When you think of superheroes with the most diverse and impressive rogues galleries, Spider-Man definitely has to come to mind. The Web-Slinger has fought a variety of foes, each one with different abilities than the other. This is one of the reasons why Spiderman is one of the most celebrated and famous comic book superheroes in history.
Venom is perhaps one of his most notorious villains, and with good reason. The symbiote-wielding bad guy has appeared in Spider-Man comics for almost three decades now, and has even developed his own series, complete with unique story arcs and villains.
But what makes Venom such a good foil for Spider-Man is that the symbiote offers its host a variety of abilities that almost none of Spider-Man’s other enemies have, let alone the Webbed Wonder himself. That’s right, Venom can do many different, and sometimes better, things than Spider-Mman. Here’s a look at 15 Things Venom Can Do That Spider-Man Can’t.
15. The Venom Symbiote Can Evolve
One thing that sets the Venom symbiote apart from our wall-crawling hero is the fact that it is almost always changing and adapting to its environment and host. Over the years, Venom has seen numerous changes as it has become more accustomed to fighting Spider-Man and various other heroes and villains.
After merging with its host, the Venom symbiote has the ability to gain that person’s unique powers and abilities, even their intellect. Theoretically, if Venom were to bond with all of the heroes in the Marvel universe, it could become pretty much an unstoppable monster that would cause havoc all over the world. Its knowledge of every one of its hosts’ fighting styles and powers gives it insider information that is invaluable in the heat of battle.
14. The Venom Symbiote Can Reproduce Asexually
That’s right, symbiotes don’t need the “birds and bees” talk, as they can reproduce asexually. The Venom symbiote is also the reason for just about any and all symbiote-centric villains in the Spider-Man universe. Carnage, Agony, Phage, Riot, Lasher, Scream, and more have all spawned from the original Venom symbiote that appeared on Battleworld almost 30 years ago.
The Life Foundation forced the Venom symbiote to reproduce, and once it did, the symbiotes escaped the labs, found new hosts, and created a new swarm of villains to terrorize the city.
This leads to many dangerous encounters for Spider-Man, as fending off just one symbiote-powered supervillain was a lot to handle, but now he has to fight the numerous offspring of the evil alien race. And these offspring posses their own unique and dangerous abilities, thus making the fights against Spider-Man singularly difficult.
13. Venom’s Power Fluctuates Based On How Much Its Host Hates Spider-Man
This is certainly one of the strangest powers of the Venom symbiote, but depending on who it is bonded with, Venom’s power increases or decreases based on how much the host hates Spider-Man. Since Spider-Man’s initial rejection of the symbiote, it has a festering resentment to the web-slinger, thus granting more powers and abilities to hosts that hate Spiderman.
You see, when the symbiote bonded with Eddie Brock, it had a full range of powers and abilities that made Venom a worthy adversary to Spider-Man. That’s because Brock had an intense hatred for Spider-Man due to some professional conflicts at The Daily Bugle, and the symbiote sensed it, and wanted to bond with him.
However, when Mac Gargan bonded with the symbiote, its powers were significantly weakened, and Spider-Man suggested the reason was because Gargan didn’t hate him as much as Eddie Brock did. Spider-Man was able to defeat this version of Venom swiftly, and it posed very little threat to him.
12. Venom Can Survive In Space
Well, this is certainly something you’d expect from an alien being from another planet, but the fact remains that the Venom symbiote can survive in outer space and Spider-Man cannot. Hailing from the planet Klyntar, the Venom symbiote has the ability to survive and travel through space, whereas Spider-Man would surely die if he were left in the vastness of space for longer than a few seconds.
Therefore, this symbiote’s ability to survive in space has led it to bonding with numerous hosts that aren’t human. In fact, the Venom symbiote has bonded with alien creatures such as Groot, Rocket Racoon, Drax the Destroyer, Mercurio, and numerous others.
This ability makes the symbiote not only dangerous for the humans of Earth, but all beings across the galaxy. With the ability to survive and bond across space and different galaxies, Venom could theoretically pop up in just about any story, and continuity, and bond with just about any host it wants.
11. Venom Can Morph Its Body Into Weapons
One of the prevailing powers Venom has almost always had is its ability to transform its body into various weapons. This ability was popularized by Venom’s offspring, Carnage, but the original symbiote certainly has this power as well. The alien life form can transform its limbs into giant axes, knives, and various other weapons.
