- —Venom Symbiote[src]
The symbiote that would be later known as the Venom Symbiote was spawned at some point during the reign of the dark elder god Knull. Much of the symbiote's history prior to its arrival on Battleworld is unclear, in part due to its memories having been erased, modified, or otherwise altered numerous times. According to some sources (including itself), the symbiote was the 998th of its lineage, while others purport it to be the first symbiote created by Knull.
Becoming an outcast of its species for its refusal to obey Knull's will, the symbiote was discovered by Kree explorers, who took and bonded it to a soldier named Tel-Kar in order to use its disguising abilities to infiltrate the Skrull armada. However, when rescuing a ship of Kree refugees, Tel-Kar separated from it and erased its memories should the symbiote be captured. Parting ways when the ship crash-landed, it would later bond to an unnamed alien, who used it to commit genocide against his own species, making the symbiote addicted to rage. The alien arms-dealer Haze Mancer claimed to have captured it at some point, altering it with chemicals to amplify its aggression and bloodlust, though it lacked recollection of these events.
Still desiring to protect its hosts instead as opposed to dominating them, it was imprisoned by its brethren as they feared it would contaminate the gene pool, with this prison being incorporated into the makeup for Battleworld by the Beyonder.
Being discovered by Spider-Man during the Secret Wars, it bonded to him and assimilated his powers into its own genome. Unfortunately, it was later discarded by Spider-Man when he learned it was alive and sentient, as he was disgusted by the idea of permanently bonding to it. When Eddie Brock, a journalist who had his career ruined unwittingly due to the actions of Spider-Man, came to Our Lady of Saints Church to commit suicide, the symbiote sensed his anger and bonded to him, forming the supervillain Venom. Over time the symbiote's bloodlust and hunger worsened until it became too much for Eddie to stomach, leading to them parting ways.
After a brief stint with mobster Angelo Fortunato, the Venom symbiote sought out Mac Gargan and bonded to him. With Gargan, the symbiote's bloodlust grew even worse, eventually turning him into a sadistic cannibal. Stripped from Gargan after the downfall of the Dark Avengers, the Venom symbiote was taken by the US Army and eventually bonded to Corporal Flash Thompson, turning him into Agent Venom. Purportedly lobotomized by chemical suppressants, the symbiote sought to seize control of Flash and rampage until Agent Venom joined the Guardians of the Galaxy. Compelled to return to Klyntar by the symbiote hive-mind, the Venom symbiote was temporarily cleansed of its corruption and joined the Agents of the Cosmos until Flash returned to Earth. Forcibly separated from Flash, the symbiote briefly bonded to the cruel former Army Ranger Lee Price - worsening its corruption - before reuniting with Eddie Brock.
Venom was eventually cured from its corruption after being exposed to a serum derived from the the Anti-Venom symbiote. Giving birth to a new spawn, Sleeper, Venom's peaceful existence was thrown into chaos following the resurgence of the Knull, leading to them briefly parting ways when it was revealed the symbiote had been altering Eddie's memories all along. When Knull attacked Earth, Eddie defeated him and became the new God of the Symbiotes, eventually passing the symbiote and mantle of "Venom" onto his recently-discovered son Dylan.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origins
- 1.2 Secret Wars
- 1.3 Playing Superhero
- 1.4 Bonding to Eddie Brock
- 1.5 From Villain to Lethal Protector
- 1.6 First Invasion of the Symbiote Hive
- 1.7 Growing Corruption and Separation from Eddie
- 1.8 Descent Into Villainy
- 1.9 Agent Venom
- 1.10 Superior Venom
- 1.11 Agent of the Cosmos
- 1.12 Return to Earth
- 1.13 Return of the Lethal Protector
- 1.14 The Seventh Spawn of Venom
- 1.15 In the Thrall of Knull
- 1.16 Alone and War of the Realms
- 1.17 Absolute Carnage
- 1.18 Venom Island and Beyond
- 1.19 Second Symbiote Invasion
- 1.20 Father-Son Bonding Time
- 2 Iterations and Offshoots
- 3 Personality
- 4 Attributes
- 5 Paraphernalia
- 6 Notes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 See Also
- 9 Links and References
The symbiote that later became known as Venom was spawned at some point during the reign of the dark elder god Knull; though conflicting accounts of its birth and early life have been presented - with the symbiote's memories having been altered or erased numerous times. Said to be the 998th of its lineage, the symbiote recalled hatching from clutch of eggs in a cavern on Klyntar; though it also possessed memories of having been present on Gorr's Homeworld - a planet conquered by Knull early into his war on the Light and which served as the birthplace of the first symbiote, and was said by Meridius to be the original symbiote.
In the ancient past, the symbiote was once a loyal thrall of Knull, its "name" felt as a symbol of violence, death, and destruction. However, at some point the symbiote refused to obey Knull's will and was cast out of the Hive, wandering aimlessly across the cosmos. Ostracized by its brethren, the symbiote was eventually discovered by Kree explorers, who speculated it was being shunned due to cognitive defects and decided to harvest it for further study. The symbiote was eventually bonded to a soldier named Tel-Kar, and underwent months of training alongside him before they were dispatched to fight in the Kree-Skrull War, acting as a deep-cover spy, saboteur, and assassin. When Tel-Kar broke cover to rescue a ship of Kree refugees, he separated from the symbiote and erased its memories of him in case it was captured. Tel-Kar instructed the leader of the refugees to take the symbiote to Hala, but the symbiote left them to search for Tel-Kar and was abandoned by the refugees to be marooned on a planet when the ship crash-landed.
At some point, the symbiote bonded to an alien native to an icy world - who it later recalled as its first host - believing him to be a noble warrior and worthy host. In reality, the warrior used the symbiote to carry out a genocide against his homeworld, twisting it into a predatory and hate-filled being addicted to rage. The alien arms-dealer Haze Mancer claimed to have captured the symbiote at some point, dosing it with chemicals to further amplify its aggression and bloodlust; but it lacked recollection of these events. Despite these experiences, rather than seeking to dominate its subsequent hosts, the symbiote desired to bond with and protect them. As a result, it was eventually imprisoned by its malevolent brethren, who considered it an aberration and feared it would contaminate the gene pool. This prison was later inadvertently incorporated into the makeup of Battleworld by the Beyonder.
The symbiote’s first human host was Deadpool, who came across its prison while on Battleworld and - hoping for a makeover - wore the creature for a few minutes before realizing it was alive and interfacing with his mind. Concerned that his insanity would adversely affect it, Deadpool returned the symbiote to its prison moments before the arrival of Spider-Man, whose own suit had been damaged in the battle happening outside. Spider-Man found the prison module the symbiote had been trapped in and activated the machine, which released the symbiote in the form of a black sphere. When Spider-Man touched the symbiote, it covered his body and formed into a black-and-white costume with large white spider-emblems on its chest and back derived from Knull's dragon emblem, though Spider-Man assumed it had been reacting to his thoughts about the outfit worn by the second Spider-Woman. Interfacing with its new host's genome, the symbiote imprinted Peter Parker's spider-powers into itself, developing the abilities to adhere to surfaces and to project its constituent matter into a seemingly inexhaustible supply of stronger organic webbing.
Once back on Earth, the symbiote was initially content to play the part of a sophisticated costume capable of shapeshifting into civilian clothes; helping Spider-Man fight crime by augmenting his abilities. Feeding off Peter's desire to be a hero and protect those weaker than himself, the symbiote began taking over his body while he slept to fight crime. During this time, a piece of the symbiote was stolen by Spider-Man's girlfriend, the Black Cat, at the behest of Mysterio. Taking over the sleeping Peter, the symbiote followed her to reclaim its missing piece, but its offshoot refused and later bonded to Mysterio. The symbiote-augmented Mysterio attacked Spider-Man attempting to take the rest of the symbiote for himself, but was stopped by Black Cat and Spider-Man, the symbiote reabsorbing its missing piece.
When Baron Mordo used the Word of God to rewrite reality, the symbiote was forced to take control of and impersonate Peter when he lapsed into a despair-induced coma following Hobgoblin killing his Aunt May. While Doctor Strange figured out what had happened due to the symbiote being more aggressive than Spider-Man, he offered to teach it magic to be more effective against Mordo. Tricked into being trapped in the Dream Dimension, the symbiote persuaded Nightmare to help them escape and was tempted when the demon offered an alliance and suggested it use the Word of God to become a deity itself. Unleashing its monstrous form, the symbiote viciously attacked the Hobgoblin but was forced into a dormant state by the Eye of Agamotto, rousing Peter from his coma.
When the proto-symbiote Mister E attempted to prematurely free Knull from Klyntar using the Ebony Blade, the symbiote assisted Spider-Man in stopping him; Mister E being incredulous as to why one of its brethren would betray their god and pose as a simple costume. When the Asgardian goddess Karnilla attempted to steal the Norn Stone known as the Matrix Stone, Spider-Man was sent to the Crossroads Dimension, where he was attacked by the rampaging Savage Hulk. The symbiote accidentally absorbed the Norn Stone, which resonated with its divine heritage, awakening and empowering it to the point where it was able to easily overpower the Hulk. Despite revelling in its newfound power, the symbiote returned to its dormant state after being separated from the Matrix Stone; and it and Peter were eventually returned to Earth-616 by Doctor Strange.
The symbiote's desire to permanently bond to Peter made it increasingly reluctant to separate itself from him even for short periods, though it resolved to discontinue taking over him while he slept when it realized it was harming him. Confused as to why he was constantly exhausted and increasingly unnerved by his new costume's autonomy, Spider-Man took it to the Fantastic Four for analysis on the advice of the Black Cat. Upon learning the "black suit" was not only alive but sentient, and wished to permanently bond with him, Peter rejected it out of shock and disgust. With the aid of Mr. Fantastic and the Human Torch, Spider-Man discovered the symbiote was vulnerable to sound and intense heat, and he used sonic waves to remove it and flames to scare it into a containment module. When five-year-old Franklin Richards strayed into his father's laboratory, the symbiote attempted to communicate with him but was left frightened by his untapped potential. Some time later, the symbiote escaped briefly with the help of Kristoff Vernard and possessed Mr. Fantastic in order to take revenge against Spider-Man. Trying to possess a stronger body, it attacked the Baxter Building and possessed the Invisible Woman before possessing Franklin. Franklin rejected the symbiote with the help of Spider-Man and Reed, and it was imprisoned again.
Angered at having been rejected and imprisoned, the symbiote escaped and took over a tourist named Leonard Elkhart, using him to make its way back to Peter's closet, where it disguised itself as a spare red and blue uniform. When the Vulturions attacked, the symbiote revealed itself and attempted to forcibly bond to Spider-Man, who fled to the bell tower of the Our Lady of Saints Church. The bells rang to sound the hour, which - coupled with Spider-Man's rejection of it - weakened the alien and forced it to relinquish its hold on him. The symbiote, using its remaining strength, dragged Peter to safety before fleeing through the cracks of the floor to the lower levels of the church, which would lead Spider-Man to assume the symbiote had actually perished. Parker's repeated rejections left the symbiote extremely bitter toward him, a trait it would share with most of its future hosts.
After recovering from its injuries, the symbiote found itself being hunted by a trio of alien bounty hunters - Killer Thrill, Guzz, and Coldwar - and reunited with Deadpool. Over the course of a single night, "Venompool" devoured a squadron of Zn'rx attempting to abduct the Power Pack, fought White Rabbit alongside Black Cat, fought Kraven the Hunter, and devoured Killer Thrill's left arm - forcing the bounty hunters to flee empty-handed. However, the symbiote's growing rage towards Spider-Man led to it having a falling-out with Deadpool, and it returned to Our Lady of Saints Church.
