Venom scribe Donny Cates has confirmed a fan theory regarding the origin of the iconic white spider symbol that has appeared on the torso of the Venom symbiote and Spider-Man's alien costume since it was introduced over three decades ago.
The theory, which comes from Twitter user Lumen_Laus, reads as follows: "Essentially, when our Klyntar boy got on Peter, copying the former's general look, he unconsciously shaped the spider symbol to vaguely resemble Knull's dragon-like symbol, and that's why it looks different."
The user also provided images of Spider-Man in his original suit, Spider-Man's symbiote suit, Venom and Knull, the god of the recently-introduced God of the Symbiotes.
Hi @Doncates,can you please tell me if I got it right?— Rob (@Lumen_Laus) January 3, 2019
Essentially,when our klyntar boy got on Peter,copying the former's general look, he unconsciously shaped the spider symbol to vaguely resemble Knull's dragon-like symbol, and that's why it looks different. Did I get it right? pic.twitter.com/T12BtHNAGN
Knull's symbol undeniably bears a striking resemblance to the one sported by Venom. In turn, it isn't hard to come to the conclusion that the symbiote attempted to pay homage to both its new host and the creator of the Klyntars when it first bonded to Peter Parker all the way back in 1984's Secret Wars #8.
Apparently, this was Cates' intention all along, and the writer responded with a tweet of his own, which simply reads, "EXACTLY! Yes!"
However, this revelation creates a slight retcon. The original explanation for why the alien costume took the form it did was that Peter was subconsciously inspired by Julia Carpenter's Spider-Woman suit, which featured a white spider symbol that was nearly identical to the symbiote's symbol.
Moreover, while Knull has canonically existed for eons in the Marvel Universe, the character is still very new from a publication standpoint, since he only made his first full appearance in 2018's Venom #3, by Cates and Ryan Stegman.
That being said, from an in-universe standpoint, the Spider-Woman connection was always more of an educated guess on Peter's part.Even though this was well before Marvel began fleshing out the mythology of the symbiote race, it doesn't necessarily invalidate anything that's come before.
Plus, given how much Cates and his collaborators have redefined Venom during their run on the title, it makes sense for certain aspects of the character's origin would be altered to fit their vision.
As it stands right now, it seems like Julia Carpenter and Knull's similar fashion sense is simply a coincidence. And the origins of the iconic symbol now canonically go back much, much further.