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"I was unsure before, but now I understand. With great power comes great responsibility! Ah, and one other thing: REVENGE! Heh!"
Venom, Web of Spider-Man Annual #8

Venom is a Marvel Comics character, and arguably one of the most famous of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery, though over time his character and motivation have evolved. To date there have been five different men and two women who have assumed the mantle of Venom.

Venom's origin began with an alien symbiote that was used to build a new suit for Spider-Man, inspired design-wise by the second Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) during their team-up in Secret Wars. The costume change was initially unpopular with fans (although the black costume would later become one of Spider-Man's most popular costumes) so it quickly went through a Retcon and was revealed to be an alien symbiote that wanted to bond with Peter Parker. Horrified, Spidey managed to repel the symbiote by taking advantage of its weakness to sonic noises via church bells. Some writers and editors did not like Peter's motivation at the time so there was a second Retcon that the suit was more powerful than his ordinary suit, but was slowly corrupting him with rage, making him more aggressive and violent.


The creature ultimately survived, going on to bond to a series of hosts (many that bore grudges against Spider-Man), developing from a lonely alien creature to an '90s Anti-Hero to bloodthirsty monstrosity, and then back to an anti-hero after being cleansed. Its popularity among creators and fans has made it among the most memorable of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery and of Marvel's anti-heroes. Its first villainous host, Eddie Brock, became a popular anti-hero in the 1990's and received his own solo run: Venom: Lethal Protector. Its third host, Mac Gargan, was the longtime Spider-Man villain known as the Scorpion; and was its host from 2003 to 2010 as a member of Norman Osborn's Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers, where he impersonated Spider-Man and even got his own solo comic, Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man. Its fourth host was long-time Spider-Man supporting character Flash Thompson, who starred in Venom Volume 2, the Secret Avengers, and Thunderbolts Volume 2. After Venom Vol. 2 was cancelled, Flash appeared in the "Darkest Hours" Superior Spider-Man story arc, and worked with Scarlet Spider to save the Microverse from Carnage. Agent Venom then went on to join the Guardians of the Galaxy.


Following Secret Wars (2015), Venom got a new ongoing, Venom: Space Knight, as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel relaunch. Following Civil War II, in which Venom returns to Earth, the symbiote was separated from Flash and acquired a new, villainous host: Lee Price, a former Army Ranger able to dominate the symbiote with his will... at least until it broke free and reunited with Eddie Brock. The series was given legacy numbering and eventually concluded. Donny Cates' Venom was launched as part of the Marvel: A Fresh Start relaunch.

The symbiote remaining bonded to Spider-Man or bonding to a character other than Eddie Brock has been the focus of numerous What Ifs, and alternate versions of the character are present in alternate universes, most prominently in Ultimate Marvel and Marvel 2099.

For tropes related to the symbiote itself, individual hosts, and characters from the series, there is a Character Sheet here.

Venom's appearances in various media

    Media Appearances 
Notable Mainstream Comic Appearances:
  • Spider-Man
    • Maximum Carnage
    • The Venom Agenda one-shot
    • Spectacular Spider-Man: The Hunger miniseries - Retcons Eddie as having terminal cancer.
  • Backlash/Spider-Man (crossover with WildStorm)
  • The Incredible Hulk vs. Venom one-shot
  • Venom (Dark Age series)
    • Lethal Protector miniseries (introduces Scream, Riot, Lasher, Phage, and Agony)
    • Deathtrap - The Vault one-shot
    • Funeral Pyre miniseries
    • The Madness miniseries
    • The Enemy Within miniseries
    • The Mace miniseries
    • Nights of Vengeance miniseries
    • Separation Anxiety miniseries
    • Carnage Unleashed miniseries
    • Venom Super Special one-shot
    • Sinner Takes All miniseries
    • Rune vs. Venom (crossover with Malibu Comics)
    • Along Came A Spider miniseries (part of The Clone Saga)
    • The Hunted miniseries
    • The Hunger miniseries
    • Tooth and Claw miniseries
    • On Trial miniseries
    • License to Kill miniseries
    • Seed of Darkness one-shot
    • Sign of the Boss miniseries
    • Finale miniseries
  • Venom Vol. 1 (written by Daniel Way, introduced Venom's clone)
    • Shiver
    • Run
    • Twist
  • Venom vs. Carnage miniseries (introduces Toxin)
  • Venom: Dark Origin miniseries
  • New Ways to Die (introduces Anti-Venom)
Alternate Comics
  • 101 Ways to End the Clone Saga
  • Deadpool Kills Deadpool: Wade Wilson as Venompool
  • Venomverse
    • Edge of Venomverse 1 - 5
    • Venomverse 1 - 5
    • Venomverse: War Stories
  • What If?
    • What If... Blink Had Not Died?
    • What If the Alien Costume Had Possessed Spider-Man?: Symbiote Spider-Man, Hulk-Venom, Thor-Venom
    • What If... Venom Had Possessed the Punisher: Symbiote Spider-Man, Punisher-Venom
    • What If? Brave New World: Symbiote Spider-Man
    • What if Spider-Man Had Kept His Six Arms?
    • What if the Venom Symbiote Possessed Deadpool?: Symbiote Spider-Man and Venompool
    • What If Spider-Man Had Rejected the Spider? Poison Selves: Gargan-Venom and Poison

    Other Media 
Anime and Manga


  • Diane Duane's CCRC Trilogy
  • Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath


