Venom’s relationships with others are always complicated, he’s been shown to be reasonable but also completely unmanageable. The problem with Venom trying to develop friendships is the amount of factors that dictate his interactions. The host of the Venom symbiote might like someone, but the symbiote itself might not. On that same merit, the symbiote could consider someone an ally where its host does not. On occasion the relationship between the alien and its host can be complicated, as the host may be used against their will or the symbiote does not agree with its host’s motives. With all that to worry about, it’s no wonder Venom is mostly feared.
Whether he can work alongside others is sometimes entirely dependent on his utilization. Where Flash Thompson was able to avoid most of the symbiote’s influence by using the alien in short bursts initially, hosts like Eddie Brock give themselves to the alien entirely. In the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy, we discovered the Klyntar – Venom’s race — are a peaceful race and agents of the cosmos, so we know they are capable of cohabitation. The problem with Venom is that he’s been so far from home for so long, other influences have driven him down some despicable paths. Whether he is helping the Avengers under the paragon-like guidance of Flash Thompson or eating people as Eddie Brock or Mac Gargan, Venom has earned friend and foe alike. We’ll look into who’s an ally to the alien and who wants to cull the Klyntar!
20. CAN’T STAND: SPIDER-MAN
There is no love lost between Spider-Man and the Venom symbiote. Though Peter Parker initially didn’t fully understand the alien, when it started altering his persona and putting others and himself in danger, he wanted rid of it quick. Even recently, when Peter needed the symbiote’s help to defeat the Red Goblin, he expressed his contempt for the creature.
The feeling’s mutual, as while the symbiote has partnered with hosts other than Peter, they usually try and eat Peter. No matter who was used the symbiote, the grudge it holds for the Web-Slinger always comes to the fore. During the final battle in Secret Invasion, though heroes and villains alike allied to save the planet from the Skrulls, Venom still made time to remark that he wanted to end Spidey.
19. ACTUALLY LIKES: EDDIE BROCK
Eddie Brock is the most seasoned host of the Venom Symbiote, as the two beings’ fate have been linked for years. Though separated a few times, sometimes for years, the two usually find their way back to one another. Eddie has used the symbiote for good, for evil and for his own motives during their various bouts of bonding. Despite his questionable alignment at times, Eddie has shown he can play nice with others.
The symbiote knows Eddie to be the most reliable host historically and Eddie respects and sometimes craves the alien’s power. Eddie is also the most experienced at dealing with Carnage, having been the Venom Symbiote’s host when Carnage was birthed.
18. CAN’T STAND: CARNAGE
Just as hosts of the Venom Symbiote usually run into Spider-Man, they also eventually have to deal with Carnage. Despite being Venom’s offspring, the Carnage symbiote has been nothing but a thorn in the side of the Lethal Protector. There have been multiple occasions where Venom has had to work alongside his nemesis Spider-Man to stop Carnage.
Carnage presents a volatile and lethal threat and while the Venom Symbiote isn’t always nice, it is nowhere near as sadistic as Carnage. Carnage is also the father of Toxin, and though he had designs on destroying the young symbiote, it was Venom who had to step in and protect their lineage.
17. ACTUALLY LIKES: FLASH THOMPSON
Flash Thompson was selected to be a host for the Venom symbiote through a program involving the American government. Initially, he was only exposed to Venom for short amounts of time to prevent the symbiote from asserting dominance. This went wrong, of course, when he was stranded out in the field for too long on a mission. The prolonged exposure and a weakened Flash allowed the symbiote more agency over him.
Flash’s commitment to being a good person and setting an example as a hero had an effect on the symbiote. In recent issues of Amazing Spider-Man, it is depicted that the symbiote itself wants to be a hero due to its time with Flash. Thompson also helped the symbiote connect with its fellow Klyntar during their time with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
16. CAN’T STAND: NORMAN OSBORN
Venom has a complicated relationship with Norman, mostly being negative. While the symbiote was attached to Mac Gargan, he served on Norman’s Dark Avengers team. It was insulting to Venom that he was forced to pose as his nemesis, Spider-Man. Osborn has never really been the friendliest employer either and being used as a henchman built resentment between the two.
Most recently, in his latest attempt to punish Spider-Man, Norman was host to the Carnage symbiote, becoming the Red Goblin. Venom’s contempt for both Osborn and Carnage saw him willingly team up with Pete Parker once more to take down Osborn.
15. ACTUALLY LIKES: CAPTAIN AMERICA
When Flash Thompson had the dubious honor of being Venom’s host, Captain America partly oversaw his missions. When the Symbiote asserted its will over Flash and escaped, they stole Cap’s bike. Despite the act, both parties felt remorse for stealing from Steve and would eventually earn his respect through their actions over the following months.
