|First appearance||Black Costume, The Amazing Spider-Man #252 , The Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141 Symbiote, The Amazing Spider-Man #258 (May 1984)|
Jim Shooter (Writer)|
Mike Zeck (Artist)
David Michelinie (Writer)
|Inherent abilities||Symbiosis 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 inorganic, amorphous extraterrestrial symbiotes appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Klyntar bond with their hosts, creating a symbiotic bond through which a single entity is created. They also are able to slightly alter their hosts personalities, by influencing their darkest desires and wants, along with amplifying their physical and emotional traits and personality, granting them super-human abilities.
The first appearance(s) 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, with the publisher purchasing the idea for $220. The original design was then modified by Mike Zeck, becoming the Venom symbiote. The concept would be explored and used throughout multiple storylines, spin-off comics, and derivative projects.
- 1 Fictional history
- 2 Powers and abilities
- 3 Weaknesses
- 4 List of symbiotes
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
Symbiotes were originally created by an ancient malevolent primordial deity named Knull. When the Celestials began their vast plan to evolve the universe, Knull retaliated by constructing All-Black, the first symbiote, and embarking on a genocide against the other gods. Crashing on a desolate planet, Knull created an army of symbiotes that he used to conquer planets and devour entire civilizations, establishing in the process the Symbiote Imperium. However, upon Knull's severed connection to the symbiotes, 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, which is their word for "cage". Ashamed of their dark past, the symbiotes of Klyntar 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. However, these altruistic goals were imperfect, as the Klyntar symbiotes could be corrupted by hosts with harmful chemical imbalances or problematic personality attributes, turning them into destructive parasites who would spread lies and disinformation about their own kind in order to make other peoples fear and hate the symbiote species as a whole.
The corrupted Klyntar became more widespread than their benevolent counterparts, establishing a spacefaring culture dedicated to infecting and overtaking whole planets. The corrupted Klyntar forced their hosts to perform death-defying feats in order to feed off of the resulting surges of hormones like adrenaline and phenethylamine. These host beings would die quickly, either because of the wear from constant stress and exertion or as a result of the inherent danger in the stunts performed.
At some point, a symbiote-run planet was devoured by Galactus. Due to their genetic memory, all symbiotes now loathe both Galactus and his former herald, the Silver Surfer. 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.
The Kree wanting to replicate the Skrull's shapeshifting abilities, they got a newborn symbiote which had been outcasted from the other symbiotes. They recruited Tel-Kar to be bonded to the young symbiote. They modified both Tel-Kar and the symbiote so Tel-Kar could have full control over it. He infiltrated into the Skrulls using the symbiote's shapeshifting ability, but got discovered when he stopped some Skrulls from killing some defenseless Kree refugees. He then deleted the symbiote's memories and separated himself from it. The symbiote then got trapped in the ship which landed on a planet that would later become part of Beyonder's Battleworld where it bonded with Spider-Man. Spider-Man returned with the symbiote, where it later bonded with Eddie Brock calling themselves Venom; during this time, it spawned seven children, its first child later having three of its own. The Venom symbiote gradually grew more and more monstrous and psychotic. When bonded to Flash Thompson, who originally struggled to control it, the symbiote developed some slight affection for him. It is later established that the host's mental state affects the symbiote just as much as the other way around, as the Carnage symbiote is as psychotic as its host and the Venom suit's explosiveness got worse after bonding with its two hosts after Brock, both of which were career criminals. Likewise, the various symbiotes bonded to heroes are not shown to be as twisted, though they occasionally struggle with aggression.
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. The abducted symbiotes were later modified by the Poisons so they could use 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.
When the body of Grendel, a dragon-like composite symbiote is discovered on Earth, this reawakens Knull enough to allow him to control the creature before being stopped by the combined efforts of Venom and Spider-Man. And later incinerated by Eddie denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar (his cage).
Powers and abilities
Symbiotes empower a host's natural abilities to the point where they far exceed that of normal members of the host's species. These abilities include the following:
- Superhuman strength (strong enough to lift 50 tons or more), speed, endurance, agility, healing factor, and intelligence.
