One rarely sees two humanoid spiders fighting against each other. It’s not that common really, mostly because there aren’t any humanoid spiders in the real world (yet). In today’s article, though, we are going to compare two very similar characters that look like humanoid spiders. One of them is the symbiote known as Venom, and the other is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. If you ever wanted to know who would win in a fight between Venom and Spider-Man, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy!
Although Spider-Man has won in the majority of their comic book encounters, objectively speaking – Venom is the more powerful among the two in practically every aspect. This is why we are actually going with Venom in this comparison, despite Spider-Man being the hero.
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.
Spider-Man and his powers
Spider-Man is the superhero alter-ego of Peter Parker, a character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a superhero from New York City and one of the most popular comic book characters in history. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, making his debut in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962). Since then, Spider-Man has appeared in numerous solo volumes, but also as part of other series and teams, most notably the Avengers.
Although not the only one to don the costume of Spider-Man – the most notable successors being Miles Morales and Doctor Octopus himself – Peter Parker is definitely the most famous Spider-Man, which is why we are going to talk about him in this article.
Peter Parker was born in New York to Richard and Mary Parker, but was raised by his uncle Ben and aunt May Parker, due to his parents dying in a plane crash. The comic books dealt a lot with the issues of adolescence, growing up and Peter’s constant financial struggles. The life of an average teenager changed when he was accidentally bit by a radioactive spider, which gave him superhuman abilities, including, but not limited to shooting web from his body or climbing walls. Realising that he has become a superhero of sorts, Peter Parker designed a suit for himself and became Spider-Man, your friendly neighbourhood superhero.
Spider-Man mostly operates out of Queens and, along with fighting regular criminals, he battles against a gallery of famous rogues including Vulture, Scorpion, Rhino, Lizard, Mr. Negative, Venom, Green Goblin and his nemesis, Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man also has to battle against the negative propaganda advocated publicly by J. Johan Jameson, the publisher of the Daily Bugle, who leads an active smear campaign against Spider-Man, despite all the good he does for the city.
Ironically, it is J. Jonah Jameson who employs Peter Parker, not knowing his superhero identity, as a photojournalist for the Bugle; Parker made a career by constantly bringing in great photographs of Spider-Man. Peter Parker’s private life is also examined in the comics, especially the impact of Uncle Ben’s death and his love relationships with Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy.
Usually a standalone hero, Spider-Man has been a member of the Avengers since the 2010s. Spider-Man’s membership (or rather his failed attempts to join the group before the 2010s) in the team was a running gag in the comics, as well as his relationship and friendship with Deadpool.
Due to his popularity, Spider-Man was featured in practically all of the derivative materials. He has had several animated shows, three movie series (portrayed by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland respectively), animated movies and video games for several consoles.
Comparing the powers of Venom and Spider-Man
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.
As for Spider-Man, his most pronounced human abilities are his intelligence and his resourcefulness, but this is all augmented by his superhuman abilities gained from being bitten by a radioactive spider.
Thus, Peter Parker gained a lot of spider-like abilities, such as wall-crawling, the ability to shoot webs from his body, an enhanced immune system and his famous Spider-Sense, used to detect approaching danger.
But, along with that, he has gained superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility and durability, along with a very specific healing factor that is always helpful in his fight against crime.
His strength has been the topic of much debate, since he’s usually perceived as weak (he also has a very slim body type). Yet, Spider-Man can – without any additional enhancements – lift an amazing 10 tons!
This has been proven in comics repeatedly, especially in some stories where he was – with enhancements – able to lift an incredible 130 tons! So, if you were ever doubting Spider-Man’s strength, just remember that he was able to support a building from crashing down on him.
Before we continue, let us see how the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010) compares the two characters:
Venom vs Spider-Man: 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.
Spider-Man and Venom have a long history. Okay, it’s not that long since Venom is a relatively new character, but the two of them have been connected since Venom’s debut in Secret Wars via the black Spider-Man suit. They have often collaborated but they have also often clashed one against the other, with Spider-Man coming out as the winner in most cases, mainly because he is the hero of the story. But the comparison is really not that simple.
Namely, Venom seems to be much more powerful than Spider-Man; even the numbers confirm that (see above). He is stronger and can lift much more than Spider-Man, he us more durable, he has some exceptional supernatural skills and powers, and he has one big advantage over Spider-Man – he knows him quite well! Namely, the symbiotes are very intelligent creatures and they not only enhance their hosts, they learn from them. Since Venom was in contact with Spider-Man for a while, he has learned a lot about him, which gives him a big tactical advantage in battle.
Sure, one could argue that Spider-Man could use two of Venom’s known weaknesses – sound and fire – but Venom has evolved over the years, becoming not moly more powerful, but also more resistant to his usual triggers. This all indicates that Spider-Man’s victories are more of a narrative moment than an objective results of their powers and abilities, and we actually agree with that.
This is why we think that Venom is more powerful than Spider-Man and that he would defeat him in a fight. Perhaps not every fight, perhaps not every time, but out of ten battles, Venom would certainly take at least seven in our humble opinion.
10 best Venom vs Spider-Man fights
Here is a list of the 10 best fights between Venom and Spider-Man as they have been portrayed in the comic books:
|Amazing Spider-Man #300||1988||Spider-Man eventually defeated Venom in their first official clash (although it was a close one), sending Eddie Brock to prison for his crimes as Venom|
|Spider-Man #52||1994||Venom nearly killed Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider, in this fight and would certainly have done it were it not for Scream’s intervention; she defeated Venom and saved Reilly’s life|
|Amazing Spider-Man #347||1991||This strange tropical island clash ended with Spider-Man faking his death (after realizing that he could not defeat Venom) and Venom falling for it, after which he and Eddie Brock finally split up, so this one’s technically a draw|
|Spider-Man 2099 Meets Spider-Man||1995||This one is more interesting than relevant but it is noteworthy for Venom clashing with Migel O’Hara (Spider-Man 2099) for a short while, before the Avengers arrived and interrupted the battle, which means that we’re counting this one as a draw as well|
|Venom: Dark Origin||2008—2009||Spider-Man ultimately manages to sever the connection between Venom and Eddie Brock, thus coming out as the winner of this brutal clash, probably one of the most brutal and violent encounters between these two characters ever|
|Ultimate Spider-Man #38||2003||Spider-Man wins this one, but this was pure chance, as Venom stumbled on an electrical wire, losing the fight in the end; this was a whole-issue fight that is among the best fights between these two characters ever written|
|Spider-Man 3||2007||Spider-Man manages to kill both the Venom symbiote and Eddie Brock with the “help” of the Green Goblin’s pumpkin bomb, after having separated the two earlier using church bells, Venom’s known weakness (you can see the battle for yourselves here)|
|Amazing Spider-Man #316-317||1989||This one is rather unclear, as… well… the two of them fought it off in a factory before ending up in the ocean; Spider-Man tried to lure the symbiote onto him, but the separation sent Venom and Eddie Brock in a frenzy, during which they knocked out Spider-Man and ended up unconscious themselves, before being captured by the Fantastic Four|
|DC/Marvel All Access #1||1996||Spider-Man managed to defeat Venom with the help of Superman in this DC/Marvel crossover event; Venom proved to be an exceptionally difficult foe that caused a lot of trouble for both Spider-Man and the Man of Steel|
|Venom: Space Knight #11-12||2016||Venom technically takes this one, as he first manages to beat Spider-Man while being bound to Flash Thompson, and then also manages to bond with Peter Parker, although this doesn’t last for long; this is one of the more impressive fights between the two in the visual sense|
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