With everyone getting excited and ready for the new Venom film, which is set to release in theaters later this year,it's about time to take a look back at the some of the past incarnations of one of our favorite anti-hero, Venom.
Originally appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man comic series, Venom has become one of the most note-worthy pseudo-antagonists in Spider-Man. This Symbiote has earned his way into the ranks of all-time great villains, appearing shown in many different comics and TV series. With the ability to take over just about any host and cause trouble for the heroes, Venom is nothing to be trifled with. The Venom Symbiote especially likes to take over more powerful hosts, amplifying their abilities to new extremes. Though not all versions of this villain are created equal, some of them are far weaker than the powerful original. Others, on the other hand, get their own series or have an important role inside individual runs. For as cool as Venom is in general, there are some real duds in his portfolio of appearances. Here we will be ranking the different versions of the antagonist, starting with his worst variant, all the way to his very best.
20 Spider-Man 3
2007's Spider-Man 3 was quite possibly the worst of any of the Spider-Man films. And, tragically, it has the very worst version of Venom. it did not do him any favors as much as it did anyone at all.
Taking a glass-half-full approach, this version of the character is basically responsible for some of the best (read: worst) scenes with Peter Parker. Namely, the emo version of the hero that's hard to cringe seeing portrayed on-screen. Though this version of Spider-man is not known as 'Venom' the symbiote was responsible for this behavior, at least in part.
19 Agent Venom
In his high-school days, Eugene "Flash" Thompson gave Peter Parker a hard time. Eventually, Thompson coped to being a huge Spider-Man fan (though he had no idea that Peter was the man behind the mask). Eventually, the tables turned and Peter could not be picked on anymore, considering his new spidey powers.
While still in college, Flash joined the army and went on to fight in the war. He ends up losing both his legs and even later is offered a chance to try and bond with the Venom symbiote as an alternative. It worked.
18 Ninja Venom
In the manga universe version of Marvel, Venom is a ninja, his mother was May Parker, and his father was a man named Shinji. Both of his parents were ninjas of Spider Clan. Though this Venom became a bad guy when he joined Shadow Clan, as well as Kuji Kuri, a group of villains. He later tried to have his own redemption of a sorts — to save his mother. Venom ends up being ended in the process. Well, until he comes back later ... of course.
17 Pork Grind
Pork Grind is the hammier version of Venom, and the natural enemy of his counterpart, Spider-Ham. Pork Grind studied at Toon U, learning the ways of fighting in toon-style, a powerful tool he would need if he hopes to ever defeat the amazing Spider-Ham.
After being recruited to fight Spider-Ham, Pork Grind had to be sent over seas to the United States in order to fight that goody-two-shows of a hog. Of course, this is a parody version of the character, but it's hard not to laugh at the pitch-perfect play on words.
16 Venomsaurus Rex
In Wolverine: Old Man Logan, the world is run by villains. Logan, otherwise known as Wolverine, is the main protagonist.
The T-Rex, of course, is bonded with a Venom Symbiote, making it double the trouble. This seemingly dangerous combination of a T-Rex and Venom ends up not doing a whole lot in the series. Black Bolt without too much trouble at all, which is a shame because the concept is extremely cool — even casual fans can appreciate what a terrific idea matching Venom with a T-Rex is.
15 Big Hulking Venom
When Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. set up a charity to smash an old building down, Spider-Man comes in to stop them, thinking they were just smashing buildings. About as soon as things are set straight, a robot appears and releases some black goo at Skaar, 'Venomizing' him. The Venom, or Gamma Venom, absorbs Skaar's Gamma and becomes more powerful, next it possesses She-Hulk. The Venom abandons the host every time he switches to a new one. Once he has accumulated the Gamma from the four of them, he moves on to possess the Hulk himself.
