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How One Of Spider-Man's Gnarliest '90s Villains Became An Ally

One of Spider-Man’s most infamous villains, Venom, now has a franchise of his own, thanks to Tom Hardy taking on the role and turning his eponymous 2018 feature into a global hit. It wasn't the symbiote's first appearance on the silver screen, but it is the one that seems to have firmly established him as a top-tier character. But what's the full story with the black-goo-covered anti-hero? 

Venom's origin is bizarre and convoluted, stretching from a real-life Marvel contest to the comic company's legendary Secret Wars crossover, before becoming a story involving aliens and a serial killer. It's a wild storyline, even by comic book standards, but worth investigating before seeing the new movie.

Venom spent years terrorizing Spider-Man, but how did he eventually become an ally and hero?

  • The Suit Gives Brock Enhanced Versions Of Spidey's Powers

    Since the Symbiote spent its first few years on Earth as Spider-Man's suit, it not only retains the spider-logo, but also gives Brock enhanced versions of Spider-Man's powers... not to mention the knowledge of Spider-Man's secret identity.

    This leads the unhinged Brock to begin stalking and antagonizing Spider-Man. A neat side-effect of being "part Spider-Man" is that Venom cancels our Parker's Spidey Sense, so the hero never knows his rival is coming. 

  • The Symbiote Suit Is Jealous Of Peter's New Suit - Seriously

    After the Symbiote leaves Peter Parker following the church bells incident, Peter misses the all-black ensemble so much he creates a cloth version of it. This makes the Symbiote jealous - seriously - and it carries that animosity with it when it attaches itself to Brock.

    That's why Brock has an innate hatred of Spider-Man. See? There's a LOT to cram in here. No wonder the movies take liberties. 

  • The Symbiote Bonds With Lots Of Different People

    While Eddie Brock is the most famous Venom, the Symbiote itself gets around a lot. After separating from Brock, the Symbiote approaches Mac Gargan, AKA Scorpion, and briefly merges with him to create a powerful new villain.

    After that, the Symbiote falls into the hands of the US government, who immediately weaponize it by turning Peter Parker's old high school bully, Flash Thompson, into "Agent Venom." 

  • Brock's Symbiote Cells Become Anti-Venom

    Think things can't get stranger? How about this: While working in a soup kitchen (stay with us), Eddie Brock comes into contact with a villain called Mister Negative, who is powered by dark energy. One touch from Negative sets off the dormant Symbiote cells in Brock's body, and they begin attacking and healing his cancer.

    When Gargan shows up in the Symbiote, the organism tries to re-bond with Brock. But the new white Symbiote cells fight it off, turning Brock into Anti-Venom.