Venom -- he’s got that adrenaline momentum. He’s one of the most famous villains, and a fan favorite who’s been adapted a host of ways both in comics and on-screen. One of the most famous Spider-man villains, he was introduced when the sludgey symbiote ended up on earth and bonded with Peter Parker. After leaving Parker, Venom has bonded with Eddie Brock, Flash Thomson, and a car. One of the most powerful villains, and certainly the most famous of Spidey’s foes, Venom has literally awesome powers. His power is immense, and subject of the Life Foundation’s studies. He is able to bond with a human host, morph, change, and absorb the powers of those he touches. But not all powers are created equal.
Venom isn’t infallible. Weak to sonic noises, and possessing some weakened versions of absorbed powers, not every trick in his repertoire is as impressive as the next. For those like Eddie Brock who answer the knock knock and let the devil in, Venom brings awesome powers and abilities to heal, get stronger, and become both a worthy adversary, and a reluctant hero. Alas, not every power is as valuable as the next, and some of what Venom has is a little, well, weak. Coming from a race of super space demons, Venom is subject to and able to gain powers beyond the scope of even the imagination of some of the most powerful beings on earth, and you know what they say, with great power, comes great responsibility.
20 STRONG: PARASITIC INHERITANCE
All the best space threats have the power of parasitic inheritance, the power to absorb the abilities of those they use as hosts. This power is one of the many abilities of Aliens’ Xenomorph, Mortal Kombat’s Kytin, and, of course, Venom.
Venom has the power to absorb the powers and abilities of his host. The is one of his most important abilities as it allowed him to gain some of his strongest tools and tricks. This ability is the reason why he absorbed so many of the spider like skills that make up his character from when he was latched onto Spider-Man.
19 WEAK: SUPER STRENGTH
We know it’s counterintuitive to list super strength as a weakness, and Venom is anything but weak. Before they even bonded, Eddie Brock was incredibly strong and rumor has it, he can bench 700 pounds. Venom also gained strength from when he was bonded with Peter Parker, and so when he bonded with Brock, his strength allowed him to take on some of the strongest characters including Juggernaut and Hulk.
What makes this power weak is that it fluctuates. Venom’s super strength is dependent on external factors and the order of his bonding, making it unpredictable and unreliable. True power is knowing one’s strength.
18 STRONG: REGENERATIVE HEALING
The reason that Wolverine is one of the strongest and outlasting X-Men has a lot to do with his ability to heal and regenerate. The same goes for Venom. Venom has the power to heal himself, which makes him a worthy foe, even to Spider-Man.
But more than that, he has the power to heal and regenerate his host. This allowed him to heal Flash from being impaled, and for Eddie Brock, it meant he could heal and regenerate to slow or cure his cancer. The cure for cancer being the all but elusive pinnacle of success, this power is an incredibly strong one.
17 WEAK: OFFSPRING DETECTION
Venom was a valuable item to the Life Foundation, who hunted him and Eddie Brock. After once capturing the bonded pair, the foundation was able to separate Eddie from the symbiote and force him to birth offspring; Riot, Lasher, Phage, Agony, and Scream. These offspring ultimately grew to be powerful on their own, and it was once decided they should find their own hosts.
But one of Venom’s many powers was to detect these offspring. We guess it’s powerful for a parent of sorts to have a keen eye on their offspring, but this isn’t exactly the pinnacle of Venom’s powers. Even more, though he is strong, with some effort, this power can be blocked, rendering it not the most useful skill.
16 STRONG: CONSTITUENT MATTER GENERATION/ MANIPULATION
Another incredible powerful being is Terminator 2’s T-1000 who is capable of manipulating his own matter to create , as the T-800 puts it, “knives and stabbing weapons.” Well, Venom is an easy match for that. He is able to manipulate the fibers of his being into these melee weapons, making him a strong opponent in any fight, whether he arrives armed or not.
Further, he can actually toss his matter and still manipulate, giving him the unique and crazy power to force his matter into the body of an enemy, and manipulate it to shred them from the inside.
