Look back on the history of Venom ahead of the new crossover event!
On December 6, Spider-Man, Eddie Brock, and Flash Thompson reunite with the one foe (or friend?) they all share in common: the Venom symbiote!
But before the symbiote dance party starts, take a retrospective look at some other stories starring the mighty ectoparasites and the hosts they bonded with.
Brand New Threads
The first—and perhaps most famous—symbiote debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252, when Spider-Man came back from the first Secret Wars sporting a new black costume. And readers soon learned that the suit represented Parker’s bond with an alien creature. Their relationship turned sour as it changed Spidey’s personality and became a bit clingy, so with the help of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man managed to ditch the suit…though not for long.
Birth of Venom
Rejected by Parker, the symbiote went on to find a new host—Eddie Brock. The former journalist, who begrudged Spider-Man for debunking a story he once wrote, became corrupted by the alien being. The ill-will he felt for the Wall-Crawler combined with his newfound superhuman abilities, giving Spider-Man a major new villain—with an immunity to his spider-sense!
While Venom proved to be a thorn in Spidey’s side, Brock maintained some semblance of morality, unlike the second major symbiotic player: Carnage. When the symbiote asexually reproduced in Brock’s jail cell, its “child” bonded with his cellmate, Cletus Kasady, creating the remorseless villain. Unlike Brock, Carnage had zero interest in being a hero, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake and wreaking havoc on both Spider-Man and Venom.
The Life Foundation
The Life Foundation, a group that believed the Cold War would end in total mutual destruction, created a fallout shelter for the wealthy to live on in the event of nuclear war. Policing the shelter were five Venom clones: Agony, Lasher, Riot, Phage, and Scream. Venom and Spider-Man teamed-up to stop them as Brock became a “Lethal Protector” of the homeless population of San Francisco. Eventually, Scream killed the other four, whose remnants joined with a vault guard named Scott Washington to create a new symbiote hero called Hybrid.
Venom and Spider-Man joined forces again as Kasady returned to unleash Carnage on New York City. This 14-part series featured a slew of heroes and villains, including Black Cat, Captain America, Morbius, Cloak and Dagger, Iron Fist, Firestar, Doppelganger, Carrion, and the debuting Shriek!
While Brock and the symbiote’s on again, off again relationship led to further villainy and anti-hero shenanigans—and the creation of characters like She-Venom, Toxin, and Anti-Venom—a new host with a longtime connection to Peter Parker took the entity to new heights. Project Rebirth connected Flash Thompson with the symbiote after the former high school bully lost his legs while serving in Iraq. Flash went on to battle the likes of the U-Foes, Kraven, and Jack O’Lantern, and even joined the Secret Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Venom: Space Knight
During his tenure with the Guardians, Flash went into a coma, causing the symbiote to return to its home planet. Three decades after the debut of the black costume, readers finally learned of the true origin and purpose of the symbiotes—an alien race called the Klyntar sought to bond with worthy, noble warriors. Unworthy hosts, like almost everyone they ever found on Earth, have the ability to corrupt them. With this newfound knowledge, Thompson and his Klyntar partner evolved into VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT!
The Price isn’t Right
After returning to Earth, Flash and his symbiote got separated, leading the alien to bond with a new host, a member of the Scorpion’s gang, Lee Price. The new Venom continued his villainous ways when he bonded with the creature, eventually running afoul of Eddie Brock and Spider-Man, who managed to separate the two. Price got sent to jail, but quietly vowed revenge.
Bond with VENOM INC. ALPHA #1, by Dan Slott, Mike Costa, and Ryan Stegman, on December 6!