- Genetic memory, recalling information from previous hosts.
- The ability to negate damage caused by terminal illnesses and permanent injuries. While symbiotes can somewhat heal their hosts, they generally seek to force their hosts to depend on them and thus ensure the symbiotes' survival. For example, Eddie Brock was able to survive indefinitely with terminal cancer, and Scott Washington was able to walk despite being paraplegic. Similarly, Flash Thompson had received "legs" after bonding with the Venom symbiote when he lost his legs in a war.
- Senses that extend over its entire surface, enabling hosts to "see" what is behind or otherwise not in their line of sight.
- Able to change shape and size at will. This ability functions regardless of the host's actual stature and bodily dimensions, as the symbiotes are living tesseracts. This includes expanding to any size as long as they have something to grow on, such as a host or an object. Symbiotes can also get inside of small areas, such as electric wires and the insides of cars to completely disable them. This shapeshifting allows the symbiote to change its color and texture to allow it to blend into the environment as a form of camouflage or change the host's outward appearance (including mimicking clothes).
- Able to sense the thoughts and will of the host. When Spider-Man was originally selected, he had been thinking about Spider-Woman's costume in the Secret Wars. The symbiote acted on this and formed a similar costume, which is the one seen on him and Venom.
- Each symbiote has its own unique ability, such as Venom's venomous bite, and Toxin's ability to change his shape and form into a Spiderman-like build (slim, but strong) and Venom-like build (big and muscular) dependeing on its mood.
- Venom and all its descendants possess the ability to bypass Spider-Man's Spider-Sense; because the original symbiote was attached to Peter Parker (Spider-Man) first, it took his genetic information and spider-powers. This means that the symbiote attacking Peter would essentially be Peter attacking himself, which wouldn't set off his Spider-Sense (during the Clone Saga, this became complicated, as Venom and Carnage did set off Ben Reilly's Spider-Sense, however this has been attributed to Ben being cloned from Peter prior to his first encounter with the Venom Symbiote).
There are also additional powers that have been demonstrated, but are not necessarily universal to all symbiotes:
- Block part of the host's mind.
- Form fangs or simple bladed weapons out of their limbs. The First appearance of this was the Carnage symbiote.
- Form tendrils and tentacles of various lengths from their body.
- Form wings, as shown when Venom came in contact with Knull and grew a pair of web-like wings.
- Project the surface of the symbiote to attack at a distance.
- Stick to walls (adapted from Spider-Man).
- Produce acid, toxins, and venoms, such as in the venomous bite Venom delivered to Sandman (Shown with Venom, Agony and Venom 2099).
- Produce webbing from its own mass (adapted from Spider-Man).
- Sense the presence of other beings within a certain distance.
- Protect hosts from Ghost Rider's penance stare.
- Create storage portals inside of them (this allowed Peter Parker to stow and access his camera).
- Filter breathable air for its host, allowing them to breathe underwater (seen in Vengeance of Venom), inhale poisonous fumes, and even survive in the vacuum of space.
- Transfer symbiote traits to its host, such as when Carnage ate Karl Malus and then he became a symbiote-human hybrid.
- The Venom symbiote also has empathic abilities, and is able to project desires and needs into the thoughts of its host or potential hosts; this ability can also aid Venom in detecting the truth from those he interrogates.
- In some realities, the symbiote feeds on the baser emotions of its host, creating an increasingly hostile personality. The longer the host is exposed to the symbiote, the more overpowering this state of mind becomes.
- Each symbiote has its own abilities: Scream can use its web-like hair as a weapon, Agony can spit acid and manipulate matter, Phage creates bladed weapons, Lasher uses tendrils on its back, and Riot is particular to bludgeoning weapons.
- When the Carnage symbiote was mixed with the Goblin Formula, it made the symbiote stronger and it purged the symbiote's weaknesses to sonic and fire.
