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You may call me Venom-- for that's what I'm paid to spew out these days! I'm your victim, Spider-Man-- I'm the innocent you ruined!
~ Venom introducing himself to Spider-Man.
Venom is a major character in Marvel Comics, most commonly serving as one of the archenemies and rival of Spider-Man. The name has belonged to several different hosts over the years, which means that Venom is indeed the identity of this particular alien Symbiote. The Symbiote named itself Venom, as it considered itself a venom for Spider-Man.
Kevin Tanza: What I find interesting about Venom is that he started off as clear-cut villain, but as issues and time went on he gained a certain moral complexity. Was that by design or was a reaction of the positive reception that the character had? David Michelinie: He actually had that moral complexity from the start, but it was subtle. And that was one of the reasons I ended up creating another character, Carnage, to make that secondary motivation–that Eddie Brock thought he was an innocent victim with the responsibility to protect other innocents from damage by “villains” like Spider-Man–more obvious. But character development takes time, especially when you’re dealing with a supporting character who doesn’t have a series of his own every month.
~ Portion of an interview with David Michelinie, Venom's creator.
Eddie Brock is a grim and brutal man who does not hesitate in the slightest to kill an opponent. The symbiote tends to set the wearer of it into a frenzied, raging psychological mindset, which greatly compliments Eddie's deranged mind, making him both lethal and effective. However, Eddie is also quite smart, strong-willed, tough and if he sets his mind to it, deducing.
Though vengeful at first (mainly towards Spider-Man), his newfound true purpose of protecting the innocent and weak became very important to him and he has yet to evade from this purpose, killing many in his way for it if necessary. Ever since he moved into a more anti-heroic mindset, his hatred for Spider-Man has slightly dwindled.
Venom was largely well-received when he first appeared, especially with several prior issues that hinted at a new hidden foe before Venom finally made his debut, stealthily coming out of the shadows and revealing himself to Mary Jane Watson, who believed it was his husband Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.
He quickly made his way into the 1994 animated series that ran at the time and has since become a staple of Spider-Man's mythos and the hero's rogues gallery, often challenging the likes of Doc Ock and the Green Goblin as Spidey's archenemy and greatest villain.
Venom has appeared in many other media due to his popularity.
You know nothing about us, but we know everything about you! You'll see us everywhere, even in your nightmares!
~ Venom in Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Venom appeared in the animated series Spider-Man: The Animated Series and The Spectacular Spider-Man TV shows as an antagonist while possessing his perfect host, Eddie Brock who holds a definite grudge against Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man.
Venom also appeared in the Marvel crossover of the Disney show Phineas and Ferb.
Venom served as the main antagonist of the third and final season of the 2017 series Marvel's Spider-Man.
Venom also appeared in several Marvel video games such as the 2000 video game Spider-Man where he is both a false antagonist and a reluctant ally, voiced by Daran Norris, who also voiced Knock Out. Eddie Brock contacted a Symbiote and wanted to defeat Spider-Man. As Spider-Man chased the villain, it led him to the sewers where Venom has taken Mary Jane Watson hostage. Spidey rescued Mary Jane and Venom realizes that the true enemies are Doctor Octopus and Carnage.
In LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, Venom merged himself with Carnage and becomes a symbiote hybrid known as Carnom that serves as a boss and playable character. They were unleashed by Goblin 2099 at Alchemax after he created them to destroy the heroes, whom were after the Nexus Shard that was powering a generator there. During the boss battle, Carnom transformed into a bigger and even monstrous form known as Maximum Carnom. In its defeat, Carnom reverted back to its original state while Goblin 2099 appeared to take on the heroes himself. Unfortunately, the heroes quickly defeated him and took the Nexus Shard away from him. Carnom then became furious, as he called the Goblin a monster and chased him around. During the final boss battle, Kang briefly summons Carnom from a portal while it was still chasing Goblin 2099.
The symbiote has made cameos throughout Insomniac Games' Marvel's Spider-Man franchise. It first appeared in the ending of the 2018 video game Marvel's Spider-Man, bonded to Harry Osborn, and briefly appears in the ending of the spin-off Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, in which Harry is released by Curt Connors under Norman's orders. Venom himself will appear in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, voiced by Tony Todd, who also played Candyman in the franchise of the same name, Grange in The Crow, Captain Darrow in The Rock, Earl Jenkins in Smallville, King Deucalion in Minotaur, Shadow in Shadow: Dead Riot, Benjamin Juma in the 24 franchise, The Fallen in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Dreadwing in Transformers Prime, Zoom in the Arrowverse, Darkseid in the DC Animated Movie Universe and Luther Thompson in Scream.
