Venom: 10 best comic book numbers of the 2010s


As Venom: let there be carnage hitting theaters, Marvel comic book geeks may want to update their knowledge on the iconic villain / antihero Venom. Even though Eddie Brock used the Dark Symbiote for his evil ways, the 2010s saw a change of heart for the character as he embraced the identity of Anti-Venom.

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The same decade also paved the way for several other parasitic symbiotes, most of whom were united in the special event. Venomverse. At one point, Spider-Man comics included Venom and Carnage as the only symbiotes. But the past decade has proven to be fruitful enough for more such creatures in Venom’s bigger myth.

ten Venomverse (limited series)

Just like Spider-Verse, Venomverse explores the possibility of multiple versions of Venom in parallel dimensions. Doctor Strange initiates the interdimensional journey of these venoms to fight poisons, dark creatures that unite the symbiote with the host.

What’s exciting is that the series features never-before-seen avatars of the black symbiote, such as Venom linked to parallel versions of Captain America, Ghost Rider, Rocket Raccoon, and X-23.

9 Circle of Four (Venom Vol 2 # 10-14)

Venom Circle of Four

The titular team of Circle of four is an unexpected bundle of flawed heroes and villains, including X-23, Ghost Rider, Agent Venom, and Red Hulk. As Ghost Rider accidentally unleashes hellish forces in Las Vegas, the four join forces to save the city, and ultimately the planet.

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What’s remarkable is the introspection it offers to characters like Flash Thompson and General Ross, as both carry the guilt of their beastly alter egos. As for X-23, the clone also wonders if she really had a soul. This clash of antiheroes and demonic forces offers enough entertainment and thoughtful writing.

8 Agent Venom (Venom Vol 2 # 1-5)

Flash Thompson holding a gun as Agent Venom in the Spider-Man comics.

A new angle in the history of Venom has been established with Flash Thompson being the host agent of the Venom symbiote. Even though Peter Parker’s bully was initially a secondary antagonist, he has matured over the past decade to finally do something right for a change. Given his admiration for Spider-Man, he uses the Dark Symbiote to become Agent Venom.

This story is a must read as it kicked off Rick Remender’s run on Venom Vol. 2 while reorganizing an unlikely character as a symbiote host. Agent Venom went on to appear in other iconic issues like Space knight.

7 Swing Down (The Amazing Spider-Man # 797-801)

Norman Osborn as Carnage in The Amazing Spiderman

This The Incredible Spider-Man The story pits the web-swinger against the classic Spider-Man villain Green Goblin. As Norman Osborn seeks to restore his goblin powers, he embraces the Carnage symbiote. In his quest to defeat his nemesis, Spider-Man relies on trusted friends like Human Torch and Agent Anti-Venom. The latter, in fact, even helps heal some of his wounds.

What’s remarkable about this arc is Osborn’s ability to handle Carnage in his own way. Instead of using the symbiote for the usual reckless slaughter, he is able to use it specifically to target Spider-Man.

6 King in black (limited series)

Venom leads the Marvel heroes into battle against Knull.

King in black takes place the day after Absolute carnage and deals with the villainous Knull and his symbiotes that invade the planet. Venom doesn’t unite with his usual allies this time around. In fact, he’s enlisting the help of Marvel super-teams like the X-Men and the Avengers.

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The Kin black The storyline really established Venom as a positive character with such heroic teams backing his efforts. His transition from an unstable villain to a responsible hero was finally over.

5 Venom Space Knight (limited series)

Venom fights aliens in outer space in the Venom: Space Knight comics.

Space Knight Venom continues Flash Thompson’s character transformation as he becomes an agent of the cosmos and an ambassador for Earth. Given his background as a soldier, Agent Venom, and even a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thompson has come a long way to be just a high school bully.

The intergalactic setting of the story gives it the tones of a space opera while there are a few comedic elements that characterize the Venom storylines of this decade. The character’s initial horror influences can now be merged with other genres like sci-fi.

4 Absolute carnage (limited series)

Carnage on the cover of Absolute Carnage.

While Eddie Brock may have found his redemption in the 2010s, Carnage host Cletus Kasady has always been a rampaging maniac. As the title suggests, Absolute carnage discovers that the criminal unites with Carnage again to wreak havoc on all other existing symbiotes.

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The comic is a perfect testament to showing Kasady’s meanness and how he benefits a violent symbiote like Carnage. Woody Harelson’s portrayal of Kasady in the new Venom movie is sure to spark interest in the character again. From where, Absolute carnage will make for a timely read.

3 War of the Realms (limited series)

In the mega-crossover, The war of the kingdoms, Thor comedic villain Malekith the Cursed has conquered all major kingdoms in the universe except Midgard (Earth). As for Venom, the symbiote makes an appearance as a member of Captain Marvel’s War Avengers along with Winter Soldier, Lady Sif, and many more.

Even though Venom wishes to help fight the Dark Elf Sovereign, his Transfiguration skills are misused in Malekith’s hands. The antagonist first fuses Venom with his weapons, then fuses with the creature itself. This adds to the gray areas behind the symbiote as a character.

2 Venom: First Host (Limited Series)

While Marvel fans would consider Eddie Brock the longest-serving host of the Venom symbiote, First host reveals the story of a Kree soldier who first embraced Venom in the midst of a cosmic war. The plot then shifts to the present with Eddie Brock and the “First Host” coming together to avert a global crisis.

This unique origin story added more perspective to Venom’s alien origins. There are enough comics about the misadventures of Venom and Carnage on planet Earth, but not enough about their other counterparts in the outside world. First Host, meanwhile, departs from Venom’s home planet and adds additional historical context to the Venom universe.

1 The Land Before Crime (Venom Vol 2 # 150-153)

Venom attacks Spider-Man on the Land Before Time cover

After a few years of using Flash Thompson as a host, the Venom symbiote reunites with Eddie Brock. Brock’s reintroduction comes with exciting duels with dark enemies like Stegron, the Dinosaur Man.

The land before the crime brings back the dark, comedic attitude of Eddie Brock’s clash, and Stegron only adds to the over-the-top nature of recent Venom stories. While Thompson has become a fan favorite, Brock has always been a classic. While he’s still an anti-hero, his villainous tendencies show up as he’s thirsty for Spider-Man’s flesh.

NEXT: 5 Things Venom’s Eddie Brock Was Right About (& 5 Times He Was Wrong)

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