This ability would certainly come in handy when battling different opponents across the universe. Having the powers to turn your arm into an enormous axe is a skill that many people wish they could have. Luckily for the people bonded with the Venom symbiote, they can do just that.
Unfortunately for our hero, Spider-Man has not shown to have this same capability, thus giving Venom the edge in this category. We’re really starting to think Venom might just be a superior life form when compared to Spider-Man. How the heck does he even beat this thing anyway? Oh yeah, fire and sound. Right.
10. Venom Can Shoot Weapons From Its Body
Another power popularized by the offspring Carnage, Venom has shown the ability to fire off little pieces of symbiote at its opponents. They are like little daggers of symbiote coming at you to attack, and once they hit, they can do a variety of different things. They can impale you, like a knife would, they can ensnare you as a sticky substance, and the symbiote has even shown the ability to control its movements once departed from the host body. This has led to some incarnations of Venom having the power to suffocate their enemies once the little piece of symbiote is inside their enemy’s body. Holy crap!
Have you ever seen Spider-Man do anything like this? Sure, he can shoot off pieces of webbing at his enemies, but he has no control over that webbing’s movements once it leaves his cartridges (or body). This is an awesome power that Venom is lucky to have.
9. Venom Generates Endless Webbing
Depending on which Spider-Man canon you follow, this is a bit of a toss up. In many incarnations of the Spider-Man story, he generates his webbing from his body, and this was a part of the powers he acquired when the radioactive spider bit him. In other versions, Peter Parker develops web shooters on his own via scientific experimentation and on several occasions his web cartridges have run out, leaving him falling from the sky, rocketing toward the ground.
Venom never has to worry about this issue, as the symbiote suit can generate endless webbing for its host, letting that person fly carelessly through the city without worrying about how much webbing they have left. It’s a gift that some iterations of Peter Parker wished to have.
8. Venom Can Shape-Shift
Almost all depictions of Venom have shown him having the power of shapeshifting. This power allows the symbiote costume to mimic all sorts of clothing, making its wearer endlessly stylish. Not only can the symbiote mimic clothing, it can also mimic certain statures and postures, allowing its wearer to blend in seamlessly with whoever is nearby.
This is another excellent power that Spider-Man lacks. It allows the symbiote’s host to look fashionable if it wants, to blend in with the rest of society, or even transform into a completely different person. Spider-Man needs to discreetly take off his suit in order to blend in with society, whereas Venom can just transform. This is actually a power that Spider-Man enjoyed while he wore the symbiote suit himself.
This ability is invaluable especially coupled with Spider-Man’s inability to detect Venom with his Spider-sense. That means Venom can blend in just about anywhere and Spider-Man wouldn’t suspect a thing, making him susceptible to an attack.
To go along with the ability to mimic clothing and statures, the Venom symbiote is able to mimic its surrounding environment, thus making it invisible to the naked eye. This is especially useful once you consider that Venom is impervious to Spider-Man’s Spider-Sense, so any of Venom’s users could surprise the wall-crawler with a sneak attack at any moment, from any place.
Spider-Man is pretty much limited to his street clothing or his gaudy red and blue Spider-Man suit. If Spider-Man wanted to camouflage himself, he’d actually have to go out and purchase some camouflaging materials, or blend in with something like a Spider-Man mural, something that’s highly unlikely to be around in more than one specific place.
This power gives Venom a huge amount of power over Spider-Man, as the element of surprise is always on its side. You simply can’t underestimate the power of surprise when it comes to attacking an opponent.
6. Venom Can Help Its Host Regrow Limbs
This is one of the most ridiculous and impressive powers that the Venom symbiote has; it actually has the power to regenerate the lost limbs of its host. The symbiote utilized this ability when it bonded with Flash Thompson, a war veteran who lost his legs in combat. This is something previous incarnations of Venom had never shown, as they were all able-bodied men. Once bonded with Thompson, the symbiote’s instincts to protect its host kicked in, and gave Thompson legs once again so he could fight against evil-doers as the heroic Agent Venom. Sure, he needs to take a ton of drugs to suppress the symbiote’s urge to permanently bond with him, but it helps him walk once again!
