Spider-Man: 20 Different Versions Of Venom | Screen Rant

Spider-Man has many villains vying for the top spot of his greatest nemesis, notably the Green Goblin. For a time, however, it was Eddie Brock, aka Venom who was the real threat in his life. Comic book fans know a lot about Venom, including him blaming Spider-Man for the death of his career, just as his alien symbiote costume blamed him for abandoning it when it tried to fuse permanently to his body.

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Since that time, the Venom symbiote has merged with many other hosts, creating many different versions of Venom. He has gone from villain to anti-hero and back again, battling new threats great and small. Venom's journey has been a long, torturous escapade that has created a bunch of unique characters along the way.

Updated on October 19th, 2021 by Derek Draven: Venom continues to be a rock-solid comic book character that has made the successful jump into alternative media – specifically Hollywood films. With two standalone movies under his belt, there seems to be no end in sight for his popularity. However, it's worth taking a look back at the comic book source material, particularly various versions of Venom that have popped up in recent years. There are many variants of Venom out there, including some that are relatively new to Marvel Comics, as well as new revelations about the species, and why they do what they do. 

In the Ultimate Spider-Man universe, Gwen Stacey was attacked and killed by the Carnage symbiote, which was fostered from the Venom variant, and grown in a lab by Ben Reilly and Curt Connors. This would later lead to an initiative involving the creation of super-soldier clones, one of which was dubbed the "Stacey Project."

This clone possessed all her memories, including a molecular duplicate of the Carnage symbiote, making her a Venom variant unto herself. Eddie Brock would later attack Gwen and absorb the Carnage symbiote in order to regain his Venom form, leaving her free from its influence.

The villain known as the Scorpion was eager to get his hands on the Venom symbiote, and he got his chance when Eddie Brock sold it off to the highest bidder. The symbiote ended up ditching the buyer, giving Mac the opportunity to bond with it and become a much more fearsome interpretation of Venom.

Little did Gargan know what he was getting into, and the symbiote soon overwhelmed him, turning him into a cannibalistic sociopath. When he was finally cut free from the alien suit, the impact was so severe that Gargan suffered major medical consequences.

The Old Man Logan comic contained a scene where Logan and Hawkeye flee from a rampaging Tyrannosaurus Rex that had bonded to the Venom symbiote. In this post-apocalyptic comic book world, dinosaurs from the Savage Land had been imported to the United States.

One of the dinos just happened to bond with the symbiote, creating a nightmarish creature straight out of a horror film. The chase scene itself was a nod to the T-Rex jeep chase from the original Jurassic Park film, one of the most exciting and nail-biting scenes of the entire franchise.

When Brock was miraculously cured of his cancer, he started a new chapter in his life as a soup kitchen worker. At the same time, the symbiote found him, and when it attempted to leave Mac Gargan's body and reunite with Brock, something strange occurred. instead of bonding to his former partner, Brock's physiology had become caustic to the symbiote, and a new white suit was born.

After defeating Venom, Brock found that his new symbiote is composed of powerful antibodies that can not only detect when others are ill or disease-stricken but also cure them of their ailments. With these strange new abilities, Brock became "Anti-Venom." Feeling deep regret over his darker days, Anti-Venom attempted to live a more heroic life.

In the comic book Deadpool's Secret Wars, there is a scene that potentially reveals the origins of the symbiote's unhinged personality, and it may have been the Merc with a Mouth. According to the story, Deadpool actually wore the symbiote for a short while before Spider-Man found it, and the act of bonding with Wade Wilson's totally chaotic and bizarre mind was enough to send the symbiote off the deep end.

If this story were true, it would answer a lot of questions regarding the symbiote's chaotic personality. However, like all Deadpool stories, it's wise to take it with a grain of salt, as readers can never be quite sure just what is canon, and what is not.

This version of Venom was far closer to his Spider-Man counterpart than Eddie Brock was to Peter Parker. Both Miguel O'Hara and Kron Stone were half-brothers, linked by their father Tyler Stone, and as such, share a much more tumultuous history. Kron was a persistent antagonist, making him a perfect fit for the Venom symbiote.

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After ordering a hit on Jake Gallows' family, Kron was stalked and attacked by the former, then left for dead in a sewer. He ended up bonding with the Venom symbiote, which had mutated throughout the decades, granting Kron such abilities as acidic blood and spit, similar to that of the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise.

