Supervillain Origins: Venom

Written by Craig Butler They say clothes make the man – but Venom takes things a little too far. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Venom. As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1984’s Amazing Spider-Man #258 and 1985’s Web of Spider-Man #1 and which was expanded upon in 1988’s Amazing Spider-Man #300, 1995’s Venom Super-Special #1, 2009’s Venom: Dark Origin #1, and 2016’s Venom Space Knight #8 and 12. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Supervillain Origin: Venom

They say clothes make the man – but Venom takes things a little too far. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Venom.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1984’s Amazing Spider-Man #258 and 1985’s Web of Spider-Man #1 and which was expanded upon in 1988’s Amazing Spider-Man #300, 1995’s Venom Super-Special #1, 2009’s Venom: Dark Origin #1, and 2016’s Venom Space Knight #8 and 12.

Venom is one of Marvel’s more difficult-to-classify characters: sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, , sometimes Eddie Brock, sometimes not, but always a force of nature. Venom refers both to the black symbiote - an alien with the ability to bond to a host - as well as its most common host, Eddie Brock, though the Venom Symbiote has bonded with other characters since it was introduced in the mid-80s. To simplify, we’ll refer to the alien without a host as The Venom Symbiote, and as Venom whenever it’s bonded with Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, Mac Gargan, or anyone else who’s been Venom over the years. The Venom Symbiote offers its host enhanced abilities but fundamentally changes their personality and over time can suck the life out of them.

Curiously, this bizarrely fascinating character started out as nothing more than a flashy new costume for Spider-Man. During 1984’s Secret Wars crossover, Spider-Man’s suit got damaged and he soon found himself wearing a new and strange Alien Costume that had forced itself onto him.

Actually, if Deadpool is to be believed – he got the symbiote first when he repaired his costume during the Secret Wars. But things didn’t work out, so the symbiote then got passed on to the web-slinger. Whatever the case, Spider-Man eventually found out that his costume was really an alien life form that wanted to permanently bond with him. Using sonic waves from a bell tower, he forced the symbiote to flee. But wouldn’t you know it? The Venom Symbiote had developed a fondness for the Webhead and gave up its life to save him.

Or not. Because The Venom Symbiote eventually found another host, a former journalist named Eddie Brock who blamed Spider-Man for his fall from grace.

Having been rejected by Peter, the symbiote too felt some resentment for Spidey. So when Brock and the symbiote got together, they became a killing machine hell-bent on destroying the Wall Crawler for good. Eddie Brock as Venom has been a formidable foe for Spider-Man ever since.

The Venom Symbiote took on a number of hosts through the years, and as it did, more of its backstory emerged. For example, The Venom Symbiote was just one of an entire race of symbiotes. These strange alien beings traveled the universe, seeking new lifeforms to bond with. When they started out, they lived on a cold and cruel world in which survival of the fittest was the rule of the land. They bonded with smaller creatures, which enabled them to protect themselves from bigger predators. In their own way, these symbiotes were protectors, giving weaker creatures the means to survive.

Yet through the centuries, many seemed to have lost sight of that noble goal. They were essentially born without their own emotions and became addicted to the feelings of their hosts. So rather than helping them become stronger, they took to feeding on their hosts until they died – and then moving on to the next victim. The Venom Symbiote, in fact, was rejected by its race and outcast to Batttleworld – the planet that Spider-Man first bonded with it - because it wanted to permanently bond with its host instead of sucking it dry it and moving on. When it bonded with Eddie Brock to form Venom and attacked Spider-Man, the symbiote saw this as heroic, as it was simply helping its host defeat his tormentor.

Readers eventually learned that The Venom Symbiote’s first host had been an evil being who destroyed his entire world and everyone on it. After that, it tried to be a force for good, despite being influenced by the rage and destructive nature of its first host.

When Flash Thompson became Venom, he was able to help the symbiote cleanse itself of the destructive influence of previous hosts.

After losing his legs in the Iraq War, Flash voluntarily decided to bond with the Venom Symbiote and work as a military agent, giving him the ability to walk again. Though he can only stay bonded with the symbiote for up to 48 hours before it starts to form a permanent bond, Flash Thompson as Venom is a force for good in the universe, and puts those symbiote superpowers to good use as Agent Venom.

Venom has become an important part of the Marvel Universe, and has been featured in other media outside of the comics, with some portrayals being better than others.

Venom will be the star of his own film when Tom Hardy brings him back to the big screen in 2018.
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