Video Games

  • Spider-Man vs. the Kingpin: Venom is one of the antagonists in the game.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes: Venom is one of the playable characters.
  • Spider-Man: Symbiote Spider-Man and Earth X Venom are alternate costumes, and Venom is a major antagonist/ally.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Symbiote Spider-Man is unlockable and Ultimate Venom is a major antagonist and playable character.
  • Spider-Man 3: Spider-Man can alternate between his red and black suits, and Venom is a major antagonist.
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe: Venom is a major antagonist/ally.
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows: Spider-Man can alternate between his red and black suits, Spider-Carnage is an unlockable costume, and Venom is a major antagonist.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: The Venom forms of Eddie Brock, Angelo Fortunato, and Mac Gargan are available as DLC
  • Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects: Venom is a playable character.
  • Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions: The Ultimate version of the symbiote is bonded to Ultimate Peter Parker
  • Spider-Man: Edge of Time: Symbiote Spider-Man and Poison (as DLC) are alternate skins, and Anti-Venom is a main antagonist.
  • Marvel: Avengers Alliance: The Black Suit is an alternate skin for Spider-Man, and Eddie Brock/Anti-Venom and Flash Thompson/Agent Venom are unlockable characters. The Mac Gargan Venom appears as a recurring boss, and Hybrid, Scream and Carnage are bosses in SpecOps 18: Symbiosis.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: The Venom symbiote was discovered and bonded to the Scorpion (here a human/scorpion cross-breed) by Oscorp.
    • The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The synthetic Black Suit is an alternate costume for Spider-Man in the console versions, and the "Venom Project" plays a major role in the final arc of the game. Venom appears as a boss and Symbiote Spider-Man is an alternate costume in the iOS and Android versions. Spider-Carnage is an unlockable costume.
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Venom is a playable character, and Symbiote Spider-Man is DLC.
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2: Venom, Agent Venom and a fusion of Venom and Carnage are playable characters.
  • Disney Infinity: The Ultimate Spider-Man version of Venom is a playable character in the 2.0 edition. The Black Suit Spider-Man is also available as an alternate costume Power Disk and as its own figure as a PlayStation Vita bundle exclusive.
  • Marvel Heroes: The Eddie Brock version of Venom is a playable character, with Anti-Venom and Toxin as alternate costumes. Symbiote Spider-Man is also available as an alternate costume for Spider-Man.
  • Contest of Champions: The Eddie Brock version of Venom is a playable character. Agent Venom has been announced, and Mac Gargan Venom is planned.
  • Spider-Man Unlimited: Agent Venom and Superior Venom are playable characters, with the Eddie Brock version, Pork Grind, Black-Suit Swiney-Girl, Symbiote Spider-Man and possibly others being added.