15 WEAK: WEBBING
Though it was changed for some films, Spider-man doesn’t actually produce his own organic webbing. But when he boned with the symbiote, he did gain that ability. After Venom left him and joined Eddie Brock, he held onto this ability, though it’s unclear where it came from. Organic webbing allowed him to swing like Spidey, though not having organic webbing never stopped Spidey before.
The webbing is pretty strong, but eventually evaporates into dust. But that’s not what makes this one of Venom’s weakest powers. The fact is, the webbing is a part of Venom and every time he leaves a dusty strand behind, he leaves part of himself behind and depletes his abilities and strength.
14 STRONG: GENETIC MEMORY
There’s a reason that when Spider-Man chose to reveal his true identity in the Civil War story line, it was such a big deal. Heroes wear mask to protect themselves from the public eye, and to protect themselves and loved ones from the direct ire of their enemies. This goes further for a kid like Peter Parker.
So it’s no secret why villains have always been trying to chase the identity of their nemeses. Venom seems to have that covered. His genetic memory ability allows him to recall memories from previous hosts. Since he was once bonded with Spider-man, now bonded with Eddie Brock, they can remember Spider-man’s true identity, making him a much easier target.
13 WEAK: DIGITAL IMMERSION
For those of us who grew up in the '90s we can never forget Superhuman Samurai, a character with the unique ability to enter into the digital world. Well, hardly unique. For that time, pop culture really didn’t have a handle on the internet, and spent a lot of time thinking characters could enter the digital world by shrinking down and jumping into wires.
Venom has the power to pass his mind through the internet and enter the digital world. Venom and Carnage both were able to enter the internet on the “molecular level,” (it was a weird time), where Carnage attacked those playing his namesake video game.
12 STRONG: POISONOUS FANGS
Venom has a poisonous bite. It makes sense. When the symbiote first bonded with Eddie Brock, Brock wanted to ensure they had some stunning differentiators from Spider-Man, thus creating the image of Venom we all associate with the character, his large gaping mouth filled with slimy teeth and a tongue that would make Gene Simmons recoil.
With this, came abilities associated with these poisonous fangs, making for a pretty deadly bite. His bite is a lot stronger than a spider’s, and he once used to take a chunk out of Sandman so big that Sandman almost succumbed to the injury.
11 WEAK: SHAPESHIFTING
Almost as popular as the classic Bat logo tee, is that classic black T-shirt with the white spider logo, like our old buddy, Venom. Venom, being the fluid being he is, has the ability to shapeshift. So, that does mean he was bale to, say, grow a second mouth, or change size and add tentacles, but mostly, he used this power to become that signature tee on Eddie Brock.
When bonded with the symbiote, the wearer was able to change clothes on a dime, from a T-shirt to a suit. This was one of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s cool abilities also, but this was a powerful ability for neither.
10 STRONG: HIVE MIND
Much like what Dr. Newton Geizler learned when merging his mind with that of a Kaiju, some creatures alien to this work can connect to other beings mentally, via a hive mind. Venom is one of those creatures. Venom connected to the Klyntar hive mind on multiple occasions. It allowed him to learn more about his origin and his world.
But that’s not what made the ability so powerful. Knull linked the symbiotes via a hive mind close to their creation, which allowed them to increase their power. The hive mind brings knowledge and, you know what they say, knowledge is power.
9 WEAK: ESP/ SPIDER-SENSE
The spider-sense is an incredible power of Peter’s, one that Venom used another of his powers, the ability to absorb abilities from a host, to gain from Spider-Man.
But it’s probably better that Venom stick to the psychic abilities associated with his hive mind and cosmos communion, because his ability to sense danger, (like a spider?) is somewhat fallible. The thing about Venom’s ability here is that it has a lag time much longer than Spidey’s and is at the whim of the host’s reaction time. So since Eddie has a slower reaction time that Spider-man, his sense when bonded with Venom is slower acting and slower reacting, thus not the pinnacle of his abilities.
8 STRONG: SELF-SUSTENANCE
Sustaining oneself in any environment seems like am impossibility. Organisms are often limited by their environments, and cannot reach too far beyond their reach without venturing into hazardous territory. But not Venom.
