A symbiote suit gives its wearer a variety of shapeshifting powers, including the abilities to create weapons and mimic any clothing they want. They also get terrifying murder-teeth, but that’s more like a bonus.
The Klyntar are a benign race at home, but living on Earth can turn anyone crazy. So they’ve spent most of their time here joining gooey forces with a variety of villains to make trouble for the good guys.Here are 12 of the misfits, mass murderers, and mad scientists who have sported symbiote suits over the past three decades.
After developing terminal cancer, Eddie Brock auctioned off the Venom symbiote to make some last-minute charitable donations, because he is one of the most downtrodden supervillains in comic book history.
The winner was Don Fortunato, a mob boss, who gifted the alien to his loser son Angelo so that he could make something of himself.Spider-Man and the new Venom fight while the hero calls out the new host for being an idiot and a bully. The kid eventually gets so scared that he tries to escape, jumping between two rooftops, and the symbiote joins in on the “hate on Angelo” party by abandoning him in mid-air. He falls to his death, and Venom finds a more appealing host in the former Scorpion, Mac Gargan.
ON a parallel earth in the 17th-century counterparts of the primary world’s superheroes and villains. And of course, it has a version of Venom. Edwin Brocc is a nobleman who is engaged to Anne Weying — who doesn’t get a cool, 1602 name. But she doesn’t really love Edwin. He’s in league with the Enchantress and using a “love potion” to trick his betrothed into marrying him. Angela, who is tracking down all of these “Faustians,” calls Brocc out, so he turns into a horrifying monster. He’s apparently exactly as good at fighting as he is at convincing women to love him without pharmaceutical assistance, however, so he lasts approximately a page before the witch hunter decapitates him. Unfortunately, it turns out that Eddie Brock is typically a sad loser regardless of universe.
The Life Foundation weren’t so confident in their paradise that they didn’t think they’d need some security, so they kidnapped Eddie Brock and removed five “seeds” from Venom. They grew these into their own, tame versions of the alien suits. And they just immediately got into a fight with Spider-Man, as is the wont of all symbiotes. One of the new five was Ramón Hernández, whose suit name is Lasher. He didn’t get much time to enjoy his powers, however. Venom sets off an explosion that seemingly ages the suit to dust and kills all the hosts. But they survive, only for Scream to kill them all properly later.
The second volume of Carnage’s solo book takes a Lovecraftian turn as Cletus Kasady uses the infernal Darkhold to summon the demon Cthohn. he performs a ritual in which he bonds a part of his suit with FBI agent Claire Dixon. The result is Raze, a conflicted but definite monster. The only people standing between Carnage and the return of the Great Old One are the members of the Bureau’s Symbiote Task Force, which includes Eddie Brock. He has access to the Toxin symbiote, which is another of Carnage’s “children.” Poor, sad Eddie has hosted more aliens than the Mos Eisley Cantina. Raze helps Carnage fight the Goop Cops while inside, Dixon struggles to control it. In the end, however, Task Force member Jubilile van Scotter absorbs Toxin, Raze, and a global dose of psychic energy to defeat both Carnage and Cthohn.
Riot, whose human name is Trevor Cole, was another of the Life Foundation’s lab-grown symbiote troops. Riot does not receive a name during his first appearance during the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries. Instead, most of his pre-bonding backstory comes from the text on his action figure. Even that was pretty iffy; it describes Riot as “a sewer-dwelling mutant” and not a bunker-cop for the irredeemably rich. We aren’t super concerned with that, however, since comics are overly complicated even when they can keep their stories straight. Riot, like the rest of his team, appears to die at the end of Lethal Protector, only to come back and then die for real during the later, “Separation Anxiety” arc. But that isn’t it for the symbiotes. They return as Mercury Team in Carnage, USA, in which Riot gives his wearer the ability to move completely silently.
Agony is exactly like Riot, only its host is a woman, Leslie Gesneria. She was yet another of the Life Foundation’s five guardians who died and then wasn’t dead and then was dead again. She’s purple. After their original hosts’ permanent deaths, these four symbiotes ended up in the Vault, a high-security prison for supervillains. The jailers experimented on them, even though they were not as evil as their “sibling,” Carnage, and a guard named Scott Washington eventually freed them. All four join with Washington simultaneously, creating a new hero named Hybrid. After Washington’s death, the government separates the aliens and repurposes them as Mercury Team. Agony gave its host the ability to easily carry the heaviest of gear, which, like Riot, suggests the exact opposite of its name.
