Everybody loves symbiotes. Since the famous “black suit” worn by Spider-Man in the mid-80s appeared, fans have been obsessed with these pesky alien parasites that transform everyday people into powerful heroes and villains. No symbiotes are more famous than Venom and Carnage. The iconic black and red human/alien characters have played a huge role in the Marvel Universe over the last few decades. It makes sense that cosplayers would be drawn to these popular characters and their iconic designs.
But let’s face it, there are two types of Venom and Carnage cosplayers. You have some people that put on a simple spandex bodysuit, paint it and call it cosplay. Then there’s the cosplayers that take their time and create truly impressive, seemingly impossible costumes. This list is devoted to the latter. We have compiled 15 of the best Venom and Carnage cosplays you’ll ever see. Some are amazing twists on the classic look, while many of them are just incredibly detailed recreations of what you have seen in the comics. In fact, many costumes in this list look better than anything seen in the blockbuster films, where they have almost unlimited funds. Let’s take a look at 15 Venom and Carnage cosplays that will blow your mind and show you the incredible possibilities of what fans can create.
15 COMPLETELY COMICS-ACCURATE VENOM
If you read a Venom comic book, its clear that the character’s anatomy has always been a bit exaggerated. He’s so muscular that he makes any bodybuilder look puny in comparison. Venom also has the largest mouth ever seen, with rows of razor sharp teeth and a tongue that must be three feet long. Needless to say, these exaggerated features make the character difficult to cosplay, if you’re going for full accuracy.
The cosplay you see above is one of the most comic book accurate Venom costumes you’ll ever see. Everything you would expect from a Venom comic book is on display here.
The muscles, the mouth, and of course, the tongue look ripped from the pages. Costume creator Michael has clearly spent an incredible amount of time working to make this one of the best Venom costumes ever created. He even did the blue highlights that have been used in the comics and cartoon series to give the costume added dimension.
14 HALF-MASK CARNAGE
Sometimes there’s a cosplay photo that shows a costume that is so good that it can even overpower a really bad setting. Unfortunately, cosplayer Alex Brenot has created an amazing Carnage cosplay, but decided to show it off in one of the most unthreatening places on Earth – the bathroom.
Clearly, he’s not going for the coolest pose ever, but even still, his Carnage cosplay is one of the best around.
One of the coolest aspects of the symbiotes in the comics is the way these alien lifeforms just overtake a host’s body like an ooze. As Brenot shows with this costume, sometimes the transformation can leave little bits of the host exposed. This half-Carnage/half-human look is done perfectly. While the mask is the highlight, the rest of the costume is just as great. The claw even has the signature hooked fingers that resemble knives or blades and are definitely not human.
13 AGENT VENOM
Agent Venom is a version of the Venom character that isn’t quite as adored as the classic look. With a militarized twist, Agent Venom resembles a soldier more than an alien.
He carries guns, wears armor, and only shares the iconic white spider symbol of the regular Venom costume, but that doesn’t make him any less difficult to cosplay.
When you take a look at the cosplay seen in the above picture, courtesy of Joey V Cosplay, you can truly see how much effort goes into a proper Agent Venom costume. It isn’t enough to have the armor, the white trim, and the guns. No, take a closer look and you’ll see the little details, such as the alien texture that is all over the mask and armor. It’s the details that take this cosplay and raise it above the rest. Shout out to the Carnage cosplayer, seen next to Agent Venom. Not too shabby, either.
12 ALLEYWAY CARNAGE
When Spider-Man wore the black suit, he looked sleek and stealthy. When Venom came out, he looked like a horror movie version of Spider-Man. However, it’s always been Carnage that is the truly terrifying symbiote. When you see Carnage in the comics, you should be afraid for the lives of people around him.
It’s that sinister feeling that makes this cosplay truly great.
Not only is it a great version of the costume, because it most definitely is, this cosplay is shown at night in a dimly lit alleyway, which is an absolutely perfect setting. There’s no way any regular citizen walking down this alley wouldn’t turn around and run, screaming into the night. Look at the tendrils coming off the costume, giving it the look of the symbiote always reaching for its next victim. This costume by Alex Brenot is impressive.