Western Animation


Tropes pertaining to the Venom comics:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • The Venom symbiote being influenced to destroy humanity by assimilating its clone was discarded.
    • Cullen Bunn had several plans for the subplots cryptically alluded to throughout Vol. 2 of the Venom series that were kyboshed by Marvel cancelling it, including wrapping up the Descent arc involving Mania and the Hell-Mark; and bringing back Carnage and resurrecting Anti-Venom for the Spawning's War of the Symbiotes.note 
    • With Mike Costa taking over for Remender and Bunn in Vol. 3, the Descent arc again has been dropped, with Mania being completely absent from the books once more. Time will tell if her story is picked up in the book or another, though given the symbiote's change of hosts from Flash to Lee and then back to Eddie for Marvel Legacy, it seems unlikely.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Before bonding with Eddie, the Venom symbiote didn't start as a villain, but was only clingy to Spider-Man at the worst of times and was mainly acting out in a misguided attempt to operate in the best interests of its host. In multiple adaptations, it's treated as a Superpowered Evil Side for Spider-Man that drives him to act upon his worst impulses. Not even the Venom film is exempt from this treatment, as the symbiote is portrayed there as inherently amoral, albeit with a code developing over time thanks to Eddie's influence. The very worst offender would have to be Spider-Man: Reign, which depicts Venom as a true monster of a fascistic despot who plots to devastate New York City for incredibly selfish reasons.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Some see him as this to Bane; They are both bigger, nastier Shadow Archetype counterparts of the heroes they fight, both wore down their opponent mentally before beating them in their first appearance, and both have had lengthy stints as anti-heroes and evolving motives. (However unlike Bane, Venom stayed as a anti-hero.)
  • Alternate Self: Every incarnation of Venom has had several, due to the character's popularity. Here are only a small handful:
    • 100th Anniversary Special - Spider-Man: Eddie is murdered by The Kingpin, who becomes a giant technopathic Venom.
    • Marvel Versus DC: Venom is seen twice in single panel cameos throughout the Marvel vs. DC series. The first time he is seen facing off against Batman as characters from the Marvel and DC universes begin finding themselves displaced from their home universes. Later, during the final fight for the two universes, he attacks The Flash and Quicksilver in order to prevent them from aiding their allies in the battle against Darkseid and Thanos. When the DC and Marvel Universes beginning to bleed together again in the aftermath of the Amalgam Universe in All-Access, Venom appears in Metropolis and beats up Superman and Spider-Man before being subdued by Access.
      Spider-Man: Believe me, even without the costume, the guy was no picnic. He was a newspaper reporter, and you know what they can... be... like. What's that look for?
      Superman: No reason.
    • All-New Savage She-Hulk: The symbiote is still alive thousands of years into the future, where it has grown to gigantic size, and is known as "the Black Bloom".
    • An Age of Apocalypse: Apocalypse has an army of clones based on the symbiote-infected Peter.
    • Backlash/Spider-Man: Venom and Pike are the main villains in this crossover with WildStorm.
    • Contest of Champions (2015): A Venom from a universe where he killed Spider-Man is part of the Grandmaster's team. He now wears the remnants of Spidey's costume as a cape, and has a hallucinatory Peter Parker that he sees as his best friend.
    • Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again: Deadpool kills Eddie Brock and takes the symbiote in order to kill Spider-Man. After doing so, he lets it escape for the sake of their former friendship — a reference to Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars and Deadpool: Back in Black.
    • Earth-13584: The symbiote was captured by Tony Stark and experimented on by Hank Pym, leaving it braindead. It was eventually liberated by June Covington, who fashioned it into a new set of limbs for the the John Walker of Earth-616.
    • Earth X: The symbiote is a metaphysical entity whose appearance and abilities are derived from the belief that it is a super-powered alien costume, and it is bonded to Peter's daughter May Parker.
    • Exiles: Cameo'd as a member of a different Exiles group that also included Mojo, M.O.D.O.K., Deadpool, Selene, and the Lizard.
      Black Panther: Whoa! Now we are definitely a better looking team of Exiles than them.
    • House of M: Venom is seemingly just an entirely fictional villain in a film based on Spider-Man.
    • Marvel Adventures: The symbiote is a defective invention of the Tinkerer which bonds to burglar Eddie Brock.
    • Marvel Comics 2: Eddie had died at an unspecified point, and the symbiote was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.. After escaping custody, the symbiote tracks down and possesses the retired Peter, creating "Spider-Venom". Peter is freed by the combined efforts of Spider-Girl (his daughter, Mayday) and Phil Ulrich, and the symbiote falls into the hands of the Goblin Queen, who sics it on Normie Osborn in a plot to convert him to her side. After an intense struggle, Normie overpowers and gradually rehabilitates the symbiote, which goes on to sacrifice itself in an attempt to stop the Hobgoblin.
    • Marvel Fairy Tales:
      • In Spider-Man: Fairy Tales #3 Venom is a Tsuchigumo responsible for the deaths of Izumi's parents and uncle. In an attempt to corrupt Izumi, it bit him, giving him an arachnid-based appearance, and the customary spider powers.
      • A knight version of Venom cameos in the Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4, and Peter dons an armor version of the symbiote.
    • Marvel Mangaverse: Venom is Peter's cousin, an exiled member of the Spider Clan, and the one who killed Peter's Uncle Ben, wearing a uniform similar in appearance to Symbiote Spider-Man. The symbiote itself appears as a cursed amulet that takes over Peter, turning his costume black and making him more aggressive, but Venom sacrifices himself to free Peter from its influence and redeem himself. He later reappears in a more monstrous form and becomes Peter's sensei.
    • Marvel Zombies: Eddie is a zombie, and the symbiote (one of the few entities immune to the plague) is dying due to a lack of viable hosts.
    • Mini Marvels: The symbiote is living newspaper ink that, after being forced off of Spidey, bonded to fellow paperboy Eddie Brock, often manifesting as an annoying second head that wants to eat everyone's brains. A fierce rivalry ensues.
    • Old Man Logan: The symbiote is stalking Wolverine and Hawkeye, and eventually attacks them after possessing a T. rex.
    • Spider-Geddon: Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 introduced the Venom of SP//dr's universe, VEN#m. VEN#m is a sentient mech suit powered by a dangerous, assimilating device called the Sym Engine, with a girl named Addy Brock as the pilot.
    • Spider-Ham: Pork Grind, a boar who is The Ahnold.
    • Spider Man India: Nalin Oberoi's attempt to corrupt Pavitr Prabhakar with an evil amulet causes Prabhakar to briefly look like Venom. Pavitr seemingly destroys the amulet, but it later resurfaces in Web Warriors when an evil cult fully unleashes an asura-like version of Venom that starts spreading and infecting everyone it encounters before being destroyed for good.