- It can change the mood of it's host by manipulating the brain chemicals.
- Symbiotes have a natural weakness to sonic- and heat-based attacks. However, symbiotes have a growing resistance to sound and fire. Still, there has not been an invulnerable symbiote in mainstream continuity, because the newest breeds can be harmed by incredible amounts of sonic waves and heat. Symbiotes in the Ultimate Marvel are also vulnerable to the heat produced by high voltage electricity.
- Symbiotes have shown vulnerability to chemical and biological attacks, such as when Iron Man created a virus-like bio-weapon based on the Venom symbiote that could destroy a symbiote. Venom and Carnage, have shown susceptibility to chemical inhibitors. The criminal Styx nearly killed the Venom symbiote with his lethal touch. Whether a symbiote can mutate and reduce the effect of these weaknesses is unknown.
- Potential hosts with advanced healing factors, such as Wolverine, have shown resistance to symbiosis.
- In some incarnations, the symbiote is depicted as requiring a certain chemical (most likely phenethylamine) to stay sane and healthy, which has been said to be found abundantly in two sources: chocolate and human brain tissue. Thus, the host is forced to either consume large amounts of chocolate or become a cannibal who devours the brains of those they kill. This peculiar trait has only been witnessed in the Venom symbiote. However, both Carnage and Toxin have threatened their enemies with aspirations to "eating their brains", as well as various other body parts. When Toxin teamed up with Spider-Man and Black Cat, he struggled to keep himself together, telling Spider-Man that he was only "joking" about eating the robbers' brains.
- On at least one occasion, Spider-Man was able to exhaust the Venom symbiote by taking advantage of the fact that it made its webbing out of itself; after the symbiote had already used a great deal of webbing to bind him to a bell, Spider-Man forced Venom to use further webbing so that it would exhaust itself, like blood dripping from a wound (although the sheer amount of webbing that the symbiotes would need to use for this weakness to be exploited makes its use in a fight limited).
- Another weakness that they have is their hunger for feelings. In the storyline Planet of the Symbiotes, Eddie Brock releases a cry of pain and agony so great that the entire symbiote race commits mass suicide. However, how they kill themselves is not clear.
- The Xenophages, a race of extraterrestrial shapeshifters which prey on symbiotes, possess the ability to spew an unknown incendiary chemical that can paralyze symbiotes and enhance their taste.
- When Eddie Brock was diagnosed with cancer, Martin Lee used his healing ability to cure Eddie from his cancer and accidentally making the Venom symbiote's pieces in Eddie's blood to fuse with the white blood cells creating a new non-sentient Symbiote called Anti-Venom. This symbiote had the ability to cure every sickness and also it's was deadly to the symbiotes as shown when Eddie nearly killed the Venom symbiote.
- A new and still mysteriously extraterrestrial race known as Poisons, apparently nature's answer to the symbiotes, prey on them through direct contact infection, which forms an unstoppable one-sided union that the symbiote wants no part of.
List of symbiotes
Major character symbiotes
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||Current host||Description|
|Venom||The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (April 1988)||Eddie Brock||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 wearer of the suit, before Spider-Man.|
|Carnage||The Amazing Spider-Man #361 (April 1992)||Cletus Kasady||A child-spawn of Venom bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady. This spawn was eventually reabsorbed into Venom. After losing his symbiote, Kasady discovers a similar symbiote in the Negative Zone and once again becomes Carnage. Some time later Cletus got separated from Carnage and Norman Osborn got bonded to the Carnage symbiote so he could defeat Spider-Man. He mixed it with the goblin formula to purge the symbiote's weaknesses.|
|Toxin||Venom Vs. Carnage #2 (September 2004)||Patrick Mulligan||A spawn of Carnage that bonded with police officer Patrick Mulligan, becoming a hero. Later forcibly bonded to Eddie Brock by the Crime Master sometime after Patrick was beaten to death by Blackheart.|
|Anti-Venom||The Amazing Spider-Man #569 (October 2008)||Flash Thompson||Created when remnants of the Venom symbiote in Eddie Brock's body were combined with his white blood cells by the mystical energies of Mister Negative. Anti-Venom possesses curative abilities and its touch is corrosive to the Venom symbiote. Unlike other symbiotes, the Anti-Venom suit is non-sentient. The suit is seemingly destroyed in the 2011 "Spider-Island" story arc. 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 colours.|
|Knull||Venom (Vol) 4 #3 (August 2018)||A primordial god of darkness that manifested the first symbiote from his shadow in order to kill a Celestial and using its blood to form a suit of symbiote-armor when embarking on his deicidal crusade. While stranded on a desolate world, Knull discovered he could infect "lesser creatures" with the living abyss, therefore creating the symbiotes to conquer the universe. He's considered the God of the Symbiotes and also the unidentified entity seen in Thor: God of Thunder #6.|
Supporting character symbiotes
The following symbiotes have made only a few other appearances in comic books and are usually excluded from adaptations in other media.