11 HALF-MASK VENOM
Without a doubt, the most difficult aspect of cosplaying as Venom has to be the mouth. At about 10 times bigger than the average human maw, Venom’s mouth is cartoonishly big.
Many cosplayers will avoid the 3D mouth, and opt for a drawn-on mouth, utilizing makeup. Those can look cool, but there’s really no substitute for a real, sculpted jaw.
In this cosplay, you can see that the cosplayer decided to use body-paint to create the bulk of the symbiote, but finished it off with a mask that looks really great. The mouth is shown in all it’s big-toothed glory. And really setting this apart from other body-paint Venom cosplays is the addition of the tendrils coming out of the suit and intertwining around the model’s arms. Instead of being a woman in a standard skin-tight costume, the tendrils and sculpted mask really do make it look alien.
10 BLOODY CARNAGE
Carnage is a killer. Plain and simple. If you want a villain that’s campy and cartoony, Carnage is not your guy. And if you’re going to cosplay as the character, you really have to make sure your Carnage costume is scary. When you take a look at this cosplay, created by TheAwesomeSpin, you have no doubt in your mind that this version of Carnage would eliminate anyone in his way.
There’s no crazy tendrils coming out of the symbiote, or unnecessary details, in this costume.
The cosplay itself is clean and beautifully done. However, it’s the setting of the picture that make this a work of art.
The blur effect, combined with the great pose, make it look like Carnage is about to leap out of the screen and attack you. There’s also the mess, which shows that this character shouldn’t be confused with the good guys. And it all works because the costume is well done and professional.
9 RIPPED COSTUME VENOM
Sometimes it’s the most basic approach to a character that truly makes a costume stand out. There are cosplayers that will have their unique take on a character or go over the top with details and extras.
Then you have cosplayers that just stick with what works, but do it better than most.
That’s exactly what happened in this Venom cosplay by Freddie Nova.
There’s nothing about what you see above that’s really groundbreaking. Many cosplayers use body-paint for the basis of the symbiote. Many of them even pose with the ripping of the suit. But Nova just does it better. Plus, as seen in the teeth and texture of the paint, there are little touches that really make this look as if she’s being taken over by a symbiote. The expression on her face actually looks real and not just like some modeled pose. As with many things in life, if you stick with the basics, and do them well, you can truly succeed.
8 BODY-PAINT CARNAGE
There are multiple ways you can tackle a symbiote cosplay, especially with Carnage. There’s the option to go comics-accurate with tendrils and all the details in the texture. Or, perhaps, you can go with a very…minimal…take on the character and achieve a similar result. That’s exactly the way the cosplayer seen above decided to go.
While many might say that latex body-paint is an easy way to achieve the symbiote design, you’d be wrong to assume that here.
While the body-paint is the most obvious part of the costume, the mask is what sets this costume apart from other body-paint versions of Carnage. The way the black and red are melting into each other, with the black dominating, makes this face look better than most of the Carnage costumes you’ll see at conventions. This really does look like an alien parasite is taking over a human body. Yes, it’s skimpy, but it’s also very effective.
7 VENOM VS SPIDEY
Before you cry foul and say this isn’t a true cosplay, we will admit that a lot of photoshopping went into this entry, but not as much as you’d think. Yes, the background and part of the costume is changed to look more cinematic, but this Venom costume is legit. Cosplayer Drefan Raynor is responsible for this amazing take on Venom, and it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.
Donning a blond wig, Raynor takes on the look of Eddie Brock, but shows us Venom in a way that you don’t see often in cosplay.
This Venom symbiote is detaching from Brock and attacking Spider-Man himself. This is one of the better ways of showing just how horrific, and otherworldly, these symbiotes actually are. It’s a truly amazing costume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt when you have the assist from a skilled photographer and a dash of Photoshop.
If you’re familiar with Carnage’s biography, you know that Carnage, aka Cletus Kasady, is a maniac that, as a child, took out his grandmother and his family’s dog. Needless to say, he’s not the most likable guy in the Marvel Universe. And when you cosplay as Carnage, like it or not, you’re cosplaying as one of Marvel’s most notorious villains. But then you have Ashley Du’s take on the character.
