With production on the sequel to Venom ramping up and the absolute Carnage event closing out a couple of months ago, I thought it would be a good idea to explain who all the symbiotes are and how they came to be. Now, first thing is that for those who have seen the Venom movie there are going to be some discrepancies. The movie takes some liberties with how the other symbiotes came into being and where they went after they were “birthed”.
There are quite a few named symbiotes and dozens of unnamed ones… So, let’s start it off right from the beginning….
This guy is a serious powerhouse. He was the Lord of the Primordial Void that was created when the First Firmament was shattered and forced to flee. Knull drifted through the dark void content in his own world until the Celestials showed up and began creating the 7th version of the Marvel Universe. Knull grew angry and wrathful that his dark kingdom was being despoiled by the light of creation and he went to war with the Celestials. After forging his sword “All Black the Necrosword” from the darkness of the void and literally decapitating a celestial with it, he was banished to the deepest parts of the void with the severed head that would eventually become Knowhere (of Guardians of the Galaxy fame). Knull forged himself some armour by using the void energies and the energies from the celestial head creating the first symbiote. Knull discovered he could bond his “living abyss” to lesser creatures which he could control with his mind and thus the symbiote species were born.
He waged a war on light and creation using his army of controlled symbiotes to infect the universe and kill the light. When a dragon symbiote attacked ancient earth, Thor arrived to defend the viking villagers from the dragon, which they dubbed Grendel. When Thor defeated the dragon, the connection Knull had over the symbiotes shattered and the symbiotes began to bond with benevolent hosts craving the light. The symbiotes rebelled against their creator and imprisoned him by creating a prison out of hundreds of thousands of their bodies. This prison became to be known as the planet, Klyntar or “Cage” in the native symbiote language.
This guy doesn’t really need an introduction but I’ll give a short one. He was imprisoned on Battleworld where the original Secret Wars event took place. When Spider-Man’s costume had become ripped and tattered after several fights with villains, Thor and Hulk told him to go to the basement of their HQ where a machine could read his mind and fabricate whatever clothing he needed. Peter went to the wrong machine and the symbiote appeared as a sphere of black that when touched attached itself to Spider-Man and eventually covered him giving him his black suit. The suit could mimic any street clothing and created an unlimited supply of stronger webbing while also allowing for Peter’s powers to be used. As Peter became to realize that the symbiote had its own consciousness and was beginning to influence his behaviour he managed to get rid of the suit which then found its way to Eddie Brock.
Brock would be the longest host of Venom and would waffle between hero and villain on more than one occasion becoming an anti-hero in modern comics. He is immune to Spider-Man’s spider senses and is able to mimic all of Spider-Man’s powers while also being able to control sections of its body it has become detached from. It’s main weakness is fire and sound which has proved useful on several occasions. Eddie Brock isn’t the only host to Venom, here are all the main hosts that Venom has bonded with for an extended time: Peter Parker, Eddie Brock, Mac Gargan, Flash Thompson, Lee Price, Tel-Kar and Malekith.
Flash Thompson is the second most well known host of Venom, taking the name Agent Venom. He served on the Thunderbolts as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy and has been a very active and well liked hero. He helped to show the Venom symbiote that it can be good if it wants to be.
Like Venom Carnage needs no introduction, and I’ve recently made a post about him. You can find the article here:
Carnage was the first and most powerful offspring from the Venom symbiote.
LIFE FOUNDATION SYMBIOTES
These were the “other symbiotes” that survived the crash in the 2018 movie Venom. Their names and original hosts are as follows:
- Scream – Leader of the group – She is typically seen as a symbiote of Red and Yellow with long claws and flowing “hair”, which she uses as a weapon. She was bonded to Donna Diego.
- Agony – Originally bonded to Leslie Gesneria a mercenary in the employ of the Life Foundation. Leslie was murdered by Scream using a sonic knife after Scream had succumbed to Donna’s schizophrenia.
- Lasher – Originally bonded to Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez was murdered by Scream using a sonic knife after Scream had succumbed to Donna’s schizophrenia.
- Phage – Originally bonded to Carl Mach. Mach was murdered by Scream using a sonic knife after Scream had succumbed to Donna’s schizophrenia.
- Riot – Originally bonded to Trevor Cole. Cole, like the rest of his “siblings” was murdered by Scream using a sonic knife after Scream had succumbed to Donna’s schizophrenia.
The symbiotes were then rounded up and imprisoned together in the Vault, the prison for supervillains.
