Venom has been a staple of Spider-Man comics for more than 30 years, but even with this much time in print, not a lot is really known about it. The origin of the symbiote, which is called a Klyntar, wasn't known for three decades and has really only been revealed recently. Typically, these symbiotic organisms were a benevolent species, but the Venom symbiote clearly had a difference of opinion when dealing with the whole death and murder thing; though this was explained as a corruption by humans rather than an innate aggressive nature. Despite its murderous tendencies when it hit earth, though, how well do you really know its powers?
When the symbiote was first introduced, it was little more than a convenient costume for Spider-Man. It was able to approximate his webbing, change its appearance for him and enhanced his other abilities, but that was about it. Since then, the power-set has expanded exponentially alongside the number of hosts it has had over the years. With so many changes in the character and a number of new hosts capable of adding their own unique abilities, there are a lot of powers most people aren't even aware of. For this list, we are going to delve into the Venom symbiote and only generally look into its offspring. Even with that, we found these 15 Hidden Abilities You Never Knew Venom had!
15 WON'T TRIGGER SPIDEY'S SPIDER-SENSE
One of the key powers Spider-Man has is the precognitive ability to sense danger: his Spider-Sense. The ability helps him in a fight by anticipating the moves of his enemies, he can avoid gunfire and is constantly warned danger is present thanks to some wavy lines emitting from his head indicating that his Spider-Sense is tingling. You might say he relies on this sense a bit too much, as it has helped him avoid danger for years... but then Eddie Brock merged with the symbiote and formed Venom.
Thanks to bonding with Peter Parker, the symbiote negates his Spider-Sense altogether. Not only can Venom sneak up on his foe, so can any of Venom's offspring, making them all a deadly entry into Spidey's Rogues' Gallery. The symbiote also has immunity to other powerful senses like Ghost Rider's Penance Stare, and hardly anyone in the Marvel Universe is immune to that attack.
14 ENHANCED BY ITS HATRED OF SPIDER-MAN
If there's one thing that's difficult to get over, it's rejection. It's not just a problem for humans either; Venom is still dealing with the fact that Peter Parker made it take a hike. As soon as Peter learned that the suit was a living being intent on permanently bonding with him, he told it to get lost and ripped it from his body, which is probably the most physical rejection one could go through.
Following this rejection, the symbiote zeroed in on the only being who hated Parker as much: Eddie Brock. Unlike a typical rebound relationship, this one stuck and the fact that they both hated Parker as much as they did only helped to strengthen their resolve as well as their abilities. The symbiote feeds off adrenaline and the emotions of its host so the anger Brock had for Parker only helped to increase its strength.
13 CAN HEAL ITS HOST AND LENGTHEN THEIR LIFE
The symbiote has a lot of abilities it can impart upon its host that make bonding with it somewhat ideal. For Flash Thompson, it generated legs he could use to run around with and for Eddie Brock, it held his cancer at bay. Brock was diagnosed with late-stage adrenal cancer when he bonded with the symbiote and it was able to keep it from killing him for years. That's an impressive feat seeing as he was likely only going to live for a few months before the cancer killed him.
The comics never go into how the symbiote keeps its host alive, but it has been seen healing a host from various wounds. Whatever its method, it seems that having a living suit of spaceborn goo all over your body can come in handy when Western medicine fails to keep cancer from spreading throughout the body.
12 IT'S STRONGER THAN SPIDER-MAN (AND A LOT OF PEOPLE)
When the symbiote first bonded with Peter Parker, it was able to enhance his already superhuman strength. Essentially, Spider-Man went from being able to easily pick up around 10-25 tons to a strength nearly twice that number. Granted, those are just estimates since his abilities tend to change depending on who is writing him, but the general consensus is that the symbiote doubled his strength and agility.
Eddie Brock was just a regular guy so he didn't possess superhuman strength. Brock was a power-lifter capable of deadlifting 700 lbs so his strength was enhanced by the symbiote, but the symbiote's strength was likewise enhanced. It was already much stronger having bonded with Spider-Man, but add the near-superhuman limits Brock possessed thanks to his weightlifting and Venom became much stronger than Spider-Man.