|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.|
|Scream||Venom: Lethal Protector #4 (May 1993)||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 toyline also featured a four armed symbiote named Riot that 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 Venom: Along Came A Spider toyline. 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. Diego would later herself be killed by a powerless Eddie Brock, when the latter was also eliminating the "evil" of the symbiotes from the Earth.
|Hybrid||Venom: Along Came A Spider #1 (January 1996)||The character was introduced as the fusion of the four 'Life Foundation symbiotes', bonded to prison guard Scott Washington. Years later, Scream and Hybrid are hunted and killed by Eddie Brock who was eliminating the "evil" of the symbiotes from the Earth. 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). The four soldiers come to be known as the Mercury Team. While on another rampage, Carnage kills the Mercury Team without their symbiotes. The four symbiotes temporarily bond with Deadpool to fight Carnage. After Carnage's defeat, Deadpool unbonds with the symbiotes and the symbiotes bond to Mercury Team's dog.|
|Krobaa||Venom: Seed of Darkness #1 (July 1997)||This symbiote got bonded to a scientist who drove him mad and went on a destructive rampage across city. Eddie used his camera's flash to defeat the creature.|
|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)||He 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 didn't bother to ask permission or care to know his host.|
|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 can bond to technology.|
|All-Black The Necrosword||Thor: God of Thunder #2 (January 2013)||The first proto-symbiote ever created from the shadow of the evil deity Knull and tempered using the divine power of a slain Celestial head (The head would later be called Knowhere). It took the form of a sword made from living darkness and responds to intense negative emotions, often corrupting its user into committing divine atrocities. Gorr after taking The All Black from Knull was corrupted by the symbiote and continued the "God" killing spree that Knull had started and became "Gorr The GodButcher". After Gorr's plan to kill all of the universe's gods failed, Young Thor, main Thor and King Thor killed him and casted the Necrosword into a black hole. Then in King Thor's timeline he used it to stop Galactus from consuming Earth. Then the All-Black bonded to an injured Galactus becoming "Galactus The WorldButcher". When Ego the Living Planet arrived the All-Black went to Ego making him "Ego the Necroplanet" and ate Galactus. Then Ego got destroyed from an Asgardian worm and Loki from the main timeline got the Necrosword.|
|Mania||Venom #31 (April 2013)||When Venom was fighting The Thing his tongue got cut off in the fight. Then the tongue got retrieved from a scientist who was working for the Ara corporation which was led from B.O.B. (mini alien spider robots working together). They turned the tongue into a unstable clone of Venom which killed every human he saw. The clone got bonded to Patricia Robertson and became the second She-Venom but she got defeated by Eddie and the clone got absorbed into Venom. Then Eugene Thompson's neighbor in Philadelphia named Andy bonded with the clone (which is possessed in turn by a demonic entity) by Flash to save Andy from Jack. In "Venom Inc" Lee Price who was bonded to Venom stole the Mania symbiote to become 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 (and still cursed).|
|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 (January 2015)||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 symbiotes 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 got back 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 by symbiotes to act as champions dedicated in protecting those in need and capable of maintaining peace across the universe. Flash Thompson was formerly a member of this organization while possessing the Venom symbiote.|
|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.|