The symbiotes that were imprisoned at the Vault bonded back together to form the singular symbiote entity known as Hybrid. When a guardsman at the facility noticed them he became concerned for them. He could tell that the symbiotes weren’t evil and that they didn’t deserve to be locked up there or the experiments that were being conducted on them which caused them physical pain. In an act of kindness the guardsman, Scott Washington, set the symbiotes free. When he was found out he was immediately fired and he returned to his run down ghetto of a neighbourhood. Scott and his brother Derek were playing basketball with some members of the Easy X Gang when a scuffle broke out that saw Scott’s brother Derek, shot and killed, while Scott was shot and paralyzed from the waist down.
The symbiote tracked and bonded with Scott restoring the use of his legs and creating the entity known as Hybrid. Scott held a lot of anger towards wrong doers in his neighbourhood and after getting revenge on the gangsters who shot him and his brother; the symbiotes reigned him in from most of his violence. This didn’t stop Hybrid from attracting the attention of The Jury, a group of vigilantes that work to rid evil from their city. Knowing that Carnage and Venom are villainous the Jury assumed that Hybrid was a villain as well. Hybrid was offered a membership to the New Warriors team but declined saying he had more important work to do.
When Eddie was hunting down all the symbiotes on the planet he tracked and killed Scott Washington. The symbiotes were then captured by the US government, separated once again and bonded the a black ops team called Mercury Team. Agony became the heavy artillery expert, Lasher became the tracking specialist, Phage became the Sniper and Riot became the Assassination and infiltration specialist.
Toxin is the first symbiote on earth (not really, but for most people the simple answer is yes) that doesn’t come from Venom himself. Toxin is actually the first genetic child of Carnage, making Venom his grandfather. Before Toxin was created, Carnage could feel that his symbiote was going to produce an offspring and was disgusted by it. Carnage hated his potential offspring so much that he resolved to kill it once it was “born” so that it wouldn’t become stronger than him. Venom sought out Carnage when it sensed that Carnage was about to produce an offspring to try and reason with Carnage and protect the new symbiote; however, he was also concerned that because it was the 1,000th of their line, there was a chance it could be born psychotic and violent due to genetic breakdown.
When Carnage gave birth to Toxin, he was unable to kill it and was looking for a host. Patrick Mulligan, an off duty NYPD police officer stumbled upon the site and was attacked by Carnage who forced the symbiote to bond with Mulligan. Venom arrived to protect the two of them from Carnage to give the symbiote time to properly manifest and give Mulligan some powers. He christened the new symbiote Toxin as a homage to himself, Venom.
Carnage tracked Mulligan to his home where his young wife Gina and their new baby Edward were waiting for Patrick to return and attacked them to draw Toxin out. Mulligan had become aware that the symbiote had developed a consciousness and was exerting influence on him. When Toxin beat Venom and Carnage together the two realized that this symbiote was stronger than either of them and formed a temporary pact to destroy it.
Spider-Man helps Toxin and convinces him that he can do good with the gift he has been given but he needs to separate himself from his family to do it. Mulligan ultimately decides to embrace his life as a hero and leaves the Police Force and his family to protect them from his enemies.
Patrick mulligan is later killed by Blackheart and the symbiote is trapped in an underground lab in Vegas until Eddie Brock rescues it and it bonds with him after he lost the Venom symbiote.
Following Carnage’s death at the hands of Sentry (he was ripped in half in the upper atmosphere), the Carnage symbiote was returned to earth and found by Michael Hall. wanting to bring it back to life he recruited Shriek (Carnage’s lover) and Dr. Tanis Nevies to help restore the symbiote. When the body of Kasady is found to have been preserved inside the symbiote, the prosthetics that were being used in the lab restore Kasady to life and he reclaims the symbiote. The symbiote then gives birth to another offspring that tries to bond with Dr. Nevies who shrugs it off. The symbiote then forcibly tries to bond with Shriek before being torn off of the body by the host. In a panicked state the new symbiote bonds once more with Dr. Nevies and creates Scorn. Scorn quickly defeats Shriek and uses Shriek as a weapon against Carnage before the latter is able to escape.
Scorn has a major role in the Carnage USA storyline where her and Mercury Team (the hosts to Phage, Lasher, Riot and Agony) attempt to clear the town of Doverton Colorado from Carnage and his mindless wave. They are overrun and it takes Agent Venom appearing with sonic rounds to turn the tide. In the end scorn activates her device to break the bonds the symbiotes have on their hosts and is able to capture the Carnage symbiote.
