With the success of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it looks like the character has finally managed to shake off that infamous Peter Parker luck.
Sony had been seeing diminishing returns on its Spider-Man movies for years, but allowing Spidey to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has given the character a vital boost back to superstar status. And Sony, hoping to leverage this popularity, has now announced a solo Venom movie starring the bane of heroes everywhere, Tom Hardy.
Interestingly, the Venom movie will be focusing on the character as a kind of hero, one who tackles frightening characters such as Carnage. Furthermore, weird rights issues between Sony and Marvel have left it uncertain as to whether Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will even appear in the Venom movie.
This is truly heartbreaking for fans, as Venom has served as Spider-Man’s ultimate foe for decades in the comics. He is the original “dark mirror” character, offering chaos and death as a counterpoint to Spider-Man fighting for order and to save lives. It’s possible that Sony is trying to rehabilitate the Venom character for their movie, but the terrible things this character has done to Peter Parker can’t be erased.
Don’t believe us? Just read our handy guide to the 15 Worst Things Venom Has Done To Spider-Man.
15. Pushed Peter Parker in front of a subway
One of the worst things Venom ever did to Peter Parker also happened to be the world’s first glimpse of Venom, although nobody knew it at the time. He did not appear in his familiar, monstrous black form, nor did we see the ultra-buff body of Eddie Brock. Instead, all we saw was his arm as he pushed Peter Parker in front of an oncoming subway train!
In terms of Peter Parker’s many brushes with death, this may not have seemed like a huge deal at first. Peter manages to survive by jumping out of the way with his enhanced reflexes, and some concerned bystanders are able to pull him up.
What really leaves Spider-Man shaken about this experience was that it was the first time he was facing lethal danger without his spider-sense going off! Without this key advantage, Spider-Man is often at a disadvantage when fighting Venom.
14. Cancels his Spider-Sense
The reason that Venom is able to cancel Spider-Man’s special spider-sense is pretty straightforward: the symbiote was bonded to Peter Parker before it was ever bonded to Eddie Brock.
This means that Eddie has access to special knowledge – such as Spider-Man’s true identity as well as the special powers that the suit once gave Peter. Venom is effectively cloaked from Peter’s spider-sense, and considering that Spidey uses that in all of his battles, this is a big deal.
Venom effectively cancels out Peter’s spider-sense in every encounter. He does it when pushing Peter in front of a train, and he does it again when he tries to grab Spider-Man through a window. One of the scariest times, though, was when Venom kidnapped Peter and brought him to an island so that he could hunt him. Peter could never sense where Venom was except by seeing him, and Venom made this worse by using his suit to camouflage himself into everything from forests to water.
13. Threatens Mary Jane
More so than almost any other hero, Spider-Man has fought to protect his secret identity. And he has good reason: Peter knows that if his enemies figure out who he is, many of them would not hesitate to attack Aunt May or Mary Jane in order to hurt Spider-Man. And this is exactly what Venom does when he introduces himself to Mary Jane by terrorizing her!
When Mary Jane comes home to her apartment, Venom is already there waiting for her. At first, Mary Jane thinks that he is Peter because Spider-Man has been rocking the black uniform lately. It’s only when Venom opens his horrifying mouth that she realizes there is a monster in her home.
While Venom doesn’t physically hurt her, he makes her feel terrified and helpless— the real Peter later comes home and finds her uncontrollably crying and frightened of anyone coming near her. In this one action, Venom reminds Peter his loved ones will never be truly safe, and helps kick off a whole series of terrible things that happen to Mary Jane!
12. Inadvertently created Carnage
Most of the items on this list focus on what Venom has done intentionally. Despite having a warped version of a moral code, Venom has never hesitated to hurt and kill those to get what he wants. However, one of the worst things that Venom ever did was something that Eddie Brock was completely unaware of at the time; he inadvertently managed to help create Carnage!
This happened when Eddie Brock had been successfully separated from the symbiote and imprisoned in Ryker’s Island. Eventually, the symbiote comes to rescue Eddie, but it leaves a spawn of itself behind. This spawn merges with Eddie’s cellmate, the serial killer Cletus Kasady, who becomes the mass-murdering monster named Carnage.
In time, Carnage and his merry band of fellow powered killers would threaten the entirety of New York City. Venom was completely unaware of the hell he had unleashed on Earth, as he was too busy forcing Spider-Man to fake his own death!
