Klyntar
Symbiote
Venom vs. carnage.jpg
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
Characteristics
Place of originGorr's unnamed planet; later moved to Klyntar
PantheonKnull
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 are able to alter their hosts' personalities and/or memories by influencing their darkest desires, along with amplifying their physical and emotional traits and personality and thereby 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 in the 2007 film Spider-Man 3, and as the titular protagonist of the 2018 film Venom. Carnage also made its cinematic debut in the film Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021).

Publication history

The first appearance 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 his first encounter with it). The concept was created by a Marvel Comics reader;[1] the publisher purchased the idea for $220. The original design was then modified by Mike Zeck, at which point it became the Venom symbiote. The concept would be explored and used throughout multiple storylines, spin-off comics, and derivative projects. [2]

Depictional

Fictional history

The cover of Secret Wars #8, which details Spider-Man's first encounter with the black costume. Pencil art by Mike Zeck.
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" was being touched, retaliated by constructing All-Black, the first symbiote, and subsequently cut off a Celestial's head. The other Celestials then banished Knull, along with the severed Celestial head, deeper into space. After that, he started using the head's cosmic energies as a forge for the symbiotes, which is how they developed the weaknesses to 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] During a battling with the gods, 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, which he used to conquer planets and destroy entire civilizations, establishing the Symbiote Imperium in the process. 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, from which derived the name of their species. 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 traits, turning them into destructive parasites that 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 of 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 hatred 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 made 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 wanted to replicate the Skrull's shapeshifting abilities; they acquired a newborn symbiote which had been outcast from its species 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 that he could have full control over it. He infiltrated the Skrulls using the symbiote's shapeshifting ability, but was discovered. He deleted the symbiote's memories and separated himself from it.[14] The symbiote then reunited with the parasitic symbiotes, 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] There, it would be encountered by Spider-Man in the 1984 miniseries Secret Wars. In that story, which saw the heroes of Earth transported to this planet 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 inside 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 and took on the form of a black version of his costume that could respond to his mental commands. 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, despondent and vengeful after his journalism career was destroyed because he incorrectly identified the serial killer known as Sin-Eater as a man who later turned out to be a compulsive confessor; he blamed this turn of events on Spider-Man. Having bonded with the symbiote, the two became the being known as Venom.[18] During this time, it spawned seven offspring and a clone; its first child later had three of its own, producing the symbiotes known as Carnage, Scream, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Riot.[citation needed]

Main articles: Venom: Separation Anxiety and Planet of the Symbiotes

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 which results in the symbiotes committing suicide.

While 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] Venom's first child, the Carnage symbiote, is as psychotic as its host, Cletus Kasady, and the Venom suit's explosiveness worsened after bonding with Angelo Fortunato and Mac Gargan, both of whom are career criminals. Likewise, the various symbiotes bonded to heroes are not shown to be as twisted, though they do 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 and her unborn child, in order to expand the symbiote Imperium. However, Spider-Man, bonded to a second symbiote, defeats the symbiotes with help from his class at Jean Grey's School.[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 be used 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. It is subsequently stopped by the combined efforts of Venom and Spider-Man (Miles Morales),[25] and is later incinerated by Eddie, denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar.[26]

After some months, a cult had gotten hold of Cletus's damaged body 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 acquired Scorn's remnants by killing her. When Cletus came in contact with Knull, he got a new purpose: to free Knull. The only way left to do this was to acquire 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 into 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. After 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]

Culture

The symbiotes, when they were originally created, were used as tools by Knull in order to conquer the universe. 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, symbiotes bonded to benevolent hosts, forming noble warriors who try to maintain peace across the universe. However, some symbiotes were corrupted by malevolent hosts, turning them back into monsters and reestablishing the symbiote Imperium first formed by Knull; these symbiotes were cut from the Klyntar hive mind. The symbiote Imperium would conquer planets and infect their inhabitants in order to drain and consume them.

The symbiotes in general don't have an actual culture. As seen with Venom and Carnage, the symbiote's personality and psychology depends largely on the host's nature, as the link between the host and the symbiote is what gives the symbiote a purpose 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 engaging in gruesome self-inflicted pain rituals in order to remember their past lives.[32]

Biology

The symbiote bonding with a host, which it needs to survive
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 record the genetic material of each of their hosts in a genetic codex. They also empower a host's natural abilities to the point that they far exceed that of normal members of the host's species. These abilities include the following:

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:

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

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) Peter Parker 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]
Eddie Brock
Flash Thompson (Agent Venom)
Dylan Brock
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 was separated from Carnage and Norman Osborn was 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 toy line also featured a four-armed symbiote named Riot, which 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 the Venom: Along Came A Spider toy line.[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 be killed by a powerless Eddie Brock, when the latter was eliminating the "evil" of the symbiotes from the Earth.

