Symbiote (comics)

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Venom vs. carnage.jpg
The two most enduring symbiotic characters, Venom (below) and its offspring Carnage (above), battling each other in the textless cover from Venom vs. Carnage #1 (July 2004). Art by Clayton Crain.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceBlack Costume, The Amazing Spider-Man #252, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141 Symbiote, The Amazing Spider-Man #258 (May 1984)
Created byRoger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Mike Zeck, David Michelinie
Place of originGorr's unnamed planet; later moved to Klyntar
Notable membersSee List of symbiotes
Inherent abilitiesSymbiosis with a host provides superhuman strength, speed, agility, and endurance; gains characteristics of host; amplifies original powers and traits of hosts

The Klyntar (colloquial: Symbiotes) are a fictional species of extraterrestrial symbiotes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, most commonly in association with Spider-Man. The symbiotes form a symbiotic bond with their hosts, through which a single entity is created. They also are able to slightly alter their hosts' personalities, and/or memories by influencing their darkest desires and wants, along with amplifying their physical and emotional traits and personality, granting them super-human abilities. There are more than 40 known symbiotes in the Marvel Universe.

The first and most well-known symbiote is Venom, who originally attached itself to Spider-Man during the 1985 Secret Wars miniseries. After Spider-Man rejected it upon discovering its true evil nature, the symbiote bonded with his rival, Eddie Brock, with whom it first became Venom. The character has since endured as one of Spider-Man's archenemies, though he has also been occasionally depicted as an antihero. Other characters have later merged with the Venom symbiote, including the villain Mac Gargan, and Flash Thompson, who became the superhero Agent Venom. Other well-known symbiotes are Carnage, an offspring of Venom who, when merged with its most infamous host, Cletus Kasady, has served as an enemy of both Spider-Man and Venom; and Anti-Venom, which originated when the Venom symbiote re-merged with Brock after a long split, gaining a new white appearance and additional powers as a result of Martin Li using his powers on Brock to cure his cancer.

Since their conception, the symbiotes have appeared in various media adaptations, including films, television series, and video games. Venom has been the most featured one, appearing as the main antagonist of the 2007 film, Spider-Man 3, and the titular protagonist and antihero of the 2018 film, Venom. Carnage also made its cinematic debut in the film, Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021).

Publication history

The first appearances of a symbiote occurs in The Amazing Spider-Man #252, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141 (released concurrently in May 1984), in which Spider-Man brings one home to Earth after the Secret Wars (Secret Wars #8, which was released months later, details of his first encounter with it). The concept was created by a Marvel Comics reader,[1] with the publisher purchasing the idea for $220. The original design was then modified by Mike Zeck, becoming the Venom symbiote. The concept would be explored and used throughout multiple story lines, spin-off comics, and derivative projects. [2]


Fictional history

The cover of Secret Wars #8, which details Spider-Man's first encounter with the black costume. Pencil art by Mike Zeck.

Symbiotes were originally created by an ancient malevolent primordial deity named Knull. When the Celestials began their vast plan to evolve the universe, Knull, seeing that his "Kingdom" is being touched, retaliated by constructing All-Black, the first symbiote, and cut off a Celestial's head. Then, the other Celestials banished Knull, along with the severed Celestial head deeper in space. After that, he started using the head's cosmic energies as a forge for the symbiotes, where they developed the weaknesses of sound and fire. The head would later become interdimensional crossroads and laboratory Knowhere.[3] Knull then embarked on a campaign of genocide against the other gods.[4] When battling them he crashed on a desolate planet where All-Black left him and went to Gorr, drawn to his murderous hate, who tried to kill Knull.[5] Knull later reawakened and created an army of symbiotes that he used to conquer planets and devour entire civilizations, and in the process, establishing the symbiote Imperium. However, when a dragon-like creature journeyed to the medieval Earth, Thor defeated it and destroyed the connection between Knull and the symbiotes. Subsequently, the symbiote hive-mind began to explore notions of honor and nobility as they bonded to benevolent hosts. The symbiotes subsequently rebelled against their god, imprisoning him at the heart of an artificial planet in the Andromeda Galaxy they called Klyntar, which became their species name. Ashamed of their dark past, the symbiotes desired to spread and maintain peace throughout the Cosmos by seeking out worthy hosts from various species in order to create an organization of noble warriors.[4] However, these altruistic goals were imperfect, as the Klyntar symbiotes could be corrupted by hosts with harmful chemical imbalances or problematic personality attributes, turning them into destructive parasites who would spread lies and disinformation about their own kind in order to make other peoples fear and hate the Klyntar species as a whole.[6]

The corrupted Klyntar became more widespread than their benevolent counterparts, establishing a spacefaring culture dedicated to infecting and overtaking whole planets and reestablishing the Imperium. These symbiotes forced their hosts to perform death-defying feats in order to feed off of the resulting surges of hormones like adrenaline and phenethylamine. These hosts would die quickly, either because of the wear from constant stress and exertion or as a result of the inherent danger in the stunts performed.[7]

At some point it was believed that a symbiote-run planet was devoured by Galactus. Due to their hive-mind's memory, all symbiotes now loathe both Galactus and his former herald, the Silver Surfer,[8] but it was later revealed that their loathe for the Silver Surfer was because he had time traveled to a time where the Klyntar were rebelling against Knull and the Silver Surfer had the God of the symbiotes bleed.[9] ZZZXX, a symbiote with a predilection for eating brains, was also captured by the Shi'ar, and imprisoned and studied for years until it was released and employed as a Praetorian Guard by Gabriel Summers.[10] The corrupted symbiotes had invaded the Microverse and tried to absorb the Enigma Force, but they were defeated by the avatar of the force, after they had caused destructive effects on this world and its people.[11] The symbiote would arrive on the Savage Land, where it remained trapped for years to the point of madness and bonded to Conan, during a confrontation between the Savage Avengers and Kulan Gath.[12]

During the Kree-Skrull War, the Kree wanting to replicate the Skrull's shapeshifting abilities, they acquired a newborn symbiote which had been outcast from the other symbiotes, on the planet where Knull had created them.[13] They recruited Tel-Kar to be bonded to the young symbiote and modified both Tel-Kar and the symbiote so he could have full control over it. He infiltrated into the Skrulls using the symbiote's shapeshifting ability, but got discovered. He deleted the symbiote's memories and separated himself from it.[14] The symbiote then reunited with the parasitic symbiotes, while retaining little memory of its first host. When the corrupted symbiotes found out that this symbiote wanted to commit to its host rather than exploit it as they tended to do, they decided that it was insane and trapped it in a canister to be condemned to die on a planet that would later become part of Beyonder's Battleworld,[citation needed] where it would be encountered by Spider-Man in the 1984 miniseries Secret Wars. In that story, which saw the heroes of Earth transported there to battle their archenemies,[15] Spider-Man sought to repair or replace his tattered costume, which had been damaged in battle, and was directed by Thor and Hulk to a device in the alien compound that they had come to use as headquarters. Mistaking the device in which the symbiote was imprisoned for the device Thor and Hulk mentioned, Spider-Man activated it, freeing the symbiote, which appeared before him as a black sphere that enveloped his body, taking on the form of a black version of his costume that could respond to his mental commands. From this Spider-Man assumed that the device produced clothing designed to do this.[16] He did not know that Deadpool had already briefly bonded with the symbiote and had corrupted it with his unstable personality.[17] Spider-Man returned to Earth with the symbiote, where after discovering that it was an alien lifeform that wanted to bond with him, he managed to separate himself from it by using sound waves to hurt the creature, which took refuge in a church's bell tower. It later bonded with Eddie Brock, who went to the church, with a despondent and vengeful after his journalism career was destroyed after he incorrectly identified the serial killer known as Sin-Eater as a man who later turned out to be a compulsive confessor, a turn of events he blamed on Spider-Man. In bonding with the symbiote, the two became the being known as Venom.[18] During this time, it spawned seven offsprings and a clone, its first child later having three of its own, all of the symbiotes being Carnage, Scream, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Riot.[citation needed]

The Venom symbiote eventually becomes too much for Eddie to handle, and he separates himself from it. This separation causes a telepathic scream that is heard by the other corrupted symbiotes who then invade Earth. Eddie, Spider-Man and Scarlet Spider team up against the invasion. The battle comes to an end when Eddie rebinds with Venom causing another scream, this time making the symbiotes commit suicide.