11. Forced Spider-Man to fake his own death
Eddie Brock never seemed like much of a reader, what with his endless focus on working out and murdering Spider-Man. However, he certainly seems like a big fan of the short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, as he once kidnapped Spidey and brought him to an island for the sheer pleasure of hunting him down and killing him!
This actually proved to be Spider-Man’s most intense confrontation with Venom yet. There are no other heroes that can help Spider-Man out and nowhere he can run. Worse yet, Venom is familiar with the island and is able to sneak up on Spidey at any time.
Eventually, Spider-Man is forced to take desperate measures: he puts his uniform on the dead body of a miner and makes Venom think he died in a gas explosion. Content with finding “Peter’s” dead body, Venom retires to the island…a nd he would have stayed there if Spider-Man himself didn’t bring Venom back!
10. Turns his allies against him in “Maximum Carnage”
Most of Spider-Man’s villains just try to kill the hero, and to be fair, this is always Venom’s “Plan A” as well. However, during the “Maximum Carnage” storyline, Venom accomplished something a bit more sinister. Instead of destroying Spider-Man as a person, Venom nearly destroyed who he is as a hero.
As mentioned before, the story involved Carnage and his cohort going on a murderous rampage throughout New York City. It’s serious enough that Spider-Man recruits Venom for help, and he eventually gets help from characters like Black Cat, Cloak and Dagger, and even Morbius.
However, the group soon has a schism over whether they should try to kill Carnage or not. Spider-Man resists, which drives some of his allies away. Eventually, he tries being a merciless fighter. However, when given a real chance to help kill Carnage with the help of Firestar, Spider-Man brings himself back from the brink of becoming a killer.
9. Makes Spider-Man an accessory to murder
When a Venom solo movie was announced, many people were scratching their heads at the idea of rooting for Venom as a hero. However, the seeds of this can be traced way to the Venom minseries Venom: Lethal Protector.
The plot involves Venom trying to be a do-gooder in San Francisco, but soon, he’s the target of an attack. The perpetrator is the father of one of his previous victims, and Venom eventually gets Spider-Man’s help… and makes Spidey an accomplice to murder along the way.
Part of the bad guy’s plot is that he has used more offspring from Venom’s symbiote to create some new, super-powered characters. Eventually, Venom and Spider-Man have the opportunity to hit a button and destroy the symbiotes. Spider-Man objects because it may end up killing the symbiotes’ hosts, but Venom hits the button anyway.
Fortunately, the guards are still breathing, but the symbiotes are completely gone. Considering that each symbiote was a thinking and feeling alien being, this still marks a very dark chapter in Spidey’s history.
8. Helps hunt down Spidey as a Thunderbolt
Even though he is the most famous host, Eddie Brock has not been the only person to become Venom. Another character to do so is Mac Gargan, a character who was previously the supervillain known as The Scorpion – and who has a prominent cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Gargan bonds with the symbiote because of Eddie Brock’s cancer. Later, as Venom, Gargan hunts down Spider-Man with the full blessing of the American government!
This happened in the wake of the original Civil War event. Originally, Spider-Man backed Iron Man and believed in the necessity of superheroes registering with the government. He eventually changed his mind and joined the “Secret Avengers” that were fighting back.
This fight became more serious when Norman Osborne became the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Under his direction, Venom became a member of the new Thunderbolts, receiving government pay and support to try to do what Venom does best: capture Peter Parker!
7. Impersonated Spider-Man in the Dark Avengers
During this time period, Spider-Man was going through a rough patch. A deal with Mephisto had magically ensured that no one remember Spider-Man’s secret identity after he unmasked with Tony Stark on live television, but this came at the expense of his relationship with Mary Jane. And, of course, it was bad enough that his old foe Venom had found a new host to continue his vendetta against Spider-Man. However, one of the things that truly added insult to injury was Venom pretending to be Spider-Man!
Part of Norman Osborne’s weird public relations campaign was that he wanted his own Avengers team to look a lot like the old one. To this end, he gave himself an American-themed Iron Man suit of armor, and he recruited some genuine Avengers such as the Sentry and Ares. Most Avengers, however, did not want to join, so Osborne resorted to subterfuge: he had Moonstone pretend to be Ms. Marvel, and he gave Venom some special medication so he could make himself look like Spider-Man.
