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NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Riot from the 2018 film. The mainstream version can be found here: Riot (Marvel).
Villain Overview

There are more of us... millions more. They will follow wherever I lead.
~ Riot
You have a strong host... but not strong enough.
~ Riot
Riot: Venom... get in the rocket!
Venom: No! We won't let you destroy this world!
Riot: Then DIE!
~ Riot about to battle Venom.

The Riot Symbiote is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Carlton Drake) of the 2018 film Venom, which is based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name and the first installment of Sony's Spider-Man Universe.

He is the destructive and sadistic leader of the Symbiotes, who bonds with Carlton Drake in order to accomplish their shared goal of bringing his race to Earth to bond with humanity; although, unlike Drake, he does this in order to have the symbiotes destroy and devour the human race. This incarnation of Riot is also significantly stronger and more vicious than its original comics counterpart.

He was voiced by Riz Ahmed, who also played Drake in the same film.

History

Riot was one of the four Symbiotes that was transported inside a comet from their planet to Earth. While the first three Symbiotes were captured by Carlton Drake and his men to perform illegal experiments on human hosts, Riot was the only one to escape, landing in Malaysia. For six months, Riot made all his way from Malaysia to the U.S. by hopping from one host body to another. Taking a little girl as its current host, Riot made his way to Life Foundation HQ, where he learns of Drake's intent to use a rocket into delivering more symbiotes. Knowing that doing so might lead the Symbiotes to use Earth as a feeding ground, Riot forms a deal with Drake to help him out before bonding with him.

However, Eddie Brock refuses to let this happen, even the Venom symbiote agreed to help him out as he states that Riot happens to be the 'team leader' that has 's**t you've never seen' and must be taken down. To that end, Brock re-bonds with Venom, who heads off to confront Riot at the launch platform. Riot demanded Venom to join him by ordering him to get into the rocket, but Venom refuses, prompting an angry Riot to declare that he will kill him for this. A battle between the symbiotes ensued, with Riot gaining the upper hand on Venom. However, Anne Weying uses a high-pitch sound to briefly weaken both symbiotes, but Riot stands his grounds before stabbing Brock and leaving him for dead. Fortunately, Venom saves Brock's life by bonding with him again as Riot boards the rocket.

Just as rocket is about to take off, Venom manages to soar into the hull. Upon witnessing this, Riot angrily calls Venom a traitor, but Venom mockingly tells Riot to have a nice life before falling (an ironic echo to what Drake said to Eddie earlier in the movie). Using Riot's weapon (his arm blade) when he stabbed him earlier (which he pulled out after Venom saved Eddie), he creates a large puncture to the rocket's hull to ensure that the rocket won't reach space, causing the fuel to spill out. As Riot sees the fuel leaking out, he wasn't able to stand his grounds as the leaked fuel contacts the burning but still hot engines of the rocket, causing the fuel to combust, and the resulting fire to combust the leaking fuel in the punctured fuel tanks, rupturing them, and in the process causing the rocket's hull to rip open. The resulting explosion destroys the rocket, which also destroys the rocket's engines. Riot is ignited first as he screams in painful agony while Drake is incinerated in the explosion.

Personality

Riot represents the worst side of the Symbiotes; an intensely sadistic maniac who seems to enjoy nothing but destroying and killing everything in sight, for hardly any reason at all. This is different from the protagonist Venom who, while vicious and not hesitating to murder people, still has standards and often doesn't hurt innocents, preferring to kill bad people after its interaction with Eddie Brock, making him more of an anti-hero/anti-villain. They also have different relationships to their hosts: Venom grows to genuinely care for Eddie and ultimately bonds with him, while Riot often switches between hosts and couldn't care less even about Drake.

Much like Drake, Riot has a hatred for humanity and seeks to bring the symbiotes to Earth, though unlike Drake, who does it because he wants to evolve humanity in his own empathy-free way, Riot seems to do it solely because of his own bigotry against them. Despite working together, they have quite different personalities: Drake is a cold, calculating, sophisticated and pragmatic genius whose corporate status is important to his publicity, occasionally compelling the man to put a nice facade and acts for publicity, while Riot is a rampaging brute who has no taste for pragmatism and is solely interested in immediate consequence. However, the immediate consequence would catch up to him as Venom punctured the fuel tanks of their rocket, therefore causing his death.

Powers and Abilities

Eddie: You can take this guy right?
Venom: He has got s**t you have never seen.
Eddie: What does that mean? What are our chances?
Venom: Pretty much zero.
~ Eddie and Venom discussing their odds against Riot.

Riot is stated by Venom to be the strongest and most brutal Symbiote. Through Venom, he had humiliated weaker symbiotes including Venom himself in combat. Carlton Drake, on the other hand, lacked superhuman abilities of his own, but he proved compatible with Riot and the dynamic between the duo gives birth to a chaotic and unpredictable killing machine.