When bonded to Flash Thompson as part of Project Rebirth, who originally struggled to control it, the symbiote developed a slight affection for him.[19] It is later established that the host's mental state affects the symbiote just as much as the other way around,[20] as Venom's first child, the Carnage symbiote is as psychotic as its host Cletus Kasady and the Venom suit's explosiveness got worse after bonding with Angelo Fortunato and Mac Gargan after Brock, both of which were career criminals. Likewise, the various symbiotes bonded to heroes are not shown to be as twisted, though they occasionally struggle with aggression.

A swarm of Brood that had been overtaken by symbiotes later invade the S.W.O.R.D. satellite and possess all of its inhabitants, including Deathbird with her unborn child, in order to expand the symbiote Imperium, but Spider-Man, who got bonded to a second symbiote, and his class from Jean Grey's School defeat the symbiotes.[21]

The Klyntar were later raided by the Poisons with help from Haze Mancer – a symbiote poacher – resulting in the apparent death of the Agents of the Cosmos and the abduction of all the symbiotes.[22] The abducted symbiotes were later modified by the Poisons so they could use on the superheroes on Earth in order for the Poisons to consume. After the defeat of the Poisons, the surviving symbiotes were returned to Klyntar.[23]

When the body of Grendel, the dragon-like composite symbiote defeated by Thor, is discovered on Earth,.[24] This reawakens Knull enough to allow him to control the creature, before it was stopped by the combined efforts of Venom and Spider-Man (Miles Morales)[25] and later incinerated by Eddie, denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar.[26]

After some months, a cult got hold of Cletus's damaged body – after being free from the Poison shell and falling through the atmosphere – inside a chamber and had planned to revive him by using the Grendel's remnants which they stole from Maker.[27] This cult, who worships Knull and Carnage as Knull's prophet, was led by Scorn. They implanted the remnants inside Cletus reviving him and at first he resembled Ancient Venom (Venom possessed by Knull), until the Carnage pieces were absorbed by the ancient symbiote and got Scorn's remnants by killing her. When Cletus came in contact with Knull, he got a new purpose and that was to free Knull and the only way left was to get every single Codex – the symbiote remnants containing the genetic information of the host – left inside the bodies of every single host, dead or alive who came in physical contact with the symbiotes on Earth in order to overload the symbiote hive mind and scatter the Klyntar.[28]

Knull slowly began reawakening as a result of Carnage's efforts on Earth and the symbiotes of Klyntar began succumbing to his control once more. When Sleeper was drawn to Klyntar, the symbiotes attacked and tried to assimilate it into the hive-mind. Escaping, Sleeper realized that Eddie was in danger and returned to Earth as quickly as it could. When Knull fully awakened, he destroyed Klyntar and seized control of its constituent symbiotes, coalescing them into a horde of symbiote-dragons.[29]


The symbiotes, when originally created, were used as tools by Knull in order to conquer the universe and at the time they had a symbiote dialect.[30] When they were freed from Knull's control and began learning about compassion, they established the lie about their nature in order to redeem themselves. They formed the Agents of Cosmos, which are symbiotes bonded to benevolent hosts forming noble warriors, in order of maintaining peace across the universe. However, some symbiotes were corrupted by malevolent hosts returning them into monsters and reestablishing the symbiote Imperium first formed by Knull and these symbiotes were cut from the Klyntar hive mind. The symbiote Imperium would conquer planets and infecting the inhabitants in order to drain and consume them whole.

The symbiotes in general don't have an actual culture. As seen with Venom and Carnage, the symbiote's personality and psychology depends largely of the host's nature, as the link between the host and the symbiote gives the symbiote context and meaning to their life.[31]

As for the Nameless, a group of Kree explorers infected by the Exolon parasites, after being infected by the parasites, which consumed their souls, they lost all sense of time and sentience and started doing gruesome self-inflicting pain rituals in order to remember their past lives.[32]


The symbiote bonding with a host, which it needs to survive

The symbiotes are an alien species of inorganic,[33] amorphous and multicellular[34] symbiotic parasites formed from Knull's "Living Abyss" after he had experimented with his abilities. The symbiotes function as living extradimensional tesseracts, requiring living hosts to anchor them to the fabric of space and time. They empower a host's natural abilities to the point where they far exceed that of normal members of the host's species as well as recording the genetic material of each of its hosts in a genetic codex. These abilities include the following:

  • Superhuman strength (strong enough to lift 50 tons or more), speed, endurance, agility, healing factor, and intelligence.[35]
  • Genetic memory, recalling information from previous hosts.[36] They also leave traces of themselves, dubbed codex, in the bodies of their hosts attached to the host's DNA, in order to send information to the hive mind.[27]
  • The ability to negate damage caused by terminal illnesses and permanent injuries. While symbiotes can somewhat heal their hosts, they generally seek to force their hosts to depend on them and thus ensure the symbiotes' survival. For example, Eddie Brock was able to survive indefinitely with terminal cancer,[37] and Scott Washington was able to walk despite being paraplegic.[38] Similarly, Flash Thompson and Cletus Kasady had received "legs" when bonded with the Venom symbiote and Carnage symbiote when they lost their legs. Wraith was able to use his Exolon powers to cure the Kree who were infected by the Phalanx.[39][40]
  • Can reproduce asexually with a limited number of seeds inside their mass. Such as Venom gave birth to seven "children", while its first child Carnage had three.[41]
  • Senses that extend over its entire surface, enabling hosts to "see" what is behind or otherwise not in their line of sight (like a Spider-Sense).[41][42]
  • Able to change shape and size at will. This ability functions regardless of the host's actual stature and bodily dimensions, as the symbiotes are living tesseracts. This includes expanding to any size as long as they have something to grow on, such as a host or an object.[43][44] Symbiotes can form multi-layered shields against powerful attacks,[45] also get inside of small areas, such as electric wires and the insides of cars to completely disable them.[46][47] This shapeshifting allows the symbiote to change its color and texture to allow it to blend into the environment as a form of camouflage or change the host's outward appearance (including mimicking clothes and the appearances of other beings).[48]
  • Able to sense the thoughts and will of the host. When Spider-Man was originally selected, he had been thinking about Spider-Woman's costume in the Secret Wars. The symbiote acted on this and formed a similar costume to hers and Knull's emblem, which is the one seen on Spider-Man and Venom.[49]
  • Can excrete matter that enters in its body like bullets turning those into the green saliva.[50]
  • The symbiotes are immortal as shown with Venom 2099 which was still alive in the year 2099[51] and All-Black which was created in the beginning of the Universe and was still alive in King Thor's timeline.[52]
  • Can merge with other symbiotes or otherwise absorb one another. Similarly as Hybrid was formed or when Carnage absorbed another symbiote from the Negative Zone, regenerating itself.[53] The symbiote can also absorb the codexes of other symbiotes, getting their genetic memory such as when Spider-Man bonded to two other symbiotes and they absorbed the Venom's codex, looking exactly like Venom.[27][21][23][54]
  • The symbiotes can put their hosts in a comatose state as shown with Zak-Del[55] and Eddie Brock.[56]
  • The symbiotes can prolong their hosts' lives by replacing the hosts failing organs with simulacrums manifested from their living abyss but can not do so indefinitely.

