-Man rescue an innocent old man. Anti-Venom was able to mortally wound the Venom symbiote, forcing the Thunderbolts to retreat; and upon sensing remnants of the Venom symbiote in Peter's body he attempted to "cure" him as well. In doing so, Eddie almost ended up stripping Spider-Man of his powers, which began shorting out whenever they were in close proximity.
Later, Thunderbolt guards arrived to take the disabled Gargan to the ship while Songbird and Radioactive Man battled Spider-Man and Anti-Venom. After the fight, Anti-Venom sneaked on the Thunderbolts ship and stole back Peter Parker's camera, looted by Norman Osborn in a bid to reverse engineer the tracing system allowing the camera to zero on Spider-Man's chest. He was able to help Peter escape Osborn's tracer and forewarned him about the villain's next move in a show of friendship and good-will.
Anti-Venom led Spider-Man to Oscorp and the two split up. Brock disguised himself as Spider-Man to distract the other Thunderbolts while Spider-Man went after Osborn. After webbing up Songbird and Radioactive Man to a wall, Anti-Venom faced Gargan, who was now wearing a new Scorpion battlesuit to protect his recovering symbiote. After a grueling battle, "Ven-orpion" managed to hit Anti-Venom with his stinger and injected a poisonous formula that seemingly destroyed Brock's new symbiote. However, the Venom symbiote stopped Gargan from killing Eddie, destroying his new battlesuit. Gargan explained that the alien still loved Brock, but promised him that he would get past this problem and someday finish him off. Unknown to Gargan, Brock's Anti-Venom suit reformed. Now a fugitive for helping Spider-Man and fighting the Thunderbolts, Brock was back on the streets, planning to continue his former vigilante antihero career with an increased religious emphasis as the Anti-Venom. His first act of street-level heroics was to cure a young woman named Jenna Cole from her heroin addiction and direct her towards F.E.A.S.T.
Brock was the first person to find out that Martin Li was Mister Negative, though he despaired that no-one would ever believe him because of his monstrous appearance and past deeds as Venom. Working with Jenna Cole, Eddie began fighting crime in the sleazier areas of New York, having separated themselves from the F.E.A.S.T. foundation. As Anti-Venom, Eddie began "curing" the streets of drug dealers after Jenna would go undercover to lure them out. Eddie became increasingly mentally unstable, however, frequently relapsing into his murderous "Lethal Protector" personality, and was overtly/near-lethally protective of Jenna. At a drug bust on the Quintas gang after they had captured Jenna, Eddie interrupted them threatening her and was preparing to transform when the Punisher intervened. Anti-Venom and Castle slaughtered the criminals until a gang member took Jenna hostage. Eddie stopped Castle from shooting the gang member through Jenna, but upon realizing Anti-Venom's identity the Punisher shot him in the head with a shotgun. Anti-Venom recovered and attacked the Punisher in retaliation; the two antiheroes almost killing each other and enabling the gang member to escape with Jenna. Eddie declared a truce, saying that if the Punisher didn't back down he'd make him go to Mexico with him in a wheelchair and that he could drive the Punisher's van. The Punisher agreed to the truce, but tried to kill Eddie again during the border crossing with a knife. He dropped Eddie off at the compound, figuring Eddie would die instead of him, and this way he planned to take care of two birds with one stone. When he talked on the phone to the leader of the Quintas gang and found that Jenna had relapsed and was doing drugs again, Eddie lost control and tore one of the Quintas in half in a fit of rage. After killing the remaining guards, Eddie rejoined the Punisher, and the two launched an attack on the Quintas. At the end of the raid, Eddie found a severely drugged Jenna, who seemed afraid of his Anti-Venom costume. After withdrawing the symbiote into himself, Eddie managed to calm her down. The Punisher attempted to snipe Eddie from a distance but ultimately decided not to, dismissing his act of mercy as having run out of ammo. After the Punisher left, Jenna and Eddie took a jeep and returned home.
Return of Anti-Venom
Anti-Venom later teamed up with Spider-Man and the new Wraith to take down Mr. Negative. Intending to deal with one of Mister Negative's drug shipments at the harbor, Anti-Venom encountered Wraith, who had gotten there first. After assuming a civilian disguise, Eddie observed May Parker-Jameson have a seizure from meeting with Martin Li for the first time in a while (due to a memory relapse when she discovered his secret), causing Brock to realize that May had also stumbled onto Martin Li's secret. Once Li left the center, Anti-Venom attacked his car only to be attacked by Spider-Man, who didn't know what was going on and assumed Anti-Venom had gone back to his cannibalistic ways. Irritated, Anti-Venom captured him and webbed him to a pillar in his hideout, trying to explain the situation. Even though Spider-Man didn't believe his story about Li being Mister Negative, Anti-Venom brought him to the museum and webbed him to a statue so he could witness the truth as Mister Negative had the heroin shipped there placed within ancient Chinese terracotta statues. Aware of the ambush, Mister Negative was waiting for him and defeated Anti-Venom by charging his sword with Darkforce energy and impaling him to disable Anti-Venom's Lightforce-derived healing powers. Once Wraith arrived and freed Spider-Man, the two worked together to defeat Mister Negative and Wraith used her face recognition software to confirm Anti-Venom was telling the truth. Afterwards, Spider-Man removed the sword from Anti-Venom and they put an end to their previously tenuous relationship.
As Anti-Venom, Eddie Brock was recruited by Simon Williams to serve in his new Anti-Avengers team, the Revengers. The Revengers defeated the New Avengers at Avengers Mansion, and later called a press conference at the court where the Avengers appeared to confront them. After failing discussions with Wonder Man, Iron Man trapped him in his ionic form in a containment unit. Not willing to fight with too many civilians near, Thor teleported the Revengers to the Citi Field, where they were subdued by both the Avengers and the New Avengers and later imprisoned.
At some point afterwards, Anti-Venom was either freed or escaped from prison, returning to Our Lady of Saints Church. During the release of a virus that gave New York's civilians copies of Spider-Man's powers and started mutating them into spider-monsters, Anti-Venom used his curative abilities to return people to normal. Agent Venom was sent to capture him so that the Anti-Venom symbiote could be used to make a cure, but Eddie sensed Venom's presence and a fight erupted between them. With Eddie having been weakened from overusing his healing abilities, the Venom symbiote abandoned Flash Thompson and re-bonded to Brock, taking over him despite him being visibly terrified as they bonded, even shedding tears. Flash managed to convince the symbiote to return to him, and took Eddie to Horizon Labs. As an ultimatum, Reed Richards proposed that Eddie use his Anti-Venom symbiote as a cure to be distributed to everyone; although this would result in its destruction. Eddie agreed, and as a result was considered the hero of Spider-Island.
Not being bonded to a symbiote anymore, Eddie obtained an arsenal of anti-symbiote weapons and intended to hunt down Carnage, Venom, Toxin, and the other symbiotes to prevent an event called the Spawning; starting with Hybrid and Scream. Despite having helped to save New York, Eddie was homeless and poor, and his arsenal was the only thing he had.
When Eddie tracked down and tried to kill Agent Venom, he was knocked out in battle and captured by the Crime-Master, who bonded him to the Toxin symbiote in order to serve in his Savage Six. Dominated by the Toxin symbiote, Eddie tracked down Venom in order to kill him but was incapacitated by a sonic weapon and webbed up by Venom. He later recovered and returned to Crime-Master's hideout. When Agent Venom arrived there searching for Betty Brant, Megatak faced him but was devoured by Toxin. Agent Venom attempted to free Eddie from the Toxin symbiote and immolate it, but the burning symbiote grabbed Eddie and both seemingly perished in the flames. However, both the symbiote and Eddie survived, feeding on numerous criminals and gang members to recuperate from their injuries, and agreed to work together as Toxin for the purpose of hunting down and killing Agent Venom.
Using his investigative skills and the Toxin symbiote's superior sense of smell, Eddie tracked Agent Venom down to Philadelphia and found Thompson trying to reason with a man who had been parasitized by carnivorous alien machines called Symbiote Slayers. To prove his point that it was impossible to resist the predatory urges of the symbiotes, Toxin ate the cyborg before attacking Thompson and nearly killing him. Using the sedative he was saving for the Venom symbiote, Flash incapacitated Brock, who left the scene vowing to return. Toxin tracked down Flash to the high school he now worked in, hypocritically berating Flash for endangering the innocent children with his symbiote; but the alien machines whose host Toxin had killed infected a group of homeless people and tracked Toxin and Venom down. In order to save innocent lives, Flash convinced Brock to temporarily team up and defeat the monsters, who were ultimately killed. Realizing that Flash was doing good as Agent Venom and re-evaluating his own relationship with Toxin, Eddie offered Flash a deal: he would let Agent Venom live as long as he had control over the symbiote, but would mercy-kill him if he lost control.
