Venom is one of Spider-Man's most popular -- and most powerful -- enemies. He is a villain turned anti-hero turned hero who battled against a who's who of the Marvel Universe. However, while Venom was one of the most popular Marvel characters for many years, he was not the only symbiote to appear in the comic book line. He was not even the strongest of the symbiotes that would come throughout the years. Of course, Marvel created Carnage as a way to show that there was a symbiote that was stronger than both Spider-Man and Venom -- someone that they had to team up to fight. After this, Marvel showed that Venom and Carnage could also produce more offspring and then it was off to the races.
The symbiotes are an alien race from a distant galaxy. They are not evil creatures but are instead aliens that take on the personalities of the beings they bond with. A symbiote that bonds with a sociopath will become a villain, one that bonds with a conflicted person will become conflicted themselves, and those that bond with heroes will become heroic. With that said, good or bad, a symbiote is a very powerful creature that can achieve many impressive tasks while in battle. With so many symbiotes showing up over the years, both on Earth and in space, here is a look at the most powerful of them all, ranked from least impressive to almost unbeatable.
30 DEADPOOL VENOM
While it is intriguing to wonder how powerful a long-term Deadpool Venom could be, this is something fans won't really ever know. Of course, the only reason that anyone knows about a Deadpool Venom is that Wade Wilson said something about it.
Deadpool was the first Earth hero who got a chance to be Venom on Battleworld in Secret Wars before he rejected it. In Deadpool: Back in Black, the two had a small fling and went on a battle together before Venom found Eddie Brock. With that said, there was also a Venompool from Earth-90211 that appeared in Deadpool Kills Deadpool #2.
Scorn is a symbiote child of Carnage and came to life after her parent symbiote came back to Earth following an escape from the Raft. She was seen as a powerful entity by the United States government, as they believed that she could possibly stop Carnage later.
The host, Tanis Nieves, accomplished the task of beating Carnage by separating him from his latest host -- but she couldn't do it without the help of Shriek. There is also one interesting thing that separates Scorn from other symbiotes: she is partially a robot.
Phage should have been a much stronger symbiote. And why's that? Phage had the strength and power of the Venom symbiote and could create Carnage-styled knives from his hands -- a recipe for wonders.
However, Phage later took on a mercenary as a host and tried to act as the leader of the Life Foundation. The problem? He was proven not as powerful as Carnage or Venom in the end, and soon Phage lost his position of power to Scream.
There were two female symbiotes in the Life Foundation. Scream was the most powerful of all the symbiotes created there. Sadly, the second female was Agony, who was just basically a female Venom. Agony is a purple symbiote that merged with Leslie Gesneria, a security officer.
Agony was one of the main Life Foundation members who tried to get Eddie Brock to help them learn to control their symbiotes. Sadly, she was also the first to fall in the Separation Anxiety storyline. Much like the other Life Foundation symbiotes, they were never as strong as Venom and struggled to control their powers.
While most of the Life Foundation symbiotes were just versions of Venom, mostly weaker than the original, Lasher got a small foot up when it comes to his powers. Lasher got a unique weapon with whip-like tendrils that were very powerful and lethal -- something that fits his name.
It also helped that Lasher bonded with a mercenary named Ramon Hernandez who also preferred to use a whip as a weapon, giving him the perfect symbiote to partner with. Sadly, like the other Life Foundation members, Hernandez was never able to fully control his symbiote and fell in Separation Anxiety.
25 LEE PRICE
Lee Price actually hosted the Venom symbiote for a substantial amount of time. Price was a former Army Ranger who lost most of his team in an attack and ended up disabled and homeless -- his own country turning its back on him. He became an enforcer for Mac Gargan and the symbiote thought it found a kindred spirit.
However, Price was able to exert his control over the symbiote and dominated it, often against its own better judgment. While the symbiote had developed a knack for helping people, Price had become psychotic and the two went on a rampage of terror until it finally escaped. Price later got another symbiote in Maniac.
24 CONRAD MARCUS
Conrad Marcus was the second man in the Ultimate Marvel Universe to take on the Venom symbiote after Eddie Brock. However, unlike Brock, Marcus stole the symbiote and used it as a power play, seeking to end the life of that world's Spider-Man.
