What’s an anti-hero without enemies? Venom, upon his creation over 30 years ago, was Spider-Man’s most powerful nemesis, able to match Spidey pretty much power for power and also given something of an advantage by being absolutely filled with evil. Due to his enduring popularity, Venom (in his many iterations) has become a reluctant hero himself, even being a full-fledged Guardian of the Galaxy and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Naturally, in those three decades, Venom has made himself a lot of enemies beyond Peter Parker, and now that Sony is bringing the Lethal Protector to the silver screen, fans are positively rabid with anticipation, especially in regards to whom Eddie will inevitably be fighting.
We here at Comic Book Resources are no less rabid and we legitimately cannot wait until this new chapter in Sony’s Spider-Verse (also the MCU’s Spider-Verse!) is released for public consumption this fall. In anticipation of this, and absolutely free of charge to the good people at the Sony motion picture company, we have come up with this list below of the ten Venom villains we would absolutely love to see on the screen, whether it’s this fall or later on. We also will list some of Venom’s enemies (Venomies, if you will) who might not be so great adapted to the big screen — even if they don’t completely stink, we can certainly wait until Sony gets through the top 10 before it takes a crack at these also-rans. Okay, don your asbestos, put on your sound dampeners, and let’s go!
20 PERFECT: THE JURY
Created by David Michelinie and Mark Bagley, The Jury are truly a fun villain team for Venom, not only because of their strength in numbers, but also because they first appeared in the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries. That series is prime early Venom, when the character was really peaking in popularity, and these ex-super-prison guards turned vigilantes would really give Eddie a run for his money.
Featuring The Jury would also be a great and not perfectly obvious way to tie the Venom movie(s) into the MCU. The Jury began as Guardians, all wearing armor designed by Stark Industries, and were also led for a time by U.S. Agent, a perfect government replacement for Cap (perfect in that he is deeply flawed).
19 IMPERFECT: LEE PRICE
The only real problem with the long-lasting popularity of Venom and Carnage is that Marvel, in its infinite wisdom, has doled out symbiotes to many other characters as well, hoping to hit pay dirt again. We can’t blame the publisher; being formulaic isn’t the worst offense in superhero comics, but it does tend to lead to a lot of so-what characters.
Enter Lee Price, one of the most recent people to have bonded with Eddie Brock’s symbiote. Lee wasn’t much more than a low-level street thug before the symbiote bonded with him in desperation. Lee let the newfound power go to his head, to where even the symbiote was frightened. Let’s hope that Hollywood decides to run through Carnage et al before bonding with this host.
18 PERFECT: THE LIFE FOUNDATION
The Marvel Universe has often made faceless corporations into villains (Roxxon, Stane, even Stark, and so on), and The Life Foundation is no different. The Life Foundation, led by Dr. Carlton Drake, is already set to appear in the Venom film as a genetics institute dedicated to inhumane experiments, which frankly, we’ve seen before in a good number of the X-Men films.
The Life Foundation as it appears in the comics is a different beast. It was created as a way to provide the utmost in luxury to its high-end clientele after armageddon. and would be a weird but very fun version to see on the big screen. Here’s hoping they include the five symbiotes they unleashed to battle venom in that Lethal Protector series.
17 IMPERFECT: SCARLET SPIDER
Speaking of clones (literally), we have Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider. A product of the hopelessly convoluted Clone Saga, poor Ben has largely become an afterthought in the regular Marvel Universe, and we kind of hope he stays that way. He’s not the worst character in the world, but we’re in no rush to have him cast either.
Upon his foray into superheroing as the Scarlet Spider, Ben almost immediately ran afoul of both Venom and Carnage. But like with Lee Price, when there is already a wealth of characters in symbiote form or otherwise we’re anxious to see, we hope that future producers will leave Ben on the sidelines for a good while.
16 PERFECT: CARNAGE
File this one under “no-brainer,” Carnage has long since been defined as Venom’s true arch-nemesis, even more so than Spider-Man. Psychopathic Cletus Kasady, completely devoid of any sort of moral compass, acted as Venom’s first real foil, the first character to show that Venom was not all bad despite his keen bloodlust for Peter Parker.
We are actually pretty surprised that Carnage isn’t slated to be in this first Venom film, but we will eat our collective hat if it is not set up in post-credits sequence or something. Given that Carnage came about when the Venom symbiote reproduced without bothering to mention it to Eddie, Cletus will likely be quite a surprise to him in Venom 2.
15 IMPERFECT: SHRIEK
While the Maximum Carnage storyline now holds a quality of nostalgia, objectively speaking, it’s not very good. It feels pretty cynical, an attempt to let the crazier characters off their leashes to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Not to sound all high and mighty, but comics can do better for sure.