During Spider Island, Steve was manipulated and mutated by the Spider-Queen to serve as the Spider-King. Flash would help return Steve to his original form and the two heroes were first on the scene to contest the Queen’s plot. Despite having met before, Agent Venom spent most of the engagement acting like a fanboy to the Star Spangled Avenger.
14. CAN’T STAND: BLACKHEART
The wayward son of the sinister Mephisto, Blackheart came into conflict with Venom while in Vegas. Venom was being blackmailed by Crime Master, sent to retrieve the Toxin symbiote from beneath a casino on the Vegas strip. It just so happened that Blackheart was trying to open a portal to Hell at the same time. His plan was to consume the earth by replacing it with the demonic domain.
Venom teamed up with Red Hulk, X-23 and Ghost Rider to push back the tides of the netherworld. Flash lost his life along with the other heroes, but were allowed a second chance by Mephisto who did not condone his son’s actions. Not only did Blackheart defeat Venom, he caused him to give part of his soul to Mephisto for a rematch.
13. ACTUALLY LIKES: X-23
When Blackheart had designs on bringing the domain of Hell to the mortal realm, Agent Venom teamed up with several heroes to prevent it. One such hero was X-23, whose resilience and grit earned her the respect of Venom. Due to the feral nature of both heroes, they were able to relate to a degree.
The heroes were forced to fight horrifying mirror images of their deepest insecurities, with Laura and Flash being the first to defeat theirs. Unfortunately, due to being defeated initially, the two are bonded by their pact with Mephisto. Their destinies were intertwined with Red Hulk and Ghost Rider, too.
12. CAN’T STAND: JACK O’LANTERN
The most recent incarnation of Jack O’Lantern is particularly villainous and extremely sadistic. Having hunted down and removed all others who used the Jack O’Lantern mantle, the villain now works for Crime Master. Crime Master raised the villain from childhood to be his personal hitman.
When Crime Master blackmailed Agent Venom, Jack O’Lantern was the liaison tasked with making sure Venom didn’t step out of line. Flash grew to hate him as they traveled around carrying out tasks for the mob boss. When the two encountered a collapsed mine outside of Vegas, Flash rescued as many miners as he could. However, Jack shot one of them, claiming he was showing them mercy as they were trapped under a rock and would perish anyway.
11. ACTUALLY LIKES: ALL-NEW X-MEN
The time-displaced versions of the original X-Men found themselves having to work alongside Venom when the events of Venomverse spilled over into the 616 universe. Beings known as the Poisons, who assimilate life into their sinister hive, followed Eddie Brock across the multiverse with designs on adding him to their collection.
The X-Men assisted Eddie in fending them off but Jean Grey was taken by the Poisons. On their quest to free her from their control, the X-Men also lost James Hudson. Venom and the mutants took the fight to the hive and Jean was able to return to her regular form. Venom admired the heart and guts shown by the young mutants who he initially thought were way out of their depth.
10. CAN’T STAND: POISONS
The Poisons set out to consume all hosts of the Venom Symbiote from throughout the multiverse during Venomverse. Eddie was recruited into the Venom’s multiversal army to help them beat back the threat. Though a formidable fighter, Eddie would find he was fighting a losing battle until the heroes eventually found a way to prevent the spread of the Poisons.
The Poisons would return when it was revealed their poison-assimilated Thanos had survived and was pulling the strings of another plot to consume Eddie. This brought them into contention with Venom and the All-New X-Men. Wolverine’s son from the Ultimate Universe, James Hudson, was consumed by the Poisons and remains one currently.
9. ACTUALLY LIKES: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
After Iron Man’s short stint on the Guardians of the Galaxy, they saw value in having an Avenger representative. Deputized by Iron Man himself, Agent Venom replaced him on the Guardians and settled in to the team. Though there were some teething problems initially, Flash being more likeable than Stark, he eventually earned their trust.
During his time with the Guardians, Venom would discover the homeworld of the Klyntar symbiotes. Reforming the bond with his people, he was able to transform himself into his Space Knight form. The symbiote itself started on a new path towards heroics alongside Flash Thompson.
8. CAN’T STAND: REED RICHARDS
Though Venom is more likely to cross paths with Peter Parker, he does encounter other New York-based heroes. Another hero Venom has had dealings with is Peter’s former Fantastic Four teammate Mr. Fantastic. Unfortunately for the symbiote, most times it has encountered Reed Richards, it has meant bad news for Venom. The Klyntar’s alien advantages don’t really stack up against such an experienced explorer of the cosmos.
