Marvel has, throughout the decades, blessed us with a variety of different characters. Some of them have been similar, some have not but that never stopped us from comparing them here on Fiction Horizon. Today’s comparison is going to include two completely different characters – the symbiote known as Venom, and Marvel’s Green Goliath, the Hulk! In today’s article, we are going to explore who would win in a fight between Venom and the Hulk!
From what we gather when considering their powers and abilities, the Hulk would defeat Venom i a direct duel, despite Venom being extremely powerful. Hulk remains one of the most powerful characters in Marvel’s universe and he would certainly come up with a solution for defeating Venom.
Our comparison is going to be divided into three sections. The first is going to bring an overview of the two characters, after which we are going to compare their powers, including their signature weapons. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two characters to determine which one would win in a direct clash.
Venom and his powers
Venom is an antihero appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, the fictional character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man # 252 comic book in May 1984. Typically appearing in association with the Spider-Man character, the character is a sentient alien symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form, which survives by bonding with a host, usually human.
The character actually appeared long before he became Venom, in the form of Symbiote # 998. He was of a different nature, wishing, instead of killing his host to feed on it, to create a true fusional bond with a single host and to form a single entity with it, a symbiosis in the proper sense instead of parasitism. This character led him to be imprisoned by his own and he found himself transferred to the artificial planet called Battleworld. There, he initially bonded with Spider-Man but when the hero realized that Venom wanted to bond with him permanently, he managed to break the symbiosis.
The first and most famous of the symbiote’s hosts is Eddie Brock, a reporter for the Daily Globe, before it was discovered that he fabricated a false story regarding the identity of the Sin-Eater, a serial killer. The real murderer was Sergeant Stan Carter and, when Spider-Man and Daredevil took him down, Brock was fired for his fake article.
Unable to find a respectable new employer, Eddie is forced to work for magazines with a sulfurous reputation. Faced with his growing fear of cancer, Eddie returns to his former passion for sport, dabbling in weight lifting in order to reduce his stress. As he acquires the stature of an Olympic athlete, his anger and depression linger, eventually leading his wife Anna to divorce him.
Realizing that both his professional and personal lives are ruined, Brock contemplates suicide, before going to the Church of Our Lady of Saints where he prays for forgiveness. The symbiote then bonds with him, feeding on his cancer and thus prolonging his existence, with Eddie Brock willingly accepting the symbiote.
With this union, Brock immediately discovers the true identity of the Spider-Man. In The Amazing Spider-Man #298, the couple form the creature known as Venom. He makes his appearance at the end of issue #299, which continues in the “Venom” story arc.
The name Venom originally applied to the fusion of the symbiote and Brock, but over the years it was also used for subsequent embodiments of the symbiote.
Brock fights Spider-Man multiple times and wins in most showdowns. He follows a personal code of honor that requires him to come to the aid of those he considers innocent (notably Carnage). He also received a certain amount of respect from Spider-Man, which none of the Venoms who follow Brock are entitled to.
Having contracted cancer, Brock separates from the Symbiote and sells it. He has since been cured of his cancer by Mister Negative and bonded with two other symbiotes, later becoming the Anti-Venom and then Toxin. A few years later, Brock reunites with the original symbiote in Venom (vol. 3) #6 and once again becomes Venom, but decides to stay on the right track.
For a short while, he was also associated with the characters Angelo Fortunato, Mac Gargan, and Flash Thompson.
Is Venom bigger than the Hulk?
The answer to this question actually depends, since the Hulk has had his height changed over the course of the years. As far as we know, Venom stands at 7 feet 6 inches (229 cm), which is truly impressive and there certainly are some iterations of the Green Goliath that are shorter than Venom. Depending on the iteration, the Hulk is between 7 and 8 ft (2.13 – 2.43 m) tall, which means that there are some taller, but also shorter iterations when compared to Venom.
If you want to know more about superhero and supervillain heights, check out our earlier article on the topic!
Hulk and his powers
The Hulk is a fictional superhero appearing in stories published by Marvel Comics. Hulk is the alter ego of physicist Bruce Banner, who is a regular human, without any superhuman abilities. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the characters debuted in The Incredible Hulk #1 (1962) and is today regarded as one of Marvel’s strongest characters.
Dr. Robert Bruce Banner is a genius physicist, but a physically weak, socially withdrawn, and emotionally reserved human. During the experimental detonation of a gamma bomb, Banner saves teenager Rick Jones who has driven onto the testing field; Banner pushes Jones into a trench to save him, but is hit with the blast, absorbing massive amounts of gamma radiation. He awakens later seemingly unharmed by the incident, but that night transforms into a lumbering grey (yes, he was initially grey before having been recoloured) form. A pursuing soldier named the creature a “hulk”.
Originally, it was believed that Banner’s transformations into the Hulk were caused by sunset and undone at sunrise, but later, it was discovered to be caused by anger. Banner was, interestingly enough, cured in The Incredible Hulk #4, but chose to restore Hulk’s powers with Banner’s intelligence. He later became one of the founding members of the Avengers.