Shriek is an unfortunate casualty in this regard. Introduced as Carnage’s love interest, she does very little to add any kind of real dynamic and ends up being as flat and cartoony as any other character in that story. It could be neat if she showed up in the films as almost a completely different character, not unlike how the Mandarin was depicted in the MCU (controversial, we know). Otherwise, they shouldn’t bother.
14 PERFECT: ANTI-VENOM
After years of being bonded with the Venom symbiote, Eddie Brock found himself once again alone and afflicted with cancer. His radiation therapy then comingled with traces of the symbiote in his system, creating Anti-Venom. This would be a stretch to pull off in a film, even in a series of films, but there’s no doubt that Anti-Venom would look super cool on the big screen.
Perhaps they could pull it off if someone other than Eddie (Cletus Kasady? Peter Parker?) somehow became Anti-Venom, and they could fight each other in a junkyard, like in Superman III, but actually good. Or maybe the film series ends with Eddie finally ridding himself of the symbiote in a fight for his life. Regardless, give us the Anti-Venom!
13 IMPERFECT: MANIA
Mania has taken on a few hosts in the Marvel Universe, but here we’re specifically talking about young Andi Benton, a former student of Flash Thompson’s while he was bonded with Eddie’s symbiote. The run of Venom comics where Flash utilized the costume is very fun, but it did sort of peter out towards the end when Flash was living in Philadelphia and working as a gym teacher.
Flash originally sent a piece of the symbiote to protect Andi from neighborhood criminals, but she ends up bonding with it and becoming something of a sidekick to Flash, a Kid Venom if you will. This is a move typically associated with a dearth of ideas, so we hope the film franchise doesn’t come to this.
12 PERFECT: DEMOGOBLIN
As long as we’re talking about villains who would be aesthetically pleasing on the big screen, we have the tragic Jason Macendale Jr. Not good enough to be Green Goblin, not bad enough to be of any help to N’Astirh during the Inferno storyline, Demogoblin became a pretty major player during the Maximum Carnage crossover when he teamed up with ol’ Cletus to go on a rampage.
Demogoblin feels like one of those villains that’s always fallen through the cracks, which makes him perfect for big-screen adaptation. If Kaecilius could be a major villain in the Dr. Strange movie, then certainly the Demogoblin can at least make a cameo of some sort, and with that tongue, maybe they can get Gene Simmons to play him.
11 IMPERFECT: BLACK CAT
Felicia Hardy has long been a favorite of Spider-Fans in all her many roles as light-hearted villain, gritty anti-hero, and frustrated love interest. However, when she and Venom have butted heads, it’s always left us just a little cold, especially since lately that has been tied in with Lee Price as Maniac.
Further to that, Black Cat feels like one of those characters that is great in the comics, but wouldn’t survive the transition to film. Perhaps we’re associating her unfairly with the ill-advised Halle Berry Catwoman vehicle, but even so, a female cat burglar feels like it’s very much already been done.
10 PERFECT: ANNE WEYING
Speaking of setting up future films in the franchise, 20118’s Venom will feature Michelle Williams as Anne Weying, Eddie’s love interest. In the comics, Anne goes on to become Eddie’s lawfully wedded wife and also the first woman to take on the mantle of She-Venom.
This depiction can really go either way. It would be pretty neat to see Ms. Williams as a symbiote somewhere down the road, but in all honesty, we’ve always felt that the character of Anne Weying kind of got the shaft in the comics, being a pretty two-dimensional character. Here’s hoping she’ll be more developed in the films.
9 IMPERFECT: JACK O’LANTERN
Another identity taken on by more than one person, Jack O’Lantern in this case refers to the most recent one, the anonymous psycho working for the Crime-Master. Also borne of the Flash Thompson era, Jack again feels a little two-dimensional, a little like Shriek or Carnage, whipped together quickly and thrown at our hero as like a force of nature.
Besides, we already have Jason Macendale listed above, as long as we’re talking about guys who are kind of like the Green Goblin but are not. Jack O’Lantern does look really cool and would probably transfer well to the big screen, but we want good characters to go along with these aesthetics. Better luck next time, Jack.
8 PERFECT: MAC GARGAN
One of our absolute favorite versions of Venom is when the villain formerly known as the Scorpion bonded with the Klyntar symbiote and brought to new depths of depravity. As the Scorpion, Gargan was largely a joke, on par with other C-list Spider-villains like the Shocker and Speed Demon. But as Venom, Mac really came into his own as a seriously bad dude.
