When Todd McFarlane got his hands on the Venom character, the creepy alien symbiote transformed from a sentient “costume” to a character in his own right. Venom became extremely popular among fans and despite the fact that he is considered to be a supervillain, Venom is beloved by everyone. He has appeared in movies, animation, and video games, and with the upcoming sequel to Tom Hardy’s Venom coming to theaters this fall, we have decided to prepare you for the movie with this article.
In today’s article, we are going to give you a list of the 10 best Venom stories that appeared in the comics. We are going to rank them from 10th to 1st, giving you information about the comics and the stories involved. This is, of course, going to be just a brief synopsis so be sure to read the comics yourselves if you want to get the full experience.
10 best Venom comics
10. “Planet of the Symbiotes”
Writer(s): David Michelinie
Publication Date: June – October 1995
The plot begins with Eddie Brock pondering if he is capable of controlling Venom after learning of a similar problem from Riot, Phage, Lasher, Agony, and Scream. While teaming up with Spider-Man against a terrorist group, Brock realizes that Venom is pushing him to kill.
Having delved into Brock’s problems, Spider-Man tries to convince him to abandon the symbiote, saying that this affects the soundness of his decisions. Eddie frees himself from Venom with some effort, and Venom, enraged at being rejected, telepathically summons a huge ship full of symbiotes to Earth.
Symbiotes begin to merge with ordinary people, forcing them to commit murder. Eddie Brock, feeling guilty, teams up with Spider-Man and Ben Reilly again to investigate. They learn that symbiotes are extracting components from the Earth that they need to create an unknown device. The trinity attacks the symbiotes, but is captured, and Ben Reilly agrees to merge with the symbiote.
They are teleported to a planet already invaded by symbiotes. The symbiote, merged with Ben Reilly, reports that his goal is to change the usual history of his species and achieve interbreeding with other races in order to begin to feel emotions, and Venom advocates for getting closer to the carrier, and not taking over him, but that nevertheless, they will not abandon their intention to conquer the Earth.
They teleport back to Earth, where they release Cletus Kasaday. The symbiote attacks him, and Cletus becomes Carnage’s bearer again. Carnage absorbs one of the symbiotes and realizes that as a result of this, he becomes stronger.
While Carnage absorbs a huge number of symbiotes, increasing in size, Spider-Man seeks a way to kill him. At this time, Venom decides that if he does not stop Carnage, he will die himself, and with the help of his telepathic abilities, which helped him call the ship, decides to independently destroy his own army. He instills pain and despair in symbiotes and they commit suicide.
You can read “Planet of the Symbiotes” here.
Writer(s): David Michelinie
Artist(s): Mark Bagley
Publication Date: April – June 1992
Serial killer Cletus Kasaday, now the symbiote-powered Carnage, arrives at Peter’s university, looking for his next victim. He finds Chip, a classmate of Peter Parker. Chip begins to run away from Carnage, but Carnage picks up a sink and throws it at Chip so he can’t leave the room. Carnage goes to Chip, grabs him by the neck, and puts his fingers to kill Chip.
The phone rings at May Parker’s place. Peter answers the phone and learns that one of his classmates, Chip, has been murdered. Spider-Man enters the lab where Chip was killed and hides in the air conditioning vents to get information. Peter later tells Mary that Chip was killed and tells her that he suspects Venom to be the culprit.
He recounts how he first obtained the Venom Symbiote on Battleworld during the Secret Wars storyline. After learning that it was trying to bond with him permanently, he then used the strong bells of the cathedral to seemingly to destroy it. The symbiote survived and bonded with someone who hated Spider-Man as much as he did – Eddie Brock.
Brock bonded with the symbiote and became Venom, one of Spider-Man’s most powerful enemies. Peter goes to the Daily Bugle and searches the newspaper’s computer archives to trace Eddie Brock’s activities before their last fight. He finds out that Eddie had a cellmate on Ryker’s Island. That cellmate was Cletus Kasaday, an unrepenting mass murderer who received 11 life sentences. He also discovers that Cletus had just escaped from his cell and murdered one of the prison guards in the process.