The Hulk is a green-skinned, hulking and muscular humanoid possessing a vast degree of physical strength. The two exist as separate dissociative personalities in the same body, and (generally) resent each other. The Hulk’s level of strength is normally conveyed as proportionate to his level of anger. Commonly portrayed as a raging savage, the Hulk has been represented with other personalities based on Banner’s fractured psyche, from a mindless, destructive force, to a brilliant warrior, or genius scientist in his own right.
Comparing the powers of Venom and Hulk
Our second section will contain a comparison of the two characters’ powers. It won’t be a direct comparison as much as a listing of their powers abilities, which is going to serve as a basis for our analysis in section three of our article. Now, let us begin.
Venom possesses the same powers as Spider-Man (probably because the latter has already worn the symbiote), i.e., reflexes and agility comparable to a spider, in proportion to his size, as well as the ability to cling to surfaces and that of creating and projecting a spider’s web.
He generates his web from the back of his hands or from the underside of his palms; its web is organic and created by the symbiote, allowing it to produce almost unlimitedly, although it may weaken if it uses too much at one time. His web is stronger than Spider-Man’s and dissolves on its own after a while.
In addition to the web, he can also form tentacles from its symbiote to grab hold of objects, his tentacles being able to extend over long distances. Venom’s hands have claws that can be used as melee weapons, and his jaw is lined with sharp fangs he can use to bite other creatures.
He possesses superhuman strength (he can lift up to 70 tons), superior to that of Spider-Man in the case of Brock and Gargan, both of whom are more muscular and naturally stronger than Peter Parker as a normal human. Angelo Fortunato also possessed superhuman strength, but inferior to that of other Venoms.
His body is extremely tough, able to endure blows or drops that would kill an ordinary human, with the symbiote quickly healing most of the injuries he sustains. He possesses unlimited shapeshifter abilities, allowing him to camouflage himself like a chameleon or take on the aspect of another individual.
He can escape Spider-Man’s “spider-sense”, who therefore cannot see him coming when he attacks him, unlike his other enemies. Given that Spider-Man carried the symbiote for a long time, it is assumed that this is because of this that his spider instinct doesn’t recognize him as a danger.
It does, however, have two weaknesses: it is vulnerable to sonic attacks, which can force the symbiote to separate from its host, as well as to fire. However, Venom will succeed in suppressing these weaknesses thanks to the symbiote and thanks to its training in space.
Besides his extraordinary strength, Hulk possesses incredible resistance. His green skin, reinforced by gamma rays which gave it its color, allows him to withstand extremely violent shocks and blows. Hes has been seen to withstand the impact of bullets, grenades, cannon shells and even missiles without damage. In fact, ballistic weapons are ineffective against him.
Much like his strength, the Hulk’s anger strengthens his invulnerability; we have seen him withstand the impact of nuclear explosions several times, as in Antarctica where he faced Thor, and on the planet Sakaar when the Sakaarians set off an atomic bomb of such power that it created an imbalance on the planet. The Hulk also resisted Human Torch’s supernova attack and the X-Men’s Storm’s lightning simultaneously.
The only metals capable of cutting into the skin of the Hulk are vibranium, the metal from which Warpath’s daggers are made, as well as adamantium, which notably makes up Wolverine’s claws. However, even if he is injured, the Hulk’s tissues regenerate at very high speed; he will also declare to Wolverine during a fight that none of them could die as a result of wounds, as their self-healing factors preventing them from doing so.
The Hulk does not have true psychic powers, but has rare abilities to resist them. In “World War Hulk”, Professor Xavier explores the Hulk’s mind, who is unusually angry at the time, and concludes that he is unlikely to overpower him without him hitting him in defense. Onslaught, however, managed to control him, as well as Apocalypse (although their dominance did not last very long).
The Hulk also possesses the ability to perceive astral forms, such as those of Professor Xavier and Doctor Strange. In “World War Hulk”, he even manages to get Xavier’s bodily form to come to him, while Xavier is in his astral form.
Before we continue, let us see how the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010) compares the two characters:
Venom vs Hulk: Who would win?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Let us continue.
The Venom and Hulk haven’t actually fought a lot in the comics. They’re from different “subuniverses” and haven’t really had much contact, especially since Venom is one of those characters that is almost exclusively tied to Spider-Man’s universe. On the other hand, Hulk’s stories generally involved other characters and “subuniverses”.
From a simple comparison of their powers, we see, though, that the Hulk is more powerful, which is actually not that strange, as Hulk is one of the most powerful characters ever. He is stronger, he is more durable and he can increase his powers ∞-fold as he gets angrier. In that aspect, Venom doesn’t really stand a chance, despite his unusual powers and his unusual nature. Hulk would simply beat him to a pulp after a while, although it wouldn’t be that easy.
This was also confirmed in the comics during the one known time when the Hulk and Venom actually clashed. This happened back in 1994, in the “Incredible Hulk vs. Venom” story penned by Peter David. The two of them fight it off until Hulk, at one point, gets the upper hand by first creating a sonic boom with his hands and then by punching Venom right in the face, defeating him. Okay, they both realized they’re on the same side then and they work together to stop a common enemy, but Hulk technically won the fight.
(There is a What If…? story where the Venom takes over the Hulk and “eats” him, but the story is not canon so it doesn’t concern us that much.)
This is why we conclude that Hulk would be the winner in this one.
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