Bonding to Eddie Brock
The symbiote's third human host, Eddie Brock, had been a reporter for the Daily Globe who was fired after Spider-Man debunked his story exposing the identity of the Sin-Eater, humiliating him and ruining his career to the point where he could only find work with cheap gossip magazines. Contemplating suicide after being disowned by his abusive father and divorced by his wife, Eddie entered Our Lady of Saint's Church to pray for forgiveness. Attracted by his mutual hatred towards Spider-Man, the symbiote bonded with Eddie, suggesting the name "Venom" for their merged form. However, Eddie's hatred for Peter further twisted the symbiote's own feelings towards its former host into a fixation with either reclaiming or killing him.
When bonded, Venom spoke using the first person plural (we), signifying that Brock and the symbiote were two separate entities joined together - although, on occasion, Eddie referred to it as "My Other and I". They fought Spider-Man many times, and came close to winning on several occasions. By this time, Spider-Man had married Mary Jane Watson, and Venom scared her horribly, causing her to ask Spider-Man to stop wearing the black costume and return to his original suit.
Despite its bond to Eddie, the symbiote viewed him as an inferior host and saw Spider-Man as its soul mate, frequently making efforts to return to him in between attempts to kill him. The symbiote also began manipulating Eddie's memories and biochemistry to make him believe he had a deceased uncle and a sister, and that he had been diagnosed with cancer; gaslighting him into staying bonded to it whenever he questioned their relationship.
From Villain to Lethal Protector
During a battle between Spider-Man, Styx, and Stone, the symbiote was seemingly killed by Styx's lethal touch. It recovered and sought Eddie out, freeing him from prison while leaving an asexually-produced spawn behind, which bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady and became known as Carnage. At this time, the symbiote and Eddie had settled more-or-less peacefully on the Isla de Huesos after seemingly killing Spider-Man, and was less than pleased to learn he had survived. When Carnage proved more powerful than its progenitor, Spider-Man revealed his survival to Venom and arranged a temporary truce to subdue him.
Venom eventually arranged a truce with Spider-Man and relocated to San Francisco, becoming the defender of the Underground City. The symbiote's ability to reproduce asexually attracted the attention of the Life Foundation, who captured Venom and temporarily separated Eddie from the symbiote. While captive, the Venom symbiote was forced to give birth to five offspring - Riot, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Scream - who were bonded to PMCs hired by the Life Foundation. When corrupt corporation Scarmore Inc. hired the Juggernaut to act as an enforcer and kill Beck Underwood - a lawyer allied with the Underground City and Eddie Brock's girlfriend - the Venom symbiote was exposed to a sentient Mercury Virus engineered by Scarmore Inc., augmenting it but also driving it and Eddie insane. Driving off the Juggernaut, the symbiote and Eddie were pulled into the Realm of Madness but managed to escape and expelled the virus.
When Eddie's ex-wife Anne Weying was mortally wounded after being shot by the second Sin-Eater, Eddie urged the Venom symbiote to bond with and heal her. Under the influence of the symbiote, Anne impulsively murdered a pair of thugs, an act she instantly regretted. The symbiote returned to Eddie, but when he was incapacitated it rebonded to Anne and almost caused her to eat a deranged woman seeking revenge on Eddie for the crippling of her daughter's boyfriend.
Suspecting the negative influence the symbiote's bloodlust was having on him, Eddie rejected it and in its despair, the symbiote unleashed a psychic scream that accidentally alerted the Symbiote Hive to Earth's location. When the Hive attacked, the Venom symbiote disguised itself as Ben Reilly's hoodie and was pulled through a stargate the invasion force had constructed to a world the Hive had already conquered.
Revealing itself, the Venom symbiote rebonded to Eddie and conveyed some of its backstory to him, Spider-Man, and the Scarlet Spider. To save the Earth, the symbiote rebonded to Eddie - seemingly permanently - and released another psychic scream of despair that caused most of the invading symbiotes to commit suicide.
In the wake of the Symbiote Invasion, Anne was taken into police custody and used as bait to lure Venom into an ambush; Eddie sending the symbiote through the phone's landline to jailbreak her. As She-Venom, Anne again succumbed to the symbiote's bloodlust but returned the symbiote to Eddie when he was mortally wounded. The Venom symbiote also became the target of a Xenophage that had been drawn to Earth following the Symbiote Invasion, forcing Venom to team up with Scream to defeat it.
Growing Corruption and Separation from Eddie
As the symbiote's bloodlust grew, it began attempting to force Eddie to satiate its growing appetite for flesh, as it had previously with Anne Weying, and abandoned him when he refused to do so. The rampaging symbiote attempted to devour Eddie, who was able to temporarily curb its hunger using chocolate. Despite Eddie's best efforts to suppress its predatory urges, the occasions when the symbiote's bloodlust overwhelmed him and he was forced him to satiate its ravenous hunger caused him to begin to distrust and fear its influence over him.
The symbiote was briefly separated from Eddie by Senator Ward, who wanted to study it to better understand his own alien affliction, though it was eventually returned to him. After Eddie lost his memories following his stint as a government agent, the symbiote influenced him into relapsing into villainy as Venom and attempting to eat Sandman and Spider-Man. When the symbiote's gaslighting of Eddie by manipulating biochemistry to trick him into thinking he had terminal cancer caused him to actually develop the disease, the symbiote sought to forsake him and once more began hunting prey on its own; attempting to rebond to Spider-Man and expressing outrage when he tricked it into rebonding to Eddie.
During a battle between Venom, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four, the symbiote's tongue was severed and wound up in the possession of the Ararat Corporation, which used it to create a modified clone of the symbiote. The Ararat Corporation intended for the bloodthirsty and sadistic clone to be assimilated by the original symbiote, whereupon it would induce the gestation of an army of symbiotes to exterminate all life on Earth. Several months later the original Venom symbiote succeeded in absorbing its clone and decided to follow through with the Ararat Corporation's plan, though for unknown reasons it never came to pass. The Venom symbiote also assimilated a significant amount of the Carnage symbiote, which attempted to take it over from the inside and may have contributed to its growing bloodlust.
The symbiote fully taking over Eddie, Venom attacked Wolverine and tried to devour him; Eddie managing to assert control just long enough to beg Logan to do whatever it took to stop him. Lapsing into a berserk rage, Logan managed to defeat Venom and left him unconscious. Sensing that the Carnage symbiote was about to spawn, Venom attempted to coach Carnage through the birth of its first offspring, which it dubbed Toxin. Venom initially planned to train Toxin, whose host was a policeman, but formed a temporary truce with Carnage in an unsuccessful attempt to kill it lest it turn on them and prove too powerful to stop.
Having a Christian reawakening after watching the Passion of Christ, Eddie was unable to stomach the symbiote's bloodlust and decided to expunge himself of it by selling it at a super villain auction and donating the money to charity. The symbiote was purchased by Maggia don Vincente Fortunato, who gave it to his son Angelo Fortunato.
Descent Into Villainy
After bonding to Angelo, the symbiote revealed Spider-Man's secret identity to him and they attacked Peter Parker at a class reunion. As Venom, Angelo quickly learned how to use the symbiote's powers and initially overwhelmed Spider-Man, but after he killed a civilian dressed as the superhero Spider-Man stopped holding back and turned the tables against the fledgling super villain. When Angelo fled from Spider-Man, the symbiote deemed him an unworthy host and scornfully abandoning him to fall to his death while he was jumping between buildings.
The Venom symbiote later approached MacDonald "Mac" Gargan, who was considered a low-level villain as the Scorpion, offering him new abilities in exchange for killing Spider-Man. Gargan bonded with the creature, which gave him an extra edge as part of Norman Osborn's Sinister Twelve. Even with these additional powers, he was still swiftly defeated by Spider-Man, as the Avengers dealt with the rest of the Twelve. Gargan later became a member of a sub-group of Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts, which was drafted by the Avengers to hunt down the members of the fugitive Secret Avengers. In order to keep the increasingly feral symbiote in check, the government outfitted Gargan with electrical implants. Despite this, over time Gargan's control over the symbiote declined, leading to him expressing nausea and fear of the organism despite being addicted to its power. During a battle with the Steel Spider, Gargan lost control of the symbiote and devoured the antihero's arm. Following this, Gargan was ostracized by his teammates; but after being vehemently berated by a hallucination of the alien caused by the third Bluestreak he rapidly embraced the creature's bloodlust and came to gluttonously enjoy indulging its appetite; devouring other humans, Skrulls, Atlanteans, Kree, Asgardians, and squirrels.
When hunting for Spider-Man, the symbiote sensed a former host and led Gargan to Eddie Brock. To Gargan's dismay, the symbiote tried to abandon him and return to its former host, who had been cured of his cancer by Martin Li. However, Li's Lightforce powers had altered remnants of the symbiote inside Eddie and caused them to form into a new, mindless symbiote called Anti-Venom. Proving caustic to the Venom symbiote, Anti-Venom nearly killed it, but Gargan managed to escape and it eventually recovered in time to stop him from killing Eddie.
As the symbiote's influence over him grew, Gargan became increasingly monstrous and bloodthirsty. However, in preparation for announcing his Dark Avengers, Osborn developed a symbiote suppressant compound that granted Gargan increased control over the symbiote and allowed him to shift between his Venom form and a smaller form identical to Symbiote Spider-Man at will, using this as a way of discrediting their old enemy Spider-Man.
During the Dark Avengers' Siege of Asgard, Gargan and the symbiote went on a feeding frenzy before being confronted by Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. Ms. Marvel managed to rip Gargan from the symbiote, which promptly bonded to and took over her; mocking Spider-Man while trying to devour him. With Spider-Man's help, Ms. Marvel was able to eventually force the symbiote off herself by flying into some power lines and expelling all the energy she had absorbed from them. The symbiote returned to Gargan, but after the Dark Avengers' defeat the U.S. Military removed it from Gargan and took it into custody for study.
After the symbiote was removed from Gargan, the US military established Project Rebirth 2.0, an attempt to weaponize it as a suit of body armor based on the earlier Sym-Soldier Program. Through studying the symbiote, the researchers determined that a 48-hour window existed after the first contact with the symbiote until it fully bonded to its host and became more difficult to remove, only permitting recruits to wear it for the duration of missions. After an unsuccessful trial that ended with the recruit - Cal Henricksen - losing control and being terminated, the symbiote was assigned to Colonel Eugene "Flash" Thompson. While wearing it, Flash was able to use it to create prosthetic legs and gained spider-powers; reveling in his ability to walk again and emulate his idol Spider-Man. While bonded to Flash, the symbiote took on the appearance of body armor, later manifesting chitinous spikes and a more exoskeletal appearance. To keep it from going on out-of-control feeding frenzies, the Venom symbiote was dosed with symbiote suppressant drugs intended to lobotomize it. However, the drug was imperfect and unable to fully suppress the symbiote, which frequently used Flash's anger issues to seize control and revert to its monstrous form. As "Agent Venom", Flash battled the Crime-Master, and destroyed an illegal shipment of Vibranium. In retribution for this, the villain kidnapped Betty Brant, but gave the location to Flash only if he swore not to bother him anymore. The symbiote seized control when Venom was attacked by Jack O'Lantern and Spider-Man - who believed he had been the one who kidnapped Betty - but Flash managed to suppress its rampage long enough to tell Spider-Man where she was.