|X-Men Blue symbiotes||X-Men Blue (Vol) 1 #21 (February 2018)||When Cyclop's father and his members got captured from symbiote infected mercenarys the young X-Men forced Eddie to help them since he was bonded to Venom. After going to space they found a symbiote hunter who had sold the symbiotes to those mercenarys and during the fight the X-Men accidentally got bonded to symbiotes. When they started fighting the mercenarys the Poisons consumed the mercenarys. The X-Men and Venom survived and gave their symbiotes to Cyclop's father and his band to send them to their home.|
|The Grendel symbiotes||Venom (Vol) 4 #2 (July 2018)||These symbiotes where the very first symbiotes to arrive on earth most specifically in Northern Europe in the 10th century. At this time it was controlled by Knull to invade this planet as part of Knull's Kingdom, until Thor arrived and defeated the symbiote dragon. This caused to destroy 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 it. He bonded the symbiotes to soldiers to create powerful symbiote soldiers to fight in Vietnam. However the symbiotes under the control of Knull took over their hosts except one soldier named Rex Strickland who removed his symbiote from himself ,but the others started killing everyone. Nick Fury with the help of Wolverine captured the symbiote infected soldiers except that one removed symbiote nicknamed Tyrannosaurus who escaped Knull's control and took the form of his original human host who got consumed by it in action.
The Tyrannosaurus symbiote after escaping Knull's control saw how beautiful the light was and wanted show that to his friends. With the appearance of its host Rex, he started working for SHIELD with no one noticing. He worked there for years until Secret Empire where SHIELD got dismantled so he asked Eddie to free his friends. Unfortunately the symbiotes where 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 went to the dragon and weakened it with sonic bombs. Then he ordered Eddie to put them inside the furnace and burn them denying Knull the chance to escape Klyntar.
|Sleeper||Venom: First Host #3 (September 2018)||It's revealed that one seed inside Venom had remained after the Life Foundation extracted the seeds of Scream, Phage, Lasher, Agony and Riot. Venom after got "purified" wanted to keep his new offspring safe from people who would use it for bad things and wanted to make it a hero like itself instead of becoming another Carnage so gave birth to it in Alchemax. After the Venom symbiote was stolen from his first host Tel-Kar, the offspring bonded to Eddie so they would save Venom with the help of the Warbride Skrull M'Lanz. In the battle against Tel-Kar, Sleeper briefly bonds to M'Lanz and her and Eddie with Venom return to Earth 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. Despite Brock being dismayed by this, Sleeper bid him farewell and set out to explore the cosmos. Sleeper is can manipulate chemicals, providing limited telepathy and excelled cloaking abilities through pheromones.|
- In the Ultimate Marvel universe, the Venom suit is a man-made creation born of an experiment by Richard Parker and Edward Brock, Sr. to develop a protoplasmic cure for cancer. It used Richard's DNA as the starting base for it, thus himself and Peter are "related" to it. The suit enhances the wearer's strength and natural abilities, but also attempts to permanently bond with the host and can affect their mind. The Ultimate symbiote is seemingly weak only to electricity. When worn by a host other than Richard's son Peter, the Ultimate Spider-Man, the host is compelled to devour the life energy of other human beings or else have their own be consumed by the suit instead.
It is hinted in Ultimate Spider-Man the video game that the plane crash that killed Peter's parents was caused by Eddie Sr. with Venom.
The Carnage symbiote also appears in the Ultimate universe as a parasite genetically engineered by Curt Conners from Peter's DNA. Traces of the Venom suit remaining in Peter's blood give Carnage similar properties to the Venom suit. It also devours people, but does not require a host. It is killed after being consumed by fire following its attempt to absorb Peter to become whole. It later reappears in the form of Gwen Stacy, and during an encounter with Venom, the latter absorbs the Carnage suit into itself, making Venom "complete" though more monstrous than ever before and getting a white spider symbol.