Peter wonders if this is Cletus’ first murder and what kind of monster he’s dealing with now. That evening, Spider-Man goes to the ruins of St. Estes’ Home and finds Cletus talking to himself. The deranged maniac sits naked in front of a fire and talks to a teddy bear he calls Binky. When the wall-crawler tries to get closer, he reveals his presence to Kasaday.
At the sight of the robot from the wall, Cletus suddenly transforms into Carnage and tears the teddy bear apart with his bare hands. Carnage reaches out to defeat Spider-Man and reminds him of fights with Venom. Spider-Man’s battles against the homicidal symbiote begin; he is later accompanied by Eddie Brock so that the two must stop Carnage together.
You can read “Carnage” here.
8. “The Bride of Venom”
Writer(s): David Michelinie
Artist(s): Mark Bagley
Publication Date: March 1993
Venom kidnapped Richard and Mary Parker. He tells the Parkers that he is one of them now. When they beg not to be hurt, Venom explains that he doesn’t want to hurt them but rather protect them from Spider-Man. Richard and Mary are confused and wonder what they have to do with Spider-Man. This comes as a shock to Brock, who quickly realizes that Peter Parker didn’t tell his parents that he really was Spider-Man. However, he refuses to tell them the truth because he wants to preserve their innocence.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man hurls around town to get to the Daily Bugle, hoping to find some clue as to where Venom might have taken his parents. Hours later, Peter Parker is at the 34th Street skyscraper where Ann Weying lives. Parker had learned that Ann was Eddie Brock’s wife before he became Venom. Ann sits down over coffee and tells the hero about her relationship with Eddie Brock.
Spider-Man thanks Ann for the information and leaves shortly afterwards. With her thoughts left behind, Ann wonders if there is anything she can do to help. Suddenly she gets a moment of inspiration and rushes outside and calls for a taxi.
Later that night, Spider-Man arrives at Thrill World. His arrival is discovered by Venom, who tells the Parkers not to worry as he will protect them from Spider-Man. Brock confronts Spider-Man, who vows to make Venom pay for harm to his parents. The web-slinger is shocked to discover that Brock kidnapped his parents not to harm them but to protect them from Spider-Man himself.
When Ann Weying shows up, Brock transforms into Venom. Ann tries to convince Eddie to turn his life around, give up his desire for revenge, and let the Parkers walk free. When she manages to get through to Brock, he is suddenly attacked by the Wild Pack. Eddie transforms back into Venom and blames Spider-Man, thinking that the hero had turned Ann against him and that they planned this ambush together. When Spider-Man tries to explain that he had nothing to do with this attack, Venom relentlessly attacks him.
Before he can seriously injure the hero, the Wild Pack steps in and suddenly attacks Brock. Venom hears Richard and Mary call for help. He sees the couple trapped in a ring of fire created by Crippler’s flamethrower. Despite the fact that fire is one of his weaknesses, Venom jumps over the flames and saves Richard and Mary from the fire. Then he sends them away with Ann and tells them to get to safety.
As Spider-Man fights for his life, Ann leaves the Parkers with Lance Bannon as she tries to get Eddie to stop the fight. Venom overpowers Spider-Man and begins smashing the hero into the same amusement park ride, inflicting even greater damage on the ride. Spider-Man is covered in the symbiote and slowly suffocates while being hit. However, he is saved by Quentino at the last moment. Before he can take down Venom, however, Quentino is hit from behind by Ann and is knocked out.
Eddie thanks Ann for her help and is about to resume his beating on Spider-Man. This appalls Ann, who cannot believe that Eddie would kill another human, and she begins to flee. Suddenly, the damaged ride begins to tip over and threatens to crush her. Venom jumps in his way and tries to hold it with his strength. Spider-Man gives his strength and helps Venom save Ann’s life. With his ex-wife in the safe, Venom is about to attack Spider-Man again when Ann stops him.
She points out that Spider-Man risked his own life to save her life. This finally lets Venom realize that Spider-Man does indeed save innocent lives and that killing the hero would result in the demise of all those who Spider-Man will save in the future. Venom then offers to make a deal with the hero: he won’t come after him anymore, and Spider-Man won’t come after him. Since he has no other choice, the hero agrees.