    • Reign: Posing as "Edward Saks", Venom takes over New York City following Spider-Man's retirement and sets up a number of provisions in preparation for his eventual return: re-enlisting the "Sinner Six", replicating his symbiote thousands of times, and building a security system called "WEBB" that prevents New York citizens from escaping from the city.
    • Ultimate Marvel: The "Venom Suit" is a bio-engineered protoplasmic entity created as a cancer cure. Unfortunately, this "symbiote" is unfinished and genetically tailored to the Parker family's DNA, so it starts devouring any other host that tries to wear it (like Ultimate Eddie Brock) forcing them to consume the biomass of other beings to survive.
    • Concept art for Spider-Verse shows Lady Spider's universe has a Venom reminiscent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, with Eddie Brock being working-class man and Venom dressed in dapper suit, top hat, and greatcoat. He doesn't appear in the related Spider-Verse comic, though.
    • Venomverse:
      • A version of X-23 who obtained the symbiote while escaping the Facility.
      • A version of Gwenpool who obtained the symbiote at some point.
      • A version of All-New Ghost Rider who obtained the symbiote after Spider-Man's death and was overtaken by it and the ghost of Eli Morrow.
      • A version of Old Man Logan where Wolverine takes the symbiote from the Venomized T. rex.
    • What If?: Too many to list, but some prominent ones are:
      • What If... Venom Had Possessed the Punisher: Frank Castle reaches the church shortly before Eddie Brock does and bonds with the symbiote, eventually subjugating it and going on to become more lethal than ever.
      • What If the Alien Costume Had Possessed Spider-Man?: The symbiote remains bonded to Peter Parker, aging him at an accelerated rate until he dies. The symbiote bonds to the Hulk, explaining that it didn't want to kill Peter and is curing Bruce Banner to redeem itself, but Thor attacks Venom-Hulk and winds up bonded to it himself. Black Bolt removes the symbiote, but before it can be imprisoned Black Cat kills it to avenge Peter Parker's death.
      • What If? Brave New World: When the Secret War participants are trapped on Battleworld, the symbiote bonds mind and body to Peter Parker, leaving him a skeleton with the symbiote's biomass forming their body.
      • What If? Spider-Man: The Other: Following his "death" at the hands of Morlun, Peter rejects embracing the Other and severs his connection to the Great Weaver, leaving his metamorphosis incomplete. The Venom symbiote senses this and abandons Mac Gargan to rejoin with its first host and finish his transformation, creating a new being called Poison.
      • What if the Venom Symbiote Possessed Deadpool?: Deadpool bonds with the Venom symbiote after killing Spider-Man, becoming Venompool. After numerous shenanigans, Venompool destroyed his home universe with the Recton Expungifier, but was later shown as a member of Dreadpool's Evil Deadpool Corps, being killed in Deadpool Kills Deadpool Vol. 1 #4.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The symbiotes, Depending on the Writer, are always evil and make their hosts go crazy or feed off negative emotions, but in either case, they are not nice. The 1990's Planet of the Symbiotes went as far as to portray them as a Horde of Alien Locusts. The Venom symbiote and its progeny are apparently the only ones who care for their hosts. Of course, even then, the Venom symbiote is often depicted as the insanely jealous type. Guardians of the Galaxy #23, retcons things so that in their natural state the symbiotes are Lawful Good, and it is only by bonding to unworthy hosts that they become corrupted into bloodthirsty monsters.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: The reason Eddie and Mac got to keep the symbiote while in jail? PETA threw a fit about it being an endangered species.
  • Angel Face, Demon Face: The way Venom looks ties closely with the relative morality of the symbiote's host. On the heroic side, Peter's suit looks more or less like his usual costume but in black; Eddie Brock's costume usually looks the same as Peter's but has More Teeth than the Osmond Family, claws, and a lolling tongue thanks to being a anti-hero; heroic soldier Flash Thompson wears what looks like body armor (unless he loses his temper); in the Spider-Girl series, Normie Osborn had what looked like the usual suit but with his face visible underneath and no fangs; and in Earth X it looks just like a regular suit that May is wearing (but can't take off). On the evil side of things, when Mac Gargan and Lee Price wear the symbiote it looks even more monstrous than Brock's usual version.
  • Anti-Hero: Or Anti-Villain, depending on the host: Peter Parker is a straight-up hero; Eddie Brock was a Sociopathic Hero before mellowing out into a Pragmatic Hero; Angelo Fortunato was a Dirty Coward, Mac Gargan was an Ax-Crazy Villain with Good Publicity; Flash is a straight-up hero, or at least he tries to be; and the Superior Spider-Man is an Unscrupulous Hero turned Nominal Hero.
    • The symbiote at first only wants to help Spider-Man but after being rejected by him it bonds with Eddie Brock and becomes corrupted by Eddie's hatred. Over time, it becomes bloodthirsty and arrogant, but even then it still cares about Eddie Brock along with Spider-Man; and while bonded to Flash Thompson it slowly starts to care about him over time and even before being cleansed it admits that its time with Flash has been a honour, and although it was re-corrupted it made an effort to remain heroic and sane — even keeping itself from hurting people and caring about its hosts like Eddie and Flash. Despite hating Lee Price for his callous cruelty and abusive treatment of it, it saves his life after he's shot; and after returning to Eddie it apologises to a priest it injured in a fit of jealous rage. After being cured of its corruption, the symbiote and Eddie are now straight-up heroes being considered for membership of the Avengers.
  • Arch-Enemy: Formerly one of the three big ones for Spidey, alongside Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin. Venom mainly filled the role from the late eighties to the mid-nineties, after which his career as an anti-hero and afterwards his status as a Legacy Character caused him to drop out of the role in favor of the other two, later Doc Ock would turn over a new leaf as well leaving the Green Goblin as the winner of the title.
    • After becoming an anti-hero, Carnage became this to Eddie, while Jack O'Lantern served as Flash's archenemy.
  • Armed with Canon: The natural alignment of symbiotes, as well as Venom, have flip-flopped over the years. At first Venom itself was neutral — if oblivious to Peter's needs — and only became evil after being corrupted by Eddie's vengeful feelings towards Spider-Man. The animated series made it Ret-Canon that the symbiote was always corrupting Spider-Man, with later stories establishing all of symbiote culture as like that. Later still it was said that symbiotes are naturally noble and can be corrupted by evil hosts, which happened to Venom, and the evil ones were deliberately tarnishing their reputation. Finally it came out that symbiotes were created by a God of Evil in a campaign to corrupt and destroy all light, life and divinity in the universe; and separation from his influence allows hosts to inspire nobility in them.