Because they record the genetic material of each of its hosts, there are also additional powers that have been demonstrated, but are not necessarily universal to all symbiotes:

  • Block part of the host's mind.
    • Venom and all its descendants—the latter to a lesser extent—possess the ability to bypass Spider-Man's Spider-Sense; because the original symbiote was attached to Peter Parker (Spider-Man) first, it took his genetic information and spider-powers, thanks to the symbiote's Parasitic Inheritance. This means that Peter against Venom or any of its descendants would essentially be Peter against his black-suited self, which wouldn't set off his Spider-Sense[18][41] (during the Clone Saga, this became complicated, as Venom did set off Ben Reilly's Spider-Sense, however, this has been attributed to Ben being cloned from Peter prior to his first encounter with the Venom symbiote).[57]
  • Form fangs or simple bladed weapons out of their limbs. The first appearance of this was the Carnage symbiote.[41]
  • Form tendrils and tentacles of various lengths from their body.[58]
  • Form wings, as shown when Venom came in contact with Knull and grew a pair of web-like wings,[59] even though in some cases the symbiote did form gliding wings as shown with Venom-Punisher and Hybrid.
  • The purified Klyntar possess Cosmic Awareness, allowing the Agents of Cosmos to the people in need.[60]
  • Project the surface of the symbiote to attack at a distance.[58]
  • Can sustain its humanoid body even without a host, but for a period of time.[61]
  • Stick to walls (adapted from Spider-Man).
  • Produce acid, toxins, and venoms, such as in the venomous bite Venom delivered to Sandman,[62] as shown with Venom, Agony, and Venom 2099.
  • Produce webbing from its own mass (adapted from Spider-Man).[63]
  • Sense the presence of other beings within a certain distance.[41]
  • Protect hosts from Ghost Rider's Penance Stare[64] and the Inheritors's Life Absorption Touch.[65]
  • Can generate and manipulate an ice-like substance (adapted from Iceman), use telepathy and telekinesis (adapted from Marvel Girl), create powerful kinetic blasts (adapted from Cyclops), increase strength and intelligence (adapted from Beast) and grant the host with the ability to fly (adapted from Angel).
  • Create storage portals inside of them (this allowed Peter Parker to stow and access his camera).[66]
  • Filter breathable air for its host, allowing them to breathe underwater (seen in Vengeance of Venom), inhale poisonous fumes, and even survive in the vacuum of space.[67]
  • Transfer symbiote traits to its host, such as when Carnage ate Karl Malus, and then he became a symbiote-human hybrid.[68]
  • The Venom symbiote also has empathic abilities, and is able to project desires and needs into the thoughts of its host or potential hosts; this ability can also aid Venom in detecting the truth from those he interrogates.[69]
  • In some realities, the symbiote feeds on the baser emotions of its host, creating an increasingly hostile personality. The longer the host is exposed to the symbiote, the more overpowering this state of mind becomes.[70]
  • Each symbiote has its own abilities: such as Venom's venomous bite; Toxin's ability to change his shape and form into a Spider-Man-like build (slim, but strong) and Venom-like build (big and muscular) depending on its mood; Scream can use its web-like hair as a weapon; Agony can spit acid and manipulate matter; Phage creates bladed weapons, Lasher uses tendrils on its back; Riot is particular to bludgeoning weapons and agility; Payback can produce electricity; Scorn can fuse itself with technology; All-Black can grant its host immortality and Sleeper possesses chemokinesis, the ability to manipulate chemicals, providing limited telepathy and excelled cloaking abilities through pheromones.
  • Some symbiotes have shown to be immune to sonic and fire through modification as shown with Anti-Venom, Red Goblin,[71] Mayhem,[72] Payback[73] and Grendel.
  • It can change the mood of its host by manipulating the brain chemicals.[74]
  • It can replicate itself as seen with Carnage[75] and All-Black[76] in the mainstream universe and Venom in Spider-Man Reign.

However, the symbiotes possess weaknesses that can be fatal, to the point of death. Some of these weaknesses include:

  • Symbiotes have a natural weakness to sonic-based attacks and heat-based attacks after Knull unintentionally gave while forging them. However, symbiotes have a growing resistance to sound and fire due to their evolution. Still, there has not been an invulnerable symbiote in mainstream continuity, because the newest breeds can be harmed by incredible amounts of sonic waves and heat.[77] Symbiotes, like Krobaa, are also seemingly vulnerable to light. The symbiotes in the Ultimate Marvel are only vulnerable to the heat produced by high voltage electricity.
  • Symbiotes have shown vulnerability to chemical and biological attacks, such as when Iron Man created a cure to a virus-like bio-weapon based on the Venom symbiote that was created by Doctor Doom.[78] Venom and Carnage, have shown susceptibility to chemical inhibitors.[79] Whether a symbiote can mutate and reduce the effect of these weaknesses is unknown.[80]
  • Potential hosts with advanced healing factors, such as Wolverine, have shown resistance to symbiosis.[81]
  • In some incarnations, the symbiote is depicted as requiring a certain chemical (most likely phenethylamine) to stay sane and healthy, which has been said to be found abundantly in two sources: chocolate and human brain tissue. Thus, the host is forced to either consume large amounts of chocolate or become a cannibal who devours the brains of those they kill. This peculiar trait has only been witnessed in the Venom symbiote.[82] However, both Carnage and Toxin have threatened their enemies with aspirations to "eating their brains", as well as various other body parts. When Toxin teamed up with Spider-Man and Black Cat, he struggled to keep himself together, telling Spider-Man that he was only "joking" about eating the robbers' brains. Similarly, the Exolons feed on the immortal soul of the hosts resulting in the hosts becoming immortal, however, descending their hosts into madness, as well making them forget all of their old memories, unless they inflict pain to themselves to keep their memories longer, as shown with Zak-Del and the Nameless.[83]
  • On at least one occasion, Spider-Man was able to exhaust the Venom symbiote by taking advantage of the fact that it made its webbing out of itself; after the symbiote had already used a great deal of webbing to bind him to a bell, Spider-Man forced Venom to use further webbing so that it would exhaust itself, like blood dripping from a wound (although the sheer amount of webbing that the symbiotes would need to use for this weakness to be exploited makes its use in a fight limited).[18]
  • The symbiotes are unable to bond to more than one host as shown when Venom tried to bond to both Eddie and Peter at the same time[84] and again with Flash and Eddie,[85] even though the Carnage symbiote didn't display this weakness when bonded to people in Doverton Colorado.
  • Another weakness that they have is their hunger for feelings. In the storyline Planet of the symbiotes, Eddie Brock releases a cry of pain and agony so great that the entire symbiote race commits mass suicide,[86] but how they kill themselves is not clear.
  • The Xenophages, a race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters which prey on symbiotes, possess the ability to spew an unknown incendiary chemical that can paralyze symbiotes and enhance their taste.[87]
  • Numerous occasions have shown that when a corrupted symbiote remains bonded to a host for too long, the symbiote will eventually consume the body of the host leaving the host a dead husk as shown with the soldiers who were bonded to the Grendel symbiotes[88] and with Peter Parker in two What If?!.[89][90]
  • When Eddie Brock was diagnosed with cancer, Martin Li used his Lightforce healing ability to cure Eddie from his cancer, accidentally making the white blood cells in Eddie's blood to combat the Venom's symbiote remnants creating a new non-sentient symbiote called Anti-Venom. This symbiote had the ability to cure every sickness (including Spider-Man's powers) and it was also corrosive to the symbiotes as shown when Eddie and Flash nearly killed Venom,[91] Mania,[92] the Poisons[93] and Red Goblin.[71] There have been no symbiotes shown to be immune to Anti-Venom.
  • The symbiotes have been shown to be vulnerable to the abilities of the telepaths.[21][94]
  • A new and still mysteriously extraterrestrial race known as Poisons, apparently nature's answer to the symbiotes, prey on them through direct contact infection, which forms an unstoppable one-sided union that the symbiote wants no part of.[95]

List of symbiotes

Major symbiote characters

The following symbiotes have appeared throughout several years of Spider-Man's history, appeared in multiple media such as film and video games, and were main characters/villains in story arcs.

Name First appearance Notable host Description
Venom The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (April 1988) Eddie Brock Chronologically introduced in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, merged with Spider-Man, and notably Eddie Brock. Mac Gargan then went on to be the symbiote's host for a while, later it was acquired by the government and was being used by Flash Thompson under the alias Agent Venom until it separated from Flash and moved on to Lee Price, only to eventually return to Eddie Brock. It is revealed in Venom: First Host that a Kree soldier named Tel-Kar is chronologically the first to wear the suit, before Spider-Man. He is ranked by S.H.I.E.L.D. as one of the biggest threats along with Magneto, Doctor Doom, and Red Skull.[96]
Flash Thompson (Agent Venom)
Carnage The Amazing Spider-Man #361 (April 1992) Cletus Kasady A child-spawn of Venom bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady through his bloodstream. The symbiote would occasionally be separated from Cletus and bond to other hosts, such as Ben Reilly and Karl Malus, only to be reunited with Kasady again. Some time later Cletus got separated from Carnage and Norman Osborn got bonded to the Carnage symbiote in order to defeat Spider-Man.
Scream Venom: Lethal Protector #4 (May 1993) Various In an attempt to create "super-cops" to police their new Utopia, the Life Foundation probed the Venom symbiote and extracted the last five of its "seeds" – the materials used to create its spawn. These were cultured and bonded to five of the Life Foundation's best security personnel to form the Guardians: Donna Diego (Scream), Carl Mach (Phage), Leslie Gesneria (Agony), Trevor Cole (Riot), and Ramon Hernandez (Lasher).