During Spider-Island, Venom battled the Spider-Queen and infiltrated her hive dressed as her guard, Spider-King. When the Project Rebirth 2.0 headquarters was attacked, the symbiote temporarily bonded with Samson, a German Shepherd belonging to General Brad Dodge. When Flash was dispatched to capture Eddie Brock so that the Anti-Venom symbiote could be used to cure the Spider-Virus, the symbiote abandoned him to rebond to its former host. By this point, Eddie hated the Venom symbiote and was terrified at the prospect of being re-bonded to it, shedding tears as it covered him. While the symbiote was jubilant to return to its former host, Flash was able to convince it to return to him by telling it that Eddie would constantly fight its control. Along with Steve Rogers, Venom killed the Spider-Queen, but she mutated into a giant spider-monster, which was later killed by Kaine.
Following this, the Crime-Master sent Jack O'Lantern to threaten Flash into carrying out missions for him to protect his family, the first of which was to steal the Toxin symbiote from Blackheart's lair in Las Vegas. To protect his family, Flash went AWOL and fully bonded to the Venom symbiote, ending up helping Red Hulk - who had been sent by Captain America to retrieve him and the symbiote, Laura Kinney, and Ghost Rider stop Blackheart from unleashing Hell on Earth. During the Circle of Four, the symbiote secretly bartered with Mephisto to receive a Hell-Mark and seized control of Flash in an attempt to claim the Spirit of Vengeance for itself, but was stopped by Blackheart. Flash gave Red Hulk the symbiote in conjunction with Ross bonding to the Spirit of Vengeance, becoming both Venom and Ghost Rider. After the events of Circle of Four, Red Hulk returned the symbiote to Flash.
With Red Hulk's testimony, Flash was pardoned by Captain America in recognition of his heroism and made a member of the Secret Avengers. Dispatched to Doverton, Colorado as backup for the Mercury Team, the symbiote was accidentally separated from Flash and took over a silverback gorilla that had escaped from a zoo, using it to escape from a horde of other animals being controlled by the Carnage symbiote. It later left the gorilla and returned to Flash, saving him from being killed by Kasady.
While investigating the Department of Occult Armaments, Flash was ambushed by Daimon Hellstrom, who possessed Flash with a powerful demon in an attempt to turn Venom into one of his Monsters of Evil, which backfired due to the Hell-Mark. To protect his friends and loved ones in New York, Flash subsequently moved to Philadelphia, struggling to cope with the supposedly lobotomized symbiote subconsciously undermining his control. However, he was followed by both Toxin and the Jack O'Lantern. When the latter tried to kill his neighbor Andi Benton, Flash sent what he thought was a small portion of the symbiote to protect her (though this would turn out to be the symbiote's clone), which bonded to her. Calling herself Mania, Andi set out to avenge her father using the cloned symbiote, while Flash interrogated the original symbiote to find out what had happened. It scolded him for suppressing it and revealed it had shunted the Hell-Mark onto its clone to keep the demon from taking over them.
When Flash returned to New York to investigate rumors that the Crime-Master had returned from the dead, he was attacked by the Superior Spider-Man and his Spiderlings. With the symbiote wounded, Agent Venom revealed his identity to Spider-Man in the hopes that he would be shown mercy, and escaped when Spider-Man tried to kill him. Flash sought shelter with his friend Peter Parker, not knowing that he was Spider-Man and had been overtaken by his enemy Otto Octavius. "Peter" convinced Flash to undergo surgery to install high-tech prosthesis and used the opportunity to extract the Venom symbiote, intending on containing it in his lab. The symbiote, having grown more powerful in the years since Spider-Man had been its host, broke free and sought to return to its former host. Sensing something was different about its old host that it disliked, the symbiote tried to return to Flash, but Otto forced it to remain bonded to him, all while reveling in its power. As the "Superior Venom", Otto became even more vicious and aggressive under the symbiote's influence, using extreme violence against even minor infractions and lashing out at Aunt May when she was insensitive towards Anna Maria Marconi's height. Mary Jane, thinking Peter had been overtaken by the symbiote, contacted the Avengers, who then engaged Venom in a fight just as he was about to kill some of Hobgoblin's gang members. With the symbiote's power, Otto was able to fight evenly with them, but he realized too late that the symbiote had been undermining his will and was soon taken over by it. When Flash arrived in Iron Man's armor and tried to convince it to return to him, Venom lashed out in rage at having been controlled by drugs. Unable to suppress it or expel it, Otto gave in to despair but was saved by the remnant of Peter Parker's psyche, who expelled the symbiote. The symbiote returned to Flash, and later informed him something was wrong with Spider-Man.
Agent Venom joined Red Hulk's iteration of the Thunderbolts, although the violent methods the group employed undermined his control of the symbiote, enabling it to seize control and go on a feeding frenzy while on the Punisher's mission to exterminate the Paguro Family and their clients. Flash also let the symbiote go berserk against a horde of Frost Giants in order to attract Valkyrie's attention, and later augmented it with Milfour's Dragonhelm in preparation to fight against "Doctor Strange". The symbiote also devoured several True Fairies, but freaked out after witnessing their eldritch true forms. After this, Flash allowed the symbiote to take control of him in a test to see if the team could take him down, forcing them to work together to subdue it. Red Hulk offered to kill the creature, but Flash - needing it to survive and having become addicted to its power - refused and rebonded himself to it.
Agent of the Cosmos
Eventually, Captain America asked Flash to take Tony Stark's place as a liaison for the Guardians of the Galaxy. Once in space, the symbiote changed its appearance to lose all semblance of body armor while maintaining an exoskeletal appearance and manifesting a jagged mouth. Sensing the symbiote's return to space, the symbiotes hive-mind reached out to it across the cosmos and tried to reconnect to it, causing Flash to lose control of it as it lashed out in rage and confusion, taking on an insectoid appearance when berserk. Seeking to return to Earth, Flash and the symbiote attacked the Guardians but were separated by Peter Quill and Rocket Raccoon. However, the symbiote escaped containment and took over the nearby Groot.
After being separated from Groot by Drax, the symbiote took over Rocket, transforming his arms into bio-mechanical multi-barreled guns and demanding the Guardians turn over their ship to it. When Drax grabbed hold of Rocket, the symbiote immediately transferred over to him, using him to defeat the other Guardians and pilot their ship to its destination: the symbiote homeworld. The symbiote separated from Drax of its own accord, whereupon it was cleansed of its hatred and bloodlust, reintegrated into the symbiotes hivemind, and rebonded to Flash.
After being purged of its bloodlust, the symbiote took on the appearance of bulky body armor with a face markedly resembling that of the Destroyer, though it could still manifest its signature fangs and tongue. After being cleansed, the symbiote developed the ability to hear the "voice" of the Cosmos, guiding it to those in need of protection; and the ability to take on humanoid form independently of its host for short periods of time. Together with Flash, the symbiote acted as an Agent of the Cosmos, seeking to restore order across the universe. After being separated from Flash by Gramosian space pirates, the symbiote bonded to their leader, Mercurio, as part of a ploy on Flash's and the symbiote's part in order to buy time for their allies to arrive and to obtain intel on Mercurio's armada. However, the brief period of time the symbiote spent bonded to the warlord undid its cleansing, and the symbiote eventually went berserk, rampaging across the planets it had helped alongside Flash. Seeking to corrupt Flash, it lured him to its first host's homeworld, where it took him over and it attempted to drive him insane with his darkest memories.
With the help of Flash's new allies, the symbiote was subdued and contained, and was taken back to Klyntar to be re-cleansed. Instead, it was placed on trial by the Agents of the Cosmos and nearly executed, but with Flash's help it managed to overcome its bloodlust and learned that its cleansing had failed due to Mania having been corrupted and taken over by the Hell-Mark.
Return to Earth
Flash and the Venom symbiote returned to Earth partly to aid Carol Danvers against Tony Stark in the second Civil War, but also to seek out Mania. A spider-bot detected the presence of Flash and the symbiote, tracking them to Philadelphia. Believing the symbiote to be evil and that it had taken over his friend, Peter — as Spider-Man — ambushed Venom using anti-symbiote technology developed at Parker Industries. Despite both Flash and the symbiote protesting that they didn't want to fight, Spider-Man separated the symbiote from Flash, preparing to imprison it in his lab. Enraged, the Venom symbiote used its ability to take on humanoid form without a host to catch Peter by surprise and easily overwhelmed him. Trying to lead it away from civilians, Spider-Man quipped that they were old friends due to him being a former host, which to his surprise the symbiote didn't remember. The symbiote prevented Spider-Man from fleeing and bonded to him, but instead of taking over him it showed him memories of its birth and first host, explaining its origins and that the cleanse had purged it of all its memories except those of its original host — who had corrupted it and left it with an addiction to rage — and Flash Thompson. The symbiote noted that Peter was teeming with rage towards it, and sincerely apologized for everything it had done to him, stating that it was no longer the Venom he knew and hated. The symbiote released Spider-Man and returned to Flash, who explained that he and the symbiote had returned to Earth to find Mania, Venom's corrupted clone and its protégé. Accepting that the symbiote had changed for the better, Spider-Man volunteered to help Venom find Mania, and assisted in capturing her before returning to New York.
Andi, corrupted by the Hell-Mark, tried to take both the Mania and Venom symbiotes from Flash, but Venom's allies arrived in time to stop her and suppress the demonic corruption. Some time later the FBI, seeking to return possession of the symbiote to the US Government, hunted Flash down and attacked him with a suit of powered armor equipped with anti-symbiote weaponry, separating him from the symbiote and sending into a feral state. While it regained control of itself, the symbiote did not return to Flash out of shame at enjoying being bloodthirsty and angry.
In search of a new host after being separated from Flash Thompson, the symbiote came across former Army Ranger Lee Price when he was about to be gunned down in a shootout between Tombstone's gang and Black Cat's gang. It bonded to him to protect him and was initially excited to discover he was a soldier, but was quickly horrified when he dominated it with his will and proceeded to massacre both groups of gangs, forcing the memories of his traumatic childhood on it to shut it up when it protested. The symbiote subsequently engaged in a mental argument with Lee, berating him over his actions and callous attitude while accidentally revealing its own sanguine past. Unable to directly control Lee due to his Army Rangers training, the symbiote resigned itself to being bonded to him, but attempted to sabotage his application to Black Cat's gang by causing him to vomit, and tried to refuse to aid him in fighting off the assassin sent by Tombstone to kill him - though when injured by flames it lashed out and killed the assassin.
Two FBI agents soon learned of Venom's new host and tried to force him into becoming an informant by threatening to reveal his identity to the public if he didn't comply, thus risking turning him into a target for law enforcement agencies and vigilantes. When the plan of the FBI agents fell through, Eddie Brock and his anti-symbiotic task force set out to capture him. Spider-Man helped the FBI separate the symbiote from Lee, tricking Venom into thinking he wanted to become its host again. Lee was arrested by the NYPD subsequently while the symbiote was taken to the FBI.
Return of the Lethal Protector
Before the suit could be handed over to Alpha Flight, Brock broke it free and became Venom once again. However, he was determined to ensure that his relationship to it was different from what it had been when they first bonded. The symbiote's relapse into corruption made this difficult, as it was violently possessive towards him, viciously attacking a priest who it perceived as undermining Eddie's desire to be bonded to it. Knowing that the symbiote had recently been heroic and wanting to understand why it was relapsing into its predatory corrupted state, Eddie sought the help of Alchemax, and learned that his body had been rendered nearly inhospitable to symbiotes a result of being saturated with symbiote suppressant drugs during his time with the FBI. Alchemax decided to help Eddie if he brought Stegron to them along with the equipment he stole. Doing so, they gave him a medicine that would rebalance Eddie's metabolism so his body wouldn't reject the symbiotes.