  • Bad Future: Flash has a vision of what would happen if he was chosen in the Descent or the demon took over him. The vision shows Philadelphia in the same state Vegas was in during the Circle of Four with Devil-Venom perched on a decapitated statue.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family:
    • During a jailbreak, the Venom symbiote left behind a spawn which bonded to Eddie's cellmate, Cletus Kasady, the result being Carnage.
    • After separating the Venom symbiote from Eddie, the Life Foundation ripped a quintet of dormant "seeds" out of it, prematurely aged them up, and gave them to five of their employees, who became Scream, Riot, Lasher, Phage, and Agony. When Scream killed her teammates, their symbiotes merged together and bonded to Scott Washington, who acted as the vigilante Hybrid. Scott's murder by Eddie allowed the military to split the Hybrid symbiote into its four component pieces, which were equipped to the Mercury Team... which was wiped out by Carnage, the four symbiotes last being seen in the possession of the team's unnamed dog.
    • Using a piece of the Venom symbiote's tongue, an alien called Bob grew a wholly malevolent clone of it, which the original absorbed while it was possessing Patricia Robertson. Some time later, the symbiote passed its Hell Mark to the clone and regurgitated it onto Andrea Benton, creating Mania.
    • The Carnage symbiote became pregnant with its own spawn, which it to stuck to policeman Patrick Mulligan after unsuccessfully trying to suppress it. Patrick fought crime as Toxin until his death, after which his symbiote was sicced on Eddie by the Crime Master. Eddie eventually gave it to Jubulile van Scotter to help her fight Chthon, after which it seemingly perished.
    • The combination of Eddie's leukocytes, Martin Li's Lightforce powers, and remnants of the Venom symbiote resulted in the creation of a new non-sentient symbiote, which Eddie combated injustice with as Anti-Venom, up until he had to sacrifice it to cure a mutagenic plague released by the Jackal and Spider-Queen.
    • Hall Industries separated the Carnage symbiote and Cletus, and used pieces of the former to manufacture biotechnology. One of these pieces turned out to contain another biomechanical spawn, which merged with Tanis Nieves to form Scorn.
    • A new Anti-Venom was seen among the morally inverted Hobgoblin's recruits, though it might just be an elaborate costume.
  • Bio-Armor: Symbiotes function as this for their hosts, encasing them in their biomass. Flash Thompson as Venom and Eddie Brock as Toxin take this more literally than most by having their symbiotes take the form of biomechanical body armor.
  • Bioweapon Beast: Donny Cates' Venom reveals that the symbiotes are this, having been created billions of years ago by the dark god Knull to facilitate his conquest and corruption of the cosmos.
  • Breakout Villain: Venom was introduced as a Spider-Man villain in the late 1980's, and due to the character's runaway popularity in the 1990's he became a anti-hero and was given his own series.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • Dark Origin, which retconned Eddie's backstory to bring him more in line with his portrayal in Spider-Man 3, has been disregarded by later and concurrently-released stories featuring him.
    • Up until the Mania symbiote was revealed to be the clone from it, Venom Vol. 1 by Daniel Way was assumed to be this by the vast majority due to the complete and utter lack of any references to it outside of a minor (bordering on Easter Egg) one in the Continuity Cavalcade featured in an issue of New Avengers.
    • Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars and Deadpool: Back in Black are an unusual case, as some writers and editors consider them to be canon to the mainstream Marvel Universe, while others don't.
  • Cloning Blues:
    • In the 2003 Shiver arc a clone of the symbiote is created in a remote Arctic base, breaks loose, and starts killing the soldiers and scientists one by one. It bonds to the last surviving soldier, Patricia Robertson, but is later eaten by the original Venom and much later on regurgitated and bonded to Andi, turning her into Mania.
    • In the Minimum Carnage arc, Marquis Radu creates clones of the Venom and Carnage symbiotes in the body banks and fuses them together. Carnage cheerfully dubs the union incestuous and seizes control of the clones to kill Venom.
    • In the leadup to the Venom Bomb storyline, Kristoff Vernard made a synthetic virus using a sample of the Venom symbiote, stuck it in a bomb, and dropped it on New York, and framed Doctor Doom in order to start a war between the US and Latveria.
    • Iron Man's Endo-Sym Armor was made with "building blocks" taken from a symbiote, presumably Venom.
      Pepper Potts: Great. Symbiote-infused armor. That couldn't possibly end badly.
    • During his tenure as the Punisher's sidekick, Rampage used a sample of the Venom symbiote to create a "Venomech System" that "engulfs its wearer in a full-body, high-impact synthiote of liquid smart armor". The "synthiote" was short-lived, its inability to regenerate like a real symbiote apparently causing it to burn out after a battle with Mung the Inconceivable.
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: It eventually became canon that the symbiote will drive its host into becoming a monster driven by their own rage and hate.
  • Deliberately Bad Example: Venom started out as an antagonist for Spider-Man, hoping to kill Spidey for losing him his job, but when he became more of an Anti-Hero he was given his own "worse version" in the form of Carnage, who possesses the same powers as Venom, but bonded to the mind of a sociopathic Serial Killer.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In most incarnations, Venom is portrayed to be black and white, minus his teeth and tongue. Other artists show him to have blue highlights, while Ultimate Venom has purple.
  • Denser and Wackier: Almost all of the stories written by Larry Hama, which featured things like a cyberspace showdown between Venom and Carnage, Venom being assigned to take out the nefarious Doctor Yes, and Venom and Scream teaming up with a group of Totally Radical skateboarders to kill a dapper symbiote-eating alien.
  • Deus ex Machina: Subverted. In Guardians of the Galaxy #23, thirty years of character development are seemingly undone in less than three pages when the symbiote hive mind purges the Venom symbiote of its hatred and bloodlust, instantly removing the Enemy Within/Superpowered Evil Side dynamic between Flash and the symbiote, any future conflicts with Toxin over Flash's potential loss of control over the Venom symbiote, as well as the symbiote's vendetta against Spider-Man. The intent behind this was to appeal to new fans who have no knowledge whatsoever of Venom's thirty-year history as a villain, only know of the Flash Thompson incarnation of the character, and perceive him as simply being a "good guy with a super cool costume that can do amazing things". It quickly turns out however, things aren't gonna be that simple, with the Symbiote gradually lapsing back and becoming desperate to stay bonded to a heroic host.
