Venom, also called the Venom Symbiote, is a character from Marvel Comics. He is a Symbiote, an alien lifeform capable of infusing itself with its host body. When the Venom Symbiote bonds with a human, that new dual lifeform refers to itself as Venom. He is a dangerous foe of Spider-Man in that he not only has his powers, but was once bonded to the hero as a costume, meaning he knows who Spider-Man is and how he works. He appears as a recurring antagonist in Ultimate Spider-Man and Marvel's Spider-Man, but upon being bonded to Flash Thompson, become the superhero Agent Venom.
Venom was created by Todd McFarlane and David Michelinie.
Venom is an emotionless being that has an aggressive nature. Its personality changes depending on who it is bonded to, though it stays with distilled aggression. At first desiring to bond with Spider-Man because of his strength, the symbiote rejected Spider-Man after Spider-Man refused to bond with it. It prefers to itself as "we" instead of "I".
Venom has a very muscular, black (sometimes blue) body that resembles the Symbiote he originated from. He has white eyes with no pupils, sharp yellow teeth, and a long tongue. A huge white spider is printed across his chest. Except for the teeth, tongue, and black and white color-scheme, he resembles Spider-Man's. Venom is also capable of shapeshifting into a gooey, almost liquid-like form, and can sprout tentacles for combat purposes.
Powers and abilities
The Symbiote can mimic any type of it's host's clothing whatsoever, as well as blending Venom in his surroundings, rendering him invisible. The Symbiote has augmented all of its host's physical abilities to superhuman levels equal to, and in some cases greater than, Spider-Man's.
Superhuman Strength: The symbiote can lift several times its own size. However, its full strength often fluctuates. Venom has demonstrated strength ranging from only slightly greater than Spider-Man's to being capable of trading blows with high-powered individuals such as Juggernaut.
Superhuman Durability: Venom's body is highly resistant to physical injury, capable of withstanding assault from high-caliber bullets as well as attacks from super powered individuals. When distributed at a typical thickness, the Symbiote is capable of absorbing bullets from small-arms weapons firing conventional ammunition. The Symbiote is, however, particularly vulnerable to both sonic and heat-based attacks.
Superhuman Stamina: Venom is also capable of surviving in harmful areas for long periods of time such as underwater or in toxic gases, the symbiote filtering breathable air to the host.
Accelerated Healing Factor: Additionally, the symbiote is capable of healing injuries in the host at a faster rate than normal human healing allows. The symbiote is also capable of healing injuries and illnesses that current human medical care cannot, such as cancer.
Genetic Memory: The symbiote possesses some psychic ability, making it capable of obtaining information from its hosts and even other people and symbiotes simply by touch; the symbiote is capable of recalling information from previous hosts. It can however, be forced to forget information if the symbiote is inflicted with heavy trauma.
Offspring Detection: The symbiote is also capable of psychically detecting its offspring, however with effort this ability can be blocked.
Wall-Crawling: The alien costume also replicates Spider-Man's ability to cling to walls by controlling the flux of inter-atomic attraction between molecular boundary layers.
Webbing Generation: Venom can shoot strands of the alien's substance in the form of "webbing" at high pressure up to a distance of 70 feet. The alien's substance seems to be composed of tough, flexible fibers of organic polymers, which regenerate swiftly after "shedding." The strands have extraordinary adhesive properties, which diminish rapidly once they abandon their living source. After about three hours, with no source to nourish them, the strands dry up like dead skin and dissolve into a powder. The strands possess a tensile strength of 125 pounds per square millimeter of cross section. The one limitation to this ability was used to Spider-Man's advantage during their second bout; Since the webbing itself comprises the costume, if Venom generates too much he will be left vulnerable as the symbiote is weakened and unable to replenish his lost mass for a short period of time. In addition to creating webbing, hosts can use the symbiote in the form of tentacles or tendrils to attack or ensnare their opponents.
Constituent-Matter Generation: Venom can also use the same substance comprising the symbiote in the form of constituent black matter or goo, and uses it in this method for lethal force against criminals. Venom can send a part of the symbiote and direct its movements into a victim's body, smothering them from the inside.
Constituent-Matter Manipulation: The Venom Symbiote has recently developed this new ability: Venom can morph sections of his body, such as his hands or feet, into spikes, blades, axes or a shield.