Together, they arrested criminals and the symbiote felt good to be a hero again. However, it took too much out of its host's body sometimes making Eddie sleep longer so it can think while watching TV, and subconsciously influencing Eddie in order to fight criminals. The symbiote was concerned at feeling emotions contradictory to those of its host, such as feeling joy in contrast to Eddie's anger when he was unable to sell the television. With the effects of its cleansing ending, the symbiote was able to remember its previous hosts and the influences they'd had on it while lamenting at having been separated from Flash. In its quest for redemption for everything it had done through the years, it payed a visit to the priest it have previously attacked, asking for forgiveness. After a brief conversation, the symbiote realized why Eddie had talked to the priest and it was happy he hadn't died, promising him its protection.
A little after, they were summoned to an alternate universe by Venomized versions of Captain America and Doctor Strange to help in a multiversal war against the Poisons, an extra-dimensional alien race that permanently bond with symbiotes, consuming their hosts' bodies to complete the bonding process and also assimilate their powers. At the last moments, the Venomized Doctor Strange sent the remaining Venoms back home before the Poisons' ship exploded.
After returning home, the symbiote's growing corruption renewed its bloodlust, causing it to frequently relapse into its feral, villainous state despite Eddie's efforts to satiate its hunger without resorting to murder or cannibalism. After it attempted to devour a corrupt cop, Kraven the Hunter, and the Ringer, Eddie finally became fed up and returned to Alchemax to demand an explanation as to the diminishing effectiveness of the cure. Flash Thompson intervened and demanded Eddie return the symbiote to him, and the symbiote tried to bond to both of its favorite hosts at once. Spider-Man intervened in an attempt to kill it and overturned a vat of serum derived from the Anti-Venom symbiote (which caused the symbiote to be cured from its re-corruption and made Eddie's metabolism return to normal), thus the symbiote biomass bonded to Flash was converted into an artificial replica of the Anti-Venom symbiote, which he used to forcibly extract the Venom symbiote from Eddie. Despite being unable to rebond to Flash due to the Anti-Venom, the symbiote was nevertheless happy to reunite with its old host, and was left in Bobbi Morse's bathroom for safekeeping while Spider-Man and Anti-Venom went looking for Lee Price, who had attacked Mania and stolen her symbiote. The symbiote eventually decided to escape and destroyed the bathroom before noticing a shard of glass fall down the drain. Escaping into the sewers in search of Eddie, it scared a couple of city workers before finally finding and rebonding with Eddie, who had met up with Black Cat.
Venom and Black Cat searched for Dr. Steve so they could weaponize the Anti-Venom serum, using it to free Spider-Man - who had been infected by the Maniac symbiote. Venom reluctantly teamed up with Spider-Man, Agent Anti-Venom, and Andi Benton - who had come to New York to help Flash and reclaim her symbiote, still going by the alias as Mania using her hellish powers. The six decided to face Maniac, who had infected the Five Families with his symbiote. Using the Anti-Venom serum and the replica of the Anti-Venom used by Flash Thompson, they defeated the Inklings. However, the small pieces infecting everyone returned to Maniac, who absorbed them to assume a massive form and attempted to forcibly assimilate the Venom symbiote by eating Eddie. However, Spider-Man and Black Cat figured out that they were immune to the Maniac symbiote since they were previously possessed by it. Spider-Man made the Anti-Venom symbiote absorb his blood with the "Anti-Maniac" properties, thus allowing its immunity to take down Maniac and revert the symbiote to its original mass and size, though it would still be bounded with Lee Price. After Price was arrested, Flash finally came to the conclusion that the Venom symbiote was safe with Eddie Brock and brokered an uneasy truce between Spider-Man and Venom.
With Eddie's altered metabolism having been cured by being doused in the Anti-Venom serum, the symbiote was able to recover from its physical and psychological instability, returning to the benevolent state it had been in as an Agent of the Cosmos. When Spider-Woman attacked Eddie, the symbiote temporarily bonded to her to convince her they were turning over a new leaf and revealed that it was about to give birth again - though it chose to keep this a secret from Eddie.
When the time-displaced X-Men approached Venom and asked for his assistance, their allies the Starjammers having been captured by symbiote-clad bounty hunters, the Venom symbiote tried to persuade an unwilling Eddie to help them. When Eddie obstinately refused to listen to it, the symbiote knocked him out and allowed the Young X-Men to capture them and take them into space. When Eddie regained consciousness, the symbiote persuaded him to help them after hearing that the bounty-hunters had been using their symbiotes as weapons - having been traumatized by the events of the war against the Poisons. The symbiote was confused when Haze Mancer - who had sold symbiotes to the bounty hunters - recognized it, not remembering him. It recognized Killer Thrill and informed the Young X-Men of her powers through Eddie, and was horrified to discover the Poisons had infiltrated Earth-616, lamenting the loss of several of its brethren and that it was only a matter of time before the Poisons pursued it to Earth. The symbiote subsequently aided Eddie in defeating the Poisons, destroying the Hive, and returning its captured brethren to Klyntar.
The Seventh Spawn of Venom
As the time for it to give birth drew closer, the Venom symbiote began to go out of its way to protect its unborn spawn, even if it meant endangering Eddie in the process. Not telling him out of fear that its soon-to-be-born spawn would turn out to be a monster like its others had, the symbiote was almost captured by the FBI's Symbiote Task Force, which wanted to claim the spawn and bond it to Mac Gargan. While the symbiote keeping secrets had formed a rift of distrust between it and Eddie, he took it to Alchemax so Dr. Steve could assist in it giving birth - the labor being longer and more difficult than its previous spawns'. The symbiote agreed to leave its offspring in Dr. Steve's custody until it and Eddie decided the offspring was ready to take a host.
When Norman Osborn bonded to the Carnage symbiote to become the Red Goblin, Eddie was blackmailed by J. Jonah Jameson into protecting Mary Jane. Despite teaming up with Spider-Man, Venom was outmatched and only barely managed to fend the Red Goblin off. Exhausted, Eddie decided to lend the symbiote to Spider-Man - giving him a much-needed power boost. Peter reluctantly agreed and the symbiote bonded to him, making him powerful enough to fight toe-to-toe with the Red Goblin. When Flash Thompson was mortally wounded, Symbiote Spider-Man went berserk and Venomized, though Flash managed to calm him down so as to keep the symbiote from being re-corrupted by Peter's rage. As part of a gambit to separate Osborn from the Carnage symbiote, Spider-Man separated from the Venom symbiote and sent it back to Eddie, assuring it that he would be fine when it expressed concern for his safety. After reuniting with Eddie, the symbiote attended Flash's funeral in the shape of a tuxedo.
Shortly afterward, Tel-Kar came to Earth looking for the symbiote, which prompted Eddie to rescue him from the Skrull Warbride M'lanz. The symbiote subsequently regained its memories of Tel-Kar, who asked it to leave Eddie and re-bond with him; but when it refused he blackmailed it into bonding to him by threatening to corrupt its spawn, the Sleeper symbiote. Tel-Kar dominated the Venom symbiote, suppressing its consciousness and using it to attack a Skrull military installation containing a species-annihilating bio-weapon, but it broke free of his control when he attempted to kill Eddie and its offspring. Tel-Kar forced the symbiote off himself and it rebonded to Eddie, while Sleeper latched on to M'lanz to protect her from the bio-weapon. Venom returned to Earth, severing ties with Alchemax, and when Tel-Kar attacked, the symbiote was disabled protecting its offspring, upon recovering it learned that the Sleeper symbiote had bonded to and lobotomized Tel-Kar before setting off to explore the cosmos.
In the Thrall of Knull
Some time later, the symbiote began to suffer nightmares of an ancient and powerful evil deity that had been worshiped by the symbiotes in the ancient past. As the symbiote god's influence over it intensified, the Venom symbiote was inflicted with increasingly frequent and intense bouts of insanity and bloodlust. This prompted Eddie to suppress it with anti-psychosis medication and refrain from combat out of fear it would attack innocents, spending several months attempting to figure out what was wrong with it. In the thrall of the symbiote god, the Venom symbiote went berserk and attempted to kill a Jack O'Lantern impersonator and a pair of policemen, but was subdued by Rex Strickland - a former member of a team of symbiote-enhanced super-soldiers. Returned to lucidity, the symbiote helped Eddie attempt to rescue Strickland's former comrades, but was controlled by the symbiote god and forced to separate from him. When Eddie was mortally wounded by one of the controlled super-soldiers, the symbiote snapped out of its stupor and healed him, attempting to explain what was going on as a symbiote-dragon devoured the super-soldier's symbiotes and went on a rampage.
When Eddie confronted Rex over what had happened, the symbiote succumbed to the dark god's control and attacked, though Eddie was able to subdue it with the flames from Rex's blast furnace. When the new Spider-Man, Miles Morales, attacked, having mistaken Eddie for the Venom that had killed his mother, the symbiote went berserk and nearly killed him before being subdued by a Venom Blast. After the symbiote dragon was defeated by Morales' Venom Blast and Knull - the dark god of the symbiotes - manifested, the symbiote initially submitted itself to him before Eddie's rage over Knull casually killing innocents sent it into a berserk rage. Knull subsequently stripped it from Eddie and attempted to connect it to his hive mind, turning its eyespots red; but it returned to Eddie after Knull was attacked by Morales. Restored to lucidity and with new powers as a result of its brief connection to Knull, the Venom symbiote informed him that Rex was actually the last piece of the symbiote-dragon, merging with him so as to become powerful enough to fight Knull. Despite being armed with an arsenal of high-power weapons, the Venom and Tyrannosaurus symbiotes were stripped from Eddie and absorbed into the Grendel symbiote, though Eddie detonated said arsenal. Shielded from the blast by the Tyrannosaurus symbiote, the Venom symbiote returned to Eddie. When the Tyrannosaurus symbiote sacrificed itself to drag Knull's avatar into the blast furnace, Eddie sustaining severe burns while holding the door shut. The Venom symbiote was overwhelmed by the intense heat and strain of keeping him alive, and seemingly perished while telling Eddie it loved him.
The Venom symbiote survived, seizing control of an unconscious Eddie when he was discovered by Project Oversight and rampaging for three weeks. Recognizing Dylan Brock as Eddie's son and fearing that learning this would cause him to abandon it, the symbiote pretended to be brain dead and began suppressing various memories it sensed would be harmful to him; leading to Eddie not remembering the Maker's repeated attempts to interrogate him over a period of two weeks and forgetting Flash Thompson's death.
When the Maker revealed that he had extracted a codex - trace remnants of symbiote biomass left in former hosts - from a sample of Flash's blood, and that he intended to exhume and vivisect Flash's corpse in order to extract more; the Venom symbiote went berserk and attacked him. Separating from Eddie in order to restrain the Maker, the symbiote stuffed him in a morgue locker and stole Flash's codex. When they were attacked by guards wielding sonic weapons, the symbiote absorbed the codex and channeled Flash's personality imprint within it, filling the void of its lost awareness; transforming Eddie into Agent Venom. However, the codex eventually burnt out and the symbiote returned to its mindless state.
