In the movie Venom, the character of Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, has a black creature attach itself to him and form a sort of bond with him. This creature is known as the symbiote, named Venom. If you are unsure of what symbiotes are, they are alien parasites that find hosts to bond with to feed on their adrenaline. As they bond, whatever the host is feeling is amplified. When the symbiote and the host’s two personalities merge, they work together as one single entity. Whatever the host’s deepest and darkest desires are come to the surface and are amplified along with their other emotional traits, this often leads to risky and wild behavior that pumps out tons of adrenaline for the symbiote to feed on.
In Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, coming out later this year on September 24th, we will be introduced to another symbiote, Carnage. Carnage is the offspring of Venom that merges with the host, Cletus Kasady. Kasady is a deranged serial killer played by Woody Harrelson, and in the movie, we will see his already violent tendencies amplified. Carnage is a prime example of what happens when a symbiote attaches itself to the worst side of humanity.
We are first introduced to symbiotes in Spider-Man 3 when Peter Parker gets a new and very intriguing black suit made up of robust and sticky-looking fibers. The only way he is finally able to dislodge the suit from his skin is to stand near the bell tower as it rings as loud noise is one of the symbiote’s only weaknesses.
Within the movie Venom, we were also introduced to a few other symbiotes as well. To get more prepared for the upcoming introduction to Carnage, let’s go over where the symbiotes originate from, and I will share a little bit more about the coolest and most powerful symbiotes in the Marvel Universe.
The Symbiote History and Origin Story
The symbiotes, also known as Klyntars, were first created by Roger Stern, Tom DeFalco, Mike Zeck, and David Michelinie. The first symbiotes were introduced back in 1984 in three separate comics, The Amazing Spider-Man #251, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141.
The father of all symbiotes is a god-like character named Knull, who started creating the symbiotes as a means of retaliation against Celestials who hoped to evolve the Universe and bring light into the darkness. Knull creates the first symbiote, a sword named All-Black, which he uses to cut off the head of one of the ancient Celestials. After this, Knull and the severed head are cast off into the darkness of space, where Knull continues his work creating more symbiotes inside of the Celestials floating skull. The name of this severed head: Knowhere.
Anyhow, Knull has the ability to spawn symbiotes, and he does. Lots of them. Despite his sinister plans, however, some of the symbiotes bond with benevolent hosts that fight for honor while others bond with more unstable and destructive personalities.
The symbiotes first met Spider-Man when he was on a mission with the Avengers. Needing a new costume, he finds a device that releases a black sphere which quickly attaches itself to Spider-Man and becomes like a black suit which he wears back to earth. When Spider-Man discovers that the suit is actually an alien life form, he uses sound waves to detach it and leave it behind. But who should come to discover it other than Eddie Brock? And so, we meet Venom.
Fun Fact: The symbiote concept was actually thought up by a Marvel Comics reader and purchased for a whopping 220 bucks!
Venom and Carnage
As we saw in the movie, Venom was quite fearsome to behold with his menacing smile filled with razor-sharp teeth. When we first meet Venom in Spider-Man 3, it was common to think of him as just a more evil version of Spider-Man. As we know now, he is far more than that. He has super strength and speed combined with shape-shifting and toxic bite. He has a very long history in the Marvel comic books, and because of him, we get to meet several other symbiotes.
Because Cletus Kasady is already so emotionally unbalanced, Carnage became one of the worst of the worst when it comes to supervillains. He truly enjoyed killing and was so strong that he could take on both Spider-Man and Venom at once. He was the 999th in Venom’s symbiote line. They just keep multiplying and are stronger every time! In Venom 2:Let There be Carnage, we will get more on the back story of how Carnage came to be.
Now that we know more about the symbiotes (or Klyntars) let’s look at some of the other awesome symbiotes in the Marvel Universe.
Some Other Cool Symbiote Characters
Okay, so I will be clumping a few together for this one because Hybrid is actually four symbiotes in one!
The Life Foundation (which we see in Venom) created five clones from the Venom symbiote in hopes of creating a sort of police force. Isn’t it funny how the bad guys usually think they’re doing something “for the good of humanity”?