14 Norman Osborn
Earth-138 is one of many realities in the Marvel Universe. The President of the United States is Norman Osborn, who is also the CEO of Oscorp. This institution created V.E.N.O.M., which stands for Variable Engagement Neuro-Sensitive Organic Mesh. The president, of course, gives the V.E.N.O.M. to his lackeys. Even he himself dons the dark creation. Needless to say, even in this reality, there is a gang of heroes ready to save the day. Fighting for their beliefs, the Spider-Army is a group of punks ready to stand their ground. And Spider-Man is their punk rock leader. Unfortunately for Ozzy and his goonies, their V.E.N.O.M. is just as weak to sound as the Venom we all know and love.
When Flash Thompson's Symbiote becomes unmanageable and out of control, he starts losing control of it. After an incident, he goes to Knowhere to get some answers. When Gamora sees Flash there, she scolds him for abandoning them. This triggers the Symbiote and Flash loses control. The Guardians of the Galaxy have a rough time deciding what to do with the Symbiote, and meanwhile, it breaks itself free and takes over Groot. During his time with the Symbiote, Groot goes on his own little rampage.
12 Venom 2099
Kron Stone is a wicked old man who enjoys seeing others hurt. Which sadly, includes his little half-brother, Miguel O'Hara. After a confrontation, Kron is abandoned in the sewers where he is eventually consumed by Venom — only this time the symbiote has some extra tricks up its sleeve. This includes new powers such as acid blood and spit.
With his new superpowers, Kron seeks to torment his poor brother, Miguel. He does just this by getting rid of Miguel's ex, Dana. As per usual, Spider-Man comes in to save the day, fighting Venom (and eventually winning the battle). Luckily, by the end of the story, Kron and the Symbiote are separated.
In Guardians of the Galaxy (the animated series) The Guardians arrive at Groot's home planet in hopes of reviving it. Eventually, the group is forced to use a bomb —left behind by Thanos— to destroy the planet. Largely, this is because it had become overrun with rampant Venom. Unfortunately, that's not the end of the Symbiotes. After some time, Thor comes in to help deal with the situation.
In a surprising turn of events, Thor gets himself infected, and eventually poisons the World Tree, spreading Symbiote Spores all over Asgard. In the end, Odin uses his magical god powers to rid Asgard of the Symbiotes and all is well.
10 Old Man Logan
And we return to Wolverine: Old Man Logan, the same series as the previously mentioned T-rex, where things have taken a turn for the worst. After a dramatic series of events, Logan finds himself eaten by the Venomized dinosaur, when suddenly the Symbiote changes sides and takes over Logan. Logan escapes the beast and goes after the remaining heroes. After defeating almost everyone in the narrative, a Venomized Captain America appears as the volume draws to a close, setting the stage for a venom-fuelled confrontation.
9 Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, And Venom Rolled Into One
X-23, Ghost Rider, Red Hulk and Venom all meet up to fight Blackheart off. Unfortunately, Blackheart manages to defeat them all. Sending them to the underworld. They manage to get back to earth together and get themselves ready for round two with Blackheart (who now has the Spirit of Vengeance). During the course of their battle, they get tossed from the tower in which they fight. During this time, the Symbiote bonds with Red Hulk, as well as the Spirit of Vengeance. Turning Red Hulk the Ghost Rider into a venom version of themselves — although this upgrade to Red Hulk is temporary. Finally, they defeat Blackheart himself, using his own weapon against him. Everything goes back to normal. Red Hulk returns the Spirit of Vengeance to Alejandra, and the Symbiote back to Flash.
8 Scorpion Venom
After Eddie Brock auctions the Symbiote suit off to the highest bidder, it ends up in the hands of Mac Gargan. Norman Osborn recruited Gargan, and told the Scorpion about Spider-Man. He reveals Peter Parker's identity to him after Spider-Man manged to get Osborn imprisoned. Osborn and Gargan agree that if something were to happen to Osborn, Gargan would take Aunt May hostage. And, of course, he did. While Spider-Man was searching for his dear Aunt, Venoms host, Angelo Fortunato, wound up being betrayed by the Symbiote and perished. Then Venom moved on to find a more worthy host: Mac Gargan.