When Eddie traveled to San Francisco to try to reconcile with his father, the symbiote took on the form of a dog. Eddie's reunion with his father ended disastrously, with Carl saying they never were a family and punching Eddie in the face. This enraged the symbiote, which tried to devour him; but Eddie managed to restrain it and ran away. When a pair of homeless men attempted to break into Eddie's motel room, symbiote discovered that Carnage had returned more powerful than ever, and had taken over the Underground City that Venom had once protected. Believing himself to be Eddie's younger half-brother, Dylan tried to get Eddie's help to kill their physically-abusive father. Eddie agreed to make sure the abuse stopped, but he passed out after a vision of Knull, vomiting blood. After Eddie was taken to the hospital, the Venom symbiote put him into a comatose state, cocooning his body. Engaging in a mental confrontation with Eddie, the symbiote posed as Mary Brock, Eddie's uncle, and his father in an attempt to get Eddie to fully embrace it. However, Eddie was able to see through its deceptions and was outraged that it would trick and lie him after everything they had been through following their reunion. Rejected by Eddie and separated from him by the Maker, the symbiote incapacitated the evil Reed Richards and used its power to take on an humanoid form without a host to rescue Dylan. Impersonating Eddie to berate Carl Brock in a mental confrontation, the symbiote left him in the desert before taking Dylan to Eddie. Apologizing for what it had done, the symbiote said that both Eddie and Dylan would be better off without it before departing from their lives.
Alone and War of the Realms
Alerted to the suffering of another member of its species at the hands of Kulan Gath- who had captured, imprisoned, and tortured it in order to serve as bait, the Venom symbiote arrived to help Logan, the Punisher, Elektra, and Doctor Voodoo fight the eldritch god Jhoatun Lau. Exposure to the Jhoatun Lau's cosmic radiation caused the Venom symbiote to take on the form of a massive dragon similar to the Grendel, letting it hold its own against Jhoatun Lau in combat. Angered after noticing that Conan had bonded to the enslaved symbiote, Venom demanded that he relinquish its dying brethren and got even more angry when he refused. Before they could come to blows, Elektra intervened and proposed they work together until they could vanquish the Marrow God. After Jhoatun's death, it reverted to it's original form and both it and Conan helped Wolverine to damage the god's skull in order to permanently kill it. The assembled team gone to stop Kulan Gath plans, eventually leading to it's brethren's death and forced the cult to retreat.
Still without a host, the Venom symbiote was recruited by Captain Marvel into her War Avengers strikeforce alongside Deadpool, Weapon H, Sif, Winter Soldier, and Captain Britain. Sent into battle against Malekith himself in London, Venom immediately attempted to eat the dark elf warlord but was subdued using the Ebony Blade. Captured and taken to Stonehenge, the Venom symbiote was tortured by Malekith in an attempt to bend it to his will despite its efforts to resist. After Malekith realized the Black Bifrost had been captured, he bent the symbiote to his will and used it to badly wound All-Mother Freyja; wielding it as a Necrosword in emulation of All-Black. Bonding to the symbiote and dubbing himself the "Butcher of Thors" in emulation of Knull and Gorr the God Butcher, Malekith attempted to use the magic-enhanced "Venom Blade/Symbio Sword" to kill Thor Odinson, All-Father Thor, Young Thor, and Thor (Jane Foster). The symbiote was ultimately separated from Malekith by Thor, and left to begin preparing for Carnage's imminent attack.
Locating Eddie and Dylan in Manhattan, the Venom symbiote rebonded to Eddie to protect him when Cletus pushed them in front of an oncoming subway train. While Eddie was initially reluctant to reunite with it, Cletus transformed into Dark Carnage - a towering skeletal monster - and easily overpowered them. After Eddie escaped by electrocuting Kasady with the subway's third rail, the symbiote put him in a coma so that it could heal him while taking over his body, then walked with Dylan to Peter Parker's apartment before returning control to Eddie.
The symbiote urged Eddie to set aside his jealousy and anger, and to work together with Spider-Man in order to stop Dark Carnage. When Spider-Man and Venom entered Ravencroft to prevent Dark Carnage from getting Norman Osborn's Carnage codex, John Jameson - who had been infected by the Grendel symbiote - fell under Carnage's control and set off the alarm, incapacitating the Venom symbiote until Eddie shot out the PA system. Before it could fully recover from the sonic attack, the Venom symbiote sensed Dark Carnage infecting the inmates with the Grendel symbiote and began screaming in terror inside Eddie's head. When Dark Carnage threw Spider-Man through Norman Osborn's cell door, Venom incapacitated Osborn - who believed himself to be Cletus Kasady - and barricaded the door using the symbiote. However, Dark Carnage easily kicked him out of the way and bonded Osborn to part of the Grendel symbiote to turn him into Carnage again.
After escaping by using the Venom symbiote's ability to create wings, Venom set out to warn the super villains and antiheroes who had bonded to symbiotes in the past, coming across Mac Gargan and Miles Morales fighting against a horde of Carnage Doppelgangers. When Norman Osborn attacked, crippling Gargan and bonding Miles to a portion of the Grendel symbiote, the Venom symbiote speared Osborn through the chest and demanded that Eddie kill him and Miles, while threatening to abandon him for a stronger host if he didn't find the resolve to do what was needed to end the war. After rescuing Gargan and returning to Rex's warehouse, the symbiote asked Eddie to tell Spider-Man the full story regarding the symbiotes' presence on Earth in order to end his persecution complex, and was annoyed when he refused to do so. When Dark Carnage attacked, the symbiote angrily abandoned Eddie when he tried to retreat to protect Dylan and bonded to Bruce Banner, who transformed into the Devil Hulk after being killed by Dark Carnage.
The Venomized Hulk put up an even fight against Dark Carnage, who sensed the power of the One Below All and wanted to merge its power with Knull's. When the Venomized Hulk refused to join him, Dark Carnage stabbed tendrils into his brain to force him to revert into Bruce Banner, then ripped the Venom symbiote off of him and assimilated it - causing Dark Carnage to transform itself into an even more powerful form sporting draconic wings, horns, pauldrons, and arm wraps resembling those of Knull.
After Eddie - who had bonded to the codices extracted by the Maker's machine - killed Dark Carnage with a Necrosword manifested from his gestalt symbiote, the Venom symbiote returned to him and assimilated the Grendel symbiote. Sensing Knull's awakening through its connection to the hive mind, the Venom symbiote berated him for having doomed the universe, but remained bonded to him.
Venom Island and Beyond
A few weeks later, Eddie received an invitation to join the Avengers, with the Venom symbiote trying to calm him down and assuage his lack of self-worth. It was interrupted by the Grendel symbiote - which had been imprinted with the personality of the original Carnage symbiote, and soon threatened to take over Eddie and force him to kill the Avengers. Silencing both symbiotes with antipsychotic medication, Eddie chartered a Quinjet to the Isla de Huesos, but the Carnage symbiote awakened and crashed the plane. Stripping the Venom symbiote off Eddie, the Carnage symbiote assimilated it - leaving it unable to do anything except watch as it hunted Eddie across the island in an attempt to take him over. When Dylan tapped into the symbiote hive-mind in order to commune with Knull, the Venom symbiote sensed him and tried to ask him to get help. The Venom symbiote was separated from Carnage when it was struck by lightning while bonding to Eddie, and attempted to rebond to him before the Carnage symbiote could do so. The Carnage symbiote bonded to Eddie first, forcing the Venom symbiote to flee into the jungle. Contacted by Dylan, who had immersed himself into the Symbiote Hive-Mind, the Venom symbiote allowed him to remote-pilot it and took on the form of a Tyrannosaurus rex to oppose Carnage.
This didn't prove to be enough, as Carnage still got the upper hand, physically and mentally, as Dylan tried to contact his father through the symbiote Hive-Mind. Eddie was imprisoned in a mental Klyntar, so Dylan tried to free him but was imprisoned himself since Carnage was able to control the piece Dylan kept of it. With Eddie's encouragement, both he and his son overcame Carnage's will, with Eddie separating from it and destroying the piece it was controlling. Venom rebonded to Eddie and escaped the isle just in time to warn the Avengers about Knull. After this, they were suddenly attacked by Virus, which left them to question who he might be.
Eddie and Dylan met the Maker at his warehouse to question him about Dylan's powers. The Maker simply revealed his plans to study the symbiotes in order to upgrade his world's Venom symbiote to return to his home dimension. The Venom Symbiote was frightened by this revelation and how it and Dylan couldn't feel it because of it's synthetic origin, but their conversation was interrupted by an alarm that revealed something was invading the warehouse. As the Maker bid them farewell and good luck in their fight against Knull, Virus appeared and unintentionally destroyed the Maker's portal while attacking. They were all sucked in, and while the Maker returned to his home world, the rest of them were transported to Earth-1051 - a reality where Earth had been conquered by symbiotes. Virus viciously attacked Venom, but has the symbiote connected itself to that world's Hive-Mind, it gained new abilities, and was able to redirect one of Virus' energy blasts. When Eddie returned to Dylan, Eddie was surprised to see that world's Avengers.
He tried to convince them he wasn't an enemy, but Captain America insisted for him to separate from the Venom symbiote. As it was about to start a fight, Virus attacked Eddie, only to be arrested by the Avengers because of his anti-symbiote tech. Eddie and Dylan got away and followed their way into the sewers, were they meet five versions of the Agent Venom. Believing one of them to be Flash Thompson, Eddie revealed his identity and that Agent Venom revealed to be that world's Anne Weying. Anne revealed that her son Dylan, now dubbing himself Codex, was the leader of the Hive and that her Eddie Brock had killed himself in that world, thus she became Venom instead of him. After Virus attacked their base, now empowered by the Scorpion symbiote, Dylan used his powers to kill it, revealing his identity as Mac Gargan. Eddie decided to use him to get to Codex and fuse both Dylan's memories, hoping it would revert Codex back to normal. Their plan worked, putting that world's Dylan in a coma state. After that, that world has returned to normality and Virus was arrested. The Venom symbiote spent over a year on Earth-1051 with Eddie and his family, and arrived back to Earth-616 just in time to Knull's arrival.
In case the Avengers' initial plan to defeat Knull failed, Eddie and the Venom symbiote came up with a two-part follow-up plan that involved using Thor, Storm, and the Sentry to sever as many 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. However, this plan immediately went awry due to Thor being MIA and Knull easily overpowering and killing the Sentry. Deciding to buy Earth some time by giving Knull what he wanted, Venom surrendered and offered to serve Knull in exchange for the Earth being spared. Knull rejected this proposal, instead ripping the Venom symbiote from Eddie and declaring his intent to go after Dylan next. Venom begged Knull to let it save Eddie, but Knull absorbed it into his symbiote-armor and all-but extinguished its indivduality. After Eddie's death, his consciousness was preserved within the Hive-Mind as a codex, and with help from the codices of Rex Strickland and Flash Thompson he infiltrated the core of the Hive-Mind. When Flash was reborn as a symbiote-dragon, Knull confronted Eddie's codex within the core of the Hive-Mind and attempted to destroy him, but the Venom symbiote broke free from Knull's control and reunited with Eddie.
Piloted by Eddie's codex, the Venom symbiote was reborn through the living abyss of the symbiote dragons and assumed the form of a giant, attempting to attack Knull directly. However, the God of Light ripped Eddie's consciousness out of the Venom symbiote and resurrected his body - the Venom symbiote dissipating but promising Eddie it would find him. After Knull's defeat, the God of Light left Eddie and the Venom symbiote rebonded to him, explaining that as the one who vanquished Knull he was now the new God of the Symbiotes.