Mania was the fusion of a cloned Venom symbiote to that of Andi Benton, a high schooler who got caught up in an altercation between Flash Thompson (Anti-Venom) and the Jack O'Lantern. Flash used a portion of his Venom symbiote to shield Andi from a poisonous gas attack, but it ended up bonding to her body, instead.

In addition to gaining the powers of the symbiote, Mania also possessed the hell-mark, which was granted to Anti-Venom during a battle against Blackheart in Las Vegas. The symbiote acted as the bearer for the hell-mark, giving both it and Andi the ability to influence Mephisto's demon hordes.

Lee Price is a former Army Ranger who suffered a violent mine explosion that killed several members of his squad and cost him two fingers. Lee was discharged, but his disability benefits never came through. Unable to find employment, and about to be evicted from his apartment, Lee became a criminal. It was then that he crossed paths with the symbiote, which was searching for a new host.

Inspired by a life of heroism after bonding with Flash Thompson, the symbiote wanted to continue down that path, but Price had other ideas. He overpowered the symbiote's protests, slaughtering every member of Tombstone's gang, and decided to use the symbiote as a tool for his new life as a career criminal. It's the inverse of the original Venom, where Brock wished to do good, and the symbiote wanted to embrace darker impulses.

Daniel Way's 2003 Venom series brought out an entirely new take on the symbiote, inspired by John Carpenter's classic horror movie The Thing. Here, the symbiote totally destroys any person whom it becomes bonded to, making it the focus, rather than the humans. The story began in the Arctic Circle, where a U.S. Army Communications Specialist named Patricia Robertson headed up to an arctic outpost founded by the Ararat Corporation.

There, she found out that the entire research team had been violently killed by their own invention - a clone of the Venom symbiote. Robertson herself eventually ended up bonding with the symbiote. The series ran for 18 issues, creating one of the most horror-influenced takes on Venom to date.

While Venom has traditionally always been represented as an extraterrestrial, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley came up with a new take on the symbiote when they recreated the story within the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man. Here, the symbiote wasn't an alien at all, but a cure for cancer - the last great invention of both Richard Parker and his best friend and partner Edward Brock, Sr.

This new approach added a personal twist to the standard Venom tale, with both Peter and Eddie Jr. being long-lost childhood friends who reunite to work on the cancer suit project again. When Peter donned the suit as Spider-Man before casting it aside, Eddie took matters into his own hands, becoming Venom, and forever destroying the friendship that both he and Parker had cultivated.

Director Sam Raimi originally intended to feature the Green Goblin, Sandman, and the Vulture in the third Spider-Man film, but the latter was dropped in favor of Venom, with mixed results. Many fans felt that the black symbiote suit was a great way to showcase Peter's darker side, and the ramifications that followed, but felt a full-fledged Venom confrontation would better fit a fourth Spider-Man film.

Still, the version depicted on-screen lined up fairly close with the Venom from the comics and showed the potential for the character on film. Topher Grace was a serious miscast, given Eddie Brock's penchant for weightlifting and physical strength. It was simply a case of too many misses in what could have been a dynamite third-act film. Still, he did partake in a battle featuring one of the best locations of the entire Spider-Man franchise.

Set 35 years in the future, Spider-Man: Reign imagined a New York City controlled by the authoritarian dictator "Mayor" Waters, where the government clamps down on all rebellious and criminal activity through a military police force called the Reign. In this timeline, Peter Parker had retired from the superhero business for many years, ever since Mary Jane died.

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Edward Saks, a man who is himself little more than an unconscious host/victim of the still-living Venom symbiote, had been the real force ruling New York since Spider-Man's disappearance. In the story's grand finale, Spidey rises from the ashes to overthrow the oppressive regime, and climbs all the way to the top, only to find himself face-to-face with Venom. When they confront each other, the symbiote is not only filled with rage but also sorrow, grief, and loneliness over the fact that Peter abandoned it.

Agent Venom was Peter Parker's old childhood bully, Flash Thompson, a guy who ironically thought Spider-Man was cool, and looked up to him. After graduating high school, Flash ended up joining the army. His time overseas ends in tragedy, however, with both of his legs getting blown off. Meanwhile, the separated Venom symbiote came into the possession of the US military, and they wanted to use it as a weapon.