- In Spider-Gwen's universe, Dr. Elsa Brock created a cure to Harry Osborn's Lizard DNA by using Spider-Gwen's radioactive isotopes. When Gwen injected the isotopes in Harry, the Lizard serum combined with the Spider isotopes and transformed into Venom which bonded to Spider-Gwen giving her powers back.
In other media
- Symbiotes appear in the 1990s Spider-Man animated series. Both Venom and Carnage appear. In the series, Venom is defeated by Spider-Man and sent into space. Dormammu brings Venom back to serve him. When Venom fails to get a portal device they bond Carnage to Cletus Kasady and send him to help Venom. Venom betrays Dormammu and leaves. Carnage is sent to absorb life energy. Eddie Brock willingly separates from Venom. When Carnage kidnaps Ashley Kafka who Eddie is in love with Eddie rejoins with the symbiote and helps Spider-Man. When Carnage attempts to throw Kafka into limbo the place between portals Venom stops him and knocks them both into limbo. During the Spider Wars season finale, Carnage bonds with Spider-Man to create Spider Carnage.
- In Spider-Man Unlimited, Venom and Carnage are primary villains.
- The Venom, Carnage, and Anti-Venom Symbiotes appear in Ultimate Spider-Man. Venom and Anti-Venom are created by Doctor Octopus. Venom was created by altering a sample of Spider-Man's DNA and Anti-Venom was created from the Venom sample used to counter and destroy the Venom Symbiote. The Carnage symbiote is created by Green Goblin and later recreated by Michael Morbius from the Venom symbiote he obtained.
- In the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode "The Venom Within," Doctor Octopus creates Gamma Venom by having the Venom Symbiote combine with each members of the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. This version of the Venom Symbiote is destroyed by the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and Spider-Man.
- The Symbiotes appear in the animated Guardians of the Galaxy series that debuted in 2015. Their origins revealed in the three-part "Symbiote War" as originally Klyntar who were altered by Thanos in his experiments on the mining planet later revealed to be what remained of Groot's homeworld.
- The Venom Symbiote appeared in the animated Spider-Man series that debuted in 2017. In this version, Horizon High grandmaster Max Modell acquires the symbiote from NASA's space program as a way to discover and add a new element to the periodic table. It first appeared in the episode "A Day in the Life", in which Black Cat steals it as a means to sell it to the black market, but Spider-Man recaptures it and takes it back to Horizon High. It later appears in episodes such as "Sandman" and "Symbiotic Relationship."
Sam Raimi film series
The Venom symbiote appears in Spider-Man 3, after it landed on Earth inside a meteorite. The symbiote fused with Peter Parker / Spider-Man's suit enhancing his powers and abilities. After being discarded by Parker, following the dark influence it had on him, the entity attaches to Eddie Brock played by Topher Grace. A Venom-centered spin-off was planned where the character would be depicted as an anti-hero and then later made into Venom the 2018 movie.
Marc Webb films
In trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the Venom symbiote appeared 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 was replaced by the Rhino's armor. As Richard Parker has a strong connection with Oscorp's Special Projects equipment used by many Spider-Man villains. Sony Pictures had plans to create a Spider-Man cinematic universe with various spin-off films including a Venom film, but those plans were abandoned following the studio agreement reached with Marvel Studios.
Sony's Marvel Universe
Following the success of reintroducing Spider-Man in film with Captain America: Civil War (2016) and the expected reception of Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Sony Pictures stated that they were moving forward with Venom, written by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, and directed by Ruben Fleischer, released on October 5, 2018, with Tom Hardy portraying Eddie Brock / Venom. While initial reports stated that the film would be separate from the MCU, instead set within its own continuity called known as Sony's Marvel Universe, with no connections to the Spider-Man character. June 2017, Amy Pascal revealed in an interview that the film would have connections to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as an "adjunct" film, with Tom Holland possibly reprising his role as Spider-Man in Venom as well as future spin-off films. In the international teaser trailer, the Venom symbiote was seen in a glass capsule, before Venom himself is revealed at the end of the first trailer. Riot appeared as the film's main antagonist, played by Riz Ahmed.