Father-Son Bonding Time
The Venom symbiote moved into a house purchased by Tony Stark alongside Eddie, Dylan, and Sleeper. However, over the next few months Eddie began to rapidly age due to the strain being the King in Black placed on his still-mortal body. Upon discovering Dylan had been getting into fights at school, Eddie tasked the Venom symbiote with keeping an eye on him, and it seperated from him and once again took on the form of a dog to do so. En route to Midtown High School, Dylan asked the Venom symbiote what its true name was, the symbiote explaining that its kind didn't have names as humans understood them so much as unique emotional wavelengths.
While walking back to the Brock residence - Dylan once again having wound up in detention, they noticed Jack O'Lantern mugging an old woman and intervened. The Venom symbiote attempted to frighten Jack O'Lantern away in order to protect Dylan, but this resulted in Dylan being shot in the chest. Out of desperation, the Venom symbiote bonded to Dylan and they beat up Jack O'Lantern together. Shortly afterwards, Eddie revealed he had anticipated something like this occurring. While skeptical of the changes Dylan had made to Venom's appearance, Eddie gave Dylan his blessing to act as Venom and asked his old friend to watch over his son, before informing Dylan of a Goblin sighting.
Iterations and Offshoots
Over the years, the Venom symbiote has had a number of offshoots created using samples of its living abyss, though most of them have been short-lived:
- Mysterio's Symbiote - Desiring to study the properties of the symbiote while it was posing as Spider-Man's black suit, Mysterio blackmailed Felicia Hardy into cutting off a piece and bringing it to him. The symbiote took over Spider-Man and followed her seeking to reclaim its missing piece, but the offshoot refused to return to it and escaped when the Kingpin and his men interrupted. The piece of the symbiote later bonded to Mysterio while he was being tortured by the Kingpin, greatly augmenting his strength and durability. Desiring to claim the rest of the symbiote for himself, Mysterio attacked Spider-Man but was separated from his piece of the symbiote, which was reabsorbed by the main body.
- Mania Symbiote - Created by the Ararat Corporation from a severed chunk of the Venom symbiote's tongue, the Mania symbiote is usually considered a clone of the Venom symbiote but has also been referred to as an offshoot of it. The Mania symbiote's intended purpose had been to be re-absorbed by the Venom symbiote and induce it to reproduce uncontrollably, overrunning the Earth with a horde of symbiotes that would devour everything, and should it have been destroyed the Ararat Corporation would simply have created a new clone from the severed tongue. After being released from containment it rampaged across Alaska and northern Canada for several days, draining all its hosts of their vitality, before bonding to Trish Robertson and eventually being absorbed into the Venom symbiote. Several years later the Venom symbiote expelled its clone in order to rid itself of a Hell-Mark and demon that had possessed its then-current host, and the clone was eventually assimilated by the Dark Carnage symbiote.
- Scorpion's Neo-Symbiote - Combining a sample of the Venom symbiote's webbing with her stinger's venom, Carmilla Black was able to create a "neo-symbiote" that bonded to her and augmented her powers enough to fight against the then-current Venom. However, her body proved too toxic to sustain the neo-symbiote and it quickly perished.
- Anti-Venom - Born from trace remnants of the Venom symbiote in Eddie Brock's body being merged with his white blood cells and infused with Martin Li's Lightforce powers, the first Anti-Venom symbiote resembled a color-inverted version of Mac Gargan's Venom form. While Eddie Brock sacrificed it to save New York from the Spider-Virus, Alchemax obtained a sample that was used years later to engineer an Anti-Venom Serum, which reacted with part of the Venom symbiote's mass that had bonded to Flash Thompson to create a new Anti-Venom symbiote. After being informed of the threat posed by Knull, Doctor Steven mass-produced the Anti-Venom Serum and attempted to convert it into wearable battle-suits by combining it with samples from Weapon V's Sym-Suits obtained from the site of one of Dark Carnage's attacks.
- Venom Virus - Kristoff Vernard used time travel to obtain a sample of the Venom symbiote from its time in captivity by the Fantastic Four, using it to engineer a virus that near-perfectly replicated the symbiote and its abilities. Vernard sold the bioweapon to Doctor Doom, arranging for it to be accidentally unleashing on New York.
- Savage Land Offshoots - A sizable sample of the Venom symbiote in the possession of the Avengers was taken by the Fantastic Four for analysis and wound up bonding to a horde of dinosaurs accidentally teleported into New York by Deadpool. The Avengers, Spider-Man, and Deadpool teamed up to destroy the symbiote replicants, part of which briefly managed to bond to Deadpool and tried to take him over before being destroyed.
- Eduardo's Offshoot - After bonding to the Carnage symbiote, Norman Osborn sensed residual remnants of the Venom symbiote within it and forcibly extracted them. When a boy named Eduardo was abducted by the Goblin Childe, he unwittingly stumbled on the offshoot and bonded to it.
- Spider-Elves and Svartalfvenom - After forcibly bonding to the Venom symbiote, Malekith used dark magic to produce offshoots he bonded to his acolytes. Several of these acolytes amalgamated into a gestalt monster called Svartalfvenom, which was vanquished by Young Thor. These offshoots were ultimately destroyed or reabsorbed by the symbiote.
- Though we are a benevolent species, there is no literature on my home planet. And though it is our goal to make the universe better, we create no art, no music, no culture. At least, not as other civilizations would understand it. All we have are our hosts -- the beings we join with -- to forge through the cold and unforgiving cosmos with. The bond between a Symbiote and its host is sacred. They give our lives context and our existence meaning. They give us history. All we have are our hosts to tell us who we are.
- --Venom Symbiote[src]
Throughout the symbiote's convoluted history, it has had a number of hosts both good and evil, each of whom had a profound impact on its psychology and personality. While bonded to Tel-Kar, its self-proclaimed first host, the symbiote was able to live out its desire to do good as an Agent of the Cosmos, though its memories of him were effectively erased following their separation and it only regained them following their reunion several years later. Conversely, the individual who it later identified as its first host had a disastrous impact on it; using it to carry out a genocide against his homeworld and leaving it a bloodthirsty predator addicted to rage. Despite its corruption, the symbiote still desired to protect and help its hosts - albeit by transforming them into vicious monsters. This desire to "[play] super hero" ultimately led to its imprisonment by other corrupt symbiotes, who viewed it as a threat. Before coming to Earth, it was only able to understand simple emotions like happiness, anger, and sadness.
Prior to its cleansing by the symbiotes hive mind, the symbiote considered Peter Parker to be its ideal host, and through bonding with him it developed a basic understanding of complex emotions. The heartbreak of Peter's rejection, coupled with the danger it found itself in soon afterward, filled the symbiote with rage towards Spider-Man. While Deadpool worried that interfacing with his twisted mind would have adverse effects on its sanity, he attempted to have a positive influence on the creature and persuade it to let go of its rage and hatred. Instead, the symbiote passed its positive emotions towards Spider-Man and desire to do good onto him, leaving it with only rage and hatred. That, possibly combined with the influence of Deadpool's insanity, transformed the desire it still felt for Spider-Man into a vengeful obsession with either rebonding to or killing him; the latter a desire it shared with its third and fifth human hosts, Eddie Brock and Mac Gargan. In spite of considering Eddie to be an inferior host, prior to him bonding to the Toxin symbiote the Venom symbiote displayed a similar kill-or-reclaim attitude towards him as it did towards Spider-Man.
As its corruption worsened, the symbiote became arrogant, scornful, and sadistic; often berating its hosts for their shortcomings: it openly considered Eddie Brock to be a second-rate host compared to Peter Parker; deemed Angelo Fortunato an unworthy host for not possessing enough "venom", leaving him to fall to his death; influenced Mac Gargan into giving in to its bloodlust; and repeatedly criticized Flash Thompson for suppressing it with chemicals. It possessed an instinctual hatred towards its progeny Carnage and Toxin, stating at one point that familial love was anathema to their kind. Despite this, it has been noted that the symbiote is adverse to lying and as such is brutally honest when permitted to talk.
The symbiote also became increasingly bloodthirsty, twice abandoning Eddie Brock when he refused to satiate its growing hunger for flesh. Brock described Venom's bloodlust in its corrupted state as being like an ocean of darkness trying to drown him with its rage and hunger, reducing his mind to a "red ruin" at its most intense. When bonded to Mac Gargan, the symbiote's bloodlust grew so intense that its host was initially terrified of its influence over him, and was ultimately driven to willingly commit cannibalism to satiate its ravenous hunger. While its understanding of human morality is limited, by the time the symbiote was bonded to Mac Gargan it knew killing and eating sentient beings was bad, but its corruption was so advanced that it didn't care and reveled in being evil. Before the symbiote was cleansed, Flash Thompson had to take drugs to suppress it; but it would frequently exploit his volatile temper to undermine his control, and he often found himself in situations where he had to unleash it to survive.
The Venom symbiote has a habit of abandoning its current host to return to a prior one or to seek out a stronger one: attempting to abandon Eddie Brock on several occasions to return to Spider-Man; seeking to leave Mac Gargan and Flash Thompson to return to Eddie Brock once his cancer was cured; and returning to Spider-Man once separated from Flash Thompson. The symbiote once attempted to leave Flash and bond with Kaine, though Flash prevented it from doing so through sheer force of will. When Flash Thompson tried to reclaim it from Eddie Brock, the symbiote was torn between its two favorite hosts and tried to bond to both of them at the same time, but ultimately chose Eddie due to Flash becoming Agent Anti-Venom.
After being reconnected to the symbiotes hive mind, the symbiote's memories were purged in order to cleanse it of its bloodlust. Following this, the Venom symbiote was repentant, docile, and subservient to Flash, who expressed concern that his own hotheadedness could have adverse affects on it. Speaking independently, the symbiote admitted to preferring Flash as a host, and that while it now possessed the ability to operate without a host it preferred being bonded to him, calling him its partner and friend. However, following the symbiote briefly bonding to Mercurio, it began to relapse back into its bloodthirsty, hate-filled state. While it initially reveled in being restored to its old self and attempted to corrupt Flash, after being put on trial by the Agents of the Cosmos the Venom symbiote managed to suppress its rage with Flash's help. In a mental conversation with Spider-Man, the symbiote admitted it was addicted to rage as a result of its first host, and expressed genuine remorse for everything it had done to Spider-Man. When Venom reabsorbed Mania and took the elixir that would revert its corruption, it became finally pure, although it was revealed that the effects were only temporary and could not prevent the Hell-Mark from re-corrupting its clone.
After Agent Venom was struck by a beam that separated the symbiote from its host, it relapsed into its corrupted state and abandoned Flash. Coming to its senses in a weakened state, the symbiote bonded to a homeless man and began searching for a worthy host; ashamed at having reveled in its bloodlust. The Venom symbiote bonded to a former Army Ranger named Lee Price in order to protect him from being shot during a botched arms-deal and was initially overjoyed to be bonded to another soldier, but was subsequently horrified when Lee used it to slaughter the members of Tombstone's and Black Cat's gangs present at a botched arms deal. Revolted by Lee's callousness and casual attitude towards murder, the symbiote berated and threatened Lee in an attempt to intimidate him, and even attempted to take over him, but was suppressed by his army training. Unable to control him directly, it resigned itself to being bonded to him but was still able to influence his autonomous nervous system in order to sabotage his application to join Black Cat's gang - having somehow regained its memories of its former hosts and recognized Mac Gargan. Given its unwillingness to commit acts of violence, it attempted to refuse to help Lee if he intended to use it to hurt or kill people. However, it was in desperate need of a host and thus forced to compromise, and was unable to stop Lee from abusing its power. Price's influence began to corrupt the symbiote despite its efforts to oppose him, and following Spider-Man tricking it and helping the FBI capture it, the symbiote's hatred towards its former host was briefly rekindled, though it later revealed it knew Eddie had tricked Spider-Man.
