When Venom first arrived on Earth, the alien was attached to Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man. However, once Spider-Man learned that the alien was controlling him, he got rid of it and made an instant enemy when it attached itself to disgraced reported Eddie Brock. Due to the fact that his first interaction with a human resulted in rejection, it is not a surprise that Venom is not a people-person.
As a matter of fact, there are very few people who Venom actually likes and even fewer who like him back. With the release of Venom, it seems like Sony is planning big things for the former Spider-Man villain turned anti-hero. He even developed some friends and allies throughout the movie's running time, which came as a surprise to some fans.
Throughout his existence, both on Earth and off of the planet, Venom has developed a huge list of enemies. There are also very few former hosts who Venom likes, which narrows his list of friends down, as it takes a very specific kind of person for Venom to want to bond with them. Whether its in movies or comic books, it seems like Venom rarely makes friends - and keeping them is even rarer.
Whether it be a former host, a long-time enemy, or even other symbiotes, here are the 5 Characters Venom Is Close To (And 15 He Can’t Stand).
Warning: there will be some Venom spoilers.
20 Can't stand: SPIDER-MAN
When the Venom symbiote first arrived on Earth, it was attached to Peter Parker. This happened during the Secret Wars storyline when Spider-Man's costume was destroyed in a battle. He ended up with the black costume, which he assumed he could control with his mind. However, it was the other way around, and the symbiote would take Spider-Man out at night when he was asleep to play hero. Peter wasn't happy about this and chose to have the alien symbiote forcibly removed with the help of the Fantastic Four.
Rejected, Venom developed an intense hatred for Spider-Man and found a new host in Eddie Brock, who hated Peter Parker for his own reasons.
Because of this, Venom's first nemesis became Spider-Man.
19 Can't stand: RIOT
When the Venom movie was put into development, many fans assumed that the main bad guy would be another symbiote. However, while fans expected it to be Carnage, the movie went in another direction and made the first villain Riot. In the movie, Venom's origin was changed so that symbiotes were brought to Earth by the Life Foundation, with Riot escaping and Venom being used on test subjects.
In the comics, Venom was abducted by the Life Foundation and other symbiotes were created from him -- one of them being Riot. In the movie, Riot ended up bonding to Carlton Drake for the final fight, but in the comics, he took on the form of a security force officer named Trevor Cole.
18 Can't stand: ANGELO FORTUNATO
Eddie Brock wanted to turn over a new leaf, so he did something unthinkable. He auctioned off the Venom symbiote and donated the money to charity. While it was admirable to raise money for charity, the fact that he was auctioning off something as dangerous as a symbiote was not the smartest thing to do. The fact that a mob boss named Don Fortunato bought the suit made matters even worse.
Fortunato gave Venom to his son Angelo, who decided that he was going to become a supervillain to make his father happy. He attacked a school where Peter worked and was more vicious than Eddie Brock ever was. By the time it was all said and done, Venom hated Angelo. He waited for Angelo to leap from a building before removing itself and letting the mobster's son fall unprotected to his end.
17 Close to: ANNE WEYING
Anne Weying made her big screen debut in Venom. However, Michelle Williams and fans of the character should be worried. In the movie, she was Eddie Brock's fiancé who left him when he got her fired from her job by going after Carlton Drake. She then took on the Venom symbiote for a short period of time in order to get it back to Eddie. During this time, took out a bunch of Drake's security forces and helped Venom get back to Brock to finish the fight.
However, in the comic books, she is Eddie's ex-wife. She was shot by a villain named Sin-Eater and Venom attached itself to her in order to saved her life.
In both the movie and comics, Venom liked Anne. Sadly, in the comics, the actions that she was involved with while possessing the symbiote caused her to suffer a breakdown and she eventually took her own life.
16 Can't stnad: SCREAM
In the movie Venom, the Life Foundation had two symbiotes -- one that they experimented on (Venom) and one that escaped (Riot). In the comic books, however, Life Foundation created five symbiotes when they abducted and experimented on Eddie Brock. While Riot portrayed the big bag in the movie, it was the female symbiote Scream that was the true leader in the comic books.
Not only was she the leader, but she also ended up as the symbiote that wanted to be the last one standing and began to eliminate her fellow Life Foundation members one by one. Her host was actually a security guard for the Life Foundation, but her history of psychotic episodes made her a danger to everyone around her and a huge threat to Venom.
15 Can't stand: LEE PRICE
When asked about controlling Venom, Eddie Brock said in the comic books that no one can really control the symbiote - it is always in charge in one way or another. This made Lee Price a problem for Venom. Price was a former Army Ranger who witnessed several friends and fellow soldiers pass away in a mine explosion that left him disabled.
After the government abandoned him and prevented him from obtaining the benefits he deserved, he grew bitter and took to a life of crime. Venom saved Price when he was shot - before he found out that the former Ranger could completely control the symbiote. Venom finally escaped when Spider-Man offered to take it back, although this was a ruse and a way to recapture the symbiote. Since then, Price has also taken over the symbiote Maniac.