In the context of the storyline, Venom, Riot and two other unnamed symbiotes labeled as "Blue" and "Yellow" were discovered by a Life Foundation shuttle when they detected signs of life on a comet they passed during a deep-space mission. The shuttle retrieved the four symbiotes to bring back to Earth, only for one to escape capture when the shuttle crashes, allowing it to escape by continuously entering into different hosts. Life Foundation head Carlton Drake attempts to experiment with the remaining symbiotes in the belief that linking man and symbiote will allow humanity to survive on other worlds. Months later one of his scientists reveals the truth to Eddie Brock, whose career as a journalist was ruined when he tried to confront Drake about allegations of possible deaths related to Drake's tests. While investigating Drake's facility, Eddie bonds with the Venom symbiote, becoming the first to achieve true symbiosis, becoming more important to Drake's plans after the other two symbiotes die during the experiment. The fourth symbiote, identified by Venom as Riot, reaches the Life Foundation and possesses Drake with the goal of bringing more symbiotes to Earth to conquer the planet. Meanwhile, Brock's ex-fiancé, Anne Weying, and her boyfriend use high frequencies to disconnect Brock from Venom after they discover that it is slowly killing him. After Brock is captured by Drake's men to retrieve Venom, Weying dons the symbiote and uses it to rescue Brock, transferring it back to him. Venom reveals that he wants to stay on Earth to protect it because on his home planet he is seen as "kind of a loser", and that Brock has helped him see the worth of humanity. Venom and Brock manage to defeat Riot by cutting a large tear in the rocket that Riot was using to retrieve the other symbiotes, causing it to explode, killing him and seemingly killing Venom in the process. Months later, Brock and Venom (who had somehow survived in Brock) have come to an agreement that Venom would only ever harm "bad guys" and the two kill a local gang member threatening a shop owner for protection money.
At the end of the film, Brock is sent to interview an incarcerated serial killer named Cletus Kasady, who states that when he escapes, "there's gonna be Carnage."
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- In the arcade title Spider-Man: The Video Game after the defeat of Dr. Doom, the final boss fight consists of a battle against an infinite number of Doom-created symbiote clones. All the clones can be killed, but there is one "prime clone" with much more life. Defeating this clone is the only way to win.
- In the N64/PlayStation title Spider-Man, the symbiotes become the more common enemy after the player rescues Mary Jane and heads back to the Daily Bugle. The fastest way to kill these symbiotes is to find a fire-imbued web cartridge. It is revealed that Doctor Octopus and Carnage plan to unleash the symbiotes on all of humanity and rule a new world order.
- The symbiote family are major characters in the video game Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety.
- Venom appears as the final boss in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- Venom appears in Ultimate Spider-Man (for Game Boy Advance) as a playable character. Carnage appears too, but as a boss, Venom also appears as a boss a few times when playing as Spider-Man.
- Venom is a playable character in Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects.
- In the Spider-Man 3 video game, Shriek appears. Shriek's powers come from a symbiote in this game which is also black in color. However the symbiote only covers half of her body. This is only found on the Wii/PS2 versions of the game.
- In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Venom returns to New York. During a fight with Venom, the Symbiote suddenly reproduces and the spawn bonds with Spider-Man creating a replica of the Black Suit, but with considerably more Carnage-like abilities such as projecting bladed tentacles. Over the course of the game, Venom creates symbiote "seed-pods" in various locations around the city which absorb passing civilians and infect them with various types of symbiote ranging from Snatcher Symbiotes (the small black Symbiotes that drag unsuspecting victims to the "seed-pods"), Zombie Symbiotes (the weak white Symbiotes), Berserker Symbiotes (the red shiny Symbiotes), Grappler Symbiotes (black and red versions of the Berserkers), and Slasher Symbiotes (the white and pink Symbiotes). The Symbiotes even manage to infect Electro, Vulture, Black Cat and Wolverine. Symbiote-Electro and Symbiote-Vulture go on to spawn other symbiotes with powers similar to their hosts resulting in Electrolings and Vulturelings. All are eventually defeated by Spider-Man and the symbiotes are separated from them.
