When you go outside the core Marvel Cinematic Universe, you encounter Venom. But who or what is Venom?
He is a corrupted version of Spider-Man? Well, yes and no.
Venom is one of the scores of Symbiotes that appear in the Marvel universe.
What Are Symbiotes?
Symbiotes are alien parasites that latch onto other beings. The primordial symbiote Knull creates them within a living abyss made from the skull of an undead celestial. This place is known as Knowhere (sound familiar?).
He creates the Symbiotes specifically for them to bind with lesser creatures as parasites and turn them into predatory monsters. Symbiotes do this by enhancing whatever personalities and powers the individual already has. Knull’s purpose in creating them is to amass an army and conquer planets.
When Symbiotes bond with a host, they enhance powers and personality traits that the host already has. So, if they bond with a superhero, they can greatly enhance that superhero’s powers.
If they bond with someone desiring vengeance, that desire becomes all-consuming. But the host and the Symbiote kind of exist alongside one another in thought but act in unison.
There are politics in the Symbiote world, and while some of them seek the destruction and apocalypse desired by Knull, others seek to do good in the world.
But this generally means bonding with a powerful host that also has a pure heart and intentions. Those people are not always easy to find.
Regardless of the outlook of the Symbiote, they must force their hosts to do dangerous things so that they can feed off the adrenalin and other hormones.
Most hosts die as a result of their stunts. If not, the Symbiote eventually burns them out.
The Symbiote must then find a new host, but it takes everything from the existing host with it. Consequently, Symbiotes tend to get more powerful over time.
Let’s look at the ten most powerful Marvel Symbiotes, from weakest to strongest.
10. Venomsaurus – Weaskest Marvel Symbiote
Venomsaurus is probably the weakest Symbiote in the Marvel universe. But his power is still formidable! He was born when one of the Symbiotes joined with a reanimated T-Rex being held in Jurassic Park-style captivity.
Venomsaurus is enormous and enjoys destruction but is not the most intelligent super creature in the stack. This makes him highly defeatable by his human captors (eventually).
Though his razor-sharp teeth are certainly something to worry about.
Scream was actually created by foolish meddling humans from traces of the Venom Symbiote that was extracted from Eddie Brock (see below).
The result was an unstable but also unexpectedly powerful Symbiote, especially when it joined with Donna Diego.
Since Scream is created from Venom, she has his web-slinging abilities. Her hair is also a Medusa-like weapon that can choke and strangle.
She can also create ultrasonic sounds. This is one of the few weapons that can disarm Symbiotes, including Scream herself.
Anti-Venom is another Venom child. He was made when Eddie Brock’s cancer was cured, resulting in antibodies building up in his bloodstream.
These inverted many characteristics originally held by Venom, and even inverted his appearance from black to white.
Anti-Venom is resistant to fire and sound and also has healing powers. He is not as destructively strong as other Symbiotes, but that is because his powers differ on a fundamental level.
Sleeper stands out from the other Symbiotes as he had a bit more time to develop as an individual entity before parasitically connecting to a lesser life form.
As a result, he developed some different powers before his character and force began to be shaped by his host.
Sleeper is more intelligent than other Symbiotes and can also camouflage himself. He can put others to sleep by releasing neurotoxins. This is why he is called Sleeper.
On the downside for his host, Sleeper was not happy to be contained. He completely lobotomized his host, the Free warrior Tel-Kar, and used his body as a puppet.
Bedlam is a strong Symbiote because he is an old Symbiote who has had many hosts.
He travels back through time and encounters Eddie Brock. By this time, Bedlam is already a significantly advanced Symbiote.
Bedlam can possess and control other Symbiotes, and he can project his consciousness into the past and the future. This makes him undefeatable and inescapable. There is nowhere to hide.
This spawn of Venom was left in a jail cell with a psychopathic serial killer, Cletus Kasady.
When it latched on to Kasady, the murderer’s love of killing was enhanced with the power of Spider-Man and the intensity of the Venom Symbiote. That is one scary recipe.
Kasady’s particularly strong blood lust creates a rich power source for the symbiote, making Carnage more powerful than Venom. Carnage carries Kasady’s bloodlust to each new host.
Toxin is the first spawn of Carnage. It was the 1,000th spawn of the Venom line. A prophecy says that Toxin will be the most powerful and deadly Symbiote.
Venom and Carnage are both determined to destroy Toxin. Carnage bonded with an NYPD officer called Patrick Mulligan to protect itself.
This bonding gave Toxin a heroic underlying personality that takes the edge off a little. It retained part of its nature when it subsequently bonded with a number of other individuals, including Eddie Brock and teenager Bren Waters.
Grendel is a special type of Symbiote that does not require a host but is rather an independent dragon Symbiote.
It is a formidable beast that can travel between galaxies and has some serious firepower at its disposal. It also has a one-track mind when it comes to carnage and destruction.
Grendel is so strong that he went toe-to-toe with the Asgardian god Thor. While Grendel didn’t win, he was also not destroyed. Grendel continues to cause mayhem in the universe.
Knull stands out among Symbiotes as being their creator and immortal since he is an avatar of Oblivion.
He can manipulate dark energy and wields a sword that he created from an undead Celestial. Oh, and he also creates Symbiotes and can control them from a Hive Mind.
But while his control of the other Symbiotes is his greatest strength, it is also his greatest weakness. They don’t like to be controlled! Knull has been overthrown and cast out on more than one occasion.
1. Venom – Strongest Marvel Symbiote
Symbiotes are shaped by their bindings. The longer and more stable their bond, the stronger they seem to be. This is why Venom is the strongest Symbiote, because he has bonded with some major superheroes and villains, including Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, and he has a stable bonded relationship with Eddie Brock.
This is why Venom was able to go up against the likes of Knull and Captain Marvel and survive, and sometimes even get the upper hand.
What do you think? Do you agree with our Symbiote ratings? If you had to bond with an existing Symbiote, which would it be?
Are you a Marvel fan? Discover the MBTI personalities of your favorite marvel characters.
Or read our list of the strongest and most powerful Marvel characters.