Anti-Carnage Task Force
After Flash left Philadelphia to join the Thunderbolts and Guardians of the Galaxy, Toxin filled the void and began taking down Philadephia's drug gangs, coming to accept and enjoy his bond with the Toxin symbiote. He was hunted down and captured by the FBI, who detained him using employ of sonic cannons. Rather than kill Toxin, the FBI offered Eddie an opportunity to become an agent of the new Anti-Symbiote Task Force. Eddie accepted, but his handler Claire Dixon saw him as nothing but a monster, had him constantly dosed with symbiote suppressant drugs, and to Eddie's frustration only unleashed the Toxin symbiote as an absolute last resort.
Under Dixon's command, Eddie, John Jameson, and Manuela Calderon instigated a trap to capture Carnage that resulted in Jameson, Carnage, and several agents being trapped in Grey Ridge Mine, Virgina. The team delved deeper into the mine to confront Carnage, ultimately discovering the entire operation and its downfall was part of a plan orchestrated by the mine's owner Barry Gleason to sacrifice Carnage in a temple hidden deep within the mines for a Chthonic ritual. The team failed to apprehend Carnage, who had been empowered by the eldritch tome known as the Darkhold and escaped to investigate his new abilities and the dark god they came from.
Even after the Anti-Symbiote Task Force was disbanded by the FBI, it continued operating with funding from Victoria Montesi, an occult expert looking for the Darkhold. Early into their new adventure, Dixon was captured by Carnage and bonded to a Darkhold-enhanced symbiote. Soon afterwards, they were joined by Jubulile van Scotter, a young woman who had assisted Kasady on her boat when she found him adrift, unaware he was a serial killer, and who had also been bonded to a Darkhold-altered symbiote in a failed attempt by Carnage to control her. Brock saw his team's subsequent quest to find Carnage and stop him from unleashing Chthon as a signal that God was giving him a second chance to atone for his past wrongs, and tried to become a better man. While tracking down Carnage, Brock also became very protective towards Jubulile, who had been discovered to share a psychic bond with Carnage.
The Anti-Symbiote Task Force finally located Carnage on a mysterious uncharted island, but arrived too late, Possessed by Carnage had already reached an ancient temple and performed ritual to summon Chthon. As they came closer to Carnage, the psychic influence over Jubulile from the Carnage symbiote grew stronger; and in a last-ditch effort to prevent Jubulile from being taken over by Carnage, Eddie reluctantly gave her the Toxin symbiote. While he was worried about the risk it posed for Jubulile to have two symbiotes, she convinced him to give her the symbiote and successfully merged it with her own. Empowered by her own symbiote, the Toxin symbiote and Dixon's Raze symbiote; Jubulile confronted Chthon when he arrived. After Montesi took the Darkhold from Carnage and used it to empower Jubulile with the psychic energies of the entire world, she managed to banish Chthon. When the dust settled, the anti-Carnage task force disbanded. Their members bid farewell to each other and parted ways.
Back in Black
Eddie returned to the FBI, seeking to recruit new replacement members into the Anti-Symbiote Task Force. When he heard rumors that Venom had returned to villainy, Eddie travelled to New York and volunteered his services. Upon arriving and seeing that his "darling" symbiote had indeed returned to Earth, Eddie tricked Spider-Man into helping separate the suit from its host, Lee Price. Tired of being mistreated by his colleagues and learning that the symbiote was going to be imprisoned in an orbital facility, Eddie freed it from its containment and bonded to it to become Venom once again.
However, Eddie was not completely at-ease with being bonded to the Venom symbiote again, as its renewed bloodlust and outbursts of rage interfered with his desire to go straight and not relapse into being the Lethal Protector. After it caused him to murder a couple of tech thieves he mistook for terrorists, he visited the Our Lady of Saints Church and spoke with the new priest, who advised Eddie to reconsider rekindling his relationship — angering the symbiote. Attacked by the Scorpion after leaving the church, Eddie managed to defeat Gargan by exploiting his fear of the symbiote before passing out. The symbiote took over his body and returned to the church to vengefully attack the priest, saying it would kill anyone who threatened its bond with Eddie. After taking the comatose priest to a hospital, Eddie overheard a young man say that his friends were killed and eaten by a humanoid monster with huge fangs in the sewers near Our Lady of Saints Church. Initially fearing the symbiote was responsible, Eddie lectured it on trust and it revealed it knew he'd used Spider-Man to trick it and wasn't sure it could trust him either. In the sewers, Venom was attacked by a human-dinosaur hybrid and lapsed into a feral rage, killing it. Taking it to Alchemax — its place of origin — he learned that the military had released Stegron to them in order to research regenerative technology, but that Stegron had escaped and resumed his quest to conquer the world by turning people into humanoid dinosaurs. Eddie struck a deal with Liz Allen: he would hunt down Stegron and bring him in, in exchange for her finding out what was wrong with the Venom symbiote. Locating Stegron's lair, Venom discovered it was full of hundreds of dinosaur-people, but was incapacitated and captured.
The dinosaur-people debated what to do with him: eat him or "bless" him by transforming him into one of them. Due to their indecision, Stegron decided to turn Eddie into one of them out of curiosity to see what it would do to the symbiote. Eddie was able to fight back, however, and caused a rupture in the wall that flooded the cave with water. Both the symbiote and Eddie escaped, and were found by Devil Dinosaur and Moon Girl. Moon Girl introduced herself and her dinosaur, and explained what they were doing: Devil Dinosaur had smelled the dinosaur-people and led her to the sewers. Venom recommended that they both stay out of it before going back to Alchemax to talk to Liz Allan. Edward explained the situation of the dinosaur-people, before the scientist Dr. Steven explained the what was going wrong with the symbiote: it was losing physical cohesion, leaving pieces of itself that separate from the original mass; and losing psychological stability as well due to its re-corruption. The greatest source of this problem was that the symbiote suppressant drugs that Eddie took during his time with the FBI altered his metabolism, causing his body to become incompatible with any Klyntar that bonded to him. Eddie reacted with anger and denial, transforming into Venom and attacking Steven, but Liz calmed him down and said that if he killed Steven then no one could save his life. She informed him that Steven created a medicine that could stabilize his metabolism and prevent the symbiote from degenerating any further, and promised she would give him a supply to take home if he brought in Stegron. With prodding from the symbiote, Eddie accepted the offer, but Moon Girl's involvement led to Devil Dinosaur being psychically taken over by Stegron. Venom and Moon Girl were able to defeat Stegron, leaving him unconscious and terminating his control of the dinosaur-people and Devil Dinosaur. Venom parted ways with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, the former suggesting he act as the dinosaur-peoples' protector. Eddie brought Stegron and the equipment back to Alchemax, and in return received a month's supply of serums. Eddie asked if he could get a job at Alchemax since his assets from working with the FBI were frozen. Liz Allan refused due to Eddie being a federal fugitive, suggesting he either rob from criminals to get money or go back to writing journalism for tabloids.
Eddie's renewed bond with the symbiote was not without complications, as it was dismissive of needing the medication from Alchemax and developed a habit of forcing him to sleep so that it could observe human emotions by watching TV. Out of a job and needing money, Eddie attempted to sell the television, but was unable to do so.
War against the Poisons
During a one-sided fight with Jack O'Lantern, Venom was abruptly pulled through a portal into a post-apocalyptic version of New York. He was approached by what appeared to be a small child, who reached out to take his hand but was killed by an incarnation of Captain America bonded to the Venom symbiote. Captain Venom told Eddie that what he'd seen was actually a monster that would have killed him, leading him to a group of Venomized heroes and antiheroes: Mania, Agent Venom, Venompool, and Venomized versions of Ant-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Old Man Logan, Rocket Raccoon, Spider-Man, Spinneret, and X-23. The group started to explain to Eddie that a group of creatures called Poisons were hunting and assimilating incarnations of Venom across the multiverse. The Venomized Spider-Man — whose version of Eddie Brock had never developed beyond being a revenge-obsessed supervillain, leading to Spider-Man retaking the Venom symbiote — interrupted the explanation by trying to pick a fight. Angered by their refusal to believe he'd gone straight, Venom demanded that Doctor Strange return him to Earth-616, but the Resistance was attacked by a Poison version of the Hulk, who killed Agent Venom and captured Captain Venom. Separated from the others, Venom and Venomized Spider-Man were forced to set aside their differences and work together to navigate the ruined city. During a fight against a Poison version of Doctor Octopus, Venomized Spider-Man was consumed and assimilated by a hostless Poison despite Venom's best efforts to save him.