14 Can't stand: CARLTON DRAKE
Carlton Drake is a character that exists in both the Venom movie and in the comic books. In the movie, he is a brilliant scientist who claims that he wants to cure diseases. He sends astronauts into space in order to capture the symbiotes Venom and Riot to try to find a way to allow humans to exist in outer space when the world grows uninhabitable. However, he sacrifices innocent lives with his tests and ends up as a villain under the control of the Riot symbiote.
For part of the movie, he kept Venom contained and attempted to experiment with it in order to find a suitable host for the symbiote.
In the comics, Drake captured Venom and used it to extract five "seeds" in order to create the Life Foundation's symbiotes. In both cases, he used Venom as a means to an end and, because of this, was an enemy to both Venom and Eddie Brock.
13 Close to: AGENT SMITH
Agent Smith was a complicated friend of Venom's. Not to be confused with Agent Smith from The Matrix, this Agent Smith was Daryll Smith, a man who Wolverine and Venom saved when they were battling the villain Dirtnap.
Later, Eddie Brock was found guilty of all of the crimes committed by Venom despite the fact that Matt Murdoch tried his best to get him acquitted. After this, Eddie Brock was locked away in a room with sonic speakers to keep him from reverting to Venom. This was when Agent Smith showed back up and offered to be his handler if Venom would work with the government. This friendship and partnership was short-lived, though, and while Venom did work with Agent Smith, he soon grew bored and went AWOL, choosing to return to his solitude life of saving innocents.
12 Can't stand: ANTI-VENOM
The relationship between Venom and Anti-Venom is a complicated one. While Eddie Brock is the only person who Venom remains close, Brock is also happy to be without the symbiote sometimes.
While Brock was working at a soup kitchen, he was cured of both his cancer and all remaining traces of the symbiote by Martin Li, also known as Mister Negative. This put him at a disadvantage when the new Venom, Mac Gargan, attacked him. However, since Venom always wanted to be with Eddie, it tried to leave Mac in order to join him, but the cure forced it out. A small amount remained, though, and Eddie soon became Anti-Venom. While there were other Anti-Venom hosts, its main goal was always to take down the original Venom.
11 Can't stand: SIN-EATER
The first Sin-Eater was a former agent of S.H.I.E.LD. who became an NYPD officer before he took the life of Jean DeWolff in one of the most infamous and memorable moments in Spider-Man comic book history. The original Sin-Eater was also responsible for Venom taking on Eddie Brock. As a reporter, Brock interviewed a man claiming to be the Sin-Eater, and when it was determined that the man was lying, Brock lost everything until he became the next host of Venom.
Later, Venom crossed paths with a third Sin-Eater, Michael Engelschwert, who shot Eddie Brock's ex-wife Anne Weying.
This led to Venom saving Anne and sending her to seek vengeance, which eventually led to her taking her own life.
10 Can't stand: NORMAN OSBORN
If there is one thing that Venom will not tolerate, it is someone who wishes to control him. Norman Osborn did this. The Venom symbiote had joined with Mac Gargan when it was looking for a new host who shared his hatred for Spider-Man. Osborn had Venom working as a fake hero in the Thunderbolts and the Dark Avengers. However, Venom often went rogue and decided to go into business for himself.
He did this when he found Eddie Brock working in a soup kitchen and helped to create Anti-Venom when the symbiote tried to leave Gargon and bond with Eddie again. However, if there is one thing that places Osborn in the crosshairs of Venom, it is the fact that Osborn bonded with the Carnage symbiote as the Red Goblin and took down Flash Thompson - one of the only people Venom cared about.
9 Close to: BECK UNDERWOOD
There have been very few people who have bonded with Venom on a personal level - and one of these people is Beck Underwood. Beck first appeared in the Venom: The Madness series as someone who helped others. She agreed to let Venom help her protect the innocent people on the street.
During this time, Beck also began to date Eddie Brock, saying that she always had a thing for the wrong people. To show how much Venom and Eddie really cared about Beck, he explained in the pages of Venom: Nights of Vengeance that he had no choice but to leave her because no one was safe as long as the darkness lived in him. Her final appearance came in the final pages of that miniseries.
8 Can't stand: BLACKHEART
When Venom was residing in the body of Flash Thompson, he developed a new and very powerful enemy in Blackheart - the demon son of Mephisto. This all started when the demon targeted Toxin's host Patrick Mulligan, the New York cop who took on the role of Toxin and worked as a heroic symbiote.
Sadly, though it was never shown in the comics, Blackheart eliminated Pat, his wife, and his son, and took the Toxin symbiote.
This later resulted in one of the most amazing Venom moments in comic book history. Agent Venom was after Blackheart and found out that Red Hulk and the Ghost Rider were also trying to stop him. The three heroes merged into one symbiote superbeing and rode into battle, defeating the villain and sending him back to Hell.
