Ever since first debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man #300, the imposing Venom has served as a constant thorn in Spider-Man’s side, terrorizing the webslinger at every turn. The sadistic symbiote has put Spidey’s loved ones in danger, pushed the webhead to his physical limits, and has threatened to eat puny Parker’s brain more than once. Despite this, you’d be hard pressed to find a villain that fans love as much as Venom.
While Eddie Brock may be the best-known Venom, the symbiote has had its fair share of hosts over the years. While there is plenty that differentiates the alien suit’s hosts, there is one common factor among all of them: They are very, very dangerous. But who’s the most dangerous Venom of them all? After all, over the 20 years that Venom has existed, we’ve seen a Venom Deadpool, a Venom Punisher, a Venom Thor, and even a Venom T-Rex! With Marvel’s Venomverse event right around the corner, which promises to turn beloved Marvel heroes into slobbering symbiotes, we figured it was the perfect time to look at the laundry list of Venoms that have popped up over the years and present to you the definitive list of the 15 most dangerous versions of Venom.
15. PORK GRIND
Take the fearsome Venom, add a liberal dash of Looney Tunes physics, and make him a seven foot tall Arnold Schwarzenegger pig, and you have Pork Grind. Pork Grind might sound like a joke, but when you step back and think about it, this terrifying toon is no laughing matter.
While Pork Grind suffered numerous defeats at the hooves of the Spectacular Spider-Ham, Pork Grind’s toon characteristics make him a dangerous foe. Able to produce mallets from thin air, smash his opponents flat with his bare hands, and shrug off anvils to the head, along with possessing all the powers of the Venom symbiote, Pork Grind is nigh unstoppable and not bound to the normal laws of physics. Since making the jump to Earth-616, Spider-Ham has been shown to survive all manner of typically deadly damage thanks to his toon physiology. Now add that logic to an evil version of the character, and you have one dangerous version of Venom.
14. SYMBIOTE PRESIDENT NORMAN OSBORNE
There are a lot of voters that vehemently believe in making America great. While there have been plenty of suggestions on just how to do this, the Norman Osborne of Earth-138 took an interesting approach to this ethos. He assumed the presidency, militarized the Venom symbiote, and waged war against mohawk-sporting and denim vest-clad punks.
First introduced during the Spider-Verse event, President Norman Osborne intended to use the greatest position in the nation to wipe out the free spirited undesirables that rallied around Hobbie Brown, a.k.a. the Spider-Punk. Clad in the Variable Engagement Neurosensitive Organic Mesh (or V.E.N.O.M) suit, the power hungry President Osborne intended to wipe out all that stood in the way of his perfect America, but a legendary guitar solo from Spider-Punk put President Osborne down for the count. But a presidential Venom is definitely a dangerous foe that should not be underestimated.
While many would kill for the Venom symbiote, not everyone wants to receive the parasitic suit’s powers. Case in point: Ann Weying, the ex-wife of Eddie Brock. Weying believed her ex-husband to be a psychotic, murderous thug, accusing Brock of being dependent on the Venom suit. When Weying was left for dead, the symbiote bonded with the woman, turning her into the fearsome She-Venom. During She-Venom’s brief tenure, she lashed out against the men that had hurt her, racking up a body count in the double digits. Unlike her ex-husband, Weying took no joy in her time with the Venom suit. She would later commit suicide when confronted with her memories of her actions as She-Venom, putting a tragic end to a truly dangerous Venom host.
12. VENOM 2099
Spider-Man 2099 has had to battle some truly imposing villains in the far-off future of Marvel. But while Miguel O’Hara was able to dispatch the likes of Goblin 2099 and Doctor Octopus 2099 with ease, it was Venom 2099 that nearly managed to put the hero six feet under.
The sadistic Kron Stone was bonded to the Venom symbiote after being left for dead in a sewer. Instead of using his newfound powers to serve the public good, Stone set out to make life miserable for his half-brother Miguel. The Venom symbiote had evolved by the time it found Stone, as Venom 2099 has powers the original Venom never possessed, including acidic spit and blood, the ability to recover from seemingly fatal wounds, and the ability to shape-shift. Venom 2099 is a fearsome foe no matter what decade he’s in.