In this universe, the Symbiote was not an alien life form but a suit created to cure cancer by Eddie Brock's father and Peter Parker's father. After he was told of the suit by Eddie, Peter tried taking some of it so that he could experiment with it, and finish his father's work.
Unfortunately, the suit travelled up Peter's arm and turned his suit black. Peter swung around in the new outfit for a few hours, but soon he became delusional and developed psychosis. Peter was forced to destroy the suit and then apologized to Eddie for taking the suit. Angry at Peter, Eddie took a second sample of the suit, which controlled him, turning him into a monster that attacked anyone that standing in his way. His form was a big purple-black brute that produced tendrils and spikes throughout his body, but when he absorbed the remaining symbiote from Peter, the suit adapted the spider symbol just like the mainstream universe.
In the story arc "War of the Symbiotes", Eddie absorbed the Carnage Symbiote from The Gwen Stacy Clone, and was finally able to control the symbiote, also obtaining a new form. In the story arc "Venom Wars", the Venom Symbiote's new host was Dr Conrad Marcus, who was an ex-Osborn Employee turned Roxxon Employee. In his first appearance as Venom, he had an anorexic design, but in later appearances was more monstrous and more alien looking.
Venom appeared in Spider-Man Web of Shadows, where he serves as the main antagonist.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Video Game)
Venom appears as the main antagonist and final boss of the Ultimate Spider-Man video game from 2005, based on the comics of the same name.
Marvel's Spider Man 2
Venom will appear in Marvel's Spider Man 2.
I lost the kid. Carnage turned him. Took him. Dragged him drowning into the black and red. The Carnage hordes grow stronger by the day. He's collected dozens of codices so far. Ripped pieces of the symbiote from the living and the dead... and we're... losing. I'm losing everything. And I don't know how to win.
Knull! He's... awake. He is free. And he is coming, Eddie. For all of us. For everything. God... God help us all.
They are speaking to in our ancient tongue, Eddie. Because you... you defeated the Void. You freed our kind. You are the hive-mind now... Eddie... you... are the God of the Symbiotes... You are the King in Black.
Venom's favourite food used to be human brains. Eddie's secret love for chocolate, however, overtook it, making chocolate of all things to become Venom's favourite food. (Some comics show that Venom has a craving for Tater Tots, Hash Browns, and food from McDonald's. It is unsure whether this is canon or not.)
This later explained due to both contain an abundant amount of certain chemical (most likely phenethylamine) that symbiotes in general need to stay sane and healthy. Not surprisingly, upon finding that chocolate contains same substances, Venom chose it as the better alternative for sustenance thus terminating the need to kill people just for that purpose.
While uncommon, there are a few incarnations of Venom that lack any redeeming qualities that he would traditionally have, most egregiously Spider-Man: Reigns's iteration of the character, single-handedly transforming New York into a fascist state and creating the WEBB system to deliver a concentrated symbiote attack on the city; all while blaming Spider-Man entirely for bringing him (as a symbiote) to Earth and then abandoning him, completely failing to realize the reasons why Spider-Man had abandoned the symbiote (it had taken him on web-slinging joyrides while he slept, and parasitically kept forcing him to fuse with it).
Similarly, Sam Raimi's incarnation of the character was portrayed as malicious being from start, choosing to rather stay evil despite Peter's pleads through his host Eddie. The reason for this was because Sam Raimi is forced to integrate the character into the third installment of his Spider-Man film, resulting in his version of Venom became poorly developed and condemned by fans.
Despite being Spidey's third archenemy, Venom's popularity integrated him as the mascot antagonist of the Spider-Man franchise in other media, appearing far more than the likes of Doc Ock and Green Goblin.
Venom being Spider-Man's third arch-nemesis is often referenced in the majority of the media. For example, he first played a major role in Spider-Man#300, being the villain of the third movie and will serve as the main antagonist of the third season of Spider-Man (2017), with it being appropriately titled Marvel's Spider-Man: Maximum Venom. Although in the comics Venom is now an anti-hero and got his own series, supporting cast, and rogues gallery with Carnage becoming his arch-enemy now.
Venom fought Bane of DC Comics in Rooster Teeth's DEATH BATTLE and won. Venom would later fight Crona from Soul Eater as well, although he would lose this fight.
Interestingly for the first case, Venom's 2018 actor, Tom Hardy, also portrayed Bane in The Dark Knight movie franchise.