7 Can't stand: JACK O'LANTERN
This was not the original Jack O'Lantern - in fact, there have been quite a few people who took on the mantle. However, this particular villain was a child sociopath who was taken in by the Crime-Master and was trained to become a world-class assassin. He was so dangerous that he actually started to eliminate anyone who used the name before him.
He then became a nemesis to Flash Thompson's Agent Venom when he abducted Flash's girlfriend Betty Brant in order to force him to turn over the vibranium in his possession. He also later abducted Flash and threatened to eliminate his entire family if he didn't help him steal the Toxin symbiote. To understand the true hatred here, Jack actually dug up the body of Flash's father in order to play mind games with Agent Venom.
6 Can't stand: KNULL
While Venom was always known as an alien, it wasn't until years after its first appearance that its actual race was discovered. That race is the Klyntar and, as Agent Venom learned, they are not a malicious race. While tthe Klyntar on Earth have mostly been bad, this is only because they take on the traits of the person hosting them. However, they won't do anything that the host would not normally do.
Knull is an Elder God, and unlike the Klyntar, he is a malicious god. He was there when the Celestials created the universe. In fact, it is him who created the Klyntar. Recently, he gained control of the symbiote dragon Grendel in order to try to conquer the universe, only to be stopped by Venom and Spider-Man. While Eddie and Venom have a benevolent side, this is nothing compared to Knull.
5 Close to: FLASH THOMPSON
While Eddie Brock is the human host most associated with Venom and the man who the symbiote felt the most connection with, Flash Thompson also served as a host. In fact, the symbiote arguably felt the most connected with Flash above all other non-Eddie hosts.
It wasn't until Venom was in Flash that the symbiote finally became the hero it always wanted to be.
Flash received the symbiote from the U.S. government after it was stripped out of Mac Gargan. It helped him finally walk again after becoming paralyzed during the war in Iraq. There was even a point when the two were separated and Venom surprisingly returned to Flash, proving that he was ready to be a hero.
4 Can't stand: TOXIN
Toxin is the offspring of the Carnage symbiote. However, while Carnage became a sociopath when it attached itself to Cletus Kasady, Toxin became a hero by attaching itself to police officer Pat Mulligan. Because he was the offspring of Carnage, who was the more powerful offspring of Venom, both Venom and Carnage knew that Toxin would become very powerful and become a hero, since he bonded with a police officer.
Toxin was able to beat both symbiotes in battle and it did become a hero, helping others like Spider-Man and the Avengers during its time. Pat and Toxin became very complex, and were soon unable to really comprehend morally gray areas. Toxin was the one that finally beat Venom and sent him to prison, which led to the Venom: Separation Anxiety storyline.
3 Can't stand: THE JURY
Venom soon became extremely powerful - so powerful, in fact, that very few heroes were capable to even matching it. Because of this, a group was gathered together to hunt down the symbiote. The Jury was created when Orwell Taylor's son passed away after Venom was involved in a prison break at the vault. As a result, he set up the group to try to take Venom down. He even later tried to take Spider-Man, because he blamed him for bringing Venom to Earth.
Involved in this group were popular names like U.S. Agent and lesser-known characters like Screech. Screech set up the Jury. It had a judge known as Gavel and a prosecutor named Olivia Lentz who tried the villains. With Venom as their top target, they were more a nuisance than a real threat. However, they remained on its bad side regardless.
2 Can't stand: CARNAGE
If there is one character that is the primary nemesis for Venom, it is easily Carnage. Cletus Kasady was an inmate at Ryker's Island and was serving 11 consecutive life terms for his crimes when he received a new cellmate named Eddie Brock. Kasady repulsed Brock, who said that he only ever talked about his past crimes and how proud he was of his actions.
When Venom showed up to bond with Brock for a rescue, he escaped from the prison but left something behind. Venom had reproduced and the symbiote that was left attached itself to Kasady, becoming Carnage.
Unlike Venom, who is generally a good guy - if we ignore his hatred of Spider-Man - Carnage is pure evil and is more powerful than Venom and Spider-Man combined.
1 Close to: EDDIE BROCK
When Spider-Man rejected Venom, the symbiote was left alone and angry. According to Venom, it was an innocent and Spider-Man has ruined its innocence by abandoning it. It found Eddie Brock praying in a church after he lost his job at the Daily Bugle and the two bonded and created the new superhuman Venom.
As Venom said in the movie, he and Eddie are both losers alone but together they are strong. Venom bonded with Brock mentally and emotionally and grew to love and care about the things that Eddie did. Outside of their hate of Spider-Man, they became an anti-hero who wanted to save innocent lives. To show its love for Eddie, anytime Venom is attached to another host - even one like Flash Thompson - it was always compelled to return to him.
Are there any other heroes or villains who Venom is close to or can't stand? Sound off in the comments!