ESP (Spider-Sense): Venom also possesses an extrasensory ability similar to Spider-Man's spider-sense. This response is not as complicated as Spider-Man's inherent sense since the alien costume can detect danger from every direction, but is more efficient than Spider-Man's spider-sense because it takes less time to sense the danger.
Immunity to Spider-Man's Spider Sense: Due to Spider-Man being a host to the symbiote, Venom, and his offspring, is able to bypass Spider-Man's spider-sense. Venom is capable of attacking Spider-Man without alerting him, making Venom a deadly foe.
Camouflage Capabilities: The symbiote is capable of mimicking the appearance of any form of clothing, camouflaging with its surroundings, and even mimicking other people. Brock's preferred form of clothing was a black shirt, jacket, and pants.
Stretching and deforming: Although it's widely known that the Symbiote can stretch and deform itself, recently it was able to perform this ability during bonded with a human host. Venom can expand to any size as long as they have something to grow on such as a host or an object. Symbiotes can get inside of small areas such as electric wires and the insides of cars and completely disable them.
Power Mimicry/Absorption: The symbiote can steal the powers and abilities of other beings. It has been recently discovered, that the symbiote can recall and mimic the powers and abilities of previous hosts. Venom has also adapted the spider powers from Spider-Man.
Shapeshifting: The Symbiote allows the user shape-shifting abilities. Venom can mimic clothing, and completely change its appearance and stature.
The Symbiote is extremely sensitive to sonic and thermal attacks, making it vulnerable. Loud sound can separate the Symbiote from the host. Electric attacks can also weaken the Symbiote.
Venom was created by Doctor Octopus using Peter Parker's DNA, obtained from a blood sample left in a recent battle. At the moment it was created, it began acting aggressively, as it was all the deadliest aspects of Peter's personality. Otto needed few months to perfect it, but Norman Osborn only gave him a month. Otto told him he will have something for him that night, but the symbiote escaped and as Doc Ock said; it wanted to return to where it came from: Spider-Man. It followed Peter to Norman's son Harry's house, where it tried to kill him. After realizing that Peter is Spider-Man, it became confused and began jumping from host to host.
Using its symbiotic abilities, it jumped from host to host, including Nova, Power Man, Iron Fist, and Flash Thompson in the process. In order to stop it from fusing with anymore victims, Spider-Man allowed it to bond with him, allowing the symbiote to be complete and proclaimed itself as Venom, and attempted to kill the team and Peter's friends. When it targeted Harry, Peter's refusal to hurt his friend allowed him to regain control and fight back, and eventually break free. Although he couldn't defeat Venom in hand-to-hand combat, he trapped Venom and shocked it with the recently acquired "electro webs", seemingly killing it. Norman later admitted to Octavius that the symbiote was a success, and that he wanted a new prototype, one that Spider-Man and his friends couldn't defeat. Unbeknownst to Peter, a small piece of the symbiote ended up on a piano in Harry's family room at some point, likely while it was jumping from from host to host. Harry scraped it into a bottle, trapping it and keeping it.
Since then, Harry had began training the symbiote. After a while, Harry used it on himself to impress his father, becoming the black-suit Spider-Man. Harry revealed to Peter that he was the new Spider-Man (unaware Peter was the original) and assured him that he had it under control. When his father ignored him, Harry grew enraged, and the suit began to feed off his negative emotions. During a battle with Dragon Man, the suit began to consume Harry, and eventually transformed into a hulking version of Venom. The new Venom fought Spider-Man across the city, until he was thrown into a massive television screen. The electricity caused the suit to explode, freeing Harry. A small piece of the symbiote presumably stayed with Harry without him noticing.
Venom eventually returned and took over Harry's body and brutally beat Batroc, which led to the news claiming to be Spider-Man's fault. When Harry confronted Norman, he was so enraged of his father's neglection that it allowed Venom to take over and attack his father. When Spider-Man tried to stop him, Venom distracted Spider-Man by throwing Norman out of the building and fled the scene. Venom returned back to attack Norman, but Spider-Man intervened. Venom fought against the team and a piece of him was taken by White Tiger, after that Venom fled. Venom went to Peter's school and ambushed the team. Spider-Man arrived on the scene with an anti-venom. They got onto the roof, where Harry tried to free himself, but Venom strained himself and claimed there is only Venom. Venom chased after Spider-Man, but was struck by lightning. Venom was then injected by the anti-venom of Spider-Man, freeing Harry.