11 CAN LOOK LIKE ANYONE OR ANYTHING
One of the best benefits Peter Parker found when he picked up the Venom symbiote was that it could change the way it looked entirely. He no longer needed to take it off (though he did take it off regularly at first) and could change into his Spider-Man costume just by thinking about it. This was especially beneficial for a guy who had lost clothes over the years by stashing them in webbing in alleyways whenever he changed in the past.
The suit could easily change itself to resemble clothing, but thanks to covering the entire body, it could change the way its host looked as well. It wasn't just a super suit, it afforded limited shapeshifting abilities as well. The symbiote can also mimic its environment and blend into whatever it's near. If it wants to look like a brick wall, that's hardly a challenge.
10 ADAPTS ITSELF TO THE ENVIRONMENT TO KEEP ITS HOST ALIVE
The symbiote's ability to adapt itself isn't limited to the way it looks. While being able to camouflage oneself in any environment is certainly good when hunting Spider-Man and other prey, it never hurts to be able to survive in any environment as well. Once, when fighting Spider-Man, the two take a dive and continue to duke it out (pictured). The symbiote has no problem converting itself into a sort of living water capable or filtering out oxygen to keep Brock alive.
This skill effectively turns the symbiote into a survival suit capable of surviving just about any environment. As long as there is oxygen for the suit to extract, the host should be absolutely fine. This puts any opponent at a significant disadvantage when Venom chooses the battlefield, but hasn't popped up too often in the comics over the years.
9 IT REPRODUCES ASEXUALLY
One of the biggest dangers the symbiote represents is that it's a bit promiscuous... with itself. The symbiote possesses the ability to reproduce asexually and since it's not the most stable being in the cosmos, this has resulted in the creation of some dangerous individuals. Its first offspring was none other than Carnage, which bonded with Cletus Kasady's blood when Venom busted Brock out of prison. Unfortunately, Kasady was a psychopathic serial killer who went on to kill far more people than Venom.
It soon became apparent that the symbiote could create offspring rather easily and the Marvel Universe has been overrun with them as a result... well, not really, but there are at least 15 running around. The symbiote doesn't create any sort of parental attachment to its offspring (in fact, just the opposite is true), so Venom hasn't had any issue trying to kill them over the years.
8 IT REALLY DOES HAVE A VENOMOUS BITE
When Spider-Man and the symbiote were together, there were no gigantic teeth and tongue sticking out -- that was something it settled on thanks to bonding with Eddie Brock. There are a number of reasons for the teeth to be incorporated into the suit, the most obvious one being intimidation, but that's not the only reason for those pearly... um... yellows?
Those teeth aren't just for show: Venom has bitten quite a few folks over the years. At one time, he decided it was just the right time to take a bite out of his Sinister Six teammate, Sandman. The size of the bite would put most sharks to shame, but it was the effect that really hurt. Unlike most damage he takes, Sandman was unable to maintain his human form as a result of Venom's taste test and he was quickly defeated.
7 THE SYMBIOTE IS TELEPATHIC
Whenever someone like Eddie Brock is bonded with the symbiote, he constantly refers to himself as "we." This is due to the bonding of two intelligent beings: Brock and the symbiote. It's that duality that helps us to understand that the symbiote is a separate being with its own feelings, thoughts and murderous intent. This leaves readers wondering exactly how the suit communicates its intelligence to Brock and the answer is fairly simple: it's telepathic.
This inherent ability is what allows the symbiote to inform Brock that his hatred of Spider-Man isn't a lone endeavor. Additionally, it's how the symbiote was able to let Brock know everything it knew about Spider-Man and his alter ego, Peter Parker. Interestingly, the symbiote's telepathic abilities make it immune to telepathic and mystical attacks, like Ghost Rider's Penance Stare.
6 IT'S STRENGTHENED BY EATING CHOCOLATE
Just like most people, Venom has a weakness for chocolate. Because it's a symbiote, Venom needs to get something out of bonding with someone. It feeds off its host's adrenaline and it especially enjoys snacking off of fear. Peter first learned the suit's true nature when he would wake up exhausted every morning. It turned out, the suit was taking his body joyriding through the city every night to amp up his adrenaline.