In the comics none of the five symbiotes were originally given names. However, in the Venom: Planet of the symbiotes toy line, the yellow symbiote was named Scream and the green symbiote was named Lasher. The name Scream was eventually used in Marvel Super Hero Island Adventures #1 and the Spider-Man Back in Black Handbook. The toyline also featured a four armed symbiote named Riot that was loosely based on the unnamed symbiote in the comic What if Scarlet Spider killed Spider-Man?. The name Phage comes from an unrelated character from the comic Venom The Hunted and Venom: Along Came A Spider toyline.[97] The other symbiote names became popular among fans but did not appear in an official Marvel work until the 2011 Carnage U.S.A. mini-series.

Mach, Cole, Hernandez, and Gesneria were all murdered by Diego after she decided that symbiotes were "evil"; the murdered guards' symbiotes fused to create Hybrid.[98] Diego would later herself be killed by a powerless Eddie Brock, when the latter was also eliminating the "evil" of the symbiotes from the Earth.

Hybrid Venom: Along Came A Spider #1 (January 1996) Scott Washington The character was introduced as the fusion of four symbiotes (Lasher, Phage, Agony and Riot), bonded to prison guard Scott Washington. Years later, Scream and Hybrid are hunted and killed by Eddie Brock who was eliminating the "evil" of the symbiotes from the Earth.[99] The Hybrid symbiote was able to survive and was taken in by the US Government, forcibly separated, and bonded to four soldiers to battle Carnage: Rico Axelson (Phage), James Murphy (Agony), Howard Ogden (Riot), and Marcus Simms (Lasher).[98][100] The four soldiers come to be known as the Mercury Team. While on another rampage, Carnage kills the Mercury Team without their symbiotes.[101] The four symbiotes temporarily bond with Deadpool to fight Carnage. After Carnage's defeat, Deadpool unbonds with the symbiotes and the symbiotes bond to Mercury Team's dog.[102]
Toxin Venom Vs. Carnage #2 (September 2004) Patrick Mulligan A spawn of Carnage in the 1,000th generation that bonded with police officer Patrick Mulligan, becoming a hero. This was the first symbiote that Spider-Man considered an ally and becomes a bit of a mentee of Spider-Man. Later forcibly bonded to Eddie Brock by the Crime Master sometime after Patrick was beaten to death by Blackheart.[100]
Anti-Venom The Amazing Spider-Man #569 (October 2008) Eddie Brock A hybrid symbiote created accidentally when the codexes of the Venom symbiote in Eddie Brock's body were combined with his white blood cells by the mystical energies of Mister Negative. Unlike other symbiotes, Anti-Venom is completely mindless and Eddie Brock is in full control of his actions. It possesses tremendous healing powers and other powers that differ from the Venom symbiote, such as producing antibodies that can cure any known disease and remove any other impurities within a human body and its touch is corrosive to the other symbiotes. Anti-Venom was seemingly destroyed in the 2011 "Spider-Island" story arc.[103] However in 2017's "Venom Inc.", Dr. Steven recreates the symbiote and it bonds with Flash Thompson, creating the same look as Agent Venom but with inverted colours.
Flash Thompson (Agent Anti-Venom)
Knull Venom #3 (August 2018) No host. A primordial god of darkness that manifested the first symbiote from his shadow in order to kill a Celestial and used the head's cosmic properties to form a suit of symbiote-armor when embarking on his deicidal crusade. While stranded on Gorr's desolate world, Knull discovered he could infect "lesser creatures" with the living abyss, therefore creating the symbiotes to conquer the universe. He's considered the God of the symbiotes and also the unidentified entity seen in Thor: God of Thunder #6.

Other symbiote characters

The following symbiotes have made only a few other appearances in comic books and are usually excluded from adaptations in other media.