Lasher
Phage
Agony
Riot
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 were 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 came to be known as the Mercury Team. While on another rampage, Carnage killed the Mercury Team without their symbiotes.[101] The four symbiotes temporarily bonded 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 it became something of a mentee of Spider-Man. It was later forcibly bonded to Eddie Brock by the Crime Master sometime after Patrick was beaten to death by Blackheart.[100]
Eddie Brock
Bren Waters
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 the ability to produce antibodies that can cure any known disease and remove any other impurities within a human body. 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 colors.
Flash Thompson (Agent Anti-Venom)
Mania Venom #31 (April 2013) Patricia Robertson (Venom) First introduced in Venom #1. When Venom was fighting The Thing, his tongue was cut off. The tongue was subsequently 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 was then bonded to Patricia Robertson and became the second She-Venom, but she was defeated by Eddie and the clone was absorbed into Venom. Eugene Thompson's neighbor in Philadelphia, Andy, bonded with the clone to save her from Jack O'Lantern. In "Venom Inc", Lee Price, who was bonded to Venom, stole the Mania symbiote and became 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.
Andi Benton (Mania)
Lee Price (Maniac)
Knull Venom #3 (August 2018) No host. A primordial god of darkness who 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 while embarking on his deicidal crusade. While stranded on Gorr's desolate world, Knull discovered he could infect "lesser creatures" with the living abyss, creating the symbiotes in order to conquer the universe. He is considered to be the God of the symbiotes and is also the unidentified entity seen in Thor: God of Thunder #6.
Sleeper Venom: First Host #3 (September 2018) Various First introduced in Venom #165, it is revealed that one seed inside Venom had remained after the Life Foundation extracted the seeds of Scream, Phage, Lasher, Agony and Riot. Venom, after having been "purified", wanted to keep his new offspring safe from people who would use it for nefarious purposes, and wanted to make it a hero like itself instead of another evil symbiote like Carnage. He gave birth to it in Alchemax. After the Venom symbiote was stolen by its first host, Tel-Kar, the offspring bonded to Eddie so that they could 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 return to Earth with Venom, 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. Brock was dismayed by this, but Sleeper bid him farewell and set out to explore the cosmos.

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, who bonded with Rune and tried to frame Venom for murdering 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 was bonded to a scientist who drove him mad and went on a destructive rampage across the 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), he was outraged after finding out she was using the Scorpion name and attacked her. However, Carmilla used her stinger to create a neo-symbiote from Venom's webbing, which proved to be harmful to the Venom symbiote. In the end, the symbiote died because Camilla's body was too toxic to sustain it.
Exolon Annihilation: Conquest: Wraith #2 (October 2007) The Exolon – created by Knull[104] – are parasites which feed on the souls of living creatures. These parasites infected some Kree explorers, turning them into the Nameless and inhabiting The Exoteric Latitude thousands of years ago. Zak-Del is eventually 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 accidentally spread into New York and bonded to various civilians, as well as heroes such as Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye and 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) It 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 did not bother to ask permission from or care to know his host. After being experimented and tamed, it bonded to Raza Longknife and became a Praetorian Guard. Then the Nova Corps captured and surgically removed it 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 developed the ability to 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 was corrupted by the symbiote and continues the "God killing spree" started by Knull, becoming 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. In King Thor's timeline, King Thor used it to stop Galactus from consuming Earth. Then the All-Black bonded to an injured Galactus, who became 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 was destroyed by this timeline's Loki, who is disguised as a worm. Loki took the Necrosword and became Loki the All-Butcher.
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 symbiote's 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 returned 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 out by symbiotes to act as champions, dedicated to protecting those in need and capable of maintaining peace across the universe. Flash Thompson was formerly a member of this organization when he possessed 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 that 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 enhanced her telepathic abilities and allowed them to become more powerful when she got 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 were captured by 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 that ensued, the X-Men accidentally became 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 destroyed 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 them. 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; the others started killing everyone. Fury – as a Life Model Decoy and with the help of Logan, who briefly bonded to the removed symbiote in the fight – captured the symbiote-infected soldiers, except the one removed symbiote, nicknamed Tyrannosaurus, who escaped Knull's control and took the form of its original human host - the original host was consumed during the action.

The Tyrannosaurus symbiote, after escaping Knull's control thanks to Logan, saw how beautiful the light was and wanted show its friends. With the appearance of its host Rex, it started working for S.H.I.E.L.D., escaping everyone's notice. It worked there for years until Secret Empire, when S.H.I.E.L.D. was dismantled. It then asked Eddie to free its friends. Unfortunately the symbiotes were 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 weakened the dragon with sonic bombs. Then it ordered Eddie to put them inside the furnace and burn them, denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar. Their codexes are eventually retrieved by Maker and are later stolen by Scorn's cult, who implant them into Cletus, reviving him.