Marcus was just as powerful as Eddie Brock was before him, which made him significantly stronger than Miles Morales. He was also much larger than Brock's Venom was. However, Marcus had a single-minded goal and since he had no idea who Spider-Man was, he didn't last long before falling in defeat to Miles' venom blasts.
23 MAC GARGAN
Mac Gargan was never a threat before he got the Venom symbiote. He was the Scorpion, a villain that was so minor that he really didn't even deserve the ranking of a B-level villain. He mostly served as someone that Spider-Man could easily beat or someone that was the weak member of the Sinister Six.
For some reason, Marvel thought it could elevate Mac Gargan by making him Venom in both the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. Sure, he had his moments but the most memorable moment was when the symbiote tried to bolt to return to Eddie Brock the first chance it got.
Payback redefined the definition of symbiote. Instead of carrying those slithery and gooey and tonguey traits, Payback was sleek and looked almost like a machine more than a symbiote. Her powers were also different, as they did not feed on adrenaline but instead fed on pleasure.
Payback merged with a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and worked as a hero on the True Believers team. She had many of the same powers of other symbiotes but could also fly and generate electricity. She was original and stood out but never really made it very far.
The first human that ever hosted the Venom symbiote was Spider-Man -- unless Deadpool is to be believed. During the Secret Wars miniseries, Spider-Man lost most of his costume and needed something to wear since he was on an alien planet and all. Luckily, a slimy alien bonded with him and he had a new black suit.
When Spider-Man returned to Earth, he kept it thinking that it was some alien tech that he could control with his mind. When he learned that the symbiote was controlling him when he slept to continue to fight crime, he rejected the suit and developed a very strong enemy.
20 VENOMSAURUS REX
The symbiote is strong on its own. Now, imagine the symbiote attached to a giant T-Rex in the future. That is what happened in Old Man Logan when Logan and Hawkeye found themselves chased by the giant Venomsaurus Rex.
To put this in context, the Venom symbiote was still alive and well in the far future where Old Man Logan took place. Things were bad in the United States, with the villains taking over. The Multiple Man was the most recent host to Venom but when he was defeated in the Savage Land, the symbiote bonded to the T-Rex and it took the power of Black Bolt to defeat it.
Raze had more powers than most of the children of Venom and Carnage. It was already stronger than Venom's offspring since it came from Carnage. It also didn't help that it bonded with a host that had worked for the FBI. Thanks to all the classified information in the brain of this agent, Raze became strategically powerful as well.
Raze could use its powers to create weapons, and thanks to its cunning intellect, it was smart and dangerous, making it one of the strongest of any symbiote's offspring to exist.
18 CARNAGE (HEROIC AGE)
The Carnage from the Heroic Age was drastically different from the one in the basic Marvel Comics Universe. Unlike Cletus Kasady from the mainstream timeline who was a sociopath, the Cletus from the Heroic Age was a young man who was forced to serve his father's life prison sentence when his serial killer dad passed away before reaching prison.
Growing up in prison, Cletus believed he deserved it and when he was released early he was clinically insane. He joined the military, mortally wounded a whole bunch of people (among other violent activities), and went back to prison where he bonded with Carnage. He eventually even created five spawns of his own, the five bonding with Hulk, Elektra, Black Panther, Deadpool and Wolverine.
It is interesting that the Venom movie chose to use Riot as the main villain. Out of all the Life Foundation symbiotes, Riot seemed the least inspired and really ranked at the bottom of the list. However, thanks to the movie, Riot got a second chance at life and was extremely powerful when battling Venom throughout the film.
Of course, in the movie, Riot was not a child of Venom but was an alien that arrived on Earth the same time as Venom. Furthermore, Riot was more equipped for battle and proved to be stronger than Venom every step of the way until Eddie Brock and his symbiote combined their willpower to trick Riot and secure their victory.
Scream was an interesting symbiote. At first, she was just another member of the Life Foundation. However, over time she proved to be the strongest of them all and eventually pushed her way into a leadership role. She then became even more dangerous.