Spider-Man has never shown such an ability. While Venom and Spider-Man have accelerated healing abilities, Spider-Man has never once lost a limb and subsequently regrown it. This is a power that is unique to the symbiote, and can come in handy for people who are yearning to have their lost limbs back again.
5. Venom Can Negate The Effects Of Terminal Illnesses
Since the primary function of the Venom symbiote is to protect its host, it will do just about anything to keep its host alive (at least until it finds a more powerful host). When Eddie Brock was diagnosed with terminal cancer while bonded with the symbiote, the alien life form helped negate the negative effects of the disease, keeping him alive and feeling well.
Once the symbiote deemed Eddie Brock too weak of a host, it moved on to another host. The symbiote’s attitude towards Brock was resentful; on more than one occasion calling him weak, and letting him know that it preferred being bonded with Spider-Man. Once Brock realized this, he sought to kill Spider-Man so the symbiote would stay bonded with him, thus keeping him alive and his cancer at bay.
4. Genetic Memory
As previously mentioned, the Venom symbiote can remember the genetic information of all of its hosts, passing on that person’s abilities to the next host. For example, after the symbiote bonded with Spider-Man, every host afterward could crawl walls and shoot webbing. After bonding with Eddie Brock, every host afterwards had access to his supreme strength.
This is why the people or things that wear the symbiote are immune to Peter Parker’s Spider-Sense. The Venom symbiote remembers how Spider-Sense works and negates its effects. Interestingly enough, the Venom symbiote isn’t immune to Ben Reilly’s Spider-Sense since his is different from Peter Parker’s.
However, if bonded with enough superheroes and villains, the Venom symbiote could become an unstoppable machine that harnesses the powers of everyone it has ever come into contact with.
3. Breathing Underwater
One of the more ludicrous powers the Venom symbiote has exhibited is the ability to allow its user to breathe underwater. This power was shown when Spider-Man thought he could flee Venom by jumping into a river. Surprisingly, Venom jumped in right after him and explained that the symbiote could protect its host from drowning.
Since the symbiote wants to keep its host alive at all costs, it somehow found a way to keep Eddie Brock from drowning while underwater. While the comic doesn’t specifically explain how it is able to do this, you just need to accept it as fact. That’s some great comic book logic for you. Peter Parker even questioned the ability and got no explanation for it.
This became a huge advantage for Venom when he was fighting Spider-Man underwater, since Peter Parker was unable to breathe underwater. Yea, apparently breathing underwater isn’t one of the abilities the radioactive spider granted him when he got bit. Go figure.
2. Access To The Klyntar Hive Mind
One of the more bizarre powers the Venom symbiote has shown is the ability to communicate and access the Kylntar hive mind. Yes, that’s correct: at one point in its history, Venom was able to communicate and access the memories of all of the symbiotes on its home planet. This gave it memories of the history of its species, and really gave an explanation for its actions, behaviors, and powers.
This ability was shown to be only temporary and it provided a lot of information about the alien’s past which was useful and interesting to some readers. Also, once it had access to the Klyntar hive mind, the Venom symbiote could hear the voice of the Cosmos, which let it know when people across the galaxy were in danger.
This power definitely gave Venom a new and interesting wrinkle to its abilities, and gave people some insight as to why it acts the way it does. Nothing like a little backstory to give readers some exposition.
1. Venom Can Enter Itself Into The Internet
Okay, this is possibly one of the most ’90s storylines in comic books in recent memory. After the advent and subsequent rise of the Internet, many comic books integrated the world wide web into their storylines and this is perhaps one of the most bizarre examples of that.
In the story of Carnage Unleashed, Carnage began entering itself into the Internet to kill various people across the world. After hearing about this dangerous new activity, Venom decided that it must step in and put an end to its offspring’s killing spree. So Venom then uploaded itself onto the Internet and the two symbiotes did battle on the information superhighway.
Sure, this story is incredibly bonkers and dated, but it still is an ability that Spider-Man doesn’t have. He cannot upload himself into the Internet and fight his enemies digitally like Venom and Carnage can. As a human with flesh and blood, it’s just not possible.
Though many people questioned the plausibility of Venom and Carnage entering themselves into the Internet to do battle, it is still something that happened, and it is still something Spiderman can’t do. Case closed.
Are there any other ways that Venom is better than Spider-Man? Let us know in the comments!