Poison Spider-Man easily defeated Venom and was about to feed him to a hostless Poison when Venompool, Spinneret, and Logan Venom intervened; and Poison Spider-Man retreated when the hostless Poisons were killed. With Agent Venom dead, Spider-Man and Captain Venom consumed, and Venompool defecting, Venom proposed the Resistance take drastic measures to defeat the Poisons by summoning an incarnation of Carnage. After Strange did so, the alternate Carnage recognized Venom, calling him "not-daddy" and threatening to kill him like he did the Eddie Brock of his reality. Venom tried to reason with him, but Carnage instead wanted to fight him and the other Venoms present. However, they were surprised by an attack by the Poisons, who had located them thanks to the new Poisoned Deadpool. The Poisons took Doctor Strange and consumed Host Rider, who was killed by Carnage. Relocating to a new safezone, Venom persuaded Carnage to agree to a truce, but Cletus said that after the war against the Poisons was finished their alliance would be over and he'd kill them all too. Taking charge of the team, Venom helped lead a rescue mission with help from Poison Deadpool (who had retained his original persona), killed Poison Spider-Man in a rematch, and destroyed the Poisons' ship before being returned to Earth-616.
Protecting the Dinosaur-People
After returning home from his confrontation with the Poisons, further complications arose as a result of the symbiote's renewed appetite for flesh. Needing a job, Eddie applied to the Fact Sheet, a tabloid branch of the Fact Channel. Eddie hoped to renew his journalistic integrity by exposing the corruption in the NYPD and FBI, but was disgusted when informed that the Fact Sheet's purview was falsified sensationalism much like what he'd once been forced to write after the Sin Eater scandal. Wanting to feed the symbiote, Venom visited the dinosaur-people's village in time to prevent a war between them and the Moloids, brokering a truce by returning their dead in exchange for the corpse of a mole monster killed in the skirmish.
As a result of an article Eddie published in the Fact Sheet tabloid revealing the existence of the Dinosaur-People, Kraven the Hunter came to New York and attacked Tana, a pterosaur-hybrid who then sought Eddie out to ask for help. Venom's initial confrontation with Kraven ended with him being shot point-blank with a high-caliber bullet, Eddie passing out and leaving the increasingly unstable symbiote to take him to safety. After being stitched up by Dr. Steven, Eddie learned that Kraven had been placed in charge of a SWAT team charged with hunting down the Dinosaur-People. His attempt to ambush Kraven failed when Sergei revealed he had recruited Shriek, who used her sonic powers to stun Venom and then collapse the chamber and the street above on him. Tana was able to find Venom and recruited Moloids to excavate him, but by that time the symbiote was succumbing to bloodlust and with the last of his control Eddie sent her to get its medication. Attacking Kraven and Shriek in a feral rage, Venom easily defeated them, but before he could eat them Tana injected him with the medication, restoring his sanity.
As the symbiote's corruption increased and its violent outbursts became more frequent and harder to restrain, Eddie confronted Dr. Steven about why the cure wasn't working. Dr. Steven stated that the symbiote was developing an immunity to it and that he'd created a new cure using a sample of the Anti-Venom symbiote, but before he could test it Flash Thompson arrived and demanded Eddie return the symbiote to him. Their argument over who was the better host resulted in the symbiote trying to bond with both of them at the same time, and when Spider-Man tried to kill the symbiote and cleanse them both by overturning one of the serum vats (which caused the symbiote to be cured of its re-corruption and returned Eddie's metabolism to normal), the half of the symbiote that bonded to Flash was transformed into a new Anti-Venom symbiote.
When Eddie refused to willingly relinquish the Venom symbiote, Agent Anti-Venom forcibly removed it from him. Despite having been cleansed of the symbiote, Eddie was still able to sense its presence and began searching for it, swearing to seek vengeance on Spider-Man and Flash when he was Venom again. He encountered Black Cat, who filled him in on Lee Price's return and ability to infect people with pieces of his stolen symbiote. The Venom symbiote appeared from the sewers and bonded to Eddie again; and Venom and Black Cat retrieved the artificial Anti-Venom from Alchemax and weaponized it, using it to free Spider-Man from Maniac's control. Venom, Black Cat, Spider-Man, Anti-Venom, and Andi Benton then teamed up to take down Maniac, who had infiltrated and taken over the Five Families. With Lee Price in prison, Agent Anti-Venom brokered a truce between Spider-Man and Venom, who persuaded Black Cat to return to being an anti-hero.
Informed by Liz Allan that being cleansed by the Anti-Venom serum had cured Eddie of his metabolic affliction, Venom decided to celebrate by apprehending the Looter. He was attacked by Spider-Woman but managed to escape by distracting her using the Looter as a distraction. She managed to track him down to his apartment and knocked Eddie unconscious, but before she could take him to prison the symbiote bonded to her and informed her that it was about to give birth to a seventh spawn; causing her to reluctantly let Eddie go.
The Poisons Strike Back
While Venom was interrupting an arms deal involving arm-mounted flamethrowers, he was approached by the time-displaced X-Men; who asked for his assistance in rescuing the Starjammers from a team of symbiote-clad alien bounty hunters. Eddie brusquely refused - only caring about his symbiote and not wanting to get involved in another battle for its species - but the symbiote scolded him for being stubborn and rude. The Young X-Men attempted to capture him by force, provoking a fight that ended when the Venom symbiote knocked Eddie out. Regaining consciousness onboard the X-Men's Blackbird, Eddie was initially enraged but reluctantly agreed to assist them on behalf of the symbiote.
When the symbiote-augmented space-pirates attacked them and badly wounded Scott, Venom bought time for the Young X-Men to escape before pursuing an alien who he'd noticed spying on them and who had sold them out. Venom tortured the alien for information and then killed him, leaving his partially-eaten remains suspended by webbing; then tracked down the Young X-Men and led them to Haze Mancer, an arms-dealer specializing in symbiotes. Venom infiltrated Haze Mancer's warehouse and confronted him, but was caught off-guard when the arms-dealer recognized the Venom symbiote as one he'd previously captured many years ago and was subsequently incapacitated. The X-Men bonded with some of the symbiotes and defeated Haze Mancer; Jean Grey using her powers to read his mind and discover he put trackers in the symbiotes.
With that, they delivered him to the Nova Corps and tracked down the bounty hunters. However, a Poison Kraven the Hunter freed him from prison so he could help to abduct the symbiotes from their planet and weaponize them so they couldn't be separated from their hosts. While saving the Starjammers, Jean was consumed by a Poison along with Killer Thrill, creating Poison Marvel Girl and Poison Killer Thrill. Venom warned the X-Men to stay away from the unbound Poisons. Fortunately, the Starjammers, who weren't fused with a symbiote, managed to help Venom and the X-Men escape and evetually return their symbiotes to the Klyntar's planet, but when they arrived all the symbiotes there were gone, but they immediately understood the Poisons' plan.
En route to Earth, Venom and the Young X-Men contacted Jimmy Hudson and warned him of the oncoming threat. Upon arrival, Venom discovered they were too late when he was confronted by Spider-Man, who had been bonded to a symbiote and initially blamed Venom for the Poisons' attack; trying to pick a fight before being stopped by Magneto. Venom brought the superheroes who had been infected with symbiotes to Alchemax, protesting Liz and Dr. Steve's suggestion of using Agent Anti-Venom to kill the symbiotes. Venom suggested using Flash to annihilate the Poisons instead when it was discovered his touch was lethal to them. When Cyclops mentioned that he could still sense Jean Grey, Venom scolded him for falling for an obvious trap; though this resulted in Alchemax being attacked by a battalion of Poisons. Opting to directly attack the Poisons' mothership, Venom and Spider-Man battled Poison Carnage, who nearly decapitated the former and impaled the latter. To save his long-time rival, Venom threw Poison Carnage into space before helping the Young X-Men take down the Poison Queen, destroying the Hive and seeing to it that the surviving symbiotes were returned to Klyntar.