6. Forces Spidey to fight the Avengers
Just as it’s not always Eddie Brock inside the Venom symbiote, it’s not always Spider-Man underneath the mask.
During the “Superior Spider-Man” story arc, Doctor Octopus has succeeded in transferring his own mind out of his dying body and into Peter Parker’s body. This gives him the strength and powers of Spider-Man, but Peter’s lingering presence keeps Doc Ock from becoming a supervillain against. Instead, Doctor Octopus decides he will prove to himself and to the world that he can be a better Spider-Man than Peter ever was.
Spoiler alert: this doesn’t work out for him.
One of his big screw-ups involves bonding with the Venom symbiote, which at this point is being heroically used (more or less) by Flash Thompson. Doctor Octopus thinks he can control the creature and use it to make himself more powerful than ever. Eventually, he loses control and ends up fighting all of the Avengers.
5. Kills Spidey’s dad
Marvel has never been shy about exploring different versions of their beloved characters by featuring adventures occurring in other realities.
One of those adorable realities is the Marvel Mangaverse (or Earth-2301), which imagines what Marvel’s characters and plots would be like if they had originated in a Japanese manga. In Spider-Man’s case, it involves him being part of a “Spider Clan” of ninjas. He is training for revenge against the man who killed his father: Venom!
In this reality, Venom is actually a kind of lieutenant for the Kingpin. Under orders, Venom murders Uncle Ben, but Peter Parker survives. In a really weird twist, this version of Venom is actually the son of May Parker.
4. Completely sucks the life out of Peter Parker
In another universe, Spider-Man’s fate is sealed by the symbiote by one grim fact: he waits too long before visiting Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four to try to remove the alien. It is now permanently bonded to Peter’s body, sucking on his life day in and day out. Eventually, it sucks the life out of Peter completely!
As readers, we see this when the symbiote tries to possess the Hulk. It has left Peter behind, but there is not much to see: his body has been artificially aged, and he soon dies.
The symbiote tries to repent by healing Bruce Banner of the Hulk, and the Avengers make plans to safely take the symbiote to a different dimension. However, Black Cat decides to get revenge for what it did to Peter, killing the alien in cold blood.
3. Forced Spider-Man to fight Harry Osborne
One of the unfortunate constants across the different versions of Spider-Man is that Peter Parker always seems destined to fight his friend, Harry Osborne.
This drama ends up playing out relatively early in the first season of the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. The story involves Harry bonding with the symbiote in order to have powers like Spider-Man. However, it doesn’t take long before he has come to blows with his favorite hero!
By this point, what happens to Harry is a familiar story for most Spider-Man fans. Harry starts out with positive intentions and a genuine belief that he can control the suit, but it steadily turns him into more and more of a monster. Peter is forced to fight his friend and uses electricity to get the suit off of him.
2. Takes Peter’s Job
One of the few downsides of Venom’s original comic book origin is that his desire to get revenge against Spider-Man feels a bit abstract.
Eddie Brock’s story is that he was a reporter who thought he had a major scoop when he broke a story about the identity of the villainous “Sin-Eater,” but it was based on the admissions of a serial confessor. When Spider-Man caught the real bad guy, Brock’s career was ruined, and he hated Spidey for it.
In the infamous Spider-Man 3 movie, director Sam Raimi decided to make Peter and Eddie more natural rivals. To this end, Eddie is now a photographer like Peter, and they end up vying for the same staff photographer position at the Daily Bugle. This would be a big step up for the perennially penniless Peter Parker, but Eddie fakes a photo showing Spider-Man stealing money and ends up getting the job.
1. Makes Spidey Dance
When it comes to movies, they are typically more than the sum of their parts. And when fans try to dissect whether a film was good or bad, they typically analyze several scenes, characters, narratives, performances, and so on. This is not the case for Spider-Man 3, because when it comes to talking about how terrible this movie was, fans only have two words: the dancing!
The plot involves Peter bonding with the symbiote. As in the comics, it enhances the violence and anger of the host. However, the movie version also gives Peter a big boost of confidence and a truly unfortunate fashion sense. Thus, he ends up with emo-hair and a new, goth-friendly wardrobe.
As a further side effect, he can’t stop dancing: he dances as he walks along the street, he dances when he comes out of stores, and he has a truly over-the-top dance number that culminates with accidentally punching Mary Jane.
Know of some more terrible things Venom has done to our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Be sure to sound off in the comments!
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