Sony's Venom movie will introduce viewers to the Five Symbiotes - but the film has switched them up pretty dramatically. The Five Symbiotes were created by David Michelinie back in 1993, as the villains of the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries. In the comics, the symbiotes were created when the sinister Life Foundation realized the Venom symbiote could spawn "children." They captured Venom, and forcibly extracted five symbiote "seeds." These seeds hatched, and each took a host, becoming one of the Life Foundation's symbiote warriors.
The Five Symbiotes have never been major characters - in fact, only one of them was even named in Venom: Lethal Protector, with the others given code-names by an action figure range. They've remained background characters over the decades, with several of the symbiotes moving from host to host.
Venom appears to be weaving the Five Symbiotes into an origin story, so it's not surprising to see a number of key changes. The most obvious example is that all of the symbiotes - including Venom - now came to Earth together, crashing upon the planet in an alien spacecraft. But there are a lot more subtle changes too. Here, we examine the most surprising ones.
- This Page: Changes Colors and Powers
- Page 2: Changes to Scream, Riot, and Toxin
The Powers of the Five Symbiotes Have Been Switched Up
In the comics, every one of the Five Symbiotes has their own distinctive and unusual power. Scream, for example, can generate a so-called "sonic knife," and uses her hair-like tendrils to choke her foes. Agony can absorb chemicals into herself - even including Spider-Man's webbing - and has an acid spit. Phage prefers to form his symbiote into long, serrated blades and axes, while Riot tends to opt for hammers and maces. Lasher, rounding the team out, likes to create tentacle-like tendrils on his back, whipping them out at his enemies. Although the symbiotes have switched hosts many times, they've always had their own characteristic powersets - like a trademark, if you will.
We don't yet know whether all five of the symbiotes will appear in Venom, but the trailers have made it clear that the powers have been switched up. In one scene, Riot transforms his arms into deadly axes, and launches a terrifying attack upon the Life Foundation. That move isn't typical for Riot. He usually prefers to form blunt-edged weapons, while Phage is the symbiote with a preference for blades and axes. In another scene, Scream projects a blast of deadly, razor-sharp projectiles from her back, tearing apart enemies who intended to attack her from behind. That particular trick is adapted from Lasher's playbook.
It looks as though the idea of a trademark powerset has been ditched, with each symbiote possessing similar abilities. The only exception seems to be Riot, who will be a unique symbiote, preferring to jump from person to person rather than possess a single host.
The Five Symbiote Colors Have Changed
Outside of behavioral changes, there's also a visual difference. In the comics, each one of the Five Symbiotes has a distinguishing color. This allows artists and colorists to differentiate between the symbiotes in an action sequence. But Sony has chosen to switch this up a bit, with the symbiotes defaulting to black, albeit with different colored "veins" running through them. Riot's are red, a marked contrast with his deep blue color scheme from the comics.
- Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018