The Seventh Spawn of Venom
Several weeks after being cleansed of his metabolic affliction, Eddie began to have recurring nightmares influenced by the Venom symbiote's fear that its newest spawn would be corrupted into a monster like its previous offspring and clone had been. Unaware that the symbiote was pregnant, Eddie was initially confused by its odd behavior; but was captured by Special Agent Claire Dixon - who had been resurrected by the Darkhold and resumed command of the Anti-Symbiote Task Force. Informed of the symbiote's impending birth, Eddie was angered that the symbiote had not told him it was pregnant; and was further betrayed when Claire revealed the FBI had recruited Mac Gargan to be the newborn symbiote's host. Eddie was rescued by Spider-Woman and - following an argument with the symbiote - travelled to Alchemax to confront Doctor Steve, who had unwittingly provided the FBI with the information. When Dr. Steve protested that he considered Eddie a friend, Eddie asked him for help delivering the symbiote's spawn. Forced to separate from the symbiote due to the strain its labor placed on his body, Eddie attacked the Scorpion when Gargan arrived to kill the Venom symbiote and claim its spawn. Dixon intervened before Gargan could kill Eddie, knocking him unconscious; but Dr. Steve lied that the baby symbiote had been stillborn to prevent any further violence. After Dixon left and Gargan was arrested, Eddie gave Alchemax custody of the newborn symbiote, telling Liz Allan that they could study it non-invasively until he and the Venom symbiote decided it was ready to bond to a worthy host.
Following Norman Osborn bonding to the Carnage symbiote and becoming the Red Goblin, Eddie was contacted by J. Jonah Jameson, who used a little blackmail to get Venom to protect Mary Jane Watson. Arriving at Stark Tower, he was attacked by her using anti-symbiote defenses despite informing her he was there to help. The Red Goblin arrived seconds later, and despite being in extreme pain Venom attacked him; convincing Mary Jane to turn off the anti-symbiote defenses given their ineffectiveness against the Red Goblin.
Venom was able to thwart the Red Goblin's attempt on Mary Jane's life with Spider-Man's help, and Eddie agreed to help even the odds against Osborn by loaning the Venom symbiote to his long-time rival, telling Spider-Man to be good with and to take care of it. Spider-Man later declared to Flash Thompson that he forgave Venom moments before he passed away, and the symbiote separated from him and made its way back to Eddie. While separating, Spider-Man told for the symbiote be careful given the fire around them and to not worry about him, showing concern for it despite their tumultuous history. Eddie, after reacquiring the symbiote, attended Flash Thompson's funeral.
Soon afterward, Edward was outraged when Liz proposed utilizing the infant symbiote's unique chemical-production abilities in order to turn a profit for Alchemax. After storming out of her office, he was attacked by a Skrull Warbride named M'lanz, who tried to sever his connection with the Venom symbiote. Eddie was saved by a Kree man named Tel-Kar, who informed him that he was the Venom symbiote's original host. Venom took Tel-Kar to Alchemax for medical treatment, the symbiote regaining its long-suppressed memories of being bonded to him during the Kree-Skrull War. Tel-Kar asked Eddie to return the symbiote to him, but it refused; and Tel-Kar promptly attacked Liz before blackmailing the symbiote into rejoining with him by threatening its offspring - dubbed Sleeper. M'lanz arrived too late to stop him, revealing that Tel-Kar was planning to unleash a potent bioweapon the Skrull had developed during the war. In order to rescue the Venom symbiote, Eddie bonded to the Sleeper symbiote and accompanied M'lanz into space. Eddie was reunited with the Venom symbiote when it managed to rebel against Tel-Kar, and after the Kree armada destroyed the research station Venom returned to Earth alongside the Sleeper symbiote - M'lanz stating she hoped to never see him again.
Eddie went to Alchemax to formally cut ties with Liz Allan, but was denied entrance by the security guards. Encountering Harry Osborn, Eddie confronted him over his dismissal and the two wound up going out for drinks. Eddie and Harry compared their respective supervillain careers and bickered over who had been a better arch-enemy for Spider-Man, eventually agreeing that family was what had inspired them to better themselves. Eddie returned to his apartment to find Tel-Kar had survived and stowed away on M'lanz's ship; prepared to fry the Sleeper symbiote with what was left of M'lanz's halberd. The Venom symbiote separated from Eddie to shield its offspring from the attack, and Tel-Kar revealed to Eddie that he had coded the last remaining sample of the bioweapon to exterminate humanity. The Sleeper symbiote caught the bioweapon capsule and Eddie tackled Tel-Kar out the window of his apartment. Despite getting some good blows in, Eddie was overwhelmed; but before Tel-Kar could kill him the Sleeper symbiote bonded to and lobotomized him as revenge for what he'd done to the Venom symbiote. Eddie was dismayed by what Sleeper had done, but the young symbiote bid him farewell - intent on exploring the cosmos using Tel-Kar's body as a meat-puppet. Eddie returned to his apartment and rebonded to the Venom symbiote, assuring it that they would be together forever.
God of the Symbiotes
When the Venom symbiote suddenly began alternating between lucidity and its bloodthirsty corrupted state, Eddie began suffering from recurring nightmares about a primordial draconic symbiote. Unable to concentrate on writing with the Venom symbiote screaming bloodlust and madness in his mind, he lost his job at the Fact Sheet and took up work as a freelance photographer. While tracking an arms-dealer he believed to be Jack O'Lantern, the symbiote went berserk, gouged out one of the new Jack O'Lantern's eyes, and began speaking in an eldritch language; proclaiming that its god was coming. Venom was knocked unconscious and abducted by a man who introduced himself as Rex Strickland, who informed Eddie that he had been a member of a team of symbiote-augmented supersoldiers during the Vietnam War and asked Venom to rescue his comrades. However, when Venom attacked the convoy transporting the Sym-Soldiers, he discovered they were being controlled by the same malevolent force that was trying to take over the Venom symbiote, and unwittingly unleashed the primordial symbiote-dragon from his nightmares.
When Eddie confronted Rex over what had happened, the Venom symbiote went berserk and attacked him; though Eddie was able to subdue it with the flames from a blast furnace. Setting out to fight the symbiote-dragon, Venom was attacked by Spider-Man (Miles Morales), who had mistaken Eddie for the Venom that had once killed his mother. After a short skirmish, Eddie called a truce with Miles to fight the symbiote dragon, subduing it with one of Miles' full-power Venom Blasts. However, a humanoid entity manifested itself using the symbiote-dragon's biomass, introducing himself as Knull - an abyssal god and creator of the symbiotes. Knull's avatar stripped the Venom symbiote from Eddie and attempted to assimilate it into his hive-mind, showing Eddie the true history of the symbiotes and mocking him for believing the lies told to the symbiote by the Klyntar hive-mind. Eddie reclaimed the Venom symbiote and escaped with help from Miles, though its contact with Knull's avatar had unlocked new abilities - such as the ability to manifest a pair of wings identical to the symbiote-dragon's. Venom confronted Rex, who revealed himself to be Tyrannosaurus - the symbiote that had once been bonded to the real Rex Strickland - and informed him that Knull was hunting him. In order to become strong enough to stop Knull, Eddie bonded to the Tyrannosaurus symbiote and amalgamated it with the Venom symbiote. Using an arsenal of high-tech weapons, the augmented Venom was able to weaken Knull's avatar enough for the Tyrannosaurus symbiote to sacrifice itself immolating the Grendel symbiote using a blast furnace; but the intense heat seemingly killed the Venom symbiote.