Venom has a unique ability to adapt on demand to a hostile environment. Venom can survive in the depths of space, underwater, and surrounded by toxic fumes. What’s more, he can pass this ability on to others he so chooses. Not only can he protect his host with this ability, he is able to will filtration systems for others, an ability Flash made use of when he was Venom’s host.
7 WEAK: PROXIMITY TRACKING
One of the few iterations of Venom is one of his Flash Thomson merges, Agent Venom. Agent Venom’s abilities are mostly what we know of Venom, but one of the more unique abilities is proximity tracking. Agent Venom has the ability to track the proximity of parts of himself. So, since the symbiote is fluid, and he can leave parts of himself behind like with his organic webbing, he is able to leave pieces of himself on moving things, like people, and track them.
This seems pretty cool, but it seems like any low-level spy in any media ever has been able to track people with creative devices, though this was maybe easier to plant than the one in Austin Powers 2.
6 STRONG: MORPHOMERGE
Venom has merged with humans, that much we all know. He has made a host out of multiple humans including Peter Parker, Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson. But he has also merged with objects. In a power that would scare even Christine, Venom once merged with a broken down car, making it fully operational and a monster of an automobile, complete with tentacles, teeth, a slimy massive tongue, and a pretty sweet spider logo.
He wasn’t just able to merge with the vehicle, but his powers allowed him to “heal it” and make it fully operational. Come at him, Optimus Prime.
5 WEAK: BODY STORAGE
Venom is fluid. That part you should know by now. So he can manipulate his shape into different appendages, sizes, weapons, and even merge with people and objects. But what’s one of the weaker abilities he can use this literally awesome power for? Making pockets.
For any of us who wear dresses, pockets are certainly a thrill, and we wouldn’t want to diminish that. But for a powerful space monster, the ability to store small items on one’s person isn’t the most impressive of all abilities. We mean, he manages to keep sleek and aerodynamic the whole time, something elusive to those of us with plain old denim pockets.
4 STRONG: COSMOS COMMUNION
There’s a lot to say about the sense Spider-Man has to sense danger, and how that sense was passed onto Venom after he merged with Peter Parker and inherited that ability. But Venom has another way of sending danger to others.
See, sometimes Venom was the good guy. And that made him “cleansed” and able to access certain powers inaccessible to his “uncleansed” form. So, once cleansed, Venom was granted the ability to communicate with cosmos to sense not his own danger, but danger to others. Using this power, he was able to sense people in need of assistance, which made him a better hero than even some of the best.
3 WEAK: FLIGHT
Venom can swing. Venom can climb. Venom is capable of morphing and surviving in the vacuum of space. So it doesn’t seem super necessary that he can properly fly.
After encountering Knull, the god of all symbiotes, Venom gained a few new powers, one of those being the ability to sprout wings. They do really help Venom secure his position as a goth icon, flying around with these menacing bright red wings, but they don’t really add much to the power he already has. Venom has never had a hard time getting around, and though the wings look very dope, they’re not the most useful of all the powerful abilities he has gained.
2 STRONG: HUMANOID FORM
Venom as we know him has always needed to latch onto a host to have a human form. When bonded with a host, he has some control over the host body, the only way he’s been able to be human.
But once cleansed, Venom gained an incredible new power, the power to take on a humanoid form. Without the need of a host, Venom is weakened by any of their weaknesses, bound by their whims, or subject to their issues. Venom can take on an independent human form without the need to be bonded. But like Cinderella, this ability has a clock and Venom can only take this form for 12 hours.
1 WEAK: WALL CRAWLING
We know we said that his flight was a bit redundant with his wall crawling and web slinging, two other abilities we’ve called weak, but that’s really the point. Not only are each of these abilities redundant, Venom is a fluid symbiote who can slink around almost any way he can fathom, and word is, he drives a mean motorcycle. Another of the powers he recovered from being bonded with Peter Parker is the ability to climb walls.
This ability allowed his movements to be more reminiscent of the spider which made him a cool dark mirrored adversary for the web slinger, but didn’t really add much to Venom’s overall power.