6 Weirdest Symbiotes, Who Don’t Deserve Movies
At long last, the Venom movie comes out this week, so the Internet is flooded with Venom-related articles and bric-a-brac. I’ve often thought that I should make my blog more search engine-friendly, because otherwise I’m just whining out into the void. So in an effort to be even a tiny bit worthwhile, let’s do a listicle about Venom and other symbiotes!
I probably should have put the word ‘Venom’ in the headline…That’s how that works, right?
For those who don’t know, Venom is a comic book super-villain whose “costume” is actually a living alien called a ‘symbiote’. It bonds with the human host and, together, they’re a freaky-deaky alien anti-hero. Marvel Comics is currently going through all manner of big Venom stories in connection with the movie, including the reveal of yet another new symbiote offspring, seen in the picture above.
In fact, Marvel has a really crazy history of random symbiote spin-offs and offsprings. And a lot of them are pretty damn dumb, hence the list that you’re all reading today. Enjoy!
I feel like getting silly to start with. Bizarnage is the symbiote villain from the Amalgam Universe, which was the Marvel vs. DC crossover universe that combined characters. Bizarnage is a cross between Bizarro and Carnage, and he was an enemy of Spider-Boy (Spider-Man and Superboy). Bizarnage was a result of Project Cadmus attempting to clone alien DNA, and Spider-Boy easily whipped his butt in the first issue. Oddly, Venom didn’t get an Amalgam character, despite Venom being at his most popular in the 90s.
5. Pork Grind
Honestly, I’m not even sure if Pork Grind is a symbiote or not, but he fits, because I’m still feeling silly. Pork Grind is an enemy of Spider-Ham, the character wherein Spider-Man is now a pig person. In his original appearance, Pork Grind simply looked like Venom and was therefore chosen to be Spider-Ham’s enemy. They had one encounter early on, and the bad guy was defeated. Then Pork Grind was resurrected recently for the Spider-Man Unlimited mobile game, which went a little symbiote crazy. And Pork Grind was recently featured in a Venom-themed line of Marvel Legends action figures! They basically just had a Venom figure and gave collectors a Pork Grind head to switch out. That’s pretty neat!
Hey everybody, did you know that the phrase ‘anti-venom’ exists in the real world? And since Marvel has a character named ‘Venom’, how about a counterpart named ‘Anti-Venom’? That makes sense, right?! Just inverse the colors and give him opposite powers. The origin is pretty convoluted, combining Eddie Brock, the original Venom symbiote and then a zap from Mr. Negative, the villain from the new Spider-Man game. Anti-Venom had healing powers, and later he got transferred over to Flash Thompson, who became Agent Anti-Venom. And it’s just madness from there.
How do symbiotes choose their names? How do the alien and Eddie Brock come up with the name “Venom”? I can see why Cletus Kasady might go with “Carnage”, but then you’ve got the likes of Scream, Riot, Agony and Phage? What the hell is a “Phage”? It only gets worse from there with Scorn and Raze, whom I’ve crammed together because they’re both random female offspring of Carnage. Toxin was Carnage’s first kid, and he was actually kind of cool and reasonable. Then it went off the rails, like all symbiote bloodlines eventually do. Scorn is the purple one, a symbiote who has bonded with technology and Dr. Tanis Nieves, who was involved in conducting experiments on Kasady after he was ripped in half…long story. But yeah, dumb purple symbiote. Then we’ve got Raze, another offspring of Carnage, who was bonded to FBI agent Claire Dixon as part of some mystical ceremony involving the freakin’ Darkhold!
2. Venom clone
Once upon a time, Marvel Comics launched a new line of comics with a manga influence dubbed the “Tsunami” line. This batch of new comics gave us the Runaways, and it also included a Venom solo comic wherein Venom was no longer attached to Eddie Brock, but a soldier named Patricia Robertson. I don’t know whether it was the plan all along, or whether somebody got cold feet, but it was eventually revealed that the Venom starring in the Venom comic was a clone…of Venom. Because why not? That makes more sense than just making a new Venom comic, right? In the end of the short-lived series, the clone was absorbed into regular Venom and everything was forgotten.
In a new Venom series a few years later, we had Flash Thompson in the lead role as Agent Venom. At one point, Flash Thompson sent part of the symbiote to protect a friend of his, Andrea Benton, but that symbiote turned out to be the clone, who bonded with Benton and became Mania! She was a solid symbiote sidekick for a bit, until even more Venom stories came along and new villain Lee Price came along and stole the symbiote from her. He changed the name to ‘Maniac’, I guess because he’s a maniac? To make a long story short, they just keep churning out these symbiotes, giving them to different people, mixing and matching like it’s no big deal.
Give it another couple of years and I’ll probably be able to double this list!