This is definitely not the Cletus Kasady that fans would expect to wear the alien symbiote.
Maybe in this alternate universe, the Carnage symbiote found a lovely model instead of a psychopath. Du looks amazing with her half-body paint costume that gives the impression that the symbiote is taking over her body, but with style. Instead of just painting black streaks, she also has included a black textured paint to almost look like veins running over her body. The oversized claw on one hand just puts the whole costume over the top into awesomeness.
5 GLAM VENOM
For many, Venom should always be a terrifying character. He should have his monster-like appearance, with the long tongue and scary teeth.
Sometimes, it’s nice to see an alternate take on the character. That’s exactly what you see in the above cosplay.
Cosplayer Erika presents a version of the character that looks like the symbiote could be part of the latest issue of Vogue Magazine, instead of Fangoria. She gives fans a Venom that doesn’t just look otherworldly, but also looks beautiful and glamorous. Also, taking her glam out of the picture, you can see the care that went into the latex body-paint, giving the effect of the symbiote slowly taking over her body as she tries to rip it off her skin. No, you probably wouldn’t scream in terror if you saw this Venom approach you, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome.
4 CARNAGE TRANSFORMATION
When you read a comic featuring Carnage or Venom, you forget just how weird and gross it is to have an alien lifeform ooze all over your body and cover you. If it happened in real life, it would be stomach-turning. But in the comics, it just looks awesome! Well, in this cosplay seen above, the makeup artist does an incredible job of showing just how gross a symbiote would actually be.
The way the artist has shown the symbiote taking over this female host is, in a word, revolting.
The gooey look of the symbiote is unlike anything you really see in Venom or Carnage cosplays. However, it’s not just the dripping, gooey symbiote look that makes this impressive. Take a look at the face! The mask, with the white eye and fangs, and the model struggling to scream underneath just makes you feel like she’s really trying to escape this alien force. It’s incredible.
3 VENOM BODY SUIT
There’s not much bad you can say about this Venom cosplay by LaineyCat.
The costume features everything you would expect from Venom, but she still is able to put her own spin on it, making it more feminine and, dare we say, pretty.
Never before have you seen a Venom costume and thought, “wow, that’s one pretty Venom!” However, that changes today, with this costume. The costume has the texture and design that makes it unmistakably Venom, complete with the mask that shows the symbiote about to fully take over the human’s face. But then you have the exposed legs, with the symbiote thigh-high leggings. It’s almost as if this version of Venom was less concerned with being a scary Spider-person and was more concerned with looking fashionable while she did it. It’s equal parts beautiful and terrifying. Make no mistake, this Venom will hurt you and possibly eat your face, but she’ll do look great doing it.
2 SPIDER-GWEN CARNAGE
Spider-Gwen is a character that’s popularity has exploded in the cosplay scene. With the modern, and truly unique, costume, female cosplayers love donning the hood and taking their shot at the Spider-Gwen character.
As seen in the costume above, this cosplayer has taken the hooded Spider-Gwen look and mixed it with a dash of Carnage.
The webbing on the arms and inside the hood remain, albeit a different color, but other than that, this version of Spider-Gwen is completely different than what we’ve seen in comics. However, when you see this model wearing the outfit, it makes you clamor for a “Spider-Gwenage” to appear in the comics. It looks so great, this should be what is worn in an upcoming Spider-Gwen movie!
1 “BETTER THAN SPIDER-MAN 3” VENOM
When fans learned that Venom would be one of the villains in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, they were excited and anxious to see the character’s first appearance on the big screen. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. Topher Grace was horrible and the suit just didn’t look good at all.
That movie had millions of dollars put into the look of Venom and they couldn’t even nail it as much as this cosplayer.
There’s not much you can say about this Venom cosplay other than “wow.” The mask, complete with the detailed eyes and mouth, just look incredible. It's clear from the texture of the suit that this cosplayer was attempting to build off of the Raimi version of the character and it looks better than anything seen on film. Sony should take note of this and make sure whatever they use in the future lives up to what this fan has created.