The Real Origin Story Of The Venom Symbiote Is Much More Complicated Than You Think
Photo: Venom/Sony

The Real Origin Story Of The Venom Symbiote Is Much More Complicated Than You Think

Most Marvel Comics fans assume they know the gist of Venom’s backstory, but the character's origin is more complicated than many readers realize. Venom's gooey black costume is actually an alien symbiote known as a Klyntar, and it needs to form a symbiotic relationship with a host body to thrive and reach the full extent of its powers.

It isn’t until this particular symbiote pairs up with Eddie Brock that the symbiotic fusion takes on the name “Venom,” but Brock is far from its first host. The Venom symbiote had a lengthy series of adventures and partners before encountering Peter Parker - or any other Earthling - and the entire tale of the Klyntar race is one that goes back billions of years. 

  • The Basic Venom Backstory Is Well-Known, And Has Been Portrayed In Multiple Formats

    Fans of Spider-Man who are unfamiliar with Marvel Comics continuity might think they have a pretty good grasp on the Venom symbiote thanks to multiple adaptations of its origin - including in the '90s animated series and the much-maligned Spider-Man 3.

    The basics are always the same. The symbiote arrives from space, finds Peter Parker, and grants him additional abilities on top of his amazing spider powers. Eventually, the symbiote’s violent tendencies become apparent, and Spidey separates from it. The symbiote then merges with Eddie Brock to form Venom, one of the wall-crawler's greatest enemies. The real backstory is much, much more complicated.

  • The Real Origin Begins Billions Of Years Ago In Marvel Continuity

    To fully understand the origins of the Venom symbiote, one has to go back billions of years. The story begins with Knull, an immensely powerful deity who is older than the universe and whose powers are diverse and immense.

    Little is known about Knull's origins, but we do know he was around when the Marvel Universe consisted only of darkness - and that he wasn’t exactly pleased when that started to change. 

  • Knull Forms All-Black The Necrosword - The First Symbiote - To Combat The Celestials

    The Celestials are some of the most powerful entities in all of Marvel Comics. They're timeless beings responsible for the creation of the multiverse itself. Knull doesn't like the Celestials bringing light into his dark corner of existence, so he wages war against them.

    To aid him in combat, Knull creates a weapon - All-Black the Necrosword - out of the dark energies of his own shadow. Not only does All-Black become one of the most influential items in the Marvel Universe, but it also gains sentience, making it the first of the symbiote race. 

  • Knull Creates Knowhere When He Cuts Off A Celestial's Head, And He Uses It As A Base Of Operations To Perfect His Symbiotes

    In his battle against the Celestials, Knull uses All-Black the Necrosword to decapitate one of them. In the process, he creates Knowhere - an important setting in the Guardians of the Galaxy series - and establishes himself as a truly cosmic threat.

    Knull turns Knowhere into his base of operations and uses its internal energies to improve his symbiotic weapon - forging a suit of armor in the process. This symbiotic suit is the precursor of all future symbiotes and establishes the basic traits of the gooey alien race. 

  • Knull Loses His Sword To Gorr The God Butcher

    Knull, the God of the symbiotes, decides he doesn’t much care for the various other deities now inhabiting the burgeoning Marvel Universe. Armed with his symbiote suit and symbiote sword, he embarks on a campaign of deicide, but bites off more than he can chew. 

    Crash-landing on an alien planet, Knull loses All-Black the Necrosword, and it’s picked up by a local, who gains both its abilities and its hatred of deities. This individual becomes known as Gorr the God Butcher, one of Thor’s greatest enemies.

    Speaking of Thor, Knull encounters another enormous setback when he comes into direct conflict with the God of Thunder. After losing All-Black, Knull switches to a strategy of sending symbiotes out into the universe to conquer planets. However, Thor defeats the symbiotes so soundly on Earth that Knull loses control of them.

  • The Symbiotes Create A Planet Out Of Their Own Biomass And Use It To Imprison Knull

    Freed from Knull’s control, the symbiotes turn on their former master. Having absorbed some positive personality traits from various hosts, the symbiotes decide to take down their malevolent deity, and millions of them use their own biomass to imprison Knull within an artificial planet.

    The symbiotes name the construct “Klyntar,” after their species’ word for “cage,” and that moniker eventually becomes the name of their race. Several hundred generations later, the Venom symbiote is born on Klyntar.