What are the odds the Dark Avengers may one day show up in the MCU, posing as morally bankrupt versions of Earth’s mightiest heroes? We don’t know, but we do know Sinister Spider-Man would be nothing short of awesome. Even if Mac Gargan just showed up in the films as a work nemesis of Eddie or something, we’d be happy.
7 IMPERFECT: ANGELO FORTUNATO
We are actually kind of torn on this one. A Mafioso’s son, Angelo Fortunato was one of the first people to wear the symbiote after Eddie. His father had hoped to make a man out of his wimpy son, and Angelo in turn sought to win his dad’s approval, and it ends about as tragically as you might expect.
Too weird a left turn for a feature film, this story might actually be great as a sort film. Like those “one-shots” the MCU has done, we sure wouldn’t mind seeing the Fortunato story on the home digital release of Venom.
6 PERFECT: DEADPOOL
How out of left field would it be if the Merc with the Mouth showed up in a Venom movie? Especially if they did it Se7en-style with no advance notice or spoilers? We would lose our minds, that is for sure. And since Sony is still involved in production of both franchises (or has been? We don’t know how business works.), this doesn’t seem completely out of bounds.
And hardcore comics fans remember Venompool from when Wade bonded with the symbiote(!) and then teamed up with Power Pack(!!!). As fun as that would be, even if Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool made a cameo in one of these films, there is no way that wouldn’t be a major highlight.
5 IMPERFECT: HYBRID
Another symbiote knock-off — one of the first, in fact — is Scott Washington, who bonded with the combined symbiotes of The Life Foundation to become Hybrid. Although we cheered the appearance of the comics’ Life Foundation above, we’re still a little reluctant to have so many different symbiotes running around. Venom and Carnage, sure, but many more than that, and we risk killing the golden Klyntar.
This doesn’t mean we’d be averse to seeing Scott show up at all. Some of the most fun things about these superhero movies are the little Easter eggs for the big comics enthusiasts out there, so we can lean over to whomever we’re seeing the movie with and say, “Oh, that guy was Hybrid in the comics!” as they smile and nod patiently.
4 PERFECT: SPIDER-MAN
Also to be filed under “Yes, obviously,” it’s unthinkable that Spider-Man, the catalyst for the entire character of Eddie Brock/Venom, won’t one day almost get his brains eaten by what has become one of his definitive villains. Even though 2007’s Spider-Man 3 was much maligned, we feel it had many high points, including first bringing Venom to the big screen.
The suspense also has potential to be killer, building over the next few Venom and Spider-Man films until they finally meet, not unlike how the MCU’s first wave of films intentionally built towards the first Avengers movie. In case you can’t tell, we are already on the edge of our seats.
3 IMPERFECT: SIN-EATER
Again, in a universe as colorful as the Marvel Universe, of course there is going to be more than one Sin-Eater. For our purposes here, we mean Emil Gregg, who was Sin-Eater in name only. Plagued by voices in his head, Emil tried to take on the mantle of the Sin-Eater and take credit for his dastardly deeds, but the poor schmuck was just a nutjob who eventually got in Carnage’s way, and you can imagine how that ended.
The actual Sin-Eater might be a fun addition to the Spidey film universe, but Emil here would be pretty ineffective as red herring. That sort of thing might work spread out over a few issues of Spectacular Spider-Man, but in a feature-length film not so much.
2 PERFECT: THE POISONS
New to Venom’s rogue gallery are these predators from across the multiverse whose sole purpose is to eliminate the Klyntar species. The Poisons possess the ability to assimilate both a symbiote and its host, thereby taking their power. First introduced in the recent Venomverse series, the Hive (as they’re also known) immediately proved to be one of Venom’s most powerful enemies, wiping out Klyntars in dimension after dimension.
Like a lot of comics stories, this would have to be streamlined pretty heavily to make its way onto film, but just imagine, a film with the scope of Infinity War, but all the principal characters also have symbiotes? Nothing short of box-office gold that would be, and again, Sony, you are welcome for this million-dollar idea.
1 IMPERFECT: TOXIN
The offspring of the Carnage symbiote, Toxin was a fun diversion in the Venom vs. Carnage series, as well as his own short-lived solo book. But again we run into the problem of too much of a good thing. If the movies begin to have as many symbiotes as the comics do, that would very likely not be sustainable.
However, if the franchise does blow up, and somehow there is call for a solo Toxin film, it might be interesting to see a less internally conflicted have the symbiote (paging Flash Thompson!). Toxin’s host Patrick Mulligan is an NYPD cop and not one of those dirty ones you see on NYPD Blue. Until then, though, let’s again get through the other characters we want first.