What does this have to do with chocolate you might ask? It turns out that symbiotes crave chocolate for the same reason we do (even if we don't know it). Phenethylamine is a chemical in chocolate that helps to elevate our mood and provide energy to the brain. Eating chocolate simply feeds it in a way that normal food doesn't, which is good since it would otherwise snack on human brains presumably to attain a similar effect.
5 CAN CREATE WEAPONS OUT OF ITSELF
When the symbiote first bonds with Peter Parker, he find out that he no longer needs web fluid. This was a big change for Spider-Man since his reliance on web cartridges had been a plot point for so many years of publication. The symbiote shot off bits of itself in place of Parker's invention, which made life easier for the web-slinger, but also established a new ability for the suit/symbiote.
The symbiote's ability to fire out webbing is, by no means, the only thing it can do with itself. When needed, the symbiote can expand greatly in size and even form melee weapons it uses to bash items, people or whatever gets in Venom's way. Flash Thompson's legs were fashioned in the same way but was best shown when he created large edge weaponry as pictured above.
4 CAN GET ONLINE
Just like all of us, Venom can get online in what has to be the silliest and most '90s of Venom's powers. Granted, he doesn't do it in exactly the same way as folks back in the '90s did, so there is no point looking through his comics for an AOL floppy disk. Unlike normal people, Venom hopped online in an issue of Venom: Carnage Unleashed, after learning that Carnage had been doing exactly that in a murderous rampage.
Carnage found out people were playing a video game based on him so he went online and killed some of the players. Venom learns of this and decides to follow suit.. by literally following him online thanks to his suit. The explanation for this ability had to do with the suit's ability to transfer his consciousness onto the Internet, but thankfully, this has not resurfaced as something he does whenever bored. Hopefully, he goes Incognito.
3 VENOM CAN TURN INTO A CAR
In exactly one story that popped up in Venom #35, we get to see what the symbiote can do when a crappy car is nearby. Agent Venom was hot on the tail of some thugs who flee by hopping into their car and careening down the street. This would make sense except for the fact that Venom can just webswing through the city, but it seems he forgot about this ability for a panel or two.
He notices a rusty old car on the side of the street and the Venom-Mobile was born! What's most interesting about this small joke in the book isn't that Venom can take over a car, but that it can take over inorganic matter. What else can it bond to while bonded to a person? Is this a precursor for something far more interesting? Probably not, but it's an interesting aspect of its powers.
2 IT CAN WALK AND TALK WITHOUT A HOST
It stands to reason that a symbiotic lifeform capable of bonding with other organisms for its own survival couldn't take any real form without one. This was true for most of the history of Venom in comics, but has changed recently thanks to bonding with Flash Thompson. Normally, the symbiote exists as an amorphous black puddle of goo, but it eventually gains the power to form itself into an independent character capable of walking about for 12 hours before returning to its usual form.
When it turns into this newly-formed version of itself, it can walk about and have a nice conversation with its host. It was first discovered in this form when Flash returned to his vessel, only to find the suit he left behind casually sitting behind the flight controls. It's an odd change for the character, but it makes sense considering how well the symbiote adapts itself.
1 COPIES THE POWERS OF THE HOST (AND REMEMBERS THEM)
Bonding with a symbiote comes with its slew of advantages. A symbiote has an inherent ability to detect danger, can shapeshift and camouflage itself and it can learn new powers from its host. That's probably the biggest advantage for anyone picking up the Venom symbiote after Peter Parker went swinging around the city while wearing it. Not only has it acquired every ability Spider-Man has, but also the abilities of everyone who wore it afterwards as well.
That list of superpowered beings is likely a lot longer than you might realize. In addition to Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson, it has bonded with Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Deadpool and a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Old Man Logan universe. There are more, but given that list alone, the symbiote has learned how to cling to walls, mend any wounds no matter the severity, fly and get really... REALLY strong.