Anyhow, the Life Foundation uses Venom’s symbiote to spawn five new symbiotes. Lasher, who has tentacles on his back. Agony, who spit acid and can absorb chemicals. Phage, who forms tendrils into weapons and can throw parts of himself that turn to acid, and the biggest of them all, Riot, who can construct blades, spikes, and claws that he can throw. We saw Riot in the movie Venom. (The fifth I will tell you about in just a minute)
After being defeated by Carnage and Venom, they were put away and cruelly experimented on. However, they were able to eventually break free and the four symbiotes bonded together with Scott Washington, a guard at the facility they were in.
Washington is actually a pretty angry guy, but his new symbiote friends end up talking him out of doing violent acts… pretty crazy, huh? Instead of having one other voice in your head, imagine having four.
The fifth symbiote created from the Life Foundation was Scream. Donna Diego worked as a volunteer with the Life Foundation and was prepared for Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) when she was bonded with one of the symbiotes and became the villainess, Scream.
Unlike the others, Scream did not merge together with the other symbiotes created at the Life Foundation. Her powers include everything of spiderman plus immunity to Spider-Man’s spider-sense. She also has wild tendril-like hair that she can attack and strangle her opponents with.
Toxin is the offspring of Carnage and thus has the abilities of both Venom and Carnage. He is said to be the most powerful of them all because he was the 1000th symbiote of his line.
Along with the same powers as Carnage and Venom, Toxin also had the ability to shapeshift and shape his limbs into unlimited weapons. Beyond this, he had the ability to heal immediately; he has tracking abilities and a venomous bite. One of his best and coolest powers is his ability to become camouflaged to the point of invisibility.
Carnage had an issue with spawning symbiotes that ended up being able to take him down.
In the comic, Carnage #4, Carnage escapes from a prison he was being held in and bonds with the psychiatrist Tanis Nieves, who happens to be wearing a prosthetic arm infused with symbiote particles. While bonded to her, he accidentally leaves an offspring behind. This becomes Scorn. As the symbiote was a fusion of biological and technical life, Scorn’s prosthetic arm could turn into other kinds of machinery. The prosthetic arm can also manipulate data and communicating with other technology.
Also, she has all of Carnage’s powers. So, pretty much a total badass.
Eddie Brock can eventually separate himself from Venom, but traces of the symbiote were left in his body.
Suffering from cancer and working in a soup kitchen, poor Eddie meets Martin Li (or Mr.Negative), who uses his powers to cure Brocks cancer. He can do this by using the remnants of the symbiote that was left inside Eddie and attach them to his white blood cells. This creates a new kind of hybrid symbiote – Anti-Venom.
Although he is quite frightening to behold, Anti-Venom is actually more of a good guy than bad. This symbiote leaves Brock with full control of his own actions. He has a cleansing touch that gives him the power to cleanse bodies of their symbiotes. Whenever he is around Spider-Man, he cancels out Spider-Man’s powers.
Hey. What happens when you cross Bizzaro with Carnage?
You get Bizarnage.
It sounds like a bad joke, but it’s exactly what happened when Marvel and DC got together and created hero/villain combinations. His equal? Superboy and Spider-Man hybrid. Cool, huh?
Bizarnage was like a white, goopy version of Carnage.
Cloned from a piece of Venom’s tongue, Mania refused to bond with hosts and would brutally murder them instead. It was pure evil and killed them for the enjoyment of it. Mania even went so far as to extract the memories of some of its hosts and use them against them.
Like Venom, Mania had elongated fangs in a huge jaw with a prehensile tongue. It eventually bonded with a few different hosts, eventually bonding with Lee Price, who changed his name to Maniac. The name suits the character well.
Do you guys remember the Green Goblin? In the 2002 Spider-Man movie, we watch Norman Osborn, played by the fantastic Willem Dafoe, transforms himself into the villain, the Green Goblin. After ingesting the Goblin Formula, not only does he have a genius-level intellect, but he is also given all the basic superhuman abilities like strength, durability, and regeneration.
So, imagine that guy plus Carnage. That is how we get the Red-Goblin. Yikes.
When merging the Goblin Formula with Carnage symbiote genetics, the Red-Goblin has some wicked powers and abilities. Plus, sound or fire don’t bother the Red Goblin like it does the others.
The Klyntar race created by Knull consists of too many symbiotes to count. The Marvel Universe has introduced us to at least 40 so far, but there are actually thousands.
I wonder how many other symbiotes we will get to see on the big screen. Which ones would you like to see the most? Let us know in the comments below.