However, when Venom fires a line of net at a passing helicopter in an attempt to escape, the hero decides that he can’t just release Venom. He succeeds in marking his enemy with a spider seeker, that is discovered and crushed by the symbiote. After the battle, Peter tells his wife Mary Jane everything that happened. However, his attempts to keep an eye on Venom have brought nothing, as the villain has disappeared without a trace. This leaves Peter wondering if he can take a madman’s word.
You can read “The Bride of Venom” here.
7. “The Hunger”
Writer(s): Paul Jenkins
Artist(s): Humberto Ramos
Publication Date: September – December 2003
In Greenwich, Detective Neil Garrett asks an NYPD officer named Jerry what happened, when forensic investigators found a young woman who was assaulted; she is still alive but unconscious. Jerry replies that most of the evidence was washed away in the rain, but her belongings are still in her purse, so they don’t know what happened to her, since it’s probably not a robbery. When Jerry reports strange bruises just above his kidneys, Neil says they were puncture sites and his prey is back in business.
At Our Lady of Saints Church, Eddie Brock sits in a confessional booth and tells the priest how he became the host of the Venom symbiote – which he now believes to be a demon that God sent to kill him. At St. Mark’s Hospital, Peter and Aunt May visit Flash Thompson, who has been left in a coma by the Green Goblin. May warns Peter that Flash could be horribly disfigured, but Peter says he owes it to Flash due to their long-standing friendship.
At St. Jude Hospital, Detective Garrett discusses the young woman’s injuries with her doctor, Phil, who says her adrenal glands were punctured and aspirated – just like the two previous victims. Detective Garrett asks Dr. Phil, who or what would be able to hurt someone in this way, and Dr. Phil suggests either an animal or a vampire.
Big John and Glory Grant mock an issue of The Daily Bugle that reports that a vampire is walking around town and watche Randy Robertson play street ball with another tenant. Randy pauses and asks if John knows where Peter has been. Big John replies that he’s not sure but hints that a woman is hanging her underwear on a clothesline and says he missed the scene.
Swinging through Midtown, Spider-Man laments that Flash Thompson fell into a coma just because their lives crossed paths. When Spider-Man hears a scream coming from an abandoned subway tunnel entrance, he investigates and realizes the ominous feeling that something terribly wrong is about to happen. When Spider-Man lands on a wall, he sees Venom holding a homeless man by the head and looking more limp than usual.
Spider-Man calls out to Venom, who drops the homeless man, and tells Spider-Man that his intrusion is uninvited but unwelcome, and then asks him to satisfy his hunger. Spider-Man calls the homeless man to flee, but is taken by surprise by Venom and realizes that something is different about his longtime nemesis: instead of feeling Eddie Brock’s greed and anger, he doesn’t can only feel the insatiable hunger and thirst for blood of the symbiote, as well as loneliness and fear.
Venom ties Spider-Man up with tendrils and asks him if he is shaking in fear or anticipation; correcting Spider-Man when he says Venom wants his blood by saying he wants Spider-Man’s mind, body, and soul. Spider-Man manages to break free, joking that he already has a girlfriend and the symbiote is making his butt look big.
As a train approaches, Venom berates Spider-Man for turning the symbiote into a monster by rejecting him. When Venom hits Spider-Man into a pillar, he growls that he is suffering from Spider-Man, who has been transformed into a bloodthirsty monster by the sin of Peter Parker. Mounted, Spider-Man declares that he has never sinned against Eddie Brock, only for Venom to reveal that he is the hostless symbiote and render him unconscious.
The story later reveals that the symbiote was the only thing keeping Eddie alive because Brock had terminal cancer. And the symbiote really wanted to find Peter.
You can read “The Hunger” here.
6. “The Last Temptation Of Eddie Brock”
Writer(s): Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist(s): Lee Weeks, Rick Holberg, Clayton Crain
Publication Date: August – September 2007
Eddie Brock, who is dying of cancer and is wasting away in a hospital, experiences hallucinations from his dark side that take the form of Venom. While walking around the hospital, he bumps into Mary Jane in Aunt May’s room. With the family of his nemesis right in front of him, he wonders what that could mean.
In the street, Spider-Man finds three thugs attacking a woman. He deals with them quickly but doesn’t ask if the woman is okay, so she makes a point of telling him. He asks her and leaves before she can ask if he’s okay. Spider-Man arrives at Madame Web’s apartment.