Left Abandoned and War of the Realms
A mysterious organization called Project Oversight came across Eddie's badly-burnt body while obtaining a surviving sample of the Grendel symbiote; the now-feral Venom symbiote taking over him and slaughtering several soldiers. Venom eluded capture for three weeks, eventually resurfacing on the doorstep of Eddie's father - frightening his estranged son, Dylan. As Eddie begged him for help, Carl Brock dismissed him as no-one and allowed Project Oversight's soldiers to capture him. For the following two weeks, Eddie was repeatedly interrogated by the Maker, suffering from partial amnesia due to the otherwise-braindead symbiote instinctively erasing traumatic memories, like the death of Flash Thompson. Escaping from the Maker, Eddie resolved to face his inner demons and make something better of himself. Travelling to San Francisco, he tried to make amends with his father, but was left shocked and infuriated when Carl Brock told him he had no idea who Mary was and denied having ever had a daughter. When the symbiote lashed out after Carl punched Eddie in an effort to make him leave, Eddie fled in despair at seeing his father had had a new son to replace him; later coughing up blood as a result of his cancer seemingly returning with a vengeance. He was later approached by Dylan, who revealed that Carl was physically abusive towards him and asked that Eddie kill their father. Telling Dylan a bit of his past, Eddie agreed to make sure their father stopped abusing him, but suddenly suffered a hallucination of Dylan transforming into Knull. Regaining his senses moments before killing his half-brother, Eddie vomited blood and passed out; Dylan calling an ambulance and taking him to the hospital, where the symbiote placed Eddie into a comatose state. In a mental confrontation with the symbiote, Eddie discovered that it had only been pretending to be braindead; and upon interrogating it realized that not only had his sister Mary and uncle Dan never existed - having been false memories inserted by the symbiote in order to manipulate him, but that the symbiote had been responsible for him developing cancer by altering his biochemistry. Eddie realized that Dylan wasn't his half-brother but his son, and - furious at this betrayal - told the Maker to separate him from the symbiote; but was knocked unconscious and awakened to find it had rescued Dylan as an act of redemption before departing to parts unknown.
Eddie returned to New York with Dylan in tow, and as the War of the Realms broke out around him they were targeted by Dark Elves seeking to forcibly recruit him into Malekith's army. Taking shelter in Rex's warehouse, Eddie was approached by one of Malekith's war-witches, who revealed she knew he had parted ways with the symbiote and mocked his efforts to use mortal weapons against her. Pulling out a weaponized dreamstone, the war-witch offered to give Eddie the power to keep himself and his loved ones safe in exchange for him serving Malekith. Despite Dylan's warnings, Eddie took the dreamstone - which manifested an artificial symbiote from dark elf magic - and promptly turned on the war-witch, biting her hand off. Telling Dylan to stay hidden, Eddie set out to help protect innocents from Malekith's invasion. While fending off Malekith's forces, Eddie realized the artificial symbiote was feeding off of and amplifying his negative emotions, using his considerable rage to fuel his new suit at the risk of succumbing to it and going berserk. Attacked by Jack O'Lantern, who had also been given a dreamstone by the war witch, Eddie was set ablaze - the dreamstone symbiote having inherited its antecedent's vulnerability to flames. Adapting, the dreamstone symbiote reconfigured itself into a Venomized suit of Asgardian armor; and Eddie decided to go berserk in order to stop Jack from razing the city. Realizing that Jack O'Lantern would continue hounding him until he gave in to his rage and the dreamstone's corruption, Eddie used it to empower civilians in the line of fire and help them escape, then defeated Jack O'Lantern with a bolt of mystical lightning -- causing him to drop his dreamstone. Eddie spared Jack, discarded his dreamstone, and returned to Rex's bunker to wait out the War of the Realms alongside his son.
Learning that Cletus Kasady had returned more powerful than ever due to bonding to the sample of the Grendel's living abyss and framed him for the murder of Lee Price, Eddie Brock reluctantly rebonded to the Venom symbiote after it saved him and Dylan from being run over by a subway train - Cletus having pushed them in a mocking homage to what Eddie had once done to Spider-Man. Overpowered and badly beaten by the new and improved Dark Carnage, Eddie was informed by the Venom symbiote that Cletus was bonded to what was left of the Grendel symbiote and exploited its weakness to electricity to escape. Reluctantly taking Dylan to Peter Parker's apartment, Eddie filled Spider-Man in on what was going on and was horrified when a news report revealed Carnage had exhumed the bodies of every deceased person who'd ever bonded to a symbiote and left their mutilated corpses in a mass grave as a threat.
Eddie and Spider-Man approached the Maker for help, learning he'd already built a machine to extract symbiote codices and was assembling it in Rex Strickland's warehouse. Spider-Man introduced Eddie and Dylan to his godson, Normie Osborn - a former host of the Carnage symbiote - but was unwilling to let the Maker test his machine on him. On the Maker's suggestion, Venom and Spider-Man travelled to Ravencroft to retrieve Norman Osborn before Dark Carnage could harvest his Carnage symbiote codex. However, they arrived too late, as Dark Carnage infected the inmates with pieces of the Grendel symbiote - turning them into monsters resembling the Doppelganger - and took control of John Jameson, who he'd infected in Doverton, Colorado. When Norman - who believed himself to be Cletus Kasady, having had a mental breakdown following his stint as the Red Goblin - attempted to kill Spider-Man, Venom subdued him and barricaded the door of Norman's cell while Spider-Man attempted to break down the wall. Dark Carnage kicked Venom out of the way and grabbed Norman, but rather than kill him and claim his codex Cletus instead bonded him to the Grendel symbiote to turn him back into Carnage.
With no other options other than to run Eddie broke down the walls of Norman's cell and escaped alongside Peter; carrying him while using his ability to create wings to get as far away from Norman and Cletus as possible. Realizing that they were both outmatched and outnumbered, Eddie and Peter formulate a plan to get everyone they could to help fight against Dark Carnage and his army. While Spider-Man goes off to get help from the superhero community, while Venom recruits the villians, the latter gets a call from the Maker. When he tells Eddie that he hacked into the FBI's database about a mass grave Carnage made Eddie asks if his former wife Anne Weying, who was She-Venom in the past, was in there. To Eddie's shock, the Maker reveals that Anne wasn't dug up nor had a codex inside her; rather the codex went into Dylan instead, making him a target as well.
Not too far away, Spider-Man and Scorpion were fighting off against the Doppelganger monsters, only for Mac to abandon the former when they start to get overwhelmed. Venom goes to help and throws Scorpion back into the fight, only for Carnage to arrive. Just as Norman was about to get Mac's Codex he was saved by Miles, giving Venom enough time to get Scorpion out as he was left a paraplegic. Venom was about to go back for Miles, but he was too late and could only watch in horror as Miles was taken over by the an offshoot of the Grendel symbiote.
Scorpion begged for Eddie's help while Norman was about to finish him, and the Venom symbiote stabbed Norman through the heart despite Eddie's protests. Eddie left Venom behind to save Mac while Venom decided to finish Norman. He gave his alien symbiote a choice and Venom agreed, though it made it clear that if Eddie isn't strong enough to finish the job, it will find someone who is while saving Gargan. They've gone to Rex Strickland's safe house only to find out that the Maker vanished while Captain America, Wolverine, The Thing and Bruce Banner assembled along with Spider-Man, Dylan, Normie and Sleeper (with a shape of a cat) who have returned after learning about Knull's existence. After the rest of the heroes have removed their codexes except for Spider-Man and Eddie, Dark Carnage appeared disguised as Eddie, revealing himself after the true Eddie appeared. He was about to run off to save Dylan but Venom unbonded to him, repeating what it said about finding someone stronger, and merged with Bruce Banner - who transformed into the Immortal Hulk, ready to face Carnage.
As the Venomized Hulk battled Dark Carnage, Eddie led Spider-Man, Dylan, and Normie to a bunker holding gear from the Jury; asking his former enemy to protect the kids with his life. Despite knowing he was outmatched, Eddie armed himself with Captain America's shield and a powered armor gauntlet, attempting to hold the line against the Carnage Doppelgänger horde. Attacked by the Carnagized Miles Morales, Eddie electrocuted the symbiote controlling him - killing it - and the two began fighting side by side. Miles warned Eddie that if Dark Carnage absorbed the Venom symbiote he would be powerful enough to free Knull, but they were too late to prevent him from ripping the Venom symbiote off Bruce and assimilating it. While the other heroes attacked Dark Carnage, Miles told Eddie that the Maker had lied about his machine destroying the codices, and Eddie punched a hole in the storage tank. The codices bonded to Eddie and amalgamated into a powerful gestalt symbiote named Venom/"Legion" that took on the appearance of Venom, enabling Eddie to pursue Dark Carnage when he took off to free Knull.