- In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, the Ultimate Marvel version of Spider-Man in his symbiote suit is a playable character. Madame Web had restored the black suit as it provides this world's Peter Parker with additional abilities that he will require to succeed in his mission, while she uses her psychic abilities to prevent the suit attempting to take over his mind. However, Madame Web's abilities do not seem to be absolute, as Ultimate Spider-Man experiences occasional bouts of anger. Also, the Ultimate Marvel version of Carnage appears as the final boss in the Ultimate levels where it was granted the ability to reanimate its victims into symbiotic zombie-like creatures thanks to the powers of a fragment of the Tablet of Order and Chaos when S.H.I.E.L.D. are foolishly mixing the fragment with Carnage.
- In Spider-Man: Edge of Time, it is revealed that a brainwashed Anti-Venom is responsible for killing present day Spider-Man, altering the future of the Marvel 2099 timeline and prompting Spider-Man 2099 to tamper with the timeline further in order to save his predecessor's life and repair the timestream. In one of their battles, Anti-Venom, Doctor Octopus (who in the new timeline was never a villain, but still uses his trademark arms) and game exclusive villain Dr. Walker Sloan (the man from 2099 who tried to alter the timeline) are knocked into a portal and become Atrocity (vocal effects provided by Fred Tatasciore), a bloated version of Anti-Venom with tentacles. Both Atrocity and the future Peter Parker are defeated with the time resetting presumably separating Atrocity back into Walker Sloan, Anti-Venom, and Doctor Octopus.
- Two versions of the black suit appear as an optional costume in The Amazing Spider-Man, based on its appearance in the Spider-Man 3 film, and a modified version of Spider-Man's costume from The Amazing Spider-Man film. Backstory for the game also reveals that the game version of the Symbiote is based on a "black goo" recovered from space and that it is bonded with the game's version of the Scorpion. This is an allusion to the comics, where Mac Gargan briefly assumed the role of Venom.
- Symbiote Scientists appear in Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- Various Symbiote characters such are featured in the mobile game Spider-Man Unlimited with the Symbiote World featured as a level.
- The Symbiote family appeared in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance, it featured Venom, Agent Venom, Anti-Venom, Scream, and Hybrid.
- Symbiotes "connect together" in a Marvel Puzzle Quest storyline. Besides Mac Gargan and Eddie Brock as Venom and Cletus Kasady's Carnage, there are four new Symbiotes: A green male named Carrier, an orange female named Horror, a teal teethy creature named Demolisher, and a magenta dog-like creature named Mutation.
- A Symbiote creature appears in Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. In the game's story, Jedah Dohma uses the Soul Stone to steal a million souls from Earth and feed them to a Giant Symbiote, planning to strengthen it and use it as a weapon against Ultron Sigma. When Chris Redfield tries attacking it, he accidentally causes part of the symbiote to bond to Spider-Man, forcing the latter to fight against Frank West and Mike Haggar against his will (though the symbiote is removed after Frank causes some car alarms to go off). The creature is unleashed on New Metro City, but is destroyed by the heroes using three of the Infinity Stones. Venom also appears as a playable character via downloadable content.
- In Spider-Man, during a conversation between Spider-Man and Yuri Watanabe, she quickly ask Spider-Man as a joke if he has a black and white suit indicating that Spider-Man at some point had a black suit but he got rid of it. In the post credit scene Norman Osborn goes into a secret lab inside his house where it shows his son Harry inside a chamber with web-like black substance attached to his body. When Spider-Man looks through certain windows there is a few collectibles on a shelf, including a black suit Spider-Man figure.
- In Marvel Contest of Champions Venom and Carnage appears as a playable characters.
- 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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