Name First appearance Description
Mister E Marvel Presents Vol. 2 #9 (November 1980) A symbiote who previously fought Steve Coffin when he was briefly Captain Universe. It later resurfaced in the "King in Black" storyline where it fought Spider-Man and Black Knight.
Dreadface Fantastic Four #360 (January 1992) A symbiote capable of mind-controlling subjects by touch. The alien was captured aboard the ship of Devos the Devastator but escaped during an altercation between Devos and the Fantastic Four. Dreadface is presumed destroyed.
Rune-Venom Rune vs Venom #1 (December 1995) A leftover symbiote from the Planet of the symbiotes arc bonds with Rune and begins to frame Venom for the murder of civilians. He was later defeated by Venom, after Rune consumed his symbiote due to its influence.
Krobaa Venom: Seed of Darkness #1 (July 1997) This symbiote got bonded to a scientist who drove him mad and went on a destructive rampage across city. Eddie used his camera's flash to defeat the creature.
Neo-symbiote Spider-Man Family Vol. 2 #3 (August 2007) When Mac Gargan encountered Scorpion (Carmilla Black), was outraged due to her using the Scorpion name and attacked her. However, Carmilla used her stinger to create a neo-symbiote from Venom's webbing and proved to be harmful to the Venom symbiote. In the end, the symbiote died, due to Camilla's body being too toxic to sustain it.
Exolon Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 (October 2007) The Exolon – created by Knull[104] – are parasites which feeds on the souls of living creatures. These parasites eventually infected some Kree explorers turning them into the Nameless and inhabiting The Exoteric Latitude thousands of years ago. Zak-Del eventually gets infected and becomes one of them.
Venom Symbiote Virus Mighty Avengers #7 (January 2008) When Doctor Doom got a sample of the Venom symbiote, he created a virus-like symbiote bio-weapon, but it was accidentally spread on New York, which bonded to various New Yorkers and heroes such as: Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye and eventually Wasp. Iron Man eventually finds a cure and frees everyone from the symbiote virus.
Payback True Believers (September 2008) Bonded to a more evolved cousin of normal race of symbiotes. Is currently a vigilante and head of the True Believers.
ZZZXX X-Men: Kingbreaker #2 (March 2009) He is a unique brain-eating member of the symbiote species that was discovered several years ago by Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken. Unlike other symbiotes, ZZZXX was a mutant symbiote[105] and didn't bother to ask permission or care to know his host. After being experimented and tamed, it got bonded to Raza Longknife and became a Praetorian Guard. Then, the Nova Corps captured him and then surgically removed the symbiote from Raza. The symbiote was then used as a weapon against an evil version of Charles Xavier from the Cancerverse, who became a planet-size brain, which proved to be a feast for the symbiote.
Scorn Carnage #5 (August 2011) Originally a piece of Carnage recovered after his apparent destruction by Sentry. The piece was used to develop an advanced prosthetic arm used by Dr. Tanis Nieves. After she rejected its attempt to bond with her, it became attached to Shriek but grew fearful of her. Dr. Nieves accepted its desire to return to her and bonded with the symbiote to become Scorn. Because the symbiote's first host was a prosthetic arm, it can bond to technology. Dr. Tanis was later corrupted by the presence of Knull, the creator of the symbiotes, and built a cult in order to release him from his prison. She freely submitted herself to Cletus who killed her in order to absorb her codex inside her.
Symbiote Warriors Venom Vol. 2 #13 (April, 2012) Four clones of X-23 created by Blackheart and bonded to symbiote pieces – seemingly from Toxin. They are all killed by Laura.
Black Berserkers Thor: God of Thunder #1 (January 2013) Creatures created by Gorr using All-Black in order to help him in his quest to kill all of the universe's gods.
All-Black the Necrosword Thor: God of Thunder #2 (January 2013) The first symbiote ever created from the shadow of the evil deity Knull and tempered using the divine power of a slain Celestial head. It takes the form of a sword made from living darkness and responds to intense negative emotions, often corrupting its user into committing divine atrocities. After taking The All Black from Knull, Gorr is corrupted by the symbiote and continues the "God killing spree" started by Knull and becomes Gorr the God Butcher. After Gorr's plan to kill all of the universe's gods fails, Odinson, Thor and King Thor kill him and cast the Necrosword into a black hole. Then in King Thor's timeline, King Thor uses it to stop Galactus from consuming Earth. Then the All-Black bonds to an injured Galactus, who becomes Galactus the World Butcher. When Ego the Living Planet arrives, the All-Black goes to Ego and turns him into Ego the Necroplanet, who then eats Galactus. Then Ego is destroyed by this timelines Loki, who is disguised as a worm. Loki takes the Necrosword and becomes Loki the All-Butcher.
Mania Venom #31 (April 2013) First introduced in Venom #1, when Venom was fighting The Thing his tongue got cut off in the fight. Then the tongue got retrieved from a scientist who was working for the Arat corporation which was led by Bob – mini alien spider robots working together. They turned the tongue into an unstable clone of Venom which killed every human it saw. The clone got bonded to Patricia Robertson and became the second She-Venom but she got defeated by Eddie and the clone got absorbed into Venom. Then Eugene Thompson's neighbor in Philadelphia named Andy bonded with the clone by Flash to save her from Jack O'Lantern. In "Venom Inc" Lee Price who was bonded to Venom stole the Mania symbiote to become Maniac. He was later defeated by Spider-Man, Venom, Black Cat and Agent Anti-Venom, but the weakened clone remained bonded to Lee leaving Andy without a symbiote. Eventually, Cletus absorbed the symbiote, after killing Lee.
Marcus Deadpool: The Gauntlet #8 (February 2014) An ancient centaur/werewolf hybrid with a black symbiote and diabetes, Marcus was hired by Dracula to be a member of the New Frightful Four.
Endo-Sym Armor Superior Iron Man #1 (November 2014) When Tony Stark's personality was switched during The AXIS storyline he created the Armor Mark 50 or The Endo-Sym Armor. This armor was an artificial symbiote based on the Venom symbiote but it didn't have any of the symbiotes weaknesses. Tony controlled the artificial symbiote through a device which it reads his thoughts. This symbiote didn't have a mind of his own like the original symbiotes. When Tony's mind got back to normal he got rid of this armor.
Agents of the Cosmos Guardians of the Galaxy #23 (March 2015) An organization of noble warriors from various species that were sought by symbiotes to act as champions dedicated in protecting those in need and capable of maintaining peace across the universe. Flash Thompson was formerly a member of this organization while possessing the Venom symbiote. Following the departure of Agent Venom and Tarna from the organization, the Agents of the Cosmos were attacked and killed by the Poisons.
Tarna Venom Spaceknight #2 (February 2016) A female Skrull who was part of the Agents of Cosmos and was bonded to a purple symbiote. She assisted Flash Thompson with Venom and after an argument Venom nearly killed the purple symbiote. The symbiote would be separated from Tarna to be bonded to another host.
Karl Malus Captain America: Sam Wilson #3 (November 2015) Somehow surviving within the Carnage symbiote after being consumed by it during the events of Superior Carnage, Malus later emerged from it as a symbiote/human hybrid.
Raze Carnage #10 (September 2016) Spawned by Carnage and bonded with former FBI special agent Claire Dixon as part of a ritual involving the Darkhold. The symbiote was eventually absorbed into the Toxin symbiote so it could defeat the newly resurrected Chthon.
Killer Thrill X-Men Blue #21 (February 2018) A woman who bonded with a sadistic symbiote after purchasing it from a poacher. Before becoming Killer Thrill, she had come into conflict with Drax the Destroyer. She led her team of bounty hunters on a mission to kidnap the Starjammers and sell them to the highest bidder. Killer Thrill enjoyed torturing her captives with her symbiote powers, which enhances her telepathic abilities and allowed them to become more powerful when she gets excited. She was defeated during a battle with Venom and the X-Men and was killed when her symbiote was taken over by a Poison.
X-Men Blue X-Men Blue #21 (February 2018) When Cyclops' father and the Starjammers got captured from symbiote-bonded bounty hunters, the young X-Men forced Eddie Brock to help them since he was bonded to Venom. After going to space, they found a poacher who had sold the symbiotes to the bounty hunters and during the fight, the X-Men accidentally got bonded to symbiotes. When they started fighting the bounty hunters, Poisons arrived and consumed them. The X-Men survived and gave their symbiotes to the Starjammers to send them to their home.
Grendel Venom Vol. 4 #2 (July 2018) These symbiotes had arrived on earth in Northern Europe. At this time it was controlled by Knull to invade this planet as part of Knull's Imperium, until Thor arrived and defeated the symbiote dragon. This caused to destroy the connection between Knull and the symbiotes, but Knull had still full control of Grendel. These symbiotes remained trapped in ice for years until Nick Fury discovered it. He bonded the symbiotes to soldiers to create symbiote enhanced supersoldiers dubbed Sym-soldiers to fight in the Vietnam War. However the symbiotes under the control of Knull took over their hosts except one soldier named Rex Strickland who removed his symbiote from himself, but the others started killing everyone. Fury – as a Life Model Decoy – with the help of Logan – who briefly bonded to the removed symbiote in the fight – captured the symbiote infected soldiers except that one removed symbiote nicknamed Tyrannosaurus who escaped Knull's control and took the form of his original human host who got consumed by it in action.

The Tyrannosaurus symbiote after escaping Knull's control thank to Logan, saw how beautiful the light was and wanted show that to his friends. With the appearance of its host Rex, he started working for S.H.I.E.L.D. with no one noticing. He worked there for years until Secret Empire where S.H.I.E.L.D. got dismantled so he asked Eddie to free his friends. Unfortunately the symbiotes where still under the control of Knull and in dragon form started searching for Tyrannosaurus. Tyrannosaurus then merged with Venom and tricked the dragon to come to them. Tyrannosaurus went to the dragon and weakened it with sonic bombs. Then he ordered Eddie to put them inside the furnace and burn them denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar. Their codex are eventually retrieved by Maker which are later stolen by Scorn's cult who implanted them into Cletus reviving him.

Sleeper Venom: First Host #3 (September 2018) First introduced in Venom #165, it's revealed that one seed inside Venom had remained after the Life Foundation extracted the seeds of Scream, Phage, Lasher, Agony and Riot. Venom after got "purified" wanted to keep his new offspring safe from people who would use it for bad things and wanted to make it a hero like itself instead of becoming another evil symbiote like Carnage so gave birth to it in Alchemax. After the Venom symbiote was stolen by its first host Tel-Kar, the offspring bonded to Eddie so they would save Venom with the help of the Skrull Warbride M'Lanz. In the battle against Tel-Kar, Sleeper briefly bonds to M'Lanz and her and Eddie with Venom return to Earth where she leaves them. When Tel-Kar returned to Earth and tried to kill Eddie, Sleeper intervened and bonded with Tel-Kar, lobotomizing him in the process as revenge for what he had done to the Venom symbiote and Eddie. Despite Brock being dismayed by this, Sleeper bid him farewell and set out to explore the cosmos.
N'Jadaka Black Panther Vol. 7 #4 (September 2018) After 2,000 years in the future, N'Jadaka – a man named after Erik Killmonger's real name – and his team were exploring the other planets to expand the Wakanda Empire in the Galaxy and while exploring a planet they were attacked by the Between. He and his men were trying to survive until he encountered a symbiote. He bonded to the symbiote since they had hatred against the current Wakandan Emperor who sent N'Jadaka to get killed and had made the symbiotes an endangered species. With its power, he killed the Shadow People and the Emperor and became the new ruler of Wakanda. Then he with the symbiote killed the current Avatar of Bast and became the new Avatar.
Magic Venom Venom Vol. 4 #13 (June 2019) During the War of the Realms event, after Eddie Brock was separated from Venom, he with his son Dylan are approached by one of Malekith's War Witches. She gave Eddie one of the Dark Elves' Dreamstone in hopes of recruiting Eddie into Malekith's army. The Dreamstone turned into an artificial symbiote similar to Venom, but without a mind of its own. Eddie eventually bonded the pieces of the suit to civilians in order to save them from the invasion.
Void Knight Silver Surfer: Black #2 (September 2019) During a confrontation between Knull and the Silver Surfer, Knull infected the Surfer with his Abyss, turning him into his Void Knight. However, Ego freed the Silver Surfer from Knull's control, destroying the symbiote and allowing him to escape.
Plague King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes #1 (January 2021) A symbiote used by Knull to bond with the long dead serial killer Cortland Kasady, Knull's most faithful servant, which reanimated Cortland in the process.
Silence Extreme Carnage: Phage #1 (July, 2021) (Unnamed) Extreme Carnage: Lasher #1 (August, 2021) Following the death of the Scream symbiote, Dr. Steven tried to revitalize the symbiote by harvesting samples from the skin and blood of its host, Andi Bentonto, however when the process proved unsuccessful, Dr. Steven combined its remains with a sample of Anti-Venom Serum, creating a new symbiote. When Andi was mortally-wounded by Phage on the orders of Carnage, she bonded with the symbiote thinking it was Scream. Dubbing itself Silence, characterizing itself as the absence of Scream, the symbiote took over Andi's body and handily defeated Phage using a version of Anti-Venom's cleansing touch, disconnecting it from the Symbiote Hive-Mind.