Despite the victory, however, Harry was later shown to have the symbiote still in his system, only showing itself at severe emotional times, such as after his father was turned into Goblin. He was brought onto the Helicarrier to be protected by S.H.I.E.L.D. and attempted to save his father, believing he could talk the Goblin into sense, but Goblin shocked Harry, causing him to turn into Venom. Then they teamed up against Spider-Man on the Helicarrier and sunk it down. Spider-Man tried to snap Harry out of it, causing Harry to try and freeing himself of the symbiote, with help from Spider-Man while Harry grabbed an electrified wire which made the symbiote leave his body. The Goblin took the symbiote to find someone who was actually worthy of wearing it and left.
The Green Goblin later abducted Peter (unaware that he was Spider-Man) and injected him with the enhanced version of the symbiote, causing Peter to turn into Carnage. There he commanded him to catch Spider-Man. When his arrived to his destination, the S.H.I.E.L.D. investigation team and Spider-Man's teammates had to protect Harry from Carnage, but Carnage proved to be overwhelming even at their best efforts. After he defeated them all, Harry realized that Peter was Carnage and when it tried to attack him, he commanded it to stop, and it obeyed, so Harry got Carnage to remove itself from Peter and take him instead, but this instead turns him into Venom again. Venom then went after the Goblin, where Spider-Man and Venom formed a truce to take him down. However, Venom becomes chaotic and uncontrollable again, so Spider-Man had to talk sense into the both of them, and had to turn into Peter to talk sense into Harry. Harry managed to free himself from the symbiote and place it in a beaker. The Goblin grew suspicious of Peter and suspected that he was Spider-Man, until the team (with Iron Fist filling in for Spider-Man to avoid suspicion) showed up and fought with the Goblin. The Venom sample was then taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, while the Goblin took back the rest of the sample to find the perfect host.
After the Goblin was captured by Spider-Man and his team He was en route to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prison on the moon aboard Tricarrier, Goblin released the sample of Venom which reunited with the sample confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. custody and became whole again. This allowed Venom to escaped and latch itself onto numerous S.H.I.E.L.D. agents against Spider-Man. He took them down with ease, but then Phil Coulson was infected and attacked Spider-Man. With the help of Nick Fury, Coulson was subdued, but Fury in the process became infected himself. Spider-Man eventually defeated him and decided to free Doctor Octopus to defeat Venom. While Doc Ock created an Anti-Venom, Spider-Man suited up into his Iron Spider Armor to take down the swarm. Meanwhile, as his Venom subordinates free him, Goblin then bonds to Venom and battles Doc Ock and Iron Spider until the Anti-Venom is finished and kills all the symbiotes apart from the original Venom (who was expelled from the Goblin). Norman was then turned back to normal when the symbiote left him while the Iron Spider opened up a door to send the remains into a vacuum. The Iron Spider then used his rocket jets to desolate Venom and force himself back inside the Tricarrier, abandoning the symbiote in space. The symbiote was destroyed.
In Season 3, Doc Ock recreated the symbiote to help Loki take over the city. When the symbiotes' hosts were set free from them, Spider-Man went to collect every piece of symbiote that got away. The last piece of the symbiote bonded permanently with Flash Thompson turning him into the superhero Agent Venom.
The Eddie Brock version of Venom appears as one of the villains in the special. He first appears along with Red Skull, MODOK, and Whiplash fighting against Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and his respective nemesis Spider-Man until he was forced into a corner with his fellow bad guys. When Spider-Man was about to incarcerate them with his webs, a mysterious beam hits the four heroes and robs them of their powers, giving the villains their opportunity to escape.
Back at Red Skull's lair, Venom and Whiplash complain about their loss, only to be silenced by Red Skull. They are soon informed by MODOK that the beam that caused their enemies to lose their powers originated from a scientist named Heinz Doofenshmirtz, who claims to also have the stolen powers from his L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N. blog. The villains decide to visit Danville to obtain the powers.