  • Possession/Symbiotic Enhancement: Being a symbiote, Riot can possesses any living beings upon physical contact with them, passing into their flesh as if intangible and taking full control of their bodies. Once inside the host, Riot is able to enhance their physical abilities to inhuman levels, allowing them to overpower other humans with ease and heal from severe injuries such as broken bones and damaged tissue in seconds. Riot displayed that it can suppress its host's mind to fully control their bodies should they reject him. Should they accept it, both it and them can able to almost meld minds with them and work collectively with them while sharing the same body as demonstrated through the teamwork with Drake. The abilities it can use while bonded with a host, as well as how good its host exploit them for their advantage, is fueled by the compatibility to each other.
  • Superhuman Strength: Riot can enhance its host's strength to superhuman level, to the point where he can smash through machinery and break solid rock with ease.
  • Superhuman Mobility: Riot can enhance its host's speed and agility to superhuman level, allowing him to move several feet per second and scaling buildings, as well as being able to move on all fours with ease.
  • Superhuman Durability: Possessing absolute control over its mass and that of host it bonded with, Riot can enhance its durability to the point of immune to bullets and sharp weapons.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Riot symbiote can heal its host at accelerated rated, as demonsteated when it healed Corinne Wan's body after her ambulance crashed.
  • Shapeshifting: Thanks to its full control over its mass, Riot can form constructs and appendages from its very being, which Drake can exploit in combat.
    • Symbiotic Costume: Riot has the basic ability to fully emerge from Drake while remaining attached to him, enveloping its host's body to form its own as a sentient, malleable but durable suit complete with eyes, claws and a mouth with powerful jaws and sharp teeth while increases in mass, turning him into powerful opponent.
    • Construct Creation: Riot's mastery over its shape-shifting ability enables it to create weapons from its very being, including blades, flails, darts, spikes, and claws. Its mastery over this ability reaches to an extent where the constructs noticeably more solid in form and can be detached and/or launched at will. By slamming his hand on any solid surface (ex. ground and catwalk), he can create a trail of spikes that will ram a desired target. In fact, Venom is skeptical about the chance of it and Eddie to win the fight against Riot.
  • Biological Assimilation: During the final fight between Venom and Riot, Riot momentarily absorbs Venom and Eddie into its body, making him appear more larger, though both of them managed to break out of it after Anne Weying used a high pitch frequency from a P.A. system to weaken the Symbiotes. Additionally, Riot demonstrated the ability to separate other Symbiotes from their hosts through physical contact, as it was able to rip Venom off Eddie's body for a short time.
  • Leadership Skills: Riot was a natural leader among the symbiotes and very good at it, being the leader of a pack of four symbiotes who planned to take over Earth. Even Venom begrudgingly acknowledged this as he remarked it as his group's team leader.

Weakness

  • Sonic Vibrations: As powerful as the symbiote is, exposure to extremely loud noise and even that of intense sonic vibrations drives the alien crazy.
  • Intense Heat: Aside from the intense noise causing the alien to go crazy, Riot can also be injured through exposure to intense heat, such as from lasers, fire, etc.

Quotes

Riot: (taking over Drake in anger) WHERE IS HE?!!
Eddie: OH GOD!!
Riot: WHERE IS VENOM?!!
Eddie: That is the ugliest looking thing I have ever seen!!
~ Riot interrogating Eddie Brock.
Drake: Your friends... the others, I apologize, I tried to keep them alive.
Riot: There are more of us.... millions more. They will follow wherever I lead.
Drake: Wherever we lead.
Riot: Yes... we. But first, we must retrieve him.
~ Riot conversing with Drake after interrogating Eddie and planning on retrieving Venom for their ultimate plan.
You are NOTHING!!!
~ Riot after recombining with Carlton Drake and immediately stabbing Eddie Brock.
Riot: NOOOO!!!! TRAITOR!!!
Venom: Have a nice life!!
~ Riot's last words to Venom before being killed alongisde Drake by the rocket's explosion when Venom uses Riot's arm blade (which Riot immediately stabbed him earlier) to puncture the fuel tanks of the rocket.

Trivia

  • The comic book version of Riot has some differences from the film iteration:
    • While the comic version has a backstory as a part of Venom that fell out and became an entity of its own, the film version skips this and makes it a civilian of Venom's planet and isn't related to Venom itself in any way.
    • The comics version of Riot has an entirely different host as Trevor Cole, while in the film iteration of Riot's host is Carlton Drake, though interestingly enough both hosts are part of the Life Foundation.
  • The way Riot rips Venom out of Eddie Brock was a reference the cover art of Venom: Carnage Unleashed #3, where Carnage is doing the same thing.
    • Interestingly, Carnage was originally to be included in an early script, but this idea is scrapped with Riot as one of the main antagonists. Regardless, Cletus Kasady appears in the film's post-credits scene and his Carnage persona will instead debut in the upcoming sequel to Venom.
  • In spite of being one of the two main antagonists, Riot has less screen time than his host Carlton Drake. However, Riot is by far more dangerous than Drake (if not worse than him) due his vicious and violent behavior.

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Eddie Brock/Venom | Cletus Kasady/Carnage | Shriek | J. Jonah Jameson

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Kraven the Hunter
Kraven the Hunter

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