Other versions

Ultimate Marvel

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Venom suit is a man-made creation born of an experiment by Richard Parker and Edward Brock Sr. to develop a protoplasmic cure for severe illness, while Bolivar Trask, who was funding the research, intended to weaponize it. It used Richard's DNA as the starting base for it, thus himself and Peter are "related" to it. When bonding to a host, the organic matter that comprises the suit envelops the host, regardless of resistance, temporarily blinding it, before encasing itself in a hard casing, similar to a pupa. When the host emerges, the suit then shifts its appearance and function to assist its host, such as creating eyes for it to see through, or, if bonded with an incompatible host, tries to take it over, inducing a homicidal rage in the suit's attempt to feed itself. When bonded with a host and forcibly removed, the suit leaves trace amounts of itself in their bloodstream, which attracts other samples of Venom to itself, and can overload Peter's spider-sense. In the video game Ultimate Spider-Man, absorbing the trace amounts in Peter's blood allowed Eddie to take complete control of the suit, gaining a greater ability to talk along with a spider symbol on his chest.

Venom's only known weakness is electricity, and larger amounts of the suit will need more electricity to kill, as varying amounts of the suit will be stunned or vaporized by electric shocks. This was first seen in Ultimate Spider-Man #38, when an electric wire got tangled around Venom's foot. An electrocution from live power-lines vaporized the smaller amount on Peter, while a similar amount disabled Eddie. Note in the video game Ultimate Spider-Man, when Electro electrocutes Venom during a cutscene, the suit is not affected by the shock like the live power-line did in the "Venom" arc. The suit can take the Shocker's vibro-shocks, and can protect its host from a bullet, who feels nothing more than a relaxing vibration. When worn by a host other than Richard's son Peter, the host is compelled to take the life energy of other human beings or else have their own be consumed by the suit instead. The original Spider-Man (Peter Parker) was able to control the suit to a greater extent than anyone because of his powers and because the suit was designed for his father.[106]

The Carnage symbiote also appears in the Ultimate universe as a parasite genetically engineered by Curt Conners and Ben Reilly from Peter's DNA based on Richard's research. Traces of the Venom suit remaining in Peter's blood give Carnage similar properties to those of the Venom suit. It also devours people, but does not require a host. When first introduced, the organism was a blob of instinct, with no intelligence or self-awareness, with its only aim to feed on the DNA of others, including Gwen Stacy, to stabilize itself. After feeding on multiple people, Carnage turns into a damaged form of Richard and Peter with the memories of itself as Spider-Man. Carnage tries to absorb Peter so it can become whole, but Peter throws Carnage into a smokestack, burning the beast, although it is revealed that the organism had survived and turned into a replica of Gwen's form with Gwen's memories.[107] During an encounter with Eddie Brock, the Venom suit absorbs the Carnage suit into itself, making itself complete and leaving Gwen a normal human being.[108]


In Spider-Gwen's universe, Dr. Elsa Brock created a cure to Harry Osborn's Lizard DNA by using Spider-Gwen's radioactive isotopes given to her by S.I.L.K. Leaders Cindy Moon. When Gwen injected the isotopes into Harry, the Lizard serum combined with the Spider isotopes and transformed into Venom. Venom then bonded to Spider-Gwen, which gave her powers back and she became Gwenom. This symbiote, in its natural form, is actually some spiders working together and is weak to sonic only when bonded to a host; without a host, it is not susceptible to this weakness.[109]

Amalgam Comics

In the Amalgam Comics universe, the facility which created Spider-Boy started experimenting on a substance which they got from an alien spaceship. Accidentally, they created a crystalline symbiote named Bizarnage (amalgamation of Carnage and Bizarro). It had the powers of Spider-Boy and started attacking everyone until Spider-Boy defeated it.[110]


In the alternate universe of the Marvel Comics 2, or MC2 imprint, Norman Osborn got Eddie's blood, who was still bonded to Venom at the time, and extracted the symbiote codex from the blood. Then, Norman combined the codices with May's DNA and created a symbiote/human hybrid clone of Mayday Parker. The clone stayed in stasis inside a chamber, until Peter with Norman's mind became Goblin God and awakens the hybrid. When Peter got back to normal, the hybrid under the alias of Mayhem/Spider-Girl went to live with the Parker family, naming herself April Parker.[111]

In a later timeline, Mayhem accidentally kills the real Spider-Girl and became a murderous vigilante after killing American Dream. The government in an attempt to stop her, they used pieces of the dead Carnage symbiote (after being killed by Mayday) to create living weapons dubbed Bio-Predators. The Bio-preds run wild, however, decimating the world and its defenders. Mayhem, seeing the error of her ways, goes back in time and sacrifices herself to stop her past self from killing Spider-Girl, ensuring the events that led to the Biopreds' creation never occurred, even though she may have survived.[112]


During the 2014 "Spider-Verse" storyline, in Spider-Punk's universe, V.E.N.O.M, also known as Variable Engagement Neuro-sensitive Organic Mesh is created by Oscorp and is worn by the Thunderbolt Department, the police and fire department of President Osborn so he could have full control over the city, but they are all defeated by Spider-Punk using his guitar.[113]


During the 2018 "Spider-Geddon" storyline, in the universe of Peni Parker, aka SP//dr, VEN#m is a giant mech-suit, powered by a Sym Engine, created to serve as back-up in case the SP//dr failed. It was piloted by Addy Brock until in a battle against a technological monster named M.O.R.B.I.U.S., the suit gained a conscience and went rogue. Though SP//dr was able to defeat VEN#m, she was too late to stop it from consuming Addy as well as her version of Aunt May, who flew in to fix the problem manually.[114]

What If...

...Spider-Man had rejected the Spider?

"What if?: The Other", set during "The Other" storyline, features an alternative version of Peter who abandons the Spider when given the choice. Some time afterward, the Venom symbiote leaves its current host Mac Gargan and merges with Peter, who was inside a cocoon to become Poison. Poison now calling himself "I", chooses Mary Jane to be his companion. He fails to gain her affection and instead, he digs up the grave of Gwen Stacy. The last images reveals Poison watching over a new cocoon like his own, as it bursts forth showing a hand similar to Carnage's, even though the normal symbiotes are unable to bond with dead hosts.[115]

"Age of Apocalypse"

In a "What if?" "Age of Apocalypse" reality, in which both Charles Xavier and Eric Lensherr were killed, Apocalypse is served by clones of a symbiote Spider-Man, although the clones seem to be more symbiote than man.[116]

Spider-Man: India

In Spider-Man: India, the symbiotes are parasitic demons with outward tusk-like fangs, who had ruled the world in the past, but got trapped inside an amulet. The amulet was eventually found by Nalin Oberoi and transformed him into the Green Goblin. During a fight with Spider-Man, the Green Goblin releases a demon to possess Spider-Man, but is expelled. After the defeat of Green Goblin, the amulet is thrown into ocean, leaving Venom the only demon alive.[117]

What The--?!

In the What The--?!, "The Bee-Yonder" gives Spider-Ham a version of the black uniform, but Spider-Ham loved his classic suit more, so he got rid of it.[118] In #20, Pork Grind, a pig version of Venom is introduced as an enemy of Spider-Ham.

