Venom Family Reunion: How Marvel’s Symbiotes are Related

Today, Venom is heading to a Marvel Comics family reunion! Unfortunately for Venom, he’s forgotten how in the universe he’s related to some of these symbiotes.

But not to worry! Venom’s host, Eddie Brock, is a journalist by trade. So he’s made a list of all the Marvel symbiotes, their powers, and their basic histories. Wasn’t that so thoughtful? Browse Eddie’s helpful guide below.


Venom

Relationship to Venom: We are Venom!

Hosts: Eddie Brock, Tel-Kar, Flash Thompson/Agent Venom, Dylan Brock, Spider-Man, Jen Walters, Carol Danvers, Jessica Drew, Hulk, Deadpool, Groot, etc.

Powers and abilities: Parasitic inheritance, genetic memory, superhuman strength and stamina, regenerative healing, telepathy, and more.

Main storyline: The Venom symbiote lived for decades in outer space, bonding to hosts who imprinted aggression and violence deep in its DNA. Eventually it came to Earth and bonded with Spider-Man. Later, it chose Eddie Brock as its host, creating the super-villain known as Venom. Venom committed bloodthirsty, rageful acts against heroes and humanity until Venom and Eddie separated.

Venom bounced from corrupted host to corrupted host before finally reuniting with Eddie. Once Eddie defeated Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, he passed Venom and his powers onto his son, Dylan Brock. Dylan and Venom now fight crime and villains, acting as vigilantes to make up for the years of Venom’s dastardly ways.


Carnage

Relationship to Venom: First child

Hosts: Cletus Kasady, Ben Reilly/Scarlet Spider, Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, Silver Surfer, Karlin Malus, etc.

Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength and durability, technological symbiosis, camouflage, digital immersion, etc.

Main storyline: While bonded with Venom, Eddie Brock encountered the serial killer Cletus Kasady in jail. Unfortunately, Venom accidentally left behind its offspring, which bonded with Cletus through an open wound. This blood bond was nearly impossible to break, and it brought out the worst in both villains. They went on to become recurring foes for both Spider-Man and Venom.


Toxin

Relationship to Venom: Grandchild (Carnage’s first spawn)

Hosts: Bren Waters, Eddie Brock, Patrick Mulligan

Powers and abilities: Superhuman speed and reflexes, genetic memory, ESP, poisonous fangs, etc.

Main storyline: Toxin wanted to be a good guy and even picked an officer of the law as his host to achieve this goal. Sadly, Patrick Mulligan was killed so others could take control of his symbiote. Toxin briefly bonded with Eddie Brock to assist in various battles, but ultimately ended up with the teenager Bren. This bond saves Toxin from the brink of death, and together Toxin and Bren go on to help save the world from Alchemax.


Scorn

Relationship to Venom: Grandchild (Toxin’s second spawn)

Hosts: Dr. Tanis Nieves, Frances Barrison/Shriek

Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength and reflexes, accelerated healing, webbing generation, technological fusion, data crashing, etc.

Main storyline: Carnage left its offspring inside a metal-and-symbiote prosthetic limb belonging to Tanis Nieves. This created Scorn, who was later stolen from Tanis by Shriek but quickly reunited in an epic battle. Scorn joined forces with the Mercury Team to stop her “father,” Carnage, from wreaking further havoc across the United States. Later, however, under Knull’s direction, Scorn helped resurrect Cletus/Carnage by offering to return any traces of the Carnage symbiote still in their system. Cletus thus ripped out Scorn’s spine and devoured it, presumably killing Scorn in the process.


Raze

Relationship to Venom: Grandchild (Toxin’s third spawn)

Hosts: Claire Dixon, Jubulile van Scotter

Powers and abilities: Matter generation and manipulation, superhuman strength, accelerated healing factor, etc.

Main storyline: Carnage’s third spawn bonded with FBI agent Claire Dixon during a ritual involving the magic book known as the Darkhold. However, Raze’s existence was extremely short — in fact, it is historically the most short-lived symbiote. This is because the Raze symbiote was absorbed by Jubulile to empower her own symbiote, which allegedly destroyed Raze in the process.


Mania

Relationship to Venom: Clone

Hosts: Patricia Robertson, Andrea “Andi” Benton, Lee Price, Flash Thompson

Powers and abilities: Camouflage, matter generation, superhuman strength and endurance, immunity to Spider-sense, etc.

Main storyline: The Aratat Corporation used Venom’s severed tongue to create the symbiote clone called Mania. They intended to use the symbiote to destroy their world. However, their plans were thwarted, and Venom absorbed the remnants of Mania. This cloned symbiote would eventually be passed to the teenager Andi Benton, who held both Mania and a soul-eating “Hell Mark.” When Lee Price stole the symbiote, Venom defeated and re-absorbed Mania, ending its time as a separate entity.


Anti-Venom

Relationship to Venom: Twin/clone

Hosts: Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson

Powers and abilities: ESP, webbing generation, superhuman strength and stamina, internal bodily cleansing, fire and sonic immunity, etc.

