Venom and Spider-Man have a long history between them. Most people think of Venom as an “evil alien Spider-Man” and although that is not technically incorrect, there is much more between them that explains their ongoing rivalry, the one which comes from Venom’s hatred for Spider-Man. But exactly why does Venom hate Spider-Man?
The Venom symbiote hates Spider-Man because he rejected him twice and removed him from his body. Eddie Brock, on the other hand, hates Spider-Man because he thinks that he is the source of all the bad luck he’s had throughout his life.
In the rest of the article, I am going to explain everything about the rivalry between Venom and Spider-Man. You’re going to find out what connects these two – for example, why Venom has a spider on his chest and why he has spider-powers – as well as why they are rivals, i.e., why does Venom hate Spider-Man and how the two of them became enemies.
Why Does Venom Hate Spider-Man?
Although this question might be simple, it’s not nearly as simple to answer it. Namely, Venom and Spider-Man have a long history and the answer to this question actually depends on what period of their shared history you consider.
If you consider their initial encounter during the Secret Wars storyline, as well as its direct consequences, the Venom symbiote actually bonded with Spider-Man. This was the appearance of the (in)famous black Spider-Man suit, which was explained to be the Venom symbiote bonding with Spider-Man.
Spider-Man initially benefited from the symbiosis. He became more powerful and felt better overall with his new strength. Still, Peter Parker thought that it was just a temporary enhancement of his suit, as he was not aware of the true nature of the black suit, and especially not of the fact that the symbiote actually wanted to bond with him permanently.
As soon as Spider-Man found out about the nature of the Venom symbiote and that it wanted to bond with his body permanently, he looked for a way to get rid of it and succeeded. This was the first time that Spider-Man rejected the symbiote.
As it happened, the symbiote arrived on Earth with the heroes and it once again stalked Spider-Man, opting to bond with him. The symbiote attached itself to one of Spider-Man’s suits and “ambushed” Spider-Man, who took that suit not knowing it was “infected”. This time, though, Spider-Man knew what he was dealing with so he immediately found a way to get rid of it.
As it stands, the Venom symbiote hates Spider-Man because he rejected him. Twice. It’s not really hate per se, but the symbiote certainly feels offended and it wants its revenge. The revenge? It wants to bond with Spider-Man permanently. This is a sort of love-hate relationship and Spider-Man has abused the fact that Venom is still after him on several occasions to defeat it.
Now, Eddie Brock is something completely different. Eddie Brock is the most famous host of the Venom symbiote. A ruined man, he stumbled upon Venom by accident and accepted him because they both shared a mutual hate for Spider-Man, as Spider-Man seemingly ruined them both. What happened with Eddie?
Eddie Brock was a successful journalist during the so-called Sin-Eater incident. Sin-Eater was a serial murderer targeting New York and one day, Brock received a letter from a certain Emil Gregg, who confessed to being the Sin-Eater. Brock, who had craved his father’s love and respect his whole life, thought that this information would bring him the recognition he deserved.
Emil Gregg was arrested but the killings didn’t stop. Spider-Man then investigated the case only to find out that the actual killer was the chief of police Stan Carter. Eddie’s career was ruined as people thought that he fabricated a story and had an innocent man imprisoned for his personal gains; he was fired, he lost his wife, and was on the brink of suicide when he met Venom.
As it turns out, Brock did not lie. Namely, Emil Gregg was a mentally ill man who really believed himself to be the Sin-Eater; and while that was a lie, it was a lie perpetrated by Gregg himself, although he also believed it was the truth. So, Brock’s fate is the result of a series of tragic events but Brock decided to blame Spider-Man, as he was the one who discovered the real culprit.
That is why Eddie Brock hated Spider-Man, although the two of them ended up reconciling, if only a bit, as the years passed.
Why Does Venom Have a Spider on His Chest?
If you look closely at Venom’s body, you’ll see that the symbiote has a large, white spider symbol on his chest. This, of course, is a reference to Spider-Man and their first encounter (see above), although Venom’s spider looks a bit more menacing and is larger.
Now, why does Venom even have a spider symbol on his chest, seeing that he is an alien symbiote from a completely different planet?
When Venom symbiote bonded to its first host (Tel-Kar) in Venom: First Host Issue #1, the spider symbol wasn’t on his chest. The symbol appeared later on when the symbiote merged with Spider-Man for the first time.
Why Does Venom Have Spider Powers?
As we all know, Venom has a lot of the same powers and abilities as Spider-Man. Initially, it was probably just a reference that wasn’t all that thought out, but as the character evolved, these similarities had to be explained in a proper way.
Now, the origin of Venom’s spider-powers lies within the fact that Venom was, for a while, hosted by Spider-Man. It happened on two occasions, as we have already explained above. Now, the symbiotes are very intelligent beings and they have the power to not only bond and live off a host, but also to copy their powers and abilities.
This means that when Venom actually bonded with Spider-Man, he not only became him, he also copied all of his powers and abilities for future use. This is why all subsequent Venom hosts had Spider-Man’s abilities, although they were a bit enhanced and adapted to the symbiote himself.
How Did Venom and Spider-Man Become Enemies?
Venom and Spider-Man aren’t really enemies in the classical sense, as Venom is more of an antihero than a villain. They have clashed, mostly during Venom’s early years, when he was a classical supervillain, but as time passed, their relationship became more complex and layered than before.
They became enemies because both the Venom symbiote and Eddie Brock hated Spider-Man, with Spider-Man seeing a villain in both. Still, as Eddie Brock changed, Venom changed with him and the two haven’t always been on the opposite side of Spider-Man in later stories.