After returning to Eddie Brock, the symbiote was re-corrupted but still desired to be a hero. However, its growing rage and bloodlust, coupled with its possessiveness towards Eddie, led to it violently lashing out at and trying to kill those it perceived as threatening its bond with him, such as a priest who suggested Eddie reconsider re-entering into a previously abusive relationship. Alchemax scientist Dr. Steven determined the main cause of this worsening behavior to be Eddie's metabolism, which had been altered by the symbiote suppressant drugs he took during his stint with the FBI, rendering his body inhospitable to the symbiote. This induced toxic shock syndrome in it, causing it to physically deteriorate and accelerate its psychological degeneration into its corrupted state. Alchemax developed a cure to their condition, causing it to regain its mental stability when dosed with the medication. Recalling its previous hosts, good and bad, and how they had affected it, the symbiote resolved to continue following Flash Thompson's example and apologized to the priest it had previously attacked. Despite initially being afraid, the priest accepted its apology and advised it to do everything int its power to earn the love of those it cared about. Somewhat missing the point, the symbiote decided to do so "by crushing criminals," telling the priest that it was slowly learning. However, the symbiote's rage and ravenous appetite for flesh returned with its re-corruption, causing problems for Eddie in both his efforts to turn over a new leaf and search for a new job. After Eddie's altered metabolism was cured by Alchemax's Anti-Venom serum, the Venom symbiote recovered from both its toxic shock syndrome and corruption, returning to the benevolent state it had been in during its stint with Flash Thompson as an Agent of the Cosmos, though showing willingness to kill when necessary. With the birth of its seventh spawn, it finally understood the concept of family, and was angered to learn Alchemax had been exploiting its offspring for selfish purposes. When Spider-Man bonded with the symbiote to defeat the Red Goblin, even disliking the idea, he forgave the symbiote for all that happened between them in the past, saying for it not to worry about him and to avoid the fire around them when they separated, showing he does care for it.
After Knull awakened, the symbiote began rapidly oscillating between its lucid "cleansed" and bloodthirsty "corrupted" states, going berserk in an instinctive show of submission to the symbiote god. Being partially reconnected to Knull's hivemind restored the symbiote to its pre-Lee Price level of articulateness, but the psychic backlash of fighting Knull resulted in its personality and voice being erased, leaving it unable to communicate with its host. The symbiote quickly recovered from this, but out of fear that Eddie would forsake it to look after his son the symbiote resumed gaslighting him by modifying his memories and making him violently ill. Realizing it had done wrong by him, the symbiote left Eddie to seek redemption on its own, though it still expressed a willingness to indulge its predatory side.
When Carnage came after Eddie, the Venom symbiote bonded to him again in order to stop Cletus. However, its experiences with Knull had made Venom realize how urgently they needed to stop the symbiote god, making the symbiote leave Eddie behind when his desire to protect Dylan surpassed his desire to kill Cletus and bonding with Hulk in the hopes of gaining enough power to defeat Carnage once and for all.
Symbiote Biology: Even without a host, the Venom symbiote is capable of freely extending its biomass into tentacles and tendrils, and usually manifests a fanged mouth and large white eyespots. It can also manifest a humanoid head, torso, and arms; and after being cleansed became able to take on humanoid form without a host for brief periods. When bonded to a host, it can shapeshift to mimic any type of clothing whatsoever, as well as blending Venom in with his surroundings, rendering him invisible. The symbiote has augmented all of its host's physical abilities to superhuman levels equal to, and in some cases greater than, Spider-Man's.
Spider-Man (Peter Parker): While not the symbiote's first host or even its first human host, Peter Parker nevertheless had the most profound impact on the symbiote and its powerset. In addition to augmenting Peter's physical abilities when bonded to him, the symbiote interfaced with his genetic code and imprinted most of his powers into itself. The symbiote retained these copied powers even after separating from Peter, and bestowed them on its subsequent hosts.
- Body Storage: Peter Parker was able to use the symbiote to store his camera and rolls of film. Flash often utilized the symbiote to withhold and store munitions and equipment through dimensional apertures within the suit. Wherein he could store foreign objects while keeping a sleek, aerodynamic profile. Having used this quality to store a live grenade within his body while keeping it from exploding.
- Camouflage Capabilities: The symbiote is capable of shapeshifting to mimic the appearance of any form of clothing, can camouflage with its surroundings to appear invisible, and can even mimic the appearance of other people. Peter Parker only used the former ability during the brief period he was bonded to it, while Brock's preferred form of clothing was a black shirt, jacket and pants.
- Constituent-Matter Generation: The symbiote can use the living abyss comprising its matter to generate tendrils and pseudopods, and can use this for lethal effect against criminals. While Spider-Man was unaware it possessed this ability and did not consciously use it, Eddie Brock and its subsequent hosts would often use this ability offensively, such as by sending a part of the symbiote into a victim's body to smother them from the inside.
- Parasitic Inheritance: The symbiote can copy the powers and abilities of other beings by interfacing with their genetic code, and primarily utilizes the spider powers it adapted from Spider-Man.
- Wall-Crawling: The alien costume replicated Spider-Man’s ability to cling to walls by controlling the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers.
- Webbing Generation: The symbiote can convert its constituent matter into strands of white or black webbing, which it can shoot from the white patches on the back of its hands at high pressure up to a distance of 70 feet. The alien’s substance seems to be composed of tough, flexible fibers of organic polymers, which regenerate swiftly after "shedding." The strands have extraordinary adhesive properties, which diminish rapidly once they abandon their living source. After about three hours, with no source to nourish them, the strands dry up like dead skin and dissolve into a powder. The strands possess a tensile strength of 125 pounds per square millimetre of cross-section. The one limitation to this ability was used to Spider-Man's advantage during his second bout with Venom: Since the webbing itself is comprised of the symbiote's constituent matter, if Venom generates too much he will be left vulnerable as the symbiote is weakened and unable to replenish its lost mass for a short period of time.
Venom (Eddie Brock): The third human individual to bond with the symbiote was Edward Brock. Naturally, the symbiote chose to endow Eddie with most of the powers Spider-Man had, but via Brock's innovative mentality the symbiote has managed to create some new powers and even mutate over time. After Knull attempted to assimilate the Venom symbiote into the Grendel, its abilities were augmented and it acquired new powers while connected to Knull's hive-mind. After being reborn through the living abyss of a symbiote-dragon and Eddie becoming the new God of the Symbiotes after vanquishing Knull, the Venom symbiote's powers have been augmented to an unknown degree.
- Superhuman Strength: Before he came into contact with the costume, Brock had conditioned himself to lift (press) 700 lb. Once they merged, the costume added Spider-Man’s superhuman strength to Brock’s vast human strength, making him more powerful than Spider-Man. However, his full strength often fluctuates. Venom has demonstrated strength ranging from only slightly greater than Spider-Man's to being capable of trading blows with high-powered individuals such as Juggernaut. This is caused by the several mutations that the symbiote took with Brock, gaining additional bulk and muscle mass over long periods of time with its host.
- Superhuman Durability: Venom's body is highly resistant to physical injury, capable of withstanding assault from high-caliber bullets as well as attacks from super powered individuals. When distributed at a typical thickness over Brock's body, the symbiote is capable of absorbing bullets from small-arms weapons firing conventional ammunition. The symbiote is however particularly vulnerable to both sonic and heat-based attacks.
- Superhuman Stamina: Venom is also capable of surviving in harmful areas for long periods of time such as underwater or in toxic gases, the symbiote filtering breathable air to the host.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Additionally, the symbiote is capable of healing injuries in the host at a faster rate than normal human healing allows. The symbiote is also capable of healing injuries and illnesses that current human medical care cannot such as cancer. The symbiote has enabled its host to recover from injuries that should have been lethal, such as Mac Gargan being impaled by the Swordsman's Makluan Sword; and Flash Thompson being impaled by Toxin's blade-arm, and having his head sliced in half by Jack O'Lantern V's scythe.
- Genetic Memory: The symbiote possesses some psychic ability, making it capable of obtaining information from its hosts and even other people and symbiotes simply by touch; The symbiote is capable of recalling information from previous hosts. This ability allowed Eddie Brock to know the secret identity of Spider-Man when the symbiote bonded with him. It can however, be forced to forget information if the symbiote is inflicted with heavy trauma.
- Offspring Detection: The symbiote is also capable of psychically detecting its offspring, however with effort this ability can be blocked.
- Body Chemistry Manipulation: In order to gaslight Eddie into believing he had terminal cancer, the Venom symbiote altered his biochemistry to simulate the symptoms. After being temporarily reconnected to Knull's hive mind, the symbiote gained the ability to directly affect the neurochemical functions within its host in order to induce various psychological effects, such as calmness, sleep, or even memory suppression.
- Telepathy: the symbiotes species communicate both psionically and biochemically with the host and each other. Their powers of the mind initially start out as weak without a host to bond to. Venom's years fused to Eddie Brock had more than strengthened its lingering psychic powers to the point its screams of anguish could be felt across all of New York. While indwelled by a demon, Agent Venom employed this creatively through his tendrils to seize control of an army of mercenaries. After coming into contact with Knull, the symbiote displayed the ability to telepathically communicate with other symbiotes.
- Constituent-Matter Manipulation: While the symbiote did not use this ability frequently when bonded to Eddie Brock, it was capable of transforming parts of its host's body: it once morphed Venom's hands into scythe-like hooks and sword-like blades during a battle against Nova, and turned his arms into bat-like wings to let him glide. After being augmented by Knull, the symbiote developed the ability to manifest wings resembling those of the Grendel symbiote-dragon in order to fly. Venom could also project its biomass into a multi-layered shield to better withstand powerful attacks. When bonded to Mac Gargan, it used this ability to grow a tail, emulating Gargan's appearance as the Scorpion. When bonded to Flash Thompson, the symbiote regularly displayed the ability to morph sections of Agent Venom's body, such as his hands or feet, into spikes, blades, axes or a shield.
- Digital Immersion: In a battle with its offspring Carnage, the Venom symbiote and its host displayed the ability to physically enter into the Internet on a “molecular level” and travel between hard-wired computers through Ethernet cables.
- ESP: Although the Venom symbiote does not possess a spider-sense, it possesses a similar extrasensory ability. This response is not as complicated as Spider-Man’s inherent sense since the alien costume can detect danger from every direction and conduct Brock in plenty of time. It's a lot more efficient than Spider-Man’s spider-sense because it takes less time to sense the danger, and Brock’s reflexes are faster than Spider-Man’s, even when they are enhanced by the alien costume for instance, Venom can dodge a gunshot or a barrage of bullets.
- Empathetic Empowerment: The Venom symbiote, like others of its kind, is capable of feeding off its host's negative emotions - chiefly rage, hatred, and bloodlust - in order to augment itself. However, doing so has a corrupting effect on the symbiote, causing it to become increasingly bloodthirsty, cruel, and feral.