Not much is known about Raze except that she is one of the offspring of Carnage and is bonded to Claire Dixon. Raze was one of the Klyntar hosts that was recruited into a special SHIELD team called the Spider-Men.
Claire Dixon was bonded tot he symbiote in a ritual involving the Darkhold (ancient book of dark magic spells and rituals). due to the manner she was forcibly bonded to the symbiote, Raze is vulnerable to Magic and Fire but unlike the other symbiotes she is not vulnerable to sound.
Raze is believed to have been destroyed following the battle and banishing of the evil eldritch God of Chaos, Chthon, whom Carnage had awakened.
Mania is basically the homicidal and psychotic aspects of Venom dialed up to like a 15. It was cloned from a piece of the tongue of the original Venom and refused to bond with any potential hosts. Instead, it would brutally murder them, not to be consumed for fuel but out of sadistic desire. When presented with two possible hosts, both convicted murderers, the symbiote toyed with them> It forced them to fight each other to get away and then bonded with one to mock the other about an assault he has experienced in prison. The symbiote then killed it’s host and is implied to has assaulted the other inmate before killing him as well.
It was then transferred to a facility in the Arctic in northern Canada where it broke out of containment and murdered everyone in the facility. A lieutenant in the US Army named Patricia Robertson, went to the containment facility on an errand before being lured into the complex by the symbiote. The Symbiote having bonded with humans was able to mimic a human’s cry for help and coerced Robertson into the facility to see the massacre it had created. While Robertson was investigating, the symbiote attacked and bonded with one of the sled dogs Ivan and hitched a ride back to Robertson’s base, the Christmastown Radar station. Lots of death and backstabbing occurs by various people including Wolverine who was briefly host to the symbiote before it bonded with Robertson and they journeyed to New York to kill the original Venom.
Venom had been bonded to Flash Thompson at this point and he was posing as a P.E. Teacher in Philadelphia. Jack O’Lantern threatened to kill one of his students, Andrea “Andi” Benton, with a poisonous gas grenade and Flash sent what he thought was the venom symbiote to protect her. Turns out it was the clone of the Venom symbiote that bonded with her and she became Mania. Andi embraced the power that the symbiote gave her and used the power to kill a crime lord, Lord Ogre, who had killed Andi’s father. Andi was a bit of a loner teenager with severe anger management issues that the symbiote exploited for it’s own joy.
Lee Price (former host of Venom) used a sonic gun to separate Mania from Andi and claimed the symbiote for himself, christening himself as Maniac. During the Absolute Carnage story arc, Carnage broke into the jail where Lee Price was being held and murdered him after re-absorbing the Mania symbiote.
Anti-Venom was created by the remnants of the Venom symbiote in Eddie Brock’s body bonding with his white blood cells and getting a boost from Martin Li and his Lightforce touch. Eddie had been down low as he was diagnosed with Cancer and Mac Gargan was the host of Venom. Without any hope of a cure, Eddie had resigned himself to his death and wanted to help people in his final days. He got a job at a soup kitchen run by Martin Li (Mister Negative) where Li inadvertently cured his cancer. Brock believed it to be a miracle and proceeded to double down on his efforts to help others.
Venom (Mac Gargan current host to the symbiote and former supervillain Scorpion) attacks Brock to prove he is the better Venom. When the symbiote attempts to leave Gargan and bond back with Eddie, the symbiote recoils in pain because Eddie’s skin has become caustic to the symbiote. Eddie is then enveloped in a white suit appearing to be the inverse of the Venom symbiote. The remaing symbiote cells in his blood merged with his white blood cells and were mutated by the Lightforce of Mister Negative. This mutation caused a full new symbiote to manifest and form around Eddie. The suit can damage other symbiotes on touch and gifts the owner with all the typical powers of the symbiotes and that of Spider-Man because of it’s parent, Venom.
Eddie sacrificed his Anti-Venom suit during the Spider Island event to cure the people of New York City from the Spider-virus that was mutating them.
There you have it, those are all the named and major symbiotes in the Marvel Comics universe. as I said, with the production of the sequel to Venom in full swing, it’s almost a guarantee that more symbiotes will appear in the movie. More than likely, the worst of them all, Carnage.
I’m not going to spend any time outlining the various abilities that the symbiotes provide as I already did it in the Carnage article which I linked earlier in the post. As a long time fan of Spider-Man, I will say that the creation of the symbiotes and Venom are one of my favourite things that they’ve done for the character. I’m a huge fan of anti-heroes and Venom waffling between villain and hero fits right into my wheelhouse!
See you next week!