After Spider-Man rids himself of the Symbiote, it hides out in the church it got dumped in. An old janitor giving the creature candy, marking the first time anyone had ever shown the creature kindness. During this touching moment, the alien space ship of Killer Thrill arrives on the scene.
Eventually, The Symbiote comes to Deadpool's rescue, and the two start acting out the role of a superhero. Eventually, Deadpool winds up calling Spider-Man things like "awesome" which upsets the Symbiote who insists they both hate the web-slinger together. Needless to say, Deadpool doesn't keep the form at the end of the story, but it was a remarkedly cool moment in Venom's career.
Flash Thompson was the substitute gym teacher of Andi Benton. After a series of unfortunate events, Flash tries to save Andi from perishing, but accidentally gives her powers of her own. Andi embraces her new powers with this Symbiote, becoming Mania and exacting her revenge on Ogre Lord. Ogre Lord was, of course, responsible for the tradgedy that befell her father, and Mania is thrilled to have the power to do somethin about it. Mania is a thrilling Venom to watch, as she's an unsuspecting host for the character.
Ann Weying is the ex-wife of Eddie Brock, and a Lawyer. The villain Sin-Eater attacks Ann and leaves her hospitalized. Eddie discovers she was attacked and eventually (after the conflict escalates) he extends the Symbiote to Ann to heal her — except this doesn't work, and he is forced to separate from the Symbiote entirely to cure her. When some thugs attack them, Ann becomes She-Venom to fight them off. She-Venom isn't entirely in control, and Eddie convinces the Symbiote to come back to him. Ann is horrified of what the Symbiote is really like, and what she has done. Still, it was cool while it lasted.
In the What If? comic book series, The Venom Symbiote possessed the Punisher instead of Eddie Brock. Though most versions of Venom have the same basic set of abilities as the original Venom, The Punisher is one of the outliers as it grants him his own new abilities unique to him. These awesome powers include the ability to make fully functional guns from the Symbiote (Ammo included). Oh, and he can even fly — go figure.
3 Ultimate Spider-man
One of the few of the cartoon versions of Venom seen on this list, this one is essentially the same one as the Gamma Venom seen in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. In Ultimate Spider-Man (animated TV series), Doctor Octopus creates the Symbiote from Spider-Man's DNA for Oscorp. This Symbiote mostly shows a desire to destroy, as well as the wish to bond to Spider-Man. Though it does bond to many of the characters in the series, Harry Osborn seems to be the favorite of all its hosts. Once bonded with Harry, the Symbiote no longer has a desire to bond with Spider-Man.
Obviously, this is the cutest Venom seen on this list. Unlike many of the others mentioned in this list, Venom and Spider-Man are rivals. The miniature Venom is Spidey's rival in delivering news-papers — rather than Peter Parker being a photographer and Eddie Brock a journalist. These two are both just paperboys hoping to be the best, certainly better than each other.
He may be cute, but he's still Venom.
The two's shared goal is to deliver the newspapers to the Osborn home. The comic follows Spider-Man and the events that transpire when the Symbiote Venom ruins the spider's day repeatedly in their quest to be the best of the paperboys. In this extra cute and sweet comic, both Spider-Man and Venom are always seen in their super hero and villain forms. Rather than being seen as Peter Parker and Eddie Brock, respectively.
1 The Original
Though there have been many different versions of the villain, nothing beats the original. Back in the 80s, Venom made his debut appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man. The first host the Symbiote took, as far as we know from this comic, was Spider-Man. Although Venom does grant the host additional power, it has an impulsively dangerous tendency to wreck havoc on the world and its inhabitants.
Later in the series, after Spider-Man got rid of the Symbiote. It and Eddie find each other in the church where Spider-Man abandoned the Symbiote previously.