Due to his combat experience, Flash is selected to become "Agent Venom," and perform special ops missions. The symbiote generated bio-mass to recreate his legs, in addition to endowing him with powerful abilities. However, Flash was under strict requirements that he could only bond with the symbiote for 48 hours at a time, in order to prevent it from taking control of his mind. The character quickly became one of the most popular Venoms in the 2010s comic book run.

Brock's lover Anne Weying finally called it quits after his own unethical reporting got him fired, and all he could do was rant and rave about it being Spider-Man's fault. Years later, she ended up getting shot by a new Sin Eater with a fundamental religious creed, and the wounds would prove fatal.

In a desperate attempt to save her life, Eddie told the symbiote to bond with her and keep her alive. Unfortunately, the symbiote also used Anne as a host, turning her into a female version of Venom with the same basic physical characteristics. This character would receive a nod in the first Venom film, released in 2018.

From the pages of What If? (Vol. 2) #44 came this version of Venom, which had merged with Frank Castle, rather than Eddie Brock. The result was an anti-hero far more lethal than Brock's version of Venom, as Castle held no regrets when it came to killing criminals and anyone else he believed was worthy of execution.

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At first, the symbiote tried to permanently take over his body, and Castle threatened to commit suicide rather than allow that to happen. The creature relented, and the two came together to become a much more powerful punisher, complete with his skull insignia in place of the traditional spider branding.

Logan himself was bonded to a symbiote drawn directly from the Grendel variant, which was uncovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. for use in its Sym-Soldier Program back in the 1960s. The symbiote in question was codenamed "Tyrannosaurus," and originally bonded to a soldier named Rex Strickland.

The symbiote was under the control of the God known as Knull, who influenced all symbiotes in the universe. It managed to break free from his control after bonding with Logan and experiencing his heroism. It would later assume the form of Rex Strickland, becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in opposition to Knull.

The 1990s Spider-Man cartoon is still widely regarded as the best animated take on the series, and for good reason. It stayed true to the classic comic books while putting its own spin on the stories, creating something new and fresh in the process. Venom was no exception, sporting an origin story that worked well for the character.

In this adaptation, the Venom symbiote arrives on Earth via a space shuttle piloted by J. Jonah Jameson's son John, which would, in turn, be adapted into the 2018 Venom film. It followed the same basic story revolving around the feud between Spider-Man and Eddie Brock, with a few alterations. It was the first time Venom had debuted in anything except the pages of a comic book, and it was well-received by fans.

Venom was brought to movie theaters in standalone form in 2018, despite the overwhelming popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, which just happened to include Spider-Man in the mix. The film offered a new origin story for the character that focused specifically on the symbiote coming from space, which was a direct parallel of his Spider-Man animated series debut.

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This Venom would never encounter Spider-Man, nor would Eddie Brock. Still, the character managed to stay relatively true to the comic book source material, especially in terms of physicality. The movie managed to win over fans of the comics, while successfully starting its own pocket universe franchise, complete with a sequel in 2021.

Though technically not Venom per se, Peter Parker was the original host for the black symbiote costume and would have gone down the same path if the creature had its way. Thankfully, Parker managed to discard the creature before it completely overwhelmed him, and turned him into a murderer.

Still, his time donning the black suit gave Spider-Man an incredible range of abilities, from vastly improved super strength to greater agility, enhanced senses, and organic webbing. It's still fascinating to ponder what might have happened to Parker, had he stayed with the symbiote long term.

When people think of Venom, they're probably thinking about the original. As soon as Peter Parker ditched the alien symbiote, it crossed paths with Eddie Brock, who blamed Spider-Man for the fall of his career. In truth, it was Brock's own malfeasance and irresponsibility that had led to his own downfall, but he stubbornly refused to own up to it.

Ever since his first full appearance as the jaw-dropping cliffhanger at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #299, Eddie Brock's Venom has been the wall-crawler's single-most popular villain. He's the nightmarish mirror image of Spider-Man - a foe that dampens his spidey sense, slings much stronger webbing, and has greater physical strength. Nevertheless, he is still one of the most heroic hosts for the Venom symbiote in the character's history.

NEXT: Spider-Man: 10 Best Comic Issues Of The 2000s



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