As they fought in midair and on the rooftops, Eddie was initially overpowered by Dark Carnage, who gloated that his horde was about to kill Eddie's allies, telling Eddie to give up and let himself be consumed. When Dark Carnage was caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of Cloak, Dagger, Iron Fist, Firestar, Morbius, Deathlok, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, and Scream turning the tables; Eddie tackled him through the ground and into the tunnel where Dylan Brock and Normie Osborn were hiding but was told that he had been tricked him a lose-lose situation by claiming the remaining codices -- either letting Dark Carnage kill Dylan or killing Dark Carnage to save Dylan -- would lead to Knull reawakening. Manifesting a Necrosword from his symbiote, Eddie impaled Dark Carnage before cutting him in half, Cletus' corpse falling apart as the merged Grendel and Venom symbiotes left him for Eddie. Witnessing a vision of Knull breaking free of Klyntar, Eddie told Spider-Man that they had won before returning to Dylan, who was in shock after hearing Eddie blurt out that he was his father. Dylan was initially hurt by this revelation, believing Eddie had abandoned him. Eddie apologized and promised to protect Dylan from that point forward, agreeing to not hide anything else from Dylan; though Dylan still decided to not reveal his powers to Eddie.
Venom Island and Beyond
After the battle, Eddie and Dylan began living at Liz Allan's house - Liz having been talked into it by Peter. While getting lunch with his son, Eddie was alarmed when a naked Kree man teleported into the street and addressed him by name. Eddie transformed into Venom but was stopped from attacking Zak-Del by the Venom symbiote, which sensed he was dying from overuse of a malfunctioning teleporter and having been stripped of his Exolon symbiote by Knull. Zak-Del warned Eddie that Knull had an opposite - a God of Light - that was also coming to Earth before his body disintegrated. A few weeks later, Eddie received an invite from Captain America and was taken to Avengers Mountain, where he was informed that they had been impressed by his recent heroics and wanted Venom to join the team. Feeling guilty over having been responsible for Knull's escape, Eddie protested that he wasn't worthy but was interrupted by the Dark Carnage symbiote revealing that it had survived being absorbed. As the Dark Carnage symbiote threatened to take him over and force him to kill the Avengers, Eddie excused himself and chartered a plane to Isla de Huesos, planning to kill it once and for all. This backfired when the Dark Carnage symbiote crashed the plane and assimilated the Venom symbiote, leaving Eddie powerless.
Retrieving an arsenal of weapons he'd collected from an old military base during his first stay on the island, Eddie offered the Dark Carnage symbiote a deal - in exchange for it returning the Venom symbiote to him, he would leave it in peace to do whatever it wanted with the island. Latching onto Eddie's left hand, the Carnage symbiote declared its intent to take over him and use him to slaughter everyone on the planet, but Eddie amputated his hand to escape. Eddie managed to climb to the top of the island's mountain, but was caught by the Carnage symbiote, which tried to bond to him again. Struck by lightning, which separated the Venom and Carnage symbiotes, Eddie was knocked unconscious, enabling the Dark Carnage symbiote to bond to him and torment him with a nightmare of his worst fears coming to pass. Eddie regained consciousness but was left its meat-puppet, the Dark Carnage symbiote reiterating its intent to use him to slaughter everyone on Earth, starting with Dylan. Before it could do so, Carnage was attacked by the Venom symbiote, which was being remotely piloted by Dylan in the shape of a Tyrannosaurus rex. With Dylan's help, Eddie was able to separate from the Dark Carnage symbiote and rebonded to the Venom symbiote. Rescued from the island by the Avengers, he decided to fill them in on everything that had transpired and warn them of Knull's impending arrival.
Berated by Iron Man for not having told them about Knull following his encounter with the dark god's avatar, Eddie returned to New York embroiled in self-loathing but was suddenly attacked by Virus, a villain clad in jury-rigged War Machine armor, which prompted him and the symbiote to wonder about his identity. After tracking down the Maker with Dylan, Eddie found the villain had bonded himself to the counterpart of the Venom symbiote from his native universe, Earth-1610. When Virus interrupted this confrontation in search for revenge against Venom, Eddie and Dylan were hurled through an interdimensional portal of the Maker's creation into Earth-1051, a futuristic world ruled over by the Symbiote Hive.
Venom was immediately attacked by Virus again, and his symbiote was able to connect to the new world's hive-mind, learning how to absorb the energy from Virus's attacks and send it back at him by manifesting an arm-cannon. Sensing Dylan was in danger through the hive-mind, Venom returned to his son and was confronted by the new world's version of the Avengers. Not recognizing Venom, they demanded Eddie separate from his symbiote and were about to fight him when Virus attacked again, giving Eddie and his son enough time to escape to the sewers. Once there, they were immediately confronted by a trio of Agent Venoms, to Eddie's shock. At first, Eddie mistook the leader for Flash Thompson, but to his surprise the lead Agent Venom unmasked to reveal herself as this world's version of his late ex-wife, Anne Weying. Thwarting an ambush by a group of heroes and villains assimilated by symbiotes, Eddie was shocked to learn that his counterpart had gone through with his suicide and that the ruler of the Hive - Codex - was Earth-1051's version of Dylan. When a symbiote version of the Scorpion attacked, Venom blasted him with his new arm-cannon and had Dylan destroy his symbiote, revealing the Mac Gargan of Earth-616. Realizing Gargan had been Virus, Eddie nearly killed him but stopped when Gargan blamed him for having been paralyzed by Carnage. Realizing Gargan had a point, Eddie offered to let him live in exchange for leading him and Anne's team to Codex's lair. Not willing to fight Codex, Venom and Anne executed a plan to purge Knull's influence from Codex with the help of Earth-616's Dylan, restoring his humanity but causing him to fall into a coma. Not willing to be sent to prison, Gargan reclaimed the repaired Virus Armor and tried to kill Venom again, though he was immediately shut down by Earth-1051's Reed Richards.
Unable and reluctant to return to their home universe, Eddie and Dylan spent a year and several months living with Anne on Earth-1051; and Eddie rekindled his romance with her and regained his missing hand. However, once Richards succeeded in contructing an interdimensional portal, Eddie and Dylan said their goodbyes and returned home to find that Knull's invasion of Earth was about to begin.
Second Symbiote Invasion
Using what time they had left, Venom and the Avengers came up with two plans to shut down Knull's attack; Iron Man rigging the derelict Kree and Skrull warships left over after the war against the Coatli into a minefield of thermonuclear-level explosives. In case that plan failed, Thor, Storm, and the Sentry would sever as many of the symbiote-dragons from Knull's hive-mind as possible, and Venom would use Dark Carnage's throne of living abyss to seize control of them. When Knull arrived and ploughed through the minefield, Eddie placed Dylan in a special bunker built by Ezekiel Sims for Spider-Man. Phase 2 of the plan went awry almost immediately due to Thor being MIA and the Sentry late, though Venom managed to hack into Knull's hive-mind using Dark Carnage's throne only to discover that Knull had brought symbiote-controlled Celestials. Knull emerged from one of the Celestials and demanded that Brock be brought to him; easily killing the Sentry and assimilating the dark entity indwelling him. Venom could only watch in horror as Knull infected the heroes assembled to oppose him with symbiotes and encased the Earth in a shell of living abyss. Cutting off communication with Iron Man, Venom decided to give Knull what he wanted, the symbiote alerting the dark god to their location. Knull grabbed Venom and took him to the top of the Empire State Building, gloating about his imminent victory. Venom offered to serve Knull in exchange for Earth being spared, but Knull recognized Eddie and refused - clarifying that the Brock he wanted wasn't Eddie but Dylan. As Eddie reacted in horror, Knull ripped the Venom symbiote off him and absorbed it into his own symbiote, then threw him off the roof of the Empire State Building.
During the fall to his presumed demise, Eddie prayed to God for Dylan to stay safe and not end up inheriting his darkness growing up. Spotting a helicopter being attacked by a symbiote dragon, Eddie tried to warn the pilot but was too late to prevent the symbiote dragon from ripping the copter apart. The resulting explosion sent Eddie bouncing off walls and fire escapes - receiving several broken bones - until finally falling towards a symbiote-covered car. The impact left Eddie mortally wounded and comatose, though he was rescued by Spider-Man and taken to the Fantastic Four's base of operations for emergency medical treatment. With Eddie dying from his injuries, Iron Man attempted to obtain a new more-powerful symbiote to heal him by disconnecting one of the symbiote dragons from the Hive Mind with Extremis. This proved unsuccessful as the symbiote attacked Eddie instead of bonding to him, forcing Dylan to obliterate it. However, in the process Eddie succumbed to his injuries and flatlined.