11. MANGAVERSE VENOM
In the world of Marvel’s Mangaverse, two ninja clans have been warring for decades: The Spider Clan and the Shadow Clan. While Peter Parker would receive training from his Uncle Ben in the ways of the spider ninja, allowing the youth to assume the mantle of Spider-Man, Peter’s half-brother, an unnamed boy, would stray from the noble path of the Spider Clan and leave to join the Shadow Clan, becoming the clans strongest and most fearsome warrior: Venom.
Unlike the Venom we know, Mangaverse Venom does not gain his powers from a symbiote; rather, Mangaverse Venom uses the amulet of the Shadow Clan, which allows the ninja to assume a more monstrous form. In this form, Venom possess skin as hard as steel, deadly tentacles, and can transform his arms into razor sharp blades. Mangaverse Venom isn’t like your garden variety Venom, and that makes him all the more dangerous.
10. OLD MAN LOGAN VENOM
Old Man Logan is many things: Tough as nails, ornery as the day is long, and never afraid to get stabby. Combine these traits with a blood thirsty, brain munching Venom symbiote and you’ve got a recipe for danger. During the Apocalypse Wars story line, the X-Men are shunted into the future and trapped in a war torn world ruled over by Apocalypse and his four horsemen, composed of Colossus, Deadpool, a female Moon Knight, and the Venom symbiote.
In a spot of creative thinking, the Colossus of this alternate future fastball special’s the symbiote onto Old Man Logan, causing the reality displaced X-Man to transform into a monstrous form of Venom. Mixing the savagery of Wolverine with the mindless killer instinct of the Venom symbiote, the amalgamation proves a tough foe to put down. While the two are eventually separated, this dangerous combination definitely earns a place on our list.
9. AGENT VENOM
Despite its proclivity towards hungering for brains, the Venom symbiote has the potential to be used for good. As long as you can keep the murderous impulses at bay, you might be able to use the superhuman strength, improved agility, and alien webbing to fight for justice. Eugene “Flash” Thompson, a.k.a. Agent Venom, attempted to do just this, with mixed results.
After the government decided to utilize the Venom symbiote to fight the good fight for the ol’ US of A, disabled Iraqi War veteran Flash Thompson was chosen to be the symbiote’s host. With the symbiote, Flash regained the ability to walk, along with a host of superhuman skills. In addition to Venom’s usual bag of tricks, Agent Venom had a litany of weapons at his disposal, making him a dangerous force to be reckoned with, and a strong contender for one of the most dangerous Venom’s of all time.
8. VENOM THOR
The Venom symbiote is only as strong as its host. When the symbiote latches onto a regular person, it takes on the qualities of that person. But when the symbiote bonded with an actual Asgardian God, it had the potential to shake the heavens.
In What If?: The Alien Costume Possessed Spider-Man, Spider-Man takes too long to consult the Fantastic Four about his mysterious new black duds, leading to the symbiote possessing the hero. When the possessed Spider-Man is confronted by his fellow heroes, the symbiote, sensing stronger hosts, ditches Spidey and makes a break for Hulk (who we will discuss later) and the Asgardian Thor. With the godly power of Thor at its mercy, the symbiote prepared to conquer the planet, only to be defeated with a sonic weapon. But if the Venom symbiote were to ever get its tendrils back on Thor, the planet might not survive.
7. DINOSAUR VENOM
While it may seem like the symbiotes prefer to take over people, it turns out that this race of alien goop isn’t picky when it comes to hosts. Case in point: the Venom T-Rex found in Old Man Logan. In this war-torn future of the Marvel universe (is there any other kind of future in comics?), the world has been turned upside down, with cannibalistic Hulk clans roaming about and Giant-Man corpses dotting the landscape. In all this madness, the Venom symbiote managed to get its goopy tendrils on a T-Rex from the Savage Lands.
While an aged Wolverine and a blind Hawkeye make their ways through the Black Hills of South Dakota, the terrifying Venom-Rex chased our intrepid heroes. A single word from Black Bolt managed to put the dino down, but mixing the bloodthirsty Venom symbiote with the planet’s apex predator makes for a very dangerous combination.
With his unparalleled healing factor, his proclivity for sword and gun-based murder, and his non-stop mouth, Deadpool is already a threat you wouldn’t want to cross. But when the Merc With a Mouth bonded with the Venom symbiote, it gave us one crazy dangerous (and dangerously crazy) combination.