Contest of Champions

In the 2016 Contest of Champions series, where Maestro and Collector use the heroes of different worlds to battle with each other, when this version of Venom was killed by Punisher 2099, the remnants fused with the remains of the Void creating the Symbioids.[119]

Earth X

In the universe of Earth-9997, the symbiotes, like all sentient life, were created by the Celestials as "antibodies" to protect the embryos which resided in the core of the planets. Like the Asgardians and Mephisto, the symbiotes eventually reached the third stage of metamorphosis and apotheosized into metaphysical entities given physical form by what others believed them to be and required of them.[120][121] The Venom symbiote was given form by Spider-Man, who believed it to be a symbiotic living costume; after being bonded to Eddie Brock for years, it bonded to Peter's daughter May Parker, who managed to tame and rehabilitate it to start her career as the superhero Venom.[122]

Spider-Man Unlimited

In the Spider-Man Unlimited series, a Synoptic is introduced. Synoptic are parasites that can control organic beings via touch. Venom and Carnage, who acted as double agents to the High Evolutionary, were able to revive the Synoptic.[123]

Spider-Man: Spider's Shadow

In the 2021 miniseries Spider's Shadow, the symbiote manages to form a stronger bond with Peter after the Hobgoblin kills May Parker, which leads to Peter succumbing to its influence and killing several of his familiar rogues before the FF are able to expel the symbiote from him. Unfortunately, the symbiote is able to escape captivity and bond with Reed Richards, allowing its subsequent spawn to be altered so that they are immune to most of its traditional weaknesses. Despite these symbiotes managing to bond with various Avengers, X-Factor, and the rest of the FF, Peter and Johnny Storm are able to trick the original symbiote into trying to re-bond with Peter, only to reveal that it was pursuing Johnny while he was using an image inducer, the death of the prime symbiote destroying all of its spawn (although it kills Reed before its defeat).

In other media


  • Venom and Carnage appear in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series. In the three-part episode, "The Alien Costume", the Venom symbiote arrives on Earth via John Jameson's space shuttle and temporarily bonds with Spider-Man until he eventually realizes it is a negative influence on him and rejects it, causing it to bond with Eddie Brock. Together, they seek revenge on Spider-Man, but he is able to defeat and separate them before trapping the Venom symbiote in a rocket as it was launched into space. In the episode "Venom Returns" however, Dormammu and Baron Mordo diverted it, allowing the symbiote to return to Earth so they could use its services, during which the Carnage symbiote split off from it. When Venom fails to get a Stark Industries portal device for them, they provide Cletus Kasady with Venom's offspring, which he names Carnage, and send him to assist Venom. In the episode "Carnage", with help from Iron Man, Eddie Brock willingly separates from Venom after having a change of heart. When Carnage kidnaps Ashley Kafka, Eddie's love interest, he re-bonds with Venom and helps Spider-Man, Iron Man, and War Machine fight him and Mordo. Carnage attempts to throw Kafka into limbo, a place in between dimensions, but Venom stops him and knocks them both into the portal, foiling Dormammu's plans. In the two-part series finale, "Spider Wars", the Carnage symbiote bonds with an angry alternate universe clone of Spider-Man and turns him into Spider-Carnage.
  • Venom and Carnage appear in the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series. In the pilot episode, they board a shuttle piloted by John Jameson and crash it on Counter-Earth to start a new empire of symbiotes. This series' incarnation of symbiotes are amorphous creatures that rely on their elastic bodies rather than webbing and adopt unique looks.
  • Venom appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, with Spider-Man's version voiced by Josh Keaton and Eddie Brock's version voiced by Benjamin Diskin. In the episode "The Uncertainly Principle", the symbiote arrives on Earth by stowing away on John Jameson's space shuttle and bonds with Spider-Man. After the web-slinger rejects it, it bonds with Eddie in the episode "Intervention" to become Venom, but they are defeated in the episode "Nature vs. Nurture". Venom re-bonds with Eddie in the episodes "First Steps", "Growing Pains", and "Identity Crisis", wherein they attempt to expose Spider-Man's secret identity, but their plans are foiled and they are separated once more, though the symbiote retreats into the sewers. Carnage was also set to appear in the third season before the show was cancelled.
  • Venom, Carnage, and Anti-Venom appear in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Venom and Anti-Venom are created by Doctor Octopus for Oscorp, who made the former from an altered sample of Spider-Man's DNA and the latter from a sample of Venom as a countermeasure. In the series, Harry Osborn is depicted as the symbiote's host and initially uses it to become a black-suited Spider-Man until his continued usage of it turns him into Venom. The Carnage symbiote is initially created by the Green Goblin after bonding the Venom symbiote to Peter Parker before it was recreated by HYDRA scientist Michael Morbius from a sample of the Venom symbiote he obtained. Anti-Venom is also created from a sample of the Venom symbiote and bonds with Harry.
  • A variant of the Venom symbiote appears in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. animated series episode "The Venom Within". Doctor Octopus creates a "Gamma Venom" variant of the symbiote by having the regular symbiote bond with the show's titular characters before it was destroyed by the agents of S.M.A.S.H., with Spider-Man's help.
  • The Klyntar appear in the 2015 Guardians of the Galaxy animated series. Though the titular characters first encountered them in the episode "Hitchin' a Ride", it is not until the three-part episode "Symbiote War", when they learn that Klyntar's original homeworld was destroyed by Thanos, who captured most of them and took them to Planet X so he could weaponize them by altering their genealogy. The Exolons are also referenced as inhabiting Wraith's body. Carnage and Venom both appear in the episodes "Back in the New York Groove" and "Drive My Carnage". In this series, Carnage is an original Klyntar and not an offspring of Venom.
  • The Klyntar appear in the 2017 Spider-Man animated series. Venom, initially referred to as the "V-252", arrives on Earth inside a meteor and is recovered by the Space Program, who leave it at Horizon High so Max Modell can analyze it. It first appeared in the episode "A Day in the Life", and bonded with Spider-Man in the episode "Sandman". In the episode "Stark Expo", Spider-Man rejects and returns it. In the episode "Venom", the V-252 briefly escaped and possessed Flash Thompson until Spider-Man defeated it and returned it once more. In the episode "Dead Man's Party", the V-252 merged with Eddie Brock, who renamed it Venom. In the episode "Venom Returns", Venom was incapacitated by an experimental sonic device during a failed attempt to publicly expose Spider-Man's secret identity. In the episode "Superior", Venom is reawakened by experimentation that alters its genealogy, enabling it to survive without a host, but was defeated by Spider-Man once again. Season three, subtitled Maximum Venom, reveals Venom's origins and introduces more symbiotes, most notably Anti-Venom, Scream, Scorn, and Mania. In the episode "Web of Venom" Pt. 2, Venom is released by Dr. Curt Connors and absorbs a synthetic copy that Max Modell had Spider-Man test before making its way to the meteor crash site. Once it got there, it used an energy seed to shoot a beacon into space before Spider-Man destroys it, seemingly killing Venom. In the episode "Amazing Friends", Venom's fellow Klyntar started making their way to Earth, capturing most of the Avengers and Star-Lord on the way, though the latter's friend Groot got to the planet first to warn Spider-Man of the impending invasion. In the episode "Vengeance Of Venom", the Klyntar sent an advance hunting party to capture Earth's remaining heroes. Spider-Man and Marc Spector rescued Modell so he could create a synthetic antithesis of Venom, dubbed "Anti-Venom", to counteract the invading Klyntar. Merging with Groot, Anti-Venom cures everyone on Earth infected by the symbiotes before Doctor Strange takes him to space to cure the Guardians of the Galaxy. Unbeknownst to everyone, the seed from Venom's meteor is retrieved by Dr. Connors. In the episode "Generations" Pt. 2, it is revealed that Connors has been using Venom's leftover DNA and seed to resurrect Norman Osborn as the Dark Goblin. In the series finale "Maximum Venom", Venom recuperates within Modell's bloodstream and possesses his body, summoning Scream, Scorn, and Mania to Earth. Despite attempting to destroy Earth using the World-Killer (a dragon-like weapon powered by Venom's seed), Modell is able to overcome Venom's control long enough to destroy the seed and vanquish the Klyntar for good.