When they enter Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated, they are baffled by Doofenschmirtz's quirky behavior as an evil scientist and doubt his capabilities. Realizing that Doofenschmirtz is really clueless in nature, the villains decide to play along with him pretending to be his allies in order to get him to build another Power-Draininator, then turn on him. Following the song "My Evil Buddies and Me", the villains out of desperation attack Googolplex Mall. This crime does not go unnoticed from the depowered heroes nor Phineas, Ferb, and their friends. Using the temporary powers bestowed upon them, the heroes face off against the villains, but due to an earlier accident caused by Candace, the heroes' powers were mixed up causing them to lose quickly against the villains. However, Perry (dressed as a superhero for S.H.I.E.L.D. standards) saves them and takes them away from the battle at the last minute.
After returning to D.E.I., Heinz finally builds another Power-Draininator. The villains then betray and trap him, and announce their plans to use the inator to destroy Danville, then drain the powers from other superheroes and take over the world. Red Skull then orders Venom to capture Perry (who was watching from the ceiling at the time) and confines him into a cage along with Doofenschmirtz.
Venom stands along with his allies to threaten the heroes to come fight them, or allow Danville to perish under the Power-Draininator. As expected, the heroes come, and the villains quickly trap them. However, they are suddenly interferred by the arrival of a hulkified Baljeet, the Beak, Perry, Buford, and Doofenschmirtz himself armed with a Waffle-inator. After Spider-Man steals the Power-Draininator's reactor core, Venom goes after it, crashing into a part of the Beak's abdomen in the process. Ultimately, Venom along with the villains each attain a part of the reactor core and reassemble it, re-powering the inator. Suddenly, the villains along with the inator are crushed by the kids' space station, where the heroes have their powers returned from Candace and Isabella. Despite the setback, the villains proceed to attack the heroes anyway, but are ultimately defeated. Venom suffers a defeat by being hit back and forth by Thor and Hulk. He is then arrested along with his partners-in-crime by S.H.I.E.L.D. and taken away.
The Eddie Brock version of Venom appears in Marvel's Spider-Man. The Symbiote debuting in the first season and Eddie Brock in the second.
Venom truly hates Spider-Man for his rejection of the symbiote, which had left it murderously embittered towards him, a trait it would share with future hosts. Because of the fact Venom knows all of Spider-Man's abilities and identity, he is a villain who can hurt Spider-Man physically and psychologically. Venom will always aim to kill Spider-Man when he has the chance, however he has shown to be capable of bargaining with Spider-Man when there is a common goal or need the two have, though this behavior again depends on the personality of the current host. At first, Venom did desire to be with Spider-Man in a natural symbiotic relationship, only did it develop its darker nature when Spider-Man discovered that it intended to use him against his will.
Venom appears as a playable character in the Capcom crossover fighting games Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, and returns as a DLC character in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
In the comics, Venom is a symbiote from an alien planet, but in the original Ultimate comics, Venom was an artificial lifeform created by Dr. Richard Parker, Peter's father, in an attempt to cure incurable terminal illnesses, namely cancer.
In the comics, movies, and other TV series, Venom's usual host is Eddie Brock, not Harry Osborn. An example of this fact is in Mission Marvel. In fact, Brock has never appeared, nor was he ever referenced, in Ultimate Spider-Man. However, as of Marvel's Spider-Man Season 2, Eddie Brock has been reintroduced.
Ultimate Spider-Man is the first time Harry Osborn has become Venom.
Venom returns in Season 3 of Ultimate Spider-Man as Agent Venom, Flash Thompson bonded to a version of Venom. This coincides with the character becoming Venom in the mainstream comic.
Venom made his first big screen debut in the third film of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, but originally Sam wanted to add Vulture in the film, but was added by a request from producer Avi Arad. But as a result, Venom portrayed in the movie was poorly received by fans, for not making the character bigger and bulky like in the comics.
Venom's design throughout Ultimate Spider-Man is largely inconsistent. In his first appearance, his mouth appears as if it was carved in like a jack-o-lantern's, with black teeth and narrower eyes. In his second appearance, possessing Harry Osborn, his appearance evolves to more resemble Eddie Brock's version, with a wide fanged mouth, a long tongue and clawed feet. He keeps this design until the Season 1 finale, where the Goblin steals it to improve on it. After Harry saves Peter from the Carnage symbiote, he becomes Venom once more, with a more bestial appearance, sporting a narrower face, almost reptilian. In "Venom Bomb", when the symbiote infects the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. staff, including Nick Fury, they resemble pure black versions of Carnage's original design. In Season 3, due to having various hosts, Venom's appearance changes according to who it's host is, but retains yellow teeth and long tongue.