While Wade Wilson and the Venom symbiote briefly crossed paths during the events of Secret Wars, Deadpool really got to take the symbiote for a spin during Back In Black. After the Venom symbiote departed Peter Parker, it stumbled across Deadpool, leading to the murder happy merc fusing with the alien parasite. Deadpool got spiffy new black duds, along with a litany of Venom abilities, including enhanced strength, alien webbing, and a monstrous form. Wade would eventually free himself of the symbiote, but if the Venom symbiote were to ever get his hands on the mouthy merc again, it could spell trouble for Earth.
5. MAC GARGAN VENOM
When the Venom symbiote wormed its way onto Eddie Brock, the down-on-his-luck Brock found himself embroiled in a new world of superheroes and super powers. But Mac Gargan was a true veteran in the world of super villainy, having spent years fighting Spider-Man as the Scorpion. As a result, when Gargan became Venom, he was well prepared to use his newfound powers to suit his needs.
Mac Gargan is a sadistic, fight-happy thug normally, and the insidious Venom symbiote only amplified these traits. When angered, the Gargan Venom had a tendency to fly into an animalistic rage, eating opponents and lashing out at allies. Medication supplied by Norman Osborn would calm the creature, but Gargan Venom was always one temper tantrum away from racking up a serious body count. With his unpredictable nature and his proclivity for opponent munching, Mac Gargan Venom is not a danger to be underestimated.
4. PUNISHER VENOM
In his decades-spanning crime against organized crime, the closest thing Frank Castle has had to a superpower is having lots and lots of guns. But in an issue of What If?, the violent vigilante joined forces with the symbiote, leading to a bullet spewing, web throwing force to be reckoned with.
After Castle wandered into the church the symbiote fled to after being cast off from Spider-Man, the Punisher bonded with the goopy alien suit. Not satisfied with the laundry list of newfound abilities the suit granted him, Castle managed to will the suit into being able to produce an organic gun, granting himself a weapon that never runs out of bullets. The Punisher alone is dangerous, but throw in a homicidal alien parasite, and you have yourself one dangerous Venom.
3. HULK VENOM
The Hulk is always claiming to be the strongest there is. And he’s definitely not wrong: few can stand toe-to-toe with the Green Goliath. Add the Venom symbiote to this mix, and you’d have yourself one truly dangerous combination.
During the one-shot What If?: The Alien Costume Possessed Spider-Man, the power hungry symbiote opted to ditch puny Parker and seek a stronger host. When the symbiote happens to spy the Hulk partaking in one of his trademark rampages, the alien parasite quickly latches onto the Green Goliath. With the Hulk’s unquenchable rage, the Venom symbiotes unquenchable bloodlust, and a bevy of super powers, you’ve got a nigh unstoppable force. The Hulk Venom didn’t get a chance to really use its power before the symbiote ditched the Hulk, but if the alien parasite should ever get its tendrils on Hulk again, the Marvel universe would be in trouble.
2. EDDIE BROCK VENOM
Sure, there have been plenty to hold the title of Venom, but its hard to top the OG. From his humble origins as a disgraced journalist to his career as one of the most fearsome foes Spider-Man has ever encountered, Venom has done it all.
As the longest reigning Venom, Eddie Brock has traded blows with Spider-Man more times than he can count, he’s targeted those close to his longtime rival, and he has taken great delight in making Spider-Man’s life a living hell. Venom has occasionally worked on the side of good, but his burning hatred for Peter Parker always calls him back to his villainous ways. Eddie Brock may hate the Venom symbiote, and the symbiote may occasionally loathe Eddie Brock, but together, they are a dangerous force to be reckoned with.
1. RED HULK/GHOST RIDER VENOM
You’d be hard pressed to find a character more ridiculous than the Red Hulk/Ghost Rider Venom. With the combined powers of the Red Hulk and Ghost Rider, topped off with the Venom symbiote, this strange combination more than deserves its place at the top of our most dangerous Venom’s list.
In the Circle of Four storyline, Red Hulk, Ghost Rider, Agent Venom, and X-23 found themselves working together to fight the demonic Blackheart. As the literal son of Marvel’s Satan isn’t exactly a chump in the fighting department, our ragtag heroes get desperate and concoct a ridiculously awesome plan. With Red Hulk being the strongest of the bunch, Ghost Rider possesses Red Hulk with the Spirit of Vengeance, while Flash Thompson lends Red Hulk the Venom symbiote, thus giving us a demonically-possessed, Venom-enhanced Hulk. Also, this unholy combination drives a giant flaming motorcycle. Totally stupid, totally awesome, and totally dangerous.
Who do you think is the most vicious version of Venom? Let us know in the comments!