There, he informs them of everything that has happened and asks if they can hold a session so they can tell Aunt May that they are waiting for her to wake up. She tells him it’s possible, depending on where Aunt May is and whether she wants to be joined or not, and agrees to help.
Eddie prays at the foot of his hospital bed to know what to do. His dark side tells him that although he always tries to protect the innocent, no one is truly innocent and that he cannot make decisions about a person’s innocence. He should take this opportunity and let someone else separate the good from the bad.
On Eddie’s bed is a package containing a replica of the Spider-Man black suit he ordered from a store. He opens the package and hangs it up. On the roof of the hospital, Eddie’s dark side tells him to kill Nurse Sims, his nurse, to prepare for later. When Nurse Sims enters her room to give him his medication, he comes out from behind her and stabs her with a scalpel.
After that, his dark side appears in front of him and convinces him that she deserves it, but Eddie thinks May Parker is innocent even though her dark side thinks she deserves to die for raising Peter, the man, who according to him, ruined his life.
Somewhere in the hospital, Peter, Madame Web, Mary Jane, and Anna Watson are sitting in the hospital living room while Felicia Hardy searches for them. Part of the session is focusing on a personal memory of May. Peter goes back to the night Uncle Ben was shot. He finds Aunt May, who tells him that she doesn’t want to come back, but Peter doesn’t want to accept that she gives up.
Meanwhile, Eddie walks into Aunt May’s room and puts on his mask. At the same time, a sprawling monster moves Aunt May into the house when she says goodbye to Peter. He runs after her, but the door closes behind her and he cannot open it.
In Aunt May’s hospital room, Eddie struggles to decide whether or not to kill Aunt May. When the session is over, Peter tells Madam Web that something else has happened to them, but suddenly he feels his spider’s sense tingle. He runs to Aunt May’s hospital room to find her and Eddie unharmed by the broken window in her room.
Eddie admits that his dark side, Venom, wanted him to kill Aunt May, but she was too innocent and too good for him to be successful. Then he shows him the cuts he made on his own arm to suppress his dark side, and after asking Peter for forgiveness, he jumps out the window. But before he dies, Peter catches him with his net.
Eddie wakes up chained to his hospital bed, where he is still haunted by his dark side. Even so, Eddie maintains his dominance.
5. Venom: Dark Origin
Writer(s): Zeb Wellis
Artist(s): Angel Medina
Publication Date: October 2008 – February 2009
Sometime after the Sin-Eater incident, Eddie Brock – dishonored and disgraced, forced to write for a gossip tabloid – returns to his low-rental apartment to hear his ex-wife Anne Weying leave him a message telling him to sign the divorce papers. Depressed to the point of committing suicide, Eddie goes to the Our Lady of Saints Church to ask for forgiveness before committing suicide.
When he confesses that he can only think about killing Spider-Man – whom he blames for his humiliation – a black tear drops from Mary’s eyes and catches him, clinging to his eye before it closes in on the rest of his body. When Eddie screams, the priest tells him to keep quiet or he will call the police and looks out of his confessional to see Eddie struggling to get rid of the living darkness.
When the symbiote bonds with him, Eddie has a vision of Spider-Man, who fights in the first Secret Wars, how he finds the symbiote and binds to it and ultimately rejects it. Growling that Spider-Man tried to kill them both, Eddie collapses as the symbiote returns to his body. A couple of policemen arrive and the priest tells them that Eddie is covered in what looked like blood. When Eddie gets agitated, the cops – assuming he’s on drugs – ask him if he remembers what he’s taken.
Eddie vomits up the symbiote, covering his body and hits the cops with tendrils. When the priest – convinced that a demon is standing in front of him – says a prayer, the police open fire, but the symbiote blocks the bullets. Transformed into a muscular version of Black Suit Spider-Man, Eddie traps one of the cops with a spin while the other cop and the priest run away. Eddie, clad in symbiotes, carries the corpse of the dead policeman with a tendril and tears through the church door and bends over the priest.
Eddie apologizes to the priest for the lies he told and for killing the policeman. The other cop tries to run into him with the car, but Eddie uses the symbiote to throw him against the church wall. When the frightened priest grants Eddie his forgiveness, Eddie leaves and transforms the symbiote into street clothes. When he returns to his apartment, Eddie finds Anne and the lawyer waiting outside.