Despite the death of his physical body, Eddie's consciousness endured and was trapped within the abyss of the symbiote hive-mind, where he was reunited with the Tyrannosaurus symbiote and Flash Thompson. Meanwhile in the real world, Dylan and Thor fought face-to-face with Knull, opening a red gash of the dissolved symbiotes from the hosts recently freed. As they passed through it, they came across the true Hive-Mind, the place where they were before being a "purgatory" for codices. The three of them noticed that the symbiotes freed from Knull's control were imprisoned. Despite Eddie's protests, Flash volunteered to free them and "download" himself at their biomass, acknowledging this was his mission from the beggining and that Eddie was a hero too. Their plan worked, Flash now remote piloting a Symbiote Dragon made from his Anti-Venom symbiote in the world of the living. However, Knull quickly noticed, took possession of Tyrannosaurus, and grabbed Eddie by his neck and holding him over a cliff while sadistically asking why this felt so familar. As Knull dropped him off the cliff, the Venom symbiote took advantage of him being distracted to break free and rebond to Eddie - who was reflecting on every moment in his life up until that point. Taking a leaf out of Lee Price's book, Eddie's codex indwelled the Venom symbiote and manifested a colossal humanoid form in the world of the living. Venom told Flash how to resurrect himself using the power of the symbiote-dragon he was indwelling and charged off to confront Knull. Before Eddie's codex and the Venom symbiote could attack Knull, Eddie was chosen by the God of Light to be its next host and seperated his codex from the Venom symbiote in the process.
His consciousness restored to his resurrected body, Eddie was asked by the God of Light - the Uni-Power - to choose the form he would take as Captain Universe. Eddie - transformed into a cosmic version of Venom - rejoined the battle and fused Mjolnir and the Silver Surfer's Surfboard into a battle-axe shaped like Venom's spider-emblem. Attempting to flee, Knull threw everything he had at Eddie, who vaporized his Necrosword, decapitated the remaining symbiote-controlled Celestial, and finally cornered the dark god atop the Empire State Building. As payback for Knull killing him, Eddie ripped the All-Black symbiote from Knull and threw him to the ground, but the dark god told Eddie that his death was meaningless as long as the living abyss persisted in Dylan and in the depths of space. Rebuking Knull's assertion that the Void's victory was inevitable, Eddie flew Knull into space and plunged him into the Sun, vaporizing him with a combination of steller plasma and the Uni-Power. Returning to Earth, Eddie used the Uni-Power to remove and destroy Dylan's symbiote-half - turning him into a normal human. The God of Light separated from Eddie, who was reunited with the Venom symbiote and - with Knull seemingly destroyed for good - apotheosized into the new God of the Symbiotes. Sensing Carnage had resurfaced, Eddie used his new control of the symbiote hive-mind to mentally confront his nemesis and control the countless symbiotes raining down from the shattered dome of living abyss, bonding them to a horde of sharks and directing them to devour Carnage.
- Everyone's got an angel and a devil on their shoulder. That's what they said in group. What matters is which one you listen to. That's what they said in group. Jenna's my angel. I have to listen to her... ...or the devil might start talking again. I'm a force of good now. I've been given the gift of healing. I could heal this guy's hepatitis, even... If I wanted to. When I met Jenna her veins were full of poison. But I used my powers to cleanse her. She was reborn. New. She now helps me navigate the streets. Helps me cut the cancer out of society. She's the proof that I can do good.
- --Anti-Venom (Eddie Brock)[src]
By his own admission, Eddie was never a particularly functional or mentally adjusted man, though he frequently made efforts to better himself. Obsessed with and desperate for success, as a child and into his adulthood he stole and lied in order to get the acknowledgement he desperately craved and further his career. His self-loathing and obsession with protecting the innocent stem from a traumatic incident where he accidentally killed a young child as a teenager, which his father went to extreme lengths to cover up - including brutally beating him when he announced his intent to plead guilty. Despite excelling academically and becoming a successful journalist, Eddie was never able to impress his father. Eddie possesses a great deal of intense rage, owing to the various traumatic and humiliating experiences he has endured over the course of his life. After the Sin Eater incident and bonding with the symbiote, Eddie focused this rage on Spider-Man and was initially obsessed with revenge against him at all cost. Early into his career as Venom he was little better than the criminals he would go on to take down, venting his rage on those unfortunate enough to cross his path, but after a fight with Wolverine he was inspired to use his powers for good - leading to him becoming the Lethal Protector. His Catholic upbringing significantly influenced his actions, in particular as Anti-Venom, and for a time he came to see himself as having been chosen by God to cleanse Earth of the symbiotes. However, Eddie's faith was not unshakable, and he would occasionally find himself doubting whether God was listening, which led him to ultimately abandon his faith. Eddie also has an odd habit of forming protective bonds to young women such as Beck Underwood, Jenna Cole, and Jubulile van Scotter, using them as a moral compass to guide his actions.
Eddie's attitude towards the symbiotes has changed significantly over the years, though it has been characterized by often-toxic codependency brought about by his fear of being alone, his addiction to their power, and the mutual cycle of rage-induced corruption between symbiote and host. His love-hate relationship with the Venom symbiote is particularly convoluted. Eddie initially refused to believe that the symbiote could have a negative influence over him, telling Anne Weying that it could not make anyone do anything they didn't already subconsciously want to. However, the symbiote's growing bloodlust began to unnerve him, and as its appetite for flesh grew, Eddie came to fear and despise it, considering it a demon that God had sent to punish him for contemplating suicide. Even before divesting himself of the Venom symbiote, Eddie blamed it for the violent criminal actions he had committed, and after they parted ways he sought to redeem himself as Anti-Venom; though his worsening mental instability and occasional relapses into his Lethal Protector persona hindered this. When bonded to Toxin, Eddie was initially dominated by the symbiote, but later worked out a "temporary" truce with it, taking umbrage with Agent Venom's accusation that he was deluding himself and addicted to the power being bonded to a symbiote gave him. After receiving a lecture from Agent Venom, Eddie embraced being bonded to Toxin, and slowly came to acknowledge that the Venom symbiote had not been solely responsible for the crimes he committed as Venom. Following his return to New York, Eddie's attitude towards the Venom symbiote had taken a complete 180, as he not only possessively referred to it as his "darling" but enacted a complex plan to reunite with it. Despite living without a symbiote for some extended periods of time, Eddie's greatest fear is being alone, and that without the symbiote's voice in his head he will go insane.
Despite reuniting with the symbiote, Eddie refused to relapse into his Lethal Protector mindset, determined to go straight and become a true superhero. The symbiote's re-corruption and renewed proclivity for violence, coupled with its volatile obsession with staying bonded to him, led Eddie to question his decision to reunite with it. However, Eddie resolved to stay bonded to it and find a way to help it recover. This magnanimity does not extend to non-humans, as he was willing to eat a Deviant Mutate to satiate the symbiote's hunger, devoured an alien he'd noticed spying on him and the Young X-Men, and wanted to eat Tel-Kar for what he'd done to the Venom symbiote. Even without the symbiote, Eddie bit off the hand of one of Malekith's war witches after receiving the dreamstone simulacrum "Magic Venom" symbiote, and devoured a chunk out of a frost giant.
Despite their rivalry, Eddie and Spider-Man eventually developed a sufficient degree of begrudging mutual respect that Eddie was willing to let Spider-Man bond to the Venom symbiote in order to even the odds against the Red Goblin. Eddie also showed that he had developed a sufficient degree of respect for Flash Thompson after their battle against Maniac, as seen by his attending the fallen soldier's funeral; begrudgingly acknowledging Flash as having been a badass Venom despite his jealousy over the symbiote's remaining affection towards him. This led to a mutual respect when they both meet eachother at the Symbiote Hive-Mind, Flash saying it meant a lot to him and that Eddie was a hero too. Eddie and Peter finally put their differences aside for good and became friends/allies in order to stop Carnage from freeing Knull. Eddie would later express regret over trying to kill Peter in the past.