- Symbiote Assimilation: In a similar manner to how the Hybrid symbiote was formed, Venom is capable of amalgamating with other symbiotes in order to bolster their shared power. It merged with its clone, increasing its strength by an unknown degree; and amalgamated with Rex Strickland's symbiote in order to become powerful enough to face Knull and the Grendel symbiote.
- Immunity to Spider-Man's Spider-Sense: Due to Spider-Man being a host to the symbiote, Venom, and his offspring, are able to bypass Spider-Man's spider-sense. Venom is capable of attacking Spider-Man without alerting him, making Venom a deadly foe. It should be noted that as Ben Reilly was cloned from Peter before he bonded with Venom, Eddie was not immune to his spider-sense.
- Poisonous Fangs: An ability developed by Eddie Brock upon bonding with the symbiote. Originally he commanded the symbiote to sprout a maniacal grin and tongue, differentiating him from Spider-Man. Later it was revealed that this set of fangs not only intimidates foes but can deliver a powerful, venomous bite (true to Brock's namesake). This bite was able to cripple the Sandman, eventually leaving the villain-turned-hero unable to reform himself properly and almost causing his death.
- Stretching and deforming: Although it's widely known that the symbiote can stretch and deform itself, recently it was able to perform this ability while bonded with a human host. Venom can expand to any size as long as they have something to grow on such as a host or an object. Symbiotes can get inside of small areas such as electric wires and the insides of cars and completely disable them.
- Telepathy Resistance: As a result of Venom being a bond between two separate minds, it takes longer than conventional for a telepath to affect its mind. This defense is not absolute, however. Additionally, attempting to telepathically incapacitate Venom by targeting the host does not prevent the symbiote from fighting back.
- Energy Absorption & Transference: After connecting to the Symbiote Hive-Mind of Earth-1051, the symbiote displayed the power to channel energy and fire it back at the opponent by morphing its arms into energy cannons, similar to its Earth-23203 counterpart. However, once it disconnected from Earth-1051's hive-mind it lost this ability.
Malekith: After capturing the Venom symbiote, the dark elf warlord Malekith bent it to his will using dark magic and the arcane ambiance of Stonehenge in England, bonding with it to increase his own combat prowess.
- Symbiotic Expansion and Psychic Control: Through Venom, Malekith could extend his symbiote to others and interlink them to his own being. Wielding his warriors like a puppet armed force which he could further guide and enhance with symbiote like abilities of they're own.
- Constituent-Matter Manipulation: Like many users of the symbiote species, Malekith can conjure and utilize symbiote biomass in order to create his own colorful arsenal physiological extremities. The likes of razor-sharp or blunt-force melee weaponry, large batlike wings to fly with, or simply transforming the symbiote itself into a metamorphic blade.
- Dark Magic Enhancement: Through his connection with one of Knull's creations, Malekith found that his own arcane abilities were greatly enhanced many times over, making both him and the symbiotes he'd bonded to powerful enough to trade blows with four iterations of the God of Thunder single handed.
- Stretching and deforming: To a limited extent Malekith could utilize the amorphous properties of the Venom Symbiote to further enhance himself; having used it elongate his tongue into a lethal razor whip he can fight with.
Agent Venom (Flash Thompson): After the US military bonded the symbiote to Flash Thompson as the fourth host of the symbiote, it displayed all of the above abilities as well as developing a few new ones as a result of being connected to the symbiotes hive mind.
- Hive Mind: After being purged of its bloodlust, the symbiote gained access to the symbiotes hive mind, enabling it to communicate with the symbiotes on their homeworld and access information about the species' past.
- Cosmos Communion: As a cleansed Klyntar, the Venom symbiote is able to hear the "voice" of the Cosmos telling it of people in need of assistance.
- Humanoid Form: Since being cleansed, the symbiote has developed the ability to take on a humanoid form independently of being bonded to its host, for a maximum duration of twelve Earth hours. After coming into contact with Knull, this ability was augmented to enable it to disguise itself as a human.
- Proximity Tracking: Agent Venom can track others by leaving pieces of itself on others, seeking them out wherever they may go.
- Self-Sustenance: The Venom Symbiote enables the host to survive anywhere in any hostile environment. Be it in the cold reaches of space, or fatally gaseous areas with relative ease. Flash could even impart this a hazardous element filtration system to others.
- Morphomerge: One time while on mission Flash symbiotically bonded the symbiotes into a stripped and broken-down car in order to make it operational again. Said vehicle was not only greatly reinforced by its constituent matter; but had the appearance, tentacles and biting maw normally reminiscent of its feral state. Tel-Kar was also able to use it to interface with his spaceship.
Sonic and Heat: The Symbiote is extremely sensitive to sonic and thermal attacks, making it vulnerable, although the degree of sensitivity has varied over time and the symbiote has built up a resistance.
Psychological Corruption: The Venom symbiote, like others of its kind, is susceptible to the negative emotions of its host - particularly rage and hatred. At its worst, the symbiote is a bloodthirsty predator that seeks to corrupt or outright control its hosts, compelling them to satiate its ravenous hunger.
Anti-Venom: The Anti-Venom suits are toxic to the Venom symbiote. Its touch is very painful to Venom and its host, and prolonged contact will eventually kill it. However, the original Anti-Venom died when Eddie used it to cure the Spider-Virus and the replica died along with Flash Thompson when the Red Goblin murdered him, though Flash and the replica were both eventually revived although the replica had to return via a Symbiote Dragon that did not possess the cleansing touch. There is also the threat of the Anti-Venom Serum that Doctor Steven created in Alchemax and mass-produced despite its apparent destruction.
The Venom symbiote can manifest fangs, claws, blades, and tendrils from its constituent living abyss. After connecting to the Symbiote Hive of Earth-1051, it became able to transform part of itself into a powerful energy-cannon by partially unfolding the extradimensional tesseract of its body, similar to its Earth-23203 counterpart.
The symbiote's primary means of locomotion without a host is by oozing or slithering in its amorphous state. When manifested into a humanoid form or bonded to a host, it uses organic webbing formed from its constituent matter to web-swing, emulating Spider-Man. After being briefly reconnected to Knull's hive-mind, the symbiote learned how to manifest symbiote dragon wings to fly.
- Much of the Venom symbiote's past prior to its discovery on Battleworld is shrouded in mystery, with the exact chronology and veracity of events being difficult to establish due to its memories having been repeatedly modified, erased, and otherwise altered.
- Under Haze Mancer's symbiote classification system, Venom is categorized as a "war-brute" due its tendency to assume a bulky form.
- Although the symbiote is generally called "Venom" and has even called itself "Venom" on multiple occasions - even when it is without a host - this is not its true name. As an addendum to his response as to why he referred to the Grendel symbiote as "Carnage" when it was bonded to Cletus Kasady, writer Donny Cates has stated that any symbiote that Eddie Brock bonds to becomes the "Venom" symbiote due to Eddie having been the one who first came up with the alias; despite Eddie having not called himself "Venom" when bonded to the Anti-Venom, Toxin, or Sleeper symbiotes. Dylan had asked the symbiote about its name since Venom's name is a union of the host with it, revealing that it does not have a name as such but to differentiate itself from the symbiotes it uses emotional patterns.
- A notable aspect of the Venom symbiote in its portrayal in the show Spider-Man: The Animated Series, the comic series Ultimate Spider-Man and the film Spider-Man 3 is that it caused its host to bring out their most aggressive and violent side. In the comics, this aspect of the symbiote originally didn't exist, but has been retconned into the comics by some writers.
- The symbiote shares similar aspects with the Xenomorph from the cinematic franchise Alien. Both species require a host, are able to walk on walls, and it can become increasingly powerful depending on their host. Additionally, the Venom symbiote has occasionally manifested a Gigeresque texturing or exoskeleton, as seen in Venom: The Hunger.
- The canonicity of the Venom symbiote bonding to Deadpool in Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars and Deadpool: Back in Black is contested: writer Cullen Bunn has repeatedly stated he considers it to be canon and has included references to it in Poison-X and Deadpool: Assassin #4. X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White also considers it to be canon. However, Donny Cates, the writer of Venom Vol. 4, has stated on Twitter that he does not consider them to be canon, and as such they were disregarded in Absolute Carnage. Amazing Spider-Man Annual (Vol. 4) #1, War of the Realms Strikeforce: The War Avengers #1, Venom #154, Fall of the Hulks: Alpha #1, Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1, History of the Marvel Universe (Vol. 2) #4 and Marvel 101 Episode 32 seem to support Cates' statement.
- When Tel-Kar was in control of the Venom symbiote, the symbiote took a similar design to the Kree Militia Uniforms.
- The idea of the black-suited Spider-Man was originally conceived of by a Marvel Comics reader from Norridge, Illinois named Randy Schueller.
- The idea of a self-healing alien costume was originally conceived by John Byrne for Iron Fist. However, Iron Fist merged into Power Man and Iron Fist, and Byrne left the book with his collaborator Chris Claremont not long after that. When Roger Stern introduced Spider-Man's black suit spinning out of Secret Wars years later, he asked Byrne, with whom he was friends, permission to use his idea of the sentient costume.
- The Venom symbiote has eaten humans, cyborgs, other symbiotes, living sand, squirrels, Beastials, Skrulls, Kree, Asgardians, Frost Giants, True Faeries, and Deviant Mutates.
- Venom has been drawn with a white chest emblem in flashbacks prior to bonding to Spider-Man. While initially thought to have been based on Julia Carpenter's Spider-Woman costume, the regular version of its white spider emblem is a combination of Knull's red dragon emblem and Spider-Man's spider emblem.
- Venom is the first symbiote to bond to Spider-Man, succeeded by an unnamed corrupted symbiote that Peter bonded to onboard the S.W.O.R.D. space station, its clone, Mania, and an unnamed benevolent symbiote forcibly bonded to him by Poison Punisher. Except for Mania, all other three symbiotes appear identically to each other, being black with large white spider-emblems on their chests and white patches on their hands.
- Despite the symbiote stating that it hates Spider-Man, it seems that the symbiote still has affection for its original host, as it had tried numerous times to rebond to him, and it even tried to bond to his clone. The symbiote has also affection to its other previous host: when bonded to Mac Gargan it tried to leave him and rebond to Eddie Brock, it didn't allow Gargan to kill Eddie despite him wanting to kill the symbiote, it left Flash Thompson to rebond to Eddie after the latter's Anti-Venom symbiote was greatly weakened, it refused Tel-Kar's offer to rejoin with him and leave Eddie. After it was revealed that the symbiote had manipulated Eddie's memories, it tried to make amends for its actions by returning Dylan back to Eddie, and even after being separated the symbiote still looked after them. When Flash was separated from the symbiote by the screams of giant bats in the Savage Land, the symbiote willingly rebonded to him, after Flash asked to the symbiote to return to him and leave Eddie, the symbiote tried to bond to both of them. When the symbiote had gone brain-dead and manipulated Eddie's memories, it made Eddie mournful upon discovering Flash's death, and it didn't allow the Maker to exhume his corpse.
- Venom's trademark green saliva is the symbiote's waste product. The symbiote excretes it when it dissolves foreign matter that has entered its body.
- 746 appearance(s) of Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 126 minor appearance(s) of Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 63 mention(s) of Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 2486 image(s) of Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 20 quotation(s) by or about Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 3 victim(s) killed by Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Venom (Symbiote) (Earth-616) on Wikipedia.org
- The Real Origin Story Of The Venom Symbiote Is Much More Complicated Than You Think at Ranker