  • Disney Dog Fight: At the beginning of 2017's Venom Inc., Flash Thompson and Eddie Brock get into a heated argument over which of them is the better host of the Venom symbiote. Flash tries to coax it into leaving Eddie and bonding to him again, while Eddie insists it stay bonded to him. The symbiote, unable to choose between its two favorite hosts, tries to bond to both of them at the same time.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: When Venom first appeared, he was more or less an evil, bulkier version of Black Suit Spider-Man. Later in the 1990's and into the 2000's, Venom became increasingly monstrous and bestial, and more emphasis was placed on the symbiote's Lovecraftian Superpower potential. Even when Mac Gargan was impersonating Spider-Man, he could still "Vulk out" at will, and Flash Thompson took the character in a completely different direction as Agent Venom. Once the Symbiote bonded to Eddie, however, he quickly returned to his roots.
  • The Dreaded: Symbiotes in general appear to be one of the Marvel Universe's alpha predators, conquering entire worlds. On Earth, Venom inspires at the very least anxiety among other villains due to its monstrous appearance and reputation for eating people, and Carnage is powerful enough to take on the Avengers and win.
  • Eerie Arctic Research Station: The 2003 Venom series kicks off with an evil clone of the Venom symbiote massacring and escaping from the Northern Canadian research station that was studying it. It makes its way to a nearby radar base, jumping from host to host as it looks for one that will last long enough to bring it to civilization.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Venom Vol. 4 #4 reveals that the symbiotes are manifestations of a fount of eldritch darkness called the "living abyss", created by the primordial dark god Knull as living weapons and armor to kill the Celestials and corrupt their creations.
  • Evil Counterpart: Eddie as Venom, in the comics and nearly every other form of media, is worldly considered the one for Spider-Man. Both Peter and Eddie had worked under news agencies and both gain the same spider-esque abilities, although while Peter is honest with his journalism and is a humble hero who acknowledges that power must be used responsibly, Eddie was a corrupt liar who got fired as a result, merging with the symbiote out of a mutual hatred for Spider-Man, and using his new power to kill him, or at least destroy his life. Nowadays however, things changed, and so had Eddie and Venom.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Most incarnations of Venom manifest a huge mouth full of pointy teeth, especially when the symbiote takes over its host. It didn't have fangs when it first bonded to Peter because Peter wasn't evil (neither was the symbiote before the retcon). Mac Gargan as the Sinister Spider-Man and Flash as Agent Venom also had smooth masks as long as they keep the symbiote under control, although they could form toothy jaws at will to either scare or eat opponents. SpOck as Superior Venom had a few fangs protruding from his mask, but the mouth itself remained closed until he started losing control of the symbiote.
  • Good Lips, Evil Jaws: Venom is constantly shown with a lipless mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth. While he tows the line between villain and Anti-Hero, he's consistently shown as one of Spider-Man's most dangerous enemies.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Most crossover storylines had Spider-Man as the Good, Venom as the Bad, and Carnage as the Evil.
  • Healing Factor: Various stories have shown that the symbiotes can heal damage inflicted to their host.
    • The first instance of a symbiote healing its host beyond curing cancer was when Mac Gargan was impaled by the Swordsman, who used his Makluan Sword to incinerate Gargan's abdomen to the bone. Mac later made a full recovery thanks to the symbiote.
    • During his stint as Anti-Venom, Eddie Brock had his head blown apart with a shotgun by The Punisher. He promptly reconstituted his head and attacked Frank Castle in a rage, only further fuelled by Castle's willingness to shoot through Jenna Cole to kill a drug dealer.
    • Flash Thompson has had his head cut in half by Jack O'Lantern and been almost disemboweled by Toxin, and been no worse for wear the following day.
    • Cletus Kasady recovered from a lobotomy that left him in a comatose state, apparently regrew the lower half of his body over several months after being torn in half by the Sentry thanks to his symbiote, and regrew his entire head in seconds after having it blown off by a shotgun.
    • As Toxin, Eddie Brock recovered from 3rd and 4th-degree burns after being set on fire by Flash, and after being mauled by the Symbiote Slayers had no visible injuries a few minutes later.
  • Hulking Out: When the symbiote's host loses control, they tend to bulk up significantly.
  • I Am Legion: Eddie always considered himself and the Venom symbiote as separate entities, so with the symbiote on he would always refer to himself in the plural. Other Venoms, even Flash Thompson who was by far the most heroic of them, did not have this trait.
  • I Can't Sense Their Presence: One of the things that makes Venom such a threat is that he doesn't trigger Spider-Man's Spider-Sense.
  • Iconic Outfit: The symbiote's most famous look is the one it sported when it was bonded to Eddie Brock, especially when drawn by Mark Bagley, who was the main Spider-Man artist during the 1990's. Even Mac Gargan and Flash Thompson, who have their own unique designs as Venom, have been drawn with Eddie's "classic" Venom look Depending on the Artist.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Toxin's original host, Patrick Mulligan, was killed off-page by Blackheart — who ate his family and took his symbiote.
    • The final issue of Poison-X reveals that the Agents of the Cosmos from Venom: Space Knight were attacked and wiped out by the Poisons.
  • Laughably Evil: Eddie Brock inherited a dark, cruel version of Spider-Man's wisecracking tendencies, which would border on being goofy if he weren't also a gigantic sludge monster.
  • Legacy Character: Of a sort, as the symbiote has had four main hosts all claiming the title of "Venom".
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Most of the Venom comics in the 1990's had Eddie Brock fighting another antihero before having to team up with them.
  • Lost in Imitation: The idea that the symbiote was turning Peter evil as part of its efforts to merge with him stems from the 1994 Spider-Man: The Animated Series cartoon, and was promptly adopted into the comics due to the fact that the initial depiction of the separation kind of made Peter look like the bad guy.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: More visceral depictions of the symbiotes may as well be parasitic shoggoths; writhing, amorphous masses of teeth and tentacles devouring everything they come across.
  • Maniac Tongue: The deadly, often unstable, Venom is well known for his Overly Long Tongue whiping about or lapping over his latest victim.