Sam Raimi film series

The Venom symbiote appears in the live-action film Spider-Man 3. This incarnation came from space after it landed on Earth inside a meteorite. The symbiote fused with the sleeping Spider-Man's suit; enhancing his powers, abilities, and anger. However, when Spider-Man learns of its evil nature he separates himself from the symbiote with difficulty. After being rejected by the web-slinger, the alien attaches itself to Eddie Brock, turning him into Venom. Later, Spider-Man exploits the symbiote's weakness to soundwaves to defeat Venom and free Brock from it. However, it became strong enough to survive without a host, leading to Parker destroying it with one of the New Goblin's pumpkin bombs. Brock attempts to bond with it again, mere seconds before the bomb's detonation, resulting in him being killed along with it.

Marc Webb films

Venom Symbiote shown in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 alternate final trailer

In trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 live-action film, the Venom symbiote appears briefly among various elements of supervillain technology seen in the Gustav Fiers / The Gentleman's agency. In the final cut of the film, the symbiote was replaced by the Rhino's armor, although a file labelled "Venom" is seen earlier in the film alongside a photograph of the symbiote. Sony Pictures had plans to create a Spider-Man-centric cinematic universe with various spin-off films, including a Venom film, which were abandoned following the studio agreement reached with Marvel Studios.

Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • In the live-action film Guardians of the Galaxy, the Exolons are referenced via the Exolon Monks, who serve Ronan the Accuser.[124]
  • In the live-action film Thor: Ragnarok, Hela uses a weapon called the Necrosword, which is based on All-Black the Necrosword. However, there is no mention of the weapon being a symbiote because (similar to the Exolons) All-Black was not originally intended to be a symbiote when it was introduced.[125]
  • In the animated television series What If...? episode "What If... T'Challa Became a Star-Lord?", an alternate reality incarnation of Taneleer Tivan uses Hela's helmet to produce a pair of necroswords to fight Star-Lord T'Challa.
  • The mid-credits scene of Spider-Man: No Way Home features Tom Hardy reprising his role uncredited, as Eddie Brock / Venom from the Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU) films Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Both Brock and Venom were left temporarily displaced in the MCU following the events of the latter film due to a miscast spell by Stephen Strange intended to wipe the world's knowledge of Peter Parker's secret identity, which Venom itself recognizes due to a shared hive mind of knowledge among the symbiotes across multiple universes. They are seen discussing events that transpired in this universe with a bartender who informs of them of notable figures such as Tony Stark, Bruce Banner and Thanos, while also learning about the events of The Blip. Upon Brock contemplating heading to New York City to meet Spider-Man himself, the two are instantaneously transported back to their home universe alongside the other displaced individuals from the multiverse as the spell is successfully recast, while unknowingly leaving a piece of the Venom symbiote behind at the bar, which begins to move.[126][127]

Sony's Spider-Man Universe

Following the success of reintroducing Spider-Man in the MCU films Captain America: Civil War (2016) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Sony Pictures stated that they were moving forward with the live-action film Venom, written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, and directed by Ruben Fleischer, released on October 5, 2018, and with Tom Hardy portraying Eddie Brock and the title character. The film is separate from the MCU, as it is instead set within its own continuity with no connections to the Spider-Man character; becoming the first film in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe. Riot appears as the film's main antagonist, portrayed by Riz Ahmed.[128] A blue symbiote designated SYM-A02 and a yellow symbiote designated SYM-A03 also have minor appearances.[129] The 2021 sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage featured Cletus Kasady / Carnage portrayed by Woody Harrelson as the main titular antagonist.[130]

Video games

Multiple video games have featured the symbiotes, most prominently Venom and Carnage. Listed below are games that feature other symbiotes besides them:

  • In the arcade title Spider-Man: The Video Game, the final boss fight consists of a battle against an infinite number of symbiote clones created by Doctor Doom. The only way to win is to kill the "prime clone".
  • Most of the main symbiotes appear in the video game Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety.
  • In the 2000 Spider-Man video game, Doctor Octopus clones Carnage's symbiote as part of a plot to replace humanity with symbiotes under his command. The symbiotes become the main type of enemies towards the end of the game and are significantly tougher than regular enemies, although they can be easily killed using fire-imbued web cartridges hidden throughout the levels.
  • In the PS2, PSP, and Wii versions of the Spider-Man 3 video game, Shriek's powers come from an unidentified symbiote.
  • In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Venom infests New York with multiple types of symbiotes, including Snatchers, Zombies, Berserkers, Grapplers, and Slashers. The symbiotes also infect characters like Electro and Vulture, who go on to spawn Electrolings and Vulturelings with powers similar to theirs, and Symbiote Pods, which absorb civilians and convert them into one of the aforementioned symbiote variants.
  • In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, the Ultimate Spider-Man wears a copy of the Venom symbiote while Carnage absorbs a fragment of the Tablet of Order and Chaos, allowing him to reanimate the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he kills into mindless zombies that will eventually evolve into symbiotes resembling Carnage.
  • Various symbiotes appear in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance, including Venom, Anti-Venom, Scream, and Hybrid.
  • In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, Venom has infected numerous Oscorp scientists with his symbiote, whom he uses as his mindless minions.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cletus Kasady becomes Carnage after being injected with a nanite-based version of the Venom symbiote while he is imprisoned at Ravencroft. After escaping, he goes on to infect numerous Ravencroft inmates with his symbiote and take over the institute.
  • Various symbiote characters are featured in the mobile game Spider-Man Unlimited. There is also a bonus level set within the "Symbiote Dimension".
  • In the Spider-Man playset of Disney Infinity 2.0, the Green Goblin and Mysterio clone the Venom symbiote so they can infest New York with them.
  • In the 2014 fighting video game Marvel: Contest of Champions, the Symbioids are symbiotes merged with the Adaptoids. Venom, Carnage, Agent Venom, and Anti-Venom appear as playable characters. Also featured are VenomPool (an amalgamation of Deadpool and Venom), Venom the Duck (Howard the Duck and Venom), and the Symbiote Supreme (Doctor Strange and Venom).
  • Symbiotes "connect together" in a Marvel Puzzle Quest storyline. Besides Venom and Carnage, the game features four original symbiotes: a green male named Carrier, an orange female named Horror, a teal toothy creature called Demolisher, and a magenta dog-like creature called Mutation.
  • In Marvel Avengers Academy, Oscorp take the symbiotes from their homeworld, forcing Spider-Man to try and save them. However, the symbiotes are bonded to various hosts and attempt to take over the Academy. While they fail to do so, they decide to remain on Earth.
  • The symbiotes appear in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. In the game's story, Jedah Dohma uses the Soul Stone to steal a million souls from Earth and feed them to a Giant Symbiote, planning to strengthen it and use it as a weapon against Ultron Sigma. He also gives pieces of the symbiote to A.I.M.brella to bond to virus-infected subjects to stabilize them. Spider-Man, Chris Redfield, Frank West, and Mike Haggar defeat Jedah, but he unleashes the creature on New Metro City. When Redfield tries attacking it, he accidentally causes part of the symbiote to bond to Spider-Man, forcing the latter to fight his teammates against his will until Frank uses car alarms to remove the symbiote. After getting three of the Infinity Stones, the heroes destroy the creature. Venom also appears as a playable character via downloadable content.
  • The Venom symbiote is featured throughout the Marvel's Spider-Man series developed by Insomniac Games:
    • The symbiote is first teased in the end-credits scene of Marvel's Spider-Man (2018), where it is revealed that Norman Osborn has been keeping his son Harry in a state of suspension following the revelation that he was falling terminally ill to the 'Oshtoran syndrome', a degenerative disease that was passed through hereditary genes from his mother Emily Osborn, whom had succumbed to the disease prior to the game's events. As a last resort, Norman imbued Harry with the symbiote as a temporary cure but promised his son he wouldn't rest until he had found a way to eliminate the disease completely and restore his health.
    • The end-credits scene of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (2020) indirectly continues the events of the previous scenario, now showing Harry waking up from his period of stasis to witness the recent news of the apprehension of the terrorist group 'The Underground' by Spider-Man and Rio Morales' successful election as councilwoman for the neighborhood of Harlem. Norman immediately enters the room and pleas with his medical assistant Dr. Curt Connors to release Harry, still imbued with the symbiote, from his cryochamber in spite of Connors' observations of his relatively unstable condition.
    • Venom is set to appear as a major antagonist in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 (2023). The symbiote will be voiced by Tony Todd.


Scream appears as one of the villains in Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride.


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