Here’s something completely different. Marcus appears in the motion comic series The Gauntlet. He’s just one of a team of baddies — along with Xzax a Brood gun for hire, the Living Mummy, and Frankenstein’s Monster — that Dracula assembles to kill Deadpool. He’s also a lycanthropic centaur with a symbiote and no known weaknesses other than the things that would kill a Klyntar or a werewolf. He’s also diabetic. And that’s not really a “weakness,” so much, but he does ask for a break during all the fighting to manage his blood sugar.
Deadpool doesn’t mind, and as soon as Marcus’ levels are under control, he goes ahead and murders him anyway. He chops off his hooves and then runs him over with a steamroller, which probably doesn’t affect the symbiote much, but it’s not a good time for the guy inside it.
Like the others, owes most of his backstory to action figure flavor text and fans’ head-canon. It’s the same drill: They exist, Venom blows them up, and then they come back and die later. We think Marvel really missed an opportunity by making a squad of different-looking symbiote monsters and then doing nothing with them, but they make up for that a little later. In Carnage, USA, the Phage symbiote returns as a member of Mercury Team, the elite, anti-Carnage unit that responds to Cletus Kassady and his special, alien friend kidnapping and infecting the entire town of Doverton, Colorado. Phage’s suit lets him make impossible sniper shots, which seems like a weird ability for a symbiote to give you. But we suppose they can’t all be web-slingers.
After her apparent death at the end of Lethal Protector, Donna Diego, who hosted Scream, suffers a bit of a crisis in the “Separation Anxiety” arc. Her exposure to the alien creature left her with a touch of schizophrenia, and she concluded that the symbiotes, and all who hosted them, were evil and worthy of death. She tracks down and kills her siblings with a sonic knife and frames Eddie Brock for the murders. Brock catches on and defeats her as Venom. Later, after his “partner” leaves him for good, Eddie decides that the best revenge for his ruined life is to take out all of the symbiotes he can. He murders Hybrid and eventually finds Scream, whom he disables with a loud noise and then stabs with a red-hot knife.
Karl Malus’ return after the events of Superior Carnage bear mentioning. That storyline has the Wizard, Klaw, Malus, and the Carnage symbiote forming a new Frightful Four team with Malus hosting the alien. Things go bad because you can’t trust evil, alien slime, and it ends up leaving Malus to take over Wizard. And then it eats the mad scientist for his trouble. This should have been the end, but Malus returns in Captain America: Sam Wilson, where he reveals that he survived being “crapped out of an alien.” He has since become a grotesque symbiote-human hybrid, either through the whole digestion experience or his own bio-engineering experiments. We’re not super concerned about the particulars, because the important thing is that it’s scary as hell.
Dr. Tanis Nieves briefly comes down with a mild case of Carnage when the trace bits of alien in her symbiote-enhanced prosthetic arm take over her body. The possession doesn’t last long, however, since the goop is just trying to get back to Cletus Kasady after that time Sentry ripped him in half in space. But Carnage left something behind when it left Nieves’ arm: its offspring, Scorn. When the baby symbiote starts growing in the 2010 Carnage miniseries, the doctor cuts the limb off to stop it from taking over her body. Scream-powered baddie — and Nieves’ former patient — Shriek, who gained nothing from her therapy sessions, takes the arm for herself. The next issue says that her new limb makes her “more powerful than ever,” but we don’t really see it. But the extra arm and weird, half-alien face does make an impression. Scorn doesn’t stick around for long, however, because Shriek scares it so much that it gets back to Nieves as soon as it can.
The X-Men/Avengers crossover event Axis “inverts” a number of heroes and villains, putting them on the opposite sides of the law as we’re used to. At the end, most of them go back, but Tony Stark manages to avoid reversion and remains awful. This version spins off into the Superior Iron Man series, in which Tony creates the Extremis 3.0 app to allow users to become as attractive as they want. And it’s free for 24 hours; after that, it requires a nefarious in-app purchase of $99.99 a day to remain active. This simultaneously creates an overclass of people who can access the app and kicks off a massive crime wave, as desperate poor people turn to crime so they can afford the program. Tony also builds a silver, “Endosym” suit based on symbiote biology. It’s the flashiest of his armors by far , and it flows on and off of him in a really disturbing way.