  • Meaningful Name: In the original comic story, Eddie names their fusion Venom because he felt like he was "spewing venom" back when he wrote for tabloids. In other continuities, they took the name because they wanted to be "poison" to Spider-Man's life.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: The symbiotes both cover and transform their hosts' bodies, usually giving them huge mouths lined with fangs, claws on their fingers (and occasionally toes), and the ability to project pseudopods and transform their limbs into simple weaponry.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: A hallmark of Venom is his enormous mouth lined with oodles of (usually pointy) teeth, though he didn't start out this way - in his initial two Todd McFarlane-drawn appearances, it was just Brock's own teeth, allowed to show through the symbiote's biomass. It was Erik Larsen who added the long, sharp teeth, specifically showing them to be from the symbiote.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: The symbiote significantly bulks its host up, although Flash's default form as Agent Venom was more Heroic Build. In an early appearance Brock mentions that the suit amplifies his own strength, so if the host gets stronger, Venom becomes exponentially stronger. This is more evident with Mac Gargan, whose strength was amplified from 15 tons to 60 tons by the symbiote.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The bewildered, self-examinatory pose Spider-Man is striking on the cover of Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Vol 1 #8, note  has been used at least three other times: once by Mac Gargan after becoming the Sinister Spider-Man, once as a parody on a cover of Marvel Zombies, and once by Ai Apaec when Norman Osborn turned him into a six-armed Black Suit Spider-Man lookalike.
    • In Spider-Man/Red Sonja #2, Venom uses his "Venom Predate" attack from Marvel vs. Capcom — turning his head and arms into a massive set of jaws — in an attempt to eat Spider-Man.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy incorporated one from the Spider-Man Unlimited cartoon, with the benevolent symbiotes being governed by an ancient hive mind. However, said hive mind is not called the Synoptic, and is not trying to conquer Counter-Earth.
    • When reflected in the Black Vortex, Agent Venom is shown with markings on his arms resembling those of Captain Universe. In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, a Captain Universe costume was available as DLC for Ultimate Spider-Man, who was bonded to his universe's version of the Venom symbiote.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: After making a truce with Spider-Man, Venom/Eddie Brock had his phases in this time, notably pulling a few Enemy Mines with Spidey.
  • Noodle Incident: Johnny Storm mentions an unseen adventure involving himself, Ben Reilly, and "the Power Skrull and the multi-colored symbiotes" in Spider-Man/Human Torch #5.
  • One-Winged Angel: Since Venom's first solo mini, most incarnations have been known to pull one of these off at times when they really lose control.
  • Phlegmings: Venom has this occasionally, especially in his more manic phases. According to Ultimate Reed, this is waste from dissolving debris such as bullets that lodged in their body, something that surprises Eddie.
  • Planet of Copyhats: All of the symbiotes on the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 #21 are black with white spider-emblems.
  • Planet of Hats: In their natural uncorrupted form, symbiotes are essentially Green Lantern rings, their primary purpose in life being to create champions by seeking out and empowering the virtuous.
  • Portal Door: The symbiotes have spaceships, but their primary means of invading other worlds is with Stargate-like portals. The first wave in Planet of the Symbiotes built one, and the possessed Rune constructed another in Rune vs. Venom.
  • Psychic Link: The uncorrupted symbiotes possess a cross between a Hive Mind and a Mind Hive, being capable of sharing thoughts and information across the depths of space. The closest thing the corrupted ones have to this is their genetic memory.
  • Psychotic Love Triangle: Eddie, Peter, and the Venom symbiote.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Subverted: in Earth X, May as Venom has this color scheme as opposed to the usual black-and-white. She has it well under control, but Peter believes that one day the symbiote might snap, which leads to him and his daughter being estranged from one another.
  • Retcon:
    • The symbiote was changed from being a snazzy new costume to an alien parasite due to its unpopularity, and when Spider-Man's rejection of it because it was alive made him seem like too much of an asshole that was retconned into the suit slowly turning him evil. In the mid-1990's it was given an addiction to phenethylamine, which in the 2000s was changed to an addiction to adrenaline, but was forgotten about after Eddie separated from the symbiote. Nowadays the symbiotes — almost all of them — seem to have a hankering for flesh in general.
    • Eddie himself was given terminal adrenal cancer, changing both the explanation for why he wanted to kill himself and why the symbiote bonded to him. In Lethal Protector Eddie was given a fairly sympathetic backstory, but Dark Origin turned him into a pathological liar who deserved his humiliation and comeuppance. The only details kept the same were Eddie's father blaming him for his mother's death, him being a journalist and Ann Weying a lawyer, and the symbiote bonding to him in a church, to the point where a critical reviewer wondered if the writer and artist had done nothing more than consult Venom's Wikipedia page for research due to the sheer number of Series Continuity Errors present in it. Later both Eddie having cancer before meeting the symbiote and Dark Origin were revealed to be false memories the Venom symbiote implanted in Eddie's mind, with the orginal sympathetic backstory being the true events.
    • Emil Gregg, the man who told Eddie he was the Sin-Eater, was clearly shot to death in Sinner Takes All, but revealed to have survived (only to later die in a shantytown) in Axis: Carnage #2. It's also implied that he actually was the original Sin-Eater, or that at least some of what occurred in The Death of Jean DeWolff was wrongly attributed to Stan Carter.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a retcon that, at first glance, appears to throw out almost all the previously established lore regarding symbiotes: most symbiotes are benevolent and transform their hosts into noble warriors and paragons of justice intended to protect their the cosmos. Unworthy hosts like Eddie Brock, Mac Gargan, and Cletus Kasady can corrupt them into the predatory monsters most are familiar with, which led to the establishment of the intergalactic empire of predatory parasites established in the original Planet of the Symbiotes arc. The reason given for this retcon is particularly grating, however, since it insinuates that Viewers Are Goldfish at best and Viewers Are Morons at worst. Donny Cates would later retcon this to being mostly a lie (a symbiote's host does effect them) that the Agent of the Cosmos tell to hide their dark past.
    • Played for Laughs in Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars #3, where it's revealed that the symbiote briefly bonded to Deadpool before it was found by Spider-Man. This sets up Deadpool: Back in Black, which showcases Deadpool's previously unseen adventures with the symbiote.
      Deadpool: Gee... I hope communicating with my brain doesn't mess this thing up! Whatever it is... I'd hate to think my twisted psyche might have driven it nuts or something!
  • Rogues Gallery: Venom in his spin-off series Venom has his own villains to deal with his Arch-Enemy is Carnage, Pyre, Sin-Eaters, Crime-Master, Jack O'Lantern, Symbiote Slayers, The Jury, and many others.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Thaddeus Paine was introduced as a Morbius villain, but is possibly more well-known for his appearance in Venom: The Hunger, probably because it was his last. After losing the Venom symbiote and Eddie regaining it, Scorpion would join Venom's rogues gallery.