Scream bonded with Donna Diego, someone who already suffered from mental health problems, and soon Scream became a psychotic symbiote, turning on her own kind while also trying to prove that she never needed any of them. She is the one Life Foundation symbiote that easily stood above her siblings.
Just as there was a very different version of Carnage in the Heroic Age, there was also a drastically different version of Venom. In this world, Venom was known as Mayhem and was none other than the clone of May Parker -- the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson.
Spider-Woman took her dad's place after he lost his leg and retired. What no one knew was that Norman Osborn created a clone of May, using the DNA of May, Peter and Norman. She ended up as a creature with the powers of May Parker mixed with those of the symbiote, including making weapons out of her body.
14 AGENT VENOM
Flash Thompson had one of the most interesting and complex character arcs of any supporting character in modern superhero comics. He started out as a simple high school bully who pushed around puny Peter Parker and idolized Spider-Man. He then grew up and went into the military where he became a hero but ended up paralyzed.
When the U.S. government got their hands on the Venom symbiote, they decided to bond it to Flash and use him as a weapon for the country's military forces. Flash was able to keep control of Venom, as the symbiote respected him, and the two became one of the best versions of Venom in Marvel Comics history.
13 EDDIE BROCK'S VENOM
The original Venom was Eddie Brock, a disgraced reporter who hated Peter Parker. Since Venom hated Spider-Man due to rejection issues, they had one ultimate goal in common: the destruction of Spider-Man. However, when not hunting and fighting Spider-Man, the two really wanted to be a hero, helping the homeless and those who couldn't help themselves.
Eddie Brock changed over the years. There were many times that the mental beatings he took in his life made him weak, but there were also times where he was the strongest symbiote on the planet. Eddie and Venom were the perfect pairing, and the symbiote's constant attempts to find its way back to its original host exemplify that.
12 ULTIMATE VENOM
There were two Venoms in the Ultimate Marvel Universe and just like on Earth-616, the first was Eddie Brock. However, the story was a little different this time around. Based a little more in science and reality, Ultimate Venom was not an alien symbiote but was instead something created by Richard Parker and Eddie Brock Sr.
After Brock passed, his son wanted to continue working on his dad's project and developed a hatred for Peter Parker when he destroyed the samples. That didn't stop Eddie and he finally achieved bonding with Venom. In the Ultimate Universe, Venom did not have all the powers of the mainstream version but it was much, much stronger and Eddie was driven completely insane in the process.
11 VENOM 2099
By 2099, Venom had developed more powers. This included shooting acid blood and saliva. It was also smarter and much more dangerous.
However, its host in 2099 was Kron Stone, who just wanted to use the symbiote to torture Spider-Man 2099. When Kron fell in battle, the symbiote attached itself to the Sub-Mariner and disappeared. Now, that is a symbiote that should be all-powerful if it ever showed up again.
The Life Force symbiotes were not the best versions of the alien race. They were developed in a lab and each had its own strengths and weaknesses but none of them really lived up to their father, Venom. There was one who stood above the rest in Scream, and she proved the most powerful, but even she eventually fell.
Once all five of Venom's children fell, they were captured and taken to the Raft. It was after this that they ended up escaping and combining to form one extremely powerful symbiote known as Hybrid. This was the one symbiote offspring that could have dominated anyone except that it had all the personalities as well, all battling for dominance, keeping it from ever fulfilling its promise.
Bizarnage is from Earth-9602 and existed in the Amalgam universe, combining Marvel and DC Comics. So, what was Bizarnage? Well, that would be the combination of Carnage and Bizarro. Project Cadmus created Bizarnage when it tried to replicate alien DNA synthetically.
Reed Richards set it free and it attached itself to Johnny Storm and wreaked havoc until Spider-Boy stopped him. He possessed most of Carnage's abilities and could graft onto any human host. Unlike Bizarro, he was extremely intelligent and unpredictable, which made him almost unbeatable if not for his single-minded desire to bond with Spider-Boy.
When Marvel Comics saw how successful its comics with Spider-Man and Venom were, and then realized that fans loved Venom as much -- if not more -- than Spider-Man, they made a smart decision. Marvel decided to create a new symbiote that was stronger than Venom and Spider-Man combined to give the duo something to team up to battle.