While he’s thinking about what to, the symbiote uses his tendrils to shave off his beard, transforms into a black suit, and wordlessly tells him he doesn’t need them anymore. Eddie signs the divorce papers with a pen made from the symbiote’s biomass, but when Anne finally compliments him and takes responsibility, he slams and growls that Spider-Man has ruined his life.
Anne angrily responds that Spider-Man has no idea who Eddie is and that Eddie doesn’t know who he is either. Struck by a sudden revelation, Eddie rushes to his apartment, the symbiote covering his body. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, Eddie walks up to the symbiote and says he knows who Spider-Man is under his mask. When Eddie laughs, the symbiote shows an oversized mouth, his teeth turn into fangs, as he howls with a twisted, insane laugh.
You can read Venom: Dark Origin here.
4. “New Ways To Die”
Writer(s): Dan Slott
Artist(s): John Romita Jr.
Publication Date: October – December 2008
Spider-Man briefly summarizes his origins and the new villains he faces. In the present, he meets and fights Menace. The villain bombs the side of a building then escapes. Spider-Man sees many workers coming out of the building and the rows of manual machinery inside. He photographs these results and brings the images to the Front Line office. Staff conclude that the building was an illegal sweatshop owned by mayoral candidate Randall Crowne.
After Front Line publishes an article about the scandal, Crowne meets Norman Osborn. He asks Osborn to support him and bring his team to town. Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts train against aftershocks of the unregistered heroes. Dexter Bennett orders Betty Brant to counter the Front Line article by investigating Martin Li. She goes to the FEAST Center to interview Li and is surprised to see Eddie Brock. They state that Brock survived his cancer and was exonerated from his acts as Venom.
After Peter Parker is captured by armed guards, he is confronted by the Thunderbolts in his own apartment.
Later, as Spider-Man argues with Anti-Venom, Menace confronts Norman Osborn and the rest of the Thunderbolts. Menace escapes, and Osborn finds Peter’s camera on a nearby rooftop. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn gives Ben Urich a lead on Oscar’s involvement in a human trafficking scandal. Osborn examines Peter’s camera film and learns of Anti-Venom’s ability to slow down his spider powers. Plus, he finds a way to reverse engineer the camera’s tracking technology to determine Spider-Man’s location.
Harry Osborn runs into a building with Lily. The guards make her wait outside while Harry enters. He finds his father in the green goblin outfit and they start arguing. Next, we see the Spider-Man and Anti-Venom web swinging towards the Oscorp building. They land on the roof and Anti-Venom runs towards Venom’s presence and Spider-Man takes off in the other direction. Spider-Man enters the building when the Thunderbolts stop him. They want to know where Anti-Venom is. Spider-Man turns around and is the Anti-Venom.
He hangs Songbird and Radioactive Man on the wall. He and Venom / Scorpion start to fight. Bullseye tells the radio that he’s fine and that Spider-Man is still on the run. Spider-Man attacks the Green Goblin. He summons his glider and he and Spider-Man fight over it. Harry looks through the walls that Spider-Man and the Green Goblin crashed into to see a room where all the Chinese in the sweatshop were. Spider-Man leaves the Green Goblin and he and Harry bring people out of the building as the Green Goblin presses the self-destruct button.
He helps Songbird and Radioactive Man break free and sees that Anti-Venom and Venom are still fighting. The heroes run away with Harry and the innocent people. The poison stings the Anti-Venom and his symbiote disappears. The Venom symbiote doesn’t let Venom kill Eddie. Later, we see the Thunderbolts telling Spider-Man to hold back for a few days.
Later, at a press conference, Norman says that Spider-Man is dead. Peter, Harry and Lily are in the ruins of the Oscorp building looking for something. Harry leaves the room. Peter notices that the only remaining book is called The Rise of the Norman Empire. Lily kisses Peter. Peter is stunned. Harry comes back and says he found what he needed.
They go there and Mr. Li is fed up with the sweatshop folks and snaps at Aunt May. Eddie Brock stands in an alley and brings the story to its end.
You can read “New Ways To Die” here.