Tyrannosaurus
N'Jadaka Black Panther Vol. 7 #4 (September 2018) 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. While exploring a planet, they were attacked by the Between. He and his men were trying to survive when he encountered a symbiote. He bonded to the symbiote because they hated the current Wakandan Emperor who had sent N'Jadaka to be killed, because he had rendered the symbiotes an endangered species. With its power, he killed the Shadow People and the Emperor and became the new ruler of Wakanda. He and the symbiote then 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 were approached by one of Malekith's War Witches. She gave Eddie one of the Dark Elves' Dreamstones, in the hope 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 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, reanimating 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 and 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.
Bedlam Venom Vol. 5 #1 (November, 2021)

Other versions

Further information: Alternative versions of Venom

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., who were hoping to develop a protoplasmic cure for severe illnesses. Bolivar Trask, who was funding the research, intended to weaponize it. It used Richard's DNA as the starting base; 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, and temporarily blinds 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; if bonded with an incompatible host, it 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 and allows it to 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, giving him a greater ability to talk and adorning him with a spider symbol on his chest.

Venom's only known weakness is electricity. 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 that in the video game Ultimate Spider-Man, when Electro electrocutes Venom during a cutscene, the suit is not affected by the shock like it was by the live power-line in the "Venom" arc. The suit can take the Shocker's vibro-shocks, and can protect its host from a bullet, which feels like 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. The original Spider-Man (Peter Parker) was able to control the suit to a greater extent than anyone else 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, its only aim to feed on the DNA of others, including that of 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]

Spider-Gwen

In Spider-Gwen's universe, Dr. Elsa Brock creates a cure to Harry Osborn's Lizard DNA by using Spider-Gwen's radioactive isotopes, given to her by S.I.L.K. Leader Cindy Moon. When Gwen injects the isotopes into Harry, the Lizard serum combines with the Spider isotopes and transforms into Venom. Venom then bonds to Spider-Gwen, which gives her her powers back and she becomes Gwenom. This symbiote, in its natural form, is made up of some spiders working together and is weak to sonic attacks 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 that they obtained from an alien spaceship. They inadvertently 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]

MC2

In the alternate universe of the Marvel Comics 2, or MC2 imprint, Norman Osborn obtained Eddie's blood (he was still bonded to Venom at the time) and extracted the symbiote codex. Norman then 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 awoke the hybrid. When Peter returned to normal, the hybrid, under the alias Mayhem/Spider-Girl, went to live with the Parker family, naming herself April Parker.[111]

In a later timeline, Mayhem accidentally killed the real Spider-Girl and became a murderous vigilante after killing American Dream. The government, in an attempt to stop her, used pieces of the dead Carnage symbiote (after it had been killed by Mayday) to create living weapons dubbed Bio-Predators. The Bio-preds ran wild, decimating the world and its defenders. Mayhem, seeing the error of her ways, went back in time and sacrificed 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]

"Spider-Verse"

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, was created by Oscorp and was worn by the Thunderbolt Department, the police and fire department of President Osborn, so that he could have full control over the city. However, they are all subsequently defeated by Spider-Punk using his guitar.[113]

"Spider-Geddon"

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 and 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 is able to defeat VEN#m, she is 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 digs up the grave of Gwen Stacy instead. 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 likes his classic suit more, so he gets 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. Synoptics are parasites that can control organic beings via touch. Venom and Carnage, who act as double agents to the High Evolutionary, are 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 destroys all of its spawn (although it kills Reed before its defeat). [124]

In other media

Main articles: Venom in other media and Carnage in other media

Television

Film

Sam Raimi film series

Main article: Spider-Man (2002 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 becomes 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
Venom Symbiote shown in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 alternate final trailer

Main article: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 film series)

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 is 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

Sony's Spider-Man Universe

Main article: Venom (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. It was released on October 5, 2018, with Tom Hardy portraying Eddie Brock and the title character. The film is separate from the MCU; it is set within its own continuity with no connections to the Spider-Man character, making it the first film in the Sony's Spider-Man Universe. Riot appears as the film's main antagonist, portrayed by Riz Ahmed.[131] A blue symbiote designated SYM-A02 and a yellow symbiote designated SYM-A03 also have minor appearances.[132] The 2021 sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage featured Cletus Kasady / Carnage portrayed by Woody Harrelson as the main titular antagonist.[133]

Video games

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

Attractions

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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