Main storyline: At some point, Eddie grew disgusted of Venom’s murderous urges and decided to stop hosting him. Traces of the Venom symbiote were left in Eddie Brock’s body after they separated. When Eddie was later treated for cancer, the villain Mr. Negative accidentally infused his own powers with those remnants as well as Eddie’s white blood cells. This new symbiote, Anti-Venom, demonstrated extraordinary healing powers that far exceeded the other symbiotes’. Sadly, Anti-Venom was destroyed after it was used to cure the Spider-Virus. However, Anti-Venom was later revived within the body of Flash Thompson.


Phage

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: Carl Mach

Powers and abilities: Matter manipulation and generation, superhuman strength and senses, etc.

Main storyline: When the evil Life Foundation captured Venom, they forcibly extracted five “seeds” from him. One of these hatchlings was Phage. Phage bonded with Carl Mach, a security force officer, and together they became one of the Foundation’s guardian symbiotes. These guardians committed heinous crimes in the name of the Foundation and were eventually sentenced to life sentences in a superhuman prison called the Vault.


Riot

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: Trevor Cole

Powers and abilities: Advanced combat, accelerated healing, superhuman strength and durability, etc.

Main storyline: Like his siblings, Riot was born through the Life Foundation’s experiments. He was bonded to the mercenary Trevor Cole. Trevor’s aggression and psychopathy were unparalleled aside from Cletus Kasady, and thus Riot and Carnage were considered the two most sinister symbiotes. Riot’s sibling Scream attempted to murder him, but Riot survived and was imprisoned in the Vault.


Lasher

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: Ramón Hernández

Powers and abilities: Weapon creation, enhanced senses, superhuman strength and speed, etc.

Main storyline: Lasher was one of the Life Foundation’s Lethal Protectors. He merged with a security officer, Ramón Hernández. Alongside his siblings, of course, he was eventually sentenced to the Vault. There, Lasher endured horrific experimentation. When Knull came to Earth, Lasher was freed and fought for the symbiote god. However, he ultimately ended up sealed in Alchemax’s astrobiology lab.


Agony

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: Leslie Gesneria, Gemma Shin

Powers and abilities: Muscle mass enhancement, superhuman strength and durability, chemical absorption, metabolic acid generation, etc.

Main storyline: Security force officer Leslie Gesneria from the Life Foundation ended up hosting the symbiote Agony. Eventually Agony and the others broke free of the Foundation’s influence and sought Eddie Brock’s help, but he would not assist them because of their past transgressions. While planning how to bargain with him, Agony was nearly killed by her sister Scream. But the symbiote survived and would later go on to bond with Gemma Shin, leading the woman on a mass murdering spree.


Hybrid

Relationship to Venom: Child (fused entity of Riot, Lasher, Agony, and Phage)

Hosts: Scott Washington

Powers and abilities: Muscle mass enhancement, super speed, enhanced senses, remote symbiosis, emotional control, etc.

Main storyline: Scream killed the original four hosts of Riot, Lasher, Agony, and Phage. In order to survive, the siblings merged with each other as well as a guardsman at the Vault, Scott Washington. Scott felt their pain and fear when he became their host, so he helped them all escape. Although they parted ways for a brief period, the four symbiotes later used Scott as a host again, this time tapping into his rage concerning his brother’s death to make him into a vengeful vigilante. Later the four symbiote siblings also bonded with Deadpool so that they could fight and defeat a rampaging Carnage.


Scream

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: Donna Diego, Andi Benton

Powers and abilities: Flight, biomass manipulation, superhuman strength and stamina, etc.

Main storyline: Scream was created by the Life Foundation as a potential guardian of a wealthy, “Utopian” future following any potential destruction caused by the Cold War. The Scream symbiote therefore bonded with Donna Diego/Strike Agent Four, a mercenary who suffered from schizophrenia. Because her illness was left untreated, Donna and Scream eventually went on a rampage, killing humans and their symbiote siblings alike. Much later, Andi Benton destroyed Scream with hellfire. A man named Dr. Steven combined Scream’s remains to create a new symbiote called Silence.


Sleeper

Relationship to Venom: Child

Hosts: MacDonald Gargan/Scorpion, Tel-Kar, Dylan Brock, Hank

Powers and abilities: Genetic memory, matter manipulation and generation, augmented visual senses, chemokinesis, etc.

Main storyline: Sleeper was actually delivered by a doctor at Alchemax labs. The labor almost killed Eddie, who opted to have the symbiote child kept in protective custody at the laboratory after a failed bond with MacDonald Gargan. However, Sleeper asked to be set free. Once he was, he set out to explore the cosmos. He returned to live alongside his human “brother,” Dylan Brock, bonding with him both physically and emotionally.


Thanks, Eddie, for that thorough and not-confusing-at-all guide to the symbiotes! Next time we see something inky and brightly colored, we know who to call.

Who are your favorite symbiotes? Share your thoughts with other fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!