3. Spider-Man: Birth of Venom
Publication Date: April 2007
This comic book is actually an anthology containing various stories written by different authors, focusing on the origins of the Eddie Brock iteration of the Venom characters. The collection includes a total of eighteen stories, which are interconnected, but are not ordered chronologically. These stories also tie into other stories of the time and expand the story of Venom and some other characters; there are even stories where Eddie Brock doesn’t make an appearance. We opted for this explanation rather than a synopsis because it would simply take up too much time to write up all the synopses and would not make sense.
You can read Spider-Man: Birth of Venom here.
2. “Agent Venom”
Writer(s): Rick Remender
Artist(s): Tony Moore
Publication Date: May – September 2011
Nrosvekistan, a country in Eastern Europe, is attacked by nationalists called Bright, and a man and his mother are caught in the middle. Several elite UN peacekeepers in Stark armor come to their aid, but are all killed by Jack O’Lantern in a hail of Antarctic vibranium bullets that also kill the man and his mother. His unknown boss watches him on film to make sure the vibranium-armed bullets are working.
The creator of the bullets, Doctor Ferid Ekmecic, used these bullets to wage this war. Jack O’Lantern’s job is to find him and bring him back to his boss. He finds it in a vibranium tank, but there is a helicopter in front of him. Agent Venom falls from him; it is Flash Thompson, who is connected to the Venom symbiote. But before continuing his mission to retrieve Doctor Ekmecic alive, he stops to save a civilian, knowing that he cannot be bound to the Venom symbiote for more than 48 hours or the bond will be permanent and the command of Project Rebirth will blow him up with a kill changer.
When he tries to bring the civilian to safety, he receives bullets from all sides and even a grenade is thrown at him. He quickly rejects it with the symbiote so that it does not explode and puts it in his suit. After bringing the civilians to safety, he goes to the tank to look for Doctor Ekmecic. Jack O’Lantern attacks him and takes Doctor Ekmecic prisoner.
When Venom recovers, he puts a woman and her baby to safety despite the urgency of his mission. Jack O’Lantern comes in from behind and catches the net he is swinging on. Venom orders the woman to flee while he fights Jack O’Lantern. Venom loses control of the symbiote and is grounded on top of that. Not listening to his orders, the symbiote decides to stick the live grenade which he shoves in his costume in the mouth of Jack O’Lantern, which ignites.
Even with his face half blown away, Jack O’Lantern can fly away with Doctor Ekmecic. Venom is forced to shoot Doctor Ekmecic in the face with a net and drag him to his death. Returning to Project Rebirth, General Dodge berates Flash for failing the mission and almost losing control of the symbiote. Flash goes to Betty’s apartment where she yells at him that she is six hours late for a V.A. benefit.
Flash tries to find an excuse, but Betty knows he’s lying to her and thinks he was drinking outside. He goes and remembers something his father said: “Where God wants you to go, he’ll make a way.” He goes past a bar that has a wheelchair ramp, but when he also passes a church that’s hosting an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, he sees that, unlike the bar, it is not wheelchair accessible.
You can read “Agent Venom” here.
Writer(s): Dan Slott
Artist(s): Humberto Ramos
Publication Date: August – November 2011
The supervillain Jackal returns and prepares another experiment again. He uses his skills in genetic engineering and with the help of a substance invented by him, sprayed over Manhattan, allows the inhabitants of the island to obtain abilities similar to those of Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man himself, who was summoned to a robbed store, encounters Hydro-Man there, after the defeat of which Spider-Man begins to notice that some police officers have abilities similar to those that he owns. Spider-Man discovers that Jackal is behind this, who received funding from an unknown woman.
Riots with Spider-Men break out on the streets of the city, and the New Avengers help contain the situation along with two former supervillains nicknamed Cloak and Dagger, who, despite their help with the Avengers, recall the time when they worked for Norman Osborn in Dark X-Men.
When everyone in town, at the behest of the Jackal, starts dressing up in Spider-Man costumes, Mary Jane Watson meets the real Peter Parker in a white Future Foundation outfit. Peter goes in search of his girlfriend Carly Cooper, who also received spider powers. He tries to call on other heroes to help him in his search, but he gets lost in the crowd of the newly minted Spider-Men, and even his allies cannot identify him.
Peter turns to Ms. Marvel for help, but she attacks him, mistaking him for an enemy.
You can read Spider-Island here.
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