Reed was crucial in discovering one of Venom’s primary weaknesses (sonic frequencies) which allowed the alien to be removed from its hosts. Over the years Reed has developed numerous technologies to help deal with symbiotes and assist Spider-Man. The anti-symbiote innovations created by the scientist include sonic weaponry and symbiote containment cells.
7. ACTUALLY LIKES: CLOAK
Both Cloak and Dagger have crossed paths with Venom, but Cloak has actually worked alongside the Klyntar hero. During a period where Dagger was believed to have been slain, Cloak set about trying to find out who did it and how to stop them.
It just so happens that Venom was in town, and wrapped up in the same sinister plot. The two heroes worked together, with Venom doling out a particularly brutal shade of justice to everyone in his path. Where most heroes wouldn’t condone this, Cloak did temporarily, likely due to the anger he felt at losing his partner.
6. CAN’T STAND: CRIME MASTER
There was a period where Venom worked for Crime Master, though it was entirely against his will. Blackmailing Flash Thompson, host to the symbiote at the time, Crime Master was able to get Thompson to carry out contracts for him. To make things worse he had Jack O’Lantern survey and keep tabs on him to make sure he was obedient.
One of the missions he was sent on was to retrieve the Toxin symbiote. Flash succeeded, though it was unclear why the Crime Master wanted the symbiote. It was later revealed that Crime Master had Eddie Brock host the Toxin symbiote, setting him on Venom alongside five other villains in his Savage Six team.
5. ACTUALLY LIKES: LUKE CAGE
Though Venom mostly disliked his time under Osborn on the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers, one former Thunderbolts alumni garners his respect. This particular hero is none other than Luke Cage. Luke believes in the process of reforming villains, even symbiotes who used to eat brains.
Following Secret Invasion, Luke Cage made a deal with Norman Osborn to help find information on the Skrulls who put his daughter in danger during the invasion. Norman brought Venom along, who jumped at the chance to help. He ate half of a Skrull on behalf of Cage, a vulgar display to make the Skrull’s teammate terrified enough to reveal crucial information.
4. CAN’T STAND: TOXIN
In terms of symbiote lineage, Venom is the grandfather of Toxin; so, where Venom birthed Carnage, Carnage birthed Toxin. Unlike Venom, however, Carnage is not too enthusiastic about preserving that lineage and wanted to eliminate Toxin. Beginning as a curious and naive symbiote, Toxin’s experiences would unfortunately lead it down a dark path.
Surviving the attempts on its life by Carnage, the Toxin Symbiote was bonded to a virtuous police officer for a time. Unfortunately this host lost their life when Toxin was captured. Later on, after being passed around from one nefarious organization to the next, Toxin found itself bonded to Eddie Brock. Controlled by the Crime Master, Toxin was used to add some muscle to his Savage Six.
3. ACTUALLY LIKES: MANIA
Andrea Benton was once simply Flash Thompson’s neighbor and friend. However, when Jack O’Lantern targeted her in order to get to Flash, things got a little more complicated. Though he could not save her family, Agent Venom was able to protect her from harm by encasing her in a portion of the Venom symbiote.
Instead of returning to the rest of the being, the given portion of the alien bonded with Andrea. The bond with the symbiote turned Andrea into Mania. She became an ally to Agent Venom and a hero in her own right. She targeted local crime bosses in an attempt to clean up the surrounding area.
2. CAN’T STAND: KNULL
A sinister presence that predates the universe, the being known as Knull sees the very light of the universe as an enemy. Enacting his malevolent will through symbiotes, the God of Symbiotes dispatched beings to challenge life across the galaxy, including the likes of Thor. Some of the Klyntar broke free of his influence, choosing a more virtuous path. This is not too dissimilar to the Venom Symbiote, in recent years, changing alignment under Flash Thompson.
Knull attempted to destroy Venom, using an ancient and terrible symbiote known as Grendel. Bonded to a T-Rex, the symbiote was eliminated by Eddie Brock using fire. The immolation severed its connection to Knull, allowing for his imprisonment on Klyntar.
1. ACTUALLY LIKES: MORBIUS
It has been proven that Venom can work as part of a team and even be fond of other people. Morbius, however, enjoys a unique reverence from the symbiote. Venom not only likes Morbius, but admires him, viewing him as an ideal archetype for a vigilante.
Morbius isn’t entirely averse to Venom, either. The two work extremely well together on the rare occasions they’ve had the opportunity to do so. Venom even suggested a partnership with The Living Vampire, though Morbius refused. Morbius only refused due to personal reasons and reservations that he couldn’t give the right level of attention to the endeavor at the time.
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