Why does Venom hate Spider-Man?
Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Path Home and Venom: let there be the carnage post-credits scenes.
Few comic book superstars reach the popularity of Venom, let alone start life as a costume. Forty years after his first appearance, the symbiote who spent his early years in hiding like a clever spider costume is now unquestionably one of Marvel’s greatest actors.
Featured as a villain in his own right, Venom quickly broke into Spider-Man’s leading opposition before becoming one of comics’ great antiheroes. Although he sometimes formed a difficult alliance with the wall-crawler, if there is one superhero he has held a grudge against throughout his incredible journey, it’s Spider-Man. It’s a grudge that goes back to the beginning.
Venom has arrived in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1984, but neither we nor the web-slinger knew at the time. The powerful symbiote masqueraded as a living black suit that Spider-Man picked up in space for four long years. Yes, it is indeed an origin. We wouldn’t meet the fully formed alien before The Amazing Spider-Man # 300. The costume had found a new carrier, and the monstrous creature formed between the two had a bone to collect with the Spidey. The first glimpse of this new horror in Spidey’s life came when a mysterious figure attempted to push Peter Parker onto a railroad track. This was the first clue we had that, unfortunately for the webslinger, Venom was immune to his famous spider sense.
Venom has achieved rapid success for several reasons. The stunning design by co-creator Todd McFarlane made an intimidating, powerful and formidable opponent for Peter Parker. You know you are on a winner with a character design that can scare a dentist. There was the alien origin of the symbiote which literally spawned a whole new subset of Spider-Man and Marvel villains. There was also the fact that for all its strength and power, teeth and tongue, Venom’s particular code of ethics was fascinating and multifaceted.
It’s a mix that propelled Venom into an eponymous comic book series and ensured frequent appearances across the vast universe of Marvel comics. He recently headlined 2021 The king in black event, which enhanced the symbiote’s abilities and range across the universe. As he embarks on a new eponymous comic book series from Al Ewing, Ram V, and Bryan Hitch, Venom has never looked more powerful.
It was inevitable that the popularity of the symbiote would spill over into other media. It wasn’t a remarkable debut when he was supposedly horny in the 2007s Spider-man 3, but that changed when Venom led Sony’s expansion Spider Man universe in the years 2019 Venom and 2021 Venom: let there be carnage.
The power of the symbiote and the influence of pop culture has grown steadily, but one thing hasn’t changed no matter which side he’s on: Venom hates Spider-Man. What possible reason could an old costume have for hating Spider-Man, everyone’s favorite neighborhood?
Why does Venom hate Spider-Man?
It all comes down to something most of us can relate to: good old-fashioned rejection.
Super-Man first encountered the symbiote at the end of the Secret wars comedic event in 1984. It was an awkward start. When the Hulk used alien machines on Battleworld to create new clothes by magic (or science), Peter Parker tried the same trick. If only he’d asked Banner what machine he’d been using. Spidey’s new costume was stunning black, and as Spidey discovered on Earth, he could respond to his thoughts and contain the equipment without breaking the line of his tailoring. Unfortunately, he also left at night, continuing Spidey’s work when Peter Parker was sleeping, leaving the increasingly troubled photographer confused about his constant fatigue.
Behind the scenes, the idea for Spider-Man’s new black outfit came when contest-winning fan Randy Schueller answered Marvel’s call for ideas. The costume change was supposed to be permanent, but star artist Todd McFarlane has reportedly called for the return of the traditional red and blue kit. Although fans embraced the new look, things looked grim for the black suit, especially when Spidey realized it was an alien parasite. With the help of the Fantastic Four, he was safely stored in the Baxter building.
The black suit was not happy. Escaping later and joining Parker to complete his bond, the superhero only managed to break free using the sound of church bells. It was the sound of rejection from a symbiote that had made Peter Parker shine. After the final act of dragging its former host to safety, the damaged and rejected symbiote drained towards the church below.
Train the Deadly Protector
As fate willed it, former reporter Eddie Brock was in church contemplating the end of his life after his world collapsed. Journalist Brock had lost his job and his wife after falsely revealing the identity of serial killer Sin-Eater in a briefing for the Daily Globe. Instead, the real identity of the killer was revealed by Peter Parker, setting off a chain of events that led Brock to this location at that time.
Symbiotes are very vulnerable to sound, and it is a weakened symbiote that has found a new host in Brock. The two harbored a hatred towards Spider-Man for destroying their hopes and dreams and ending their lives. Venom was born out of the connection between the renewed symbiote and bodybuilder Brock. This Lethal Protector respected a moral code that protected the innocent and punished the guilty. And number one on the culprit list was Spider-Man.
Unfortunately for the wall-crawler, it was a match made in Venom. Eddie Brock remains Venom’s most famous host, though the symbiote has bonded with others. The story suggests that the hatred for Spider-Man stays with the symbiote, although the weaker the hatred, the easier it is for the webslinger to defeat him. This was demonstrated when Venom joined the former villainous Scorpion (Mac Gargan). Despite new and improved abilities, Brock’s missing rage allowed Spider-Man to get rid of the new Venom.
What about the Spider-Man universe and the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Be warned, from now on this article will contain spoilers for Spider-Man: No Path Home and the Venom movies.
This is where things get even more complicated. Sony Pictures Entertainment owns the film rights to Spider-Man and associated characters after purchasing them from Marvel in 2000. To retain the rights, Sony must make a Spider Man film every five years, which explains the reboot, cut and change that comes in such an emotional and dramatic onscreen head in Spider-Man: No Path Home.
Recently, a series of deals have brought Sony and Marvel to cooperate. As Sony ready Spider Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Marvel is lending secondary MCU characters to Sony films. So far each of Tom Holland Spider Man films respectively invited Tony Stark, Nick Fury and Stephen Strange.
With the Spider Man series of films in solid form, Sony has separately developed its The Spider-Man universe. As well as spin-offs like the fantastic Into the Spider-Verse, the studio is planning a series of standalones focusing on Spidey’s supporting characters. Morbius and Kraven the Hunter are lined up to headline their own films, but the first to emerge was Venom in 2018.
Venom was an immediate success, but there was a noticeable gap. Spider-Man was nowhere to be found, as the film picked up not only in San Francisco, like Venom’s first solo comic book series, but as we’ll learn later, in an entirely different universe.
The sneaky mid-credits streaks in Venom: let there be carnage and Spider-Man No Way Home show how this situation can be resolved. Eddie Brock’s excursion to the MCU may have been short, but a trace of Venom has been left behind. Upon arriving for the first time in the MCU Universe at the end of Venom: let there be carnage, the symbiote has shown particular interest in consuming spiders. This may well be a holdover from the events of Spider-man 3, before the multiverse merged, when Venom bonded with Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker.
What form Venom will take in future Spider-Man films, and how Venom already has a distinctive and eerily Spider-Man-like form are questions that the Spider-Man universe must answer. We shouldn’t wait long.