Powers and Abilities
Black-and-White Symbiotic Costume: The alien costume, which had grafted itself to the nervous system of Eddie Brock, somehow absorbed the powers of Spider-Man during its brief symbiotic relationship with him, seemingly due to the lasting impression that Spider-Man had on its psyche due to being rejected by him. These powers had been transferred to Brock, so long as he wore the costume, and combined with Eddie's natural bulk made Venom physically stronger than Spider-Man. Ultimately the costume's influence hurt more than helped Brock's psyche and when he finally realized this, he decided to auction it. Several years later, Eddie reclaimed it, becoming Venom once more; though the pair eventually had a falling out when Eddie discovered the symbiote had been altering his memories and making him sick in order to gaslight him into staying bonded to it. While connected to Codex's hive-mind, the symbiote acquired the ability to manifest an arm-cannon capable of firing powerful energy beams, but this was lost upon returning to Earth-616. The symbiote grants Eddie the following powers:
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Senses
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Durability
- Regenerative Healing Factor
- Webbing Generation
- Offspring Detection
- Genetic Memory
- Spider-Sense Immunity
- Constituent-Matter Generation
- Constituent-Matter Manipulation
- Night Vision
- Spider-Man Detection
- Venomous Fangs
- Telepathy Resistance
- Empathetic Empowerment
- Energy Transference
- Energy Absorption
Expert Reporter: Before his bonding with the symbiote, Eddie Brock was an incredibly skilled reporter for the Daily Globe, and knew how to investigate. He also had many sources of information that aided him in helping with his plans.
Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Although he's had no proper training, Eddie is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant when using symbiotes.
Skilled Symbiote Hunter: Even though he is only human, Eddie was been able to take on and defeat several symbiotes. This was shown when he killed Scream and Hybrid while using advanced and normal weaponry.
Class 70; Eddie Brock worked his body to the natural peak human level of a man of his height, age, weight and build exercise. He is able to lift no more than 700 lbs without any symbiotic suit. The Venom symbiote has enabled Eddie to lift up to 70 tons in their regular size, but this is not their true limit as their strength increases with their variable muscle mass.
Mental Instability: Eddie has been repeatedly shown relapsing into his unstable "lethal protector" mindset. As both Anti-Venom and Toxin, he reverted back to this persona, killing criminals just as offhandedly as when he was Venom. He is also addicted to the power bestowed upon him by being bonded to a symbiote, which has caused drastic shifts in his personality.
Sonic and Heat: The Venom symbiote, like all others of its kind, is extremely vulnerable to heat and sonic based attacks. They can cause the symbiote physical pain and discomfort, whereas "more powerful" attacks might be completely ineffective.
Venom mainly fights using the fangs and claws granted to him by the symbiote. He can shape his limbs into various weapons, though this is not an ability he utilizes frequently, unlike his son Carnage.
- Despite Venom made a oath to himself and fellow allies such as Spider-Man to never take a innocent life and remain a vigilante of justice, Eddie Brock broke this oath at least three times in the past: he murdered a young and innocent nurse by stabbing the woman several times with a knife in a fit of rage and despair when he was terminally ill with cancer, nearly killed Aunt May when she was hospitalized but stopped after coming to his senses, and also killed a police officer and maximum security prison guard by suffocating them with his symbiote suit.
- Despite the common belief that Eddie did not indulge in cannibalism during his original tenure as Venom and that Mac Gargan was the first and only host to do so, there have been several incidents where Eddie engaged in cannibalism, alluded to having done so, seriously attempted to do so, or otherwise used his symbiotes' fanged jaws to kill or maim opponents in combat:
- In Iron Man #302, Venom bit off the head of an android body-double of Tony Stark, believing it to be the real Tony. After being repelled by Iron Man, Venom voiced his intent to eat Tony if he didn't satisfactorily prove his innocence.
- Venom killed one of the Sunrise Society's High-Tech Ninja in Venom: The Mace #3 by biting down on his head.
- Venom attempted to eat the third Sin-Eater in Venom: Sinner Takes All #3, stopping when he realized he was biting into a dummy.
- Venom ate a man's brain while under the influence of the Venom symbiote in Venom: The Hunger #1, after which Eddie was revolted by the symbiote's carnivorous appetite and stated that he'd never intended his frequent threats of cannibalism as anything more than a joke.
- After sustaining mild amnesia and relapsing into villainy, Venom declared his intent to actually carry through with his threats of cannibalism while fighting Spider-Man; ate a chunk of Sandman, nearly killing Baker in the process; and attempted to eat Spider-Man before being driven off by a lighter in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #16.
- Venom attempted to eat Spider-Man while under the influence of Kulan Gath in Spider-Man / Red Sonja #2, using an attack resembling his "Venom Predate" Forward-Heavy move from the Marvel vs. Capcom series. After breaking free of Gath's control, Venom attempted to eat the sorcerer and licked his blood off his claws after scratching him in Spider-Man / Red Sonja #3.
- While bonded to the Toxin symbiote, Eddie bit off Megatak's head in Venom (Vol. 2) #21 and devoured two symbiote slayer-infected individuals in Venom (Vol. 2) #34 and Venom (Vol. 2) #35.
- Both Cullen Bunn and Mike Costa have implied in Venom (Vol. 2) #35, Venom #157, and Venom #158 that Eddie had succumbed to the Venom symbiote's hunger off-panel on other occasions; with Costa having intended for Venom to eat people during his run but having been unable to fit it in beyond the symbiote desiring to devour people as its corruption worsened and attempting to do so while berserk.
- In Poison-X, Eddie threatened to eat Beast's brain but was rebuked by the symbiote, which had been cleansed of its corruption. Later, Eddie attempted to eat Haze Mancer but was ironically stopped by the symbiote and the time-displaced X-Men.
- In David Michelinie's story for Venom (Vol. 4) #25, "Paradise Interrupted", Eddie references eating people to feed the symbiote and laments that the arms dealers' corpses - which he refers to as "fresh meat" - were buried when the island's mine collapsed.
- In the book Comic Creators on Spider-Man, David Michelinie revealed that when creating a new character to be bonded to the symbiote, his original idea was for the villain to be a woman. Her origin would be that she was pregnant about to give birth, her husband tried to get a taxi in order to go to the hospital. However, the taxi driver was distracted by a sighting of Spider-Man and accidentally ran over the husband, killing him. This caused the woman to go into labour, losing her baby and her sanity. Eventually she would regain her sanity but have a deep hatred for Spider-Man, and the symbiote would bond to her in order to get revenge on Spider-Man - which is why the hands that shove Peter Parker in front of a train in Web of Spider-Man #18 and grabs his ankle in Web of Spider-Man #24 resemble a woman's. This idea, however, was rejected by Jim Salicrup, who stated that a woman wasn't threatening enough to make a serious super villain.
- Eddie Brock is the second human who most bonded to symbiotes, only surprased by Cletus Kasady. He's been bonded to Venom, assimilated the orignal Carnage symbiote and Mania through Venom, Anti-Venom, Toxin, Tyrannosaurus merged with Venom, Sleeper, Dark Carnage, and Venom/"Legion".
- Eddie believed that Spider-Man 2099 stole his costume design from him.
- According to a 2021 interview with CBR, Venom's series of miniseries in the 1990s arose as a compromise between Marvel executives who disliked the character but wanted to capitalize on the character's runaway popularity as an antihero. Furthermore, according to Flavio Sette, Venom's reversion to villainy in the late 1990s and early 2000s was due the miniseries' decline in sales.
- During his Venom run starring Flash Thompson, writer Cullen Bunn originally planned for Eddie Brock to take the clone of the Venom symbiote with the Hell-Mark, becoming a second hellish version of Venom. However, since Eddie was bonded to Toxin around that time and he decided they could stay together longer, Bunn decided to keep the plot point, but introduce Andi Benton to become the symbiote clone's host instead.
- In Rick Remender and Cullen Bunn's plans for their prospective "War of the Symbiotes" arc in Venom Vol. 3, Eddie Brock was planned to sacrifice himself to stop the Toxin symbiote when it went "into heat" and began producing countless spores that would result in a worldwide plague of symbiotes -- the "Spawning" event alluded to in Venom Volume 2.
- For Eddie Brock's return as Venom starting with Venom (Vol. 3) #6, the character's exaggerated musculature and more monstrous features were toned down in favor of a look which called back to his earliest appearances. The monstrous aspects have instead been used thematically as a visual cue to reflect the symbiote's mental state.
- Eddie is a fan of Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones.
- Eddie was raised as a devout Catholic - disparaging the notion of gods aside from the Abrahamic one as blasphemy and even developed a messiah complex after becoming Anti-Venom. Feeling abandoned by God, Eddie eventually came to question his faith, and eventually forsook it. However, Eddie is not a true atheist as he currently acknowledges the existence of gods such as Thor and Knull.
- Eddie likes dogs.
- He followed the paternal family tradition of not putting ketchup on hotdogs.
- 413 appearance(s) of Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 72 minor appearance(s) of Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 76 mention(s) of Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 1311 image(s) of Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 135 quotation(s) by or about Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Edward Brock (Earth-616)
- 3 item(s) used/owned by Edward Brock (Earth-616)