Originally a Spider-Man villain who rapidly climbed the ladder of popularity, Venom is one of Marvel’s best anti-heroes. A symbiote alien from the planet Klyntar, Venom is a complex being who initially came to Earth after clinging onto Spider-Man during the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars events in 1985.
Over his thirty years of existence, Venom has evolved from a serious villain to an anti-hero and has shown superhero capabilities over the years. With the latest Venom run making him one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe, now is a great time to reflect on the most remarkable stories that got him to this point.
10 The Bride Of Venom Introduced Anne Weying
Portrayed by Michelle Williams in the Columbia Pictures films, Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Anne Weying is the ex-wife of Eddie Brock. First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #375, Anne played a critical role in Venom abandoning his life of villainy to become an anti-hero. In the storyline “The Bride of Venom,” Anne witnesses what her ex-husband of her has become for the first time: a violent and irrational killer.
Stopping Venom from landing a critical blow on Spider-Man, Anne begs Venom to spare Spider-Man after pointing out how he once saved her. Instantly stopping his fight with Spider-Man, Eddie realizes killing Spider-Man would doom all the innocent people he could potentially save. This event marked one of the first occasions Venom showed potential for reform.
9 Dark Origin Retold Venom’s Debut Story
A retelling of the events that led to the debut of Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #300, Venom: Dark Origin added more weight to the bonding of Eddie Brock and Venom. Presenting a more refined version of Eddie Brock, Venom: Dark Origin made Eddie Brock’s fall into a life of crime even darker than before. Almost driven to suicide after his wife files for divorce in the story, Eddie goes to a nearby chapel to ask for forgiveness.
Confessing to a priest that his only desire is to kill Spider-Man, a black, teardrop-shaped goo oozes out from a statue and lands on Eddie. Screaming out in fear as the goo (now clearly a symbiote) expands across his body, Eddie’s mind fills with visions of Spider-Man in the first Secret Wars. Realizing they both want to kill Spider-Man, Eddie and Venom bond into one and set out for mutual revenge.
8 Venom Fans Praise The Hunger
A five-issue story arc that occurred in the first five issues of Spectacular Spider-Man Volume 2, “The Hunger” is a storyline revered by Venom fans for putting the character back on track. After some odd treatment throughout the early 2000s, Venom became a goofy character readers no longer took seriously.
Adding an original detail to the origin of Venom, “The Hunger” explains how Eddie Brock was dying of terminal cancer and bonding to Venom kept him alive. This detail and the return of Venom’s presentation of him as a horror character put his mythos back on a sensible scale where he belonged.
7 Venom Made His Solo Debut In The Lethal Protector
The first Venom solo series, Venom: The Lethal Protector, gave fans their first taste of Venom as a full-fledged anti-hero. Shortly after the events of “The Bride of Venom,” the storyline starts with a mugger cornering a woman in an ally. Before the mugger can act, Venom appears above him and forces his tendrils into the mugger’s mouth and nose, suffocating him to death.
Letting the woman go free, Eddie tells Venom that abandoning desires for revenge against Spider-Man was the right move. The comic also introduced numerous other symbiotes, like Scream, Agony, and Riot.
6 Planet Of The Symbiotes Expanded Venom Lore
A crossover event spanning four separate titles, “Planet of the Symbiotes” is a five-issue storyline that massively expands the lore behind Venom’s origins. When the Venom symbiote first attached itself to Spider-Man during the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars event, the symbiote’s presence was vaguely explained as an alien substance with very little detail.
“Planet of the Symbiotes” revealed numerous bits of information, including how Venom was from a planet populated entirely by other symbiotes. The comic also explains how Venom is somewhat of an aberration among his people from him, as he does n’t want to dominate his hosts from him; he wants to bond with them.
5 King In Black Made Venom A God
A massive Marvel Comics event that spanned numerous titles, king in black placed Venom at the center of a worldwide conflict with the elder god of Darkness, Knull. A culmination of the thirty-year history of Venom, the story centers around Venom and other significant Marvel heroes as Knull, while being assisted by his cult of followers of him, launches an epic-scale invasion of Earth.
On top of introducing one of the most powerful villains in Marvel in the form of Knull, king in black made Venom one of the most powerful heroes in Marvel. In fact, in the story’s final chapters, Venom leads an all-star Avengers roster against Knull in an epic final battle.
4 Venom Made His Official Debut In Amazing Spider-Man 300
A landmark comic in Spider-Man history, Amazing Spider-Man #300 isn’t just special because of the number; the comic also served as the first official appearance of Venom. Though Eddie Brock and the symbiote first appeared separately in the mid-1980s, it wasn’t until 1988 the two bonded and officially created the iconic villain.
In the comic, Spider-Man returns home to find Mary Jane in a panic. Mary Jane tells Peter that someone in a Spider-Man suit with massive teeth growing from her mouth broke into their home. Eventually revealing himself to be Venom, Eddie Brock explains to Spider-Man that he intends to kill him for ruining his life as a reporter.
3 Venom Got The Multiverse Treatment With Venomverse
A five-issue series that served as the debut for over twenty alternate versions of famous Marvel characters, Venomverse greatly expanded the symbiote mythos. A multiverse story, the comic centers around Venom being recruited into a multiversal conflict with the Poisons – an alien race that consumes symbiotes and their hosts.
Depicting Venom joining a team of symbiote versions of Marvel heroes, the comic acts as an exciting look into how a symbiote would act once bonded with different characters. With the multiverse being a popular theme in Marvel, fans of the MCU’s current multiverse saga should read this comic.
two Agent Venom Introduced A New Host
A noteworthy moment in Venom’s history, Venom Volume 2 served as the solo debut of Venom’s new host, Flash Thompson, who was a childhood friend of Peter Parker. Taking the name of Agent Venom as a reference to his military history from him, Flash regained the ability to walk after bonding with Venom and became a street-level vigilante and ally of Spider-Man.
With Venom finding a new host, the series found a way to develop the heroic side of the Venom symbiote without making significant alterations to the characterization of Eddie Brock. Though the change was initially met with skepticism from fans, Flash Thompson eventually became so popular he was given a new identity in the form of Agent Anti-Venom when Eddie Brock returned and rebonded with Venom.
1 Eddie And Venom Were Separated In Separation Anxiety
A four-issue mini-series that saw Venom and Eddie split up from one another, Separation Anxiety is a significant storyline in Venom’s history. The comic centers around Eddie Brock shortly after being separated from Venom, but it also helped to develop other symbiotes like Scream, Agony, and Phage.
In the story, Eddie is taken to a mysterious containment facility in New Mexico. Soon after his arrival, the facility is attacked by five of Venom’s children, who quickly kill all the guards and take Eddie into their possession. After kidnapping him, the symbiotes reveal to Eddie they have a plan to reunite him with Venom, who’s been taken to a facility for experiments in upstate New York.
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