Carnage was the spawn of Venom, and that made him stronger than his father. He was also more dangerous, as instead of attaching itself to a decent guy in Eddie Brock, it bonded with a sociopath in Cletus Kasady. He is faster and stronger than Venom and was, at one time, the strongest symbiote in existence.
Toxin had one thing going for it that no other symbiote had in its advantage. Toxin attached itself to a police officer and developed a moral attitude as well. Toxin was the most powerful symbiote on the planet Earth when he first appeared, the 1,000th spawn of Carnage.
It bonded with police officer Pat Mulligan and learned much about the world and how to become a true hero. This scared Venom and Carnage, who both realized that Toxin would soon dwarf their combined powers. The additional powers for Toxin was a poisonous bite and a healing factor that rivaled even Wolverine.
Anti-Venom was an accident that ended up as possibly the most powerful symbiote to exist on Earth. Eddie Brock developed cancer and was dying while Mac Gargon was running around as Venom. Luckily for Eddie, he met a man he thought was a healer but was actually Mister Negative. He healed Eddie's cancer and things looked good.
However, when Venom crashed into the soup kitchen he worked at and tried to escape Mac and re-bond with Eddie, the cancer cure blocked it but then morphed it to create something brand new. What made Eddie Brock as Anti-Venom so powerful was his cleansing touch, which healed anyone of their affliction -- either ending the life of the symbiote or in Spider-Man's case, healing him and taking away his powers.
5 RED GOBLIN
The most recent addition to the symbiote world came when Norman Osborn combined with Carnage to create the Red Goblin. Carnage was already one of the most lethal symbiotes on Earth and when it bonded with a sociopath who was also a tactical genius in Norman, it created an almost unbeatable foe.
This happened in the storyline Go Down Swinging and when they combined, they took on the name Red Goblin, combing the powers of Carnage and the Green Goblin. They weren't even affected by fire and sound like regular symbiotes. How dangerous was this creature? Just ask the loved ones of Agent Venom.
4 RED HULK/GHOST RIDER/VENOM
There was one instance where three of Earth's strongest heroes combined into one impressive symbiote -- even if it was just temporary. Blackheart, the son of Mephisto, was trying to bring Hell to Earth and it looked like no one could stop him. However, that all changed when Red Hulk and Agent Venom showed up while Ghost Rider was battling him.
The three ended up morphing into one being, with the symbiotic powers of Agent Venom, the massive strength of Red Hulk and the demonic powers of Ghost Rider. That was easily the most powerful character to exist on Earth for the short time that they worked together.
Many years before Venom attached itself to Spider-Man and hitchhiked its way to Earth, symbiotes were on their own planet. The God Knull has existed since the early days of the universe and he created the symbiotes to aid in his war with the Celestials. He also created the symbiote dragon known as Grendel, which he used as a weapon more than once.
Knull used Grendel to attack all life across the galaxy, eating anything that existed in its path. Earth was one of the planets it attacked and it took Thor to finally slow it down. Even Thor could not ultimately beat it but he did trap it to stop its reign of terror.
There have been some great stories that depict the history of symbiotes. It turned out that the entire race was benevolent and never meant harm, but took on the personality and desires of those they bonded with. That is why Venom wanted to be a hero while Carnage was a sociopath.
And, that's why Zzxz is very scary. This was one of the worst villains to ever exist according to the Shi'ar Empire. Zzxz fed on the brain of its host and at one time bonded with a member of the Starjammers named Raza. This is one symbiote that the Shi'ar Empire said can never perish, which means containing it is the only course of action.
When it comes to the most powerful of any creature, it is often smart to look back and find the Alpha of its species. The first vampire and first werewolf are always the most powerful monster of its kind. While many symbiotes are often stronger than their parents, in the case of the Alpha, the All-Black is still the end all, be all when it comes to the symbiote race.
The All-Black was the first symbiote in history, created by the God Knull using the divine power of a Celestial. All-Black is the being that bonded with Gorr, the God Killer, and was the weapon used to down many gods on his rampage. All-Black went on to bond with Galactus, turning him into the Butcher of Worlds and later Ego, where he wiped out the final Celestial as Necroworld.