  • Royal "We": Eddie Brock tended to refer to himself in first person plural pronouns while bonded with the symbiote, and on those occasions where he referred to himself in the singular, he would call the symbiote "My Other". However, subsequent hosts have tended to avert this, only using "We" when the symbiote takes control.
  • Schrödinger's Canon: Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars and Deadpool: Back in Black were intended to be "untold tales" by Cullen Bunn, who went on to reference them in Deadpool: Assassin and Poison-X. Donny Cates, the writer of Venom Vol. 4, dismissed them as non-canon, with Absolute Carnage: Deadpool poking fun at their ambiguous status; but Cullen Bunn maintained on Twitter he will always see them as canon.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Subverted, while it seemed that the symbiote's redemption arc in Guardians of the Galaxy and Venom: Space Knight ended in failure as it is quickly re-corrupted, Flash succedes in fixing the Venom symbiote at the end of Venom: Space Knight.
  • Shout-Out: When Flash starts losing his temper with a drunk Kree, the symbiote manifests ridges and dorsal tubes that make it look a bit like a Xenomorph. His Mk. III design is explicitly inspired by H. R. Geiger's artwork.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Prior to Venom Vol. 4 little was known about the origins of the symbiotes, which the corrupted ones take full advantage of by spreading lies and disinformation about their kind, to both make themselves The Dreaded, and to make it harder for the benevolent members of their race to fulfill their true purpose of creating paragons of equality and justice. Little is known about the personal history of the Venom symbiote in particular, prior to its encounter with Spider-Man.
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: The benevolent symbiotes are the soldiers, who bond with worthy hosts to create paragons of justice called Guardians of the Cosmos. The corrupted symbiotes are the warriors, spreading throughout the cosmos like a disease and conquering whatever they come across.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Zig-zagged, in Guardians of the Galaxy's "Planet Venom" arc, the Venom symbiote is returned to its homeworld and purged of its corruption, becoming a force for good. The subsequent series, Venom: Space Knight and Venom Vol. 3, seemingly undid this development but thanks to the efforts of Flash and Eddie the Venom symbiote was able to be cured of it's corruption and stay a force for good.
    • The Venom symbiote and Eddie Brock went their separate ways in 2003, to the chagrin of many fans. In 2017, the two of them reunited.
    • Eddie Brock let go of his grudge against Spider-Man after becoming Anti-Venom in 2008 and was undergoing Character Development, while developing a fear and hatred of the Venom symbiote, while the symbiote likewise made peace with Spider-Man in 2016. In 2017, Eddie's character development has slightly reversed as he not only reclaims the symbiote but tricks Spider-Man into rekindling its hatred towards him until the Venom symbiote re-bonded to him and learned the truth of Eddie's trickery. Venom is now similar to how he acted as the Lethal Protector in the 1990's, though he still keeps some of Eddie's Character Development — trying to avoid killing people; and while he and Spider-Man don't get along he doesn't hold a grudge against Peter.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Depending on who he's going up against, Venom can be portrayed as being either a little bit stronger than Spider-Man, or being powerful enough that he can go head-to-head with the Juggernaut for a period of time. And in one 90s crossover with DC Comics, he was even able to overpower and manhandle Superman.
  • Synchronization: Even if physically separated from their respective symbiotes, Eddie and Cletus maintain a mental connection to them, feeling their emotions and injuries, seeing what they do, etc. This no longer appears to be the case with Eddie and the Venom symbiote.
  • Taken for Granite: Going by Secret Wars: Marvel Zombies, symbiotes (Carnage, in that instance) that go way too long without a viable host begin to dry out, becoming rigid and crumbly scabs barely capable of moving, or otherwise wither and die.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Some Skrulls take the symbiote away from Flash and try keeping it for themselves. The symbiote, which has an appetite for Skrull flesh, immediately ditches them for Flash and presumably noms on them.
  • Trapped Undercover: Reporter Gray Russell goes undercover to infiltrate the Jadoo street gang and winds up in over his head. Gray finds that he'll be expected to kill someone as part of his full initiation into the gang or be killed himself, unless Venom and The Punisher can rescue him first.
  • Walking Wasteland: The Minimum Carnage arc establishes that the symbiotes once tried to invade the Microverse. Like a true eldritch abomination, their presence rotted everything they touched, like a cancer on spacetime, and was even a threat to the Uni-Power. The species is known as "The Corrupter" because of this.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: After becoming Venom again in 2017, Eddie tried to become a more heroic individual and eschewed killing or even serious maiming unless he deemed it a necessity, despite the symbiote's growing bloodlust until it was cured. However, while humans and fellow Symbiotes still get some leniency, Eddie's newfound "no killing unless necessary" rules do not necessarily apply to aliens, as an informant who almost got the Young X-Men killed found out.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
    • License to Kill was an homage to the James Bond franchise, the first 1/3 of the Daniel Way series is clearly based on The Thing, and the Seed of Darkness prequel was a throwback to the "Marvel Monsters" epics of the 1950s, with Eddie as The Everyman protagonist.
    • The Shiver arc of Venom Vol. 1 is a pastiche of John Carpenter's The Thing, only being set in the Arctic instead of the Antarctic.
  • Wolverine Publicity: It reached the point that the cover of one issue of Thunderstrike infamously announced, "From the pages of Venom—the Amazing Spider-Man".
    • To give an idea of just how popular he is, Eddie Brock as Venom (or Anti-Venom) was at one point recognized as the THIRD most popular Marvel Comics character, behind the Trope Namer and Deadpool.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • This at first seemed to be the case with Rune and his symbiote in Rune vs. Venom, but when the symbiote is weakened by a sonic attack, Rune rips off and eats it, and reveals that their partnership was far from equal, and that he is happy to finally be rid of the creature.
    • Eddie Brock joined the Sinister Six for a while after his wife's suicide drove him back to villainy. He had a... falling out with the rest of the team after they made fun of the symbiote's aversion to fire, and almost killed Sandman.
    • Mac Gargan was a member of Norman Osborn's short-lived Sinister Twelve, Thunderbolts, and Dark Avengers during his time as Venom.
    • The fifth issue of Spider-Man and the X-Men has a group of symbiote-bonded Brood overtake the S.W.O.R.D. satellite, and possess Deathbird and Abigail Brand.


Video Example(s):


Eddie and Venom

Eddie convinces his neighbor to turn down the music.

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