The pages of Marvel Comics are filled with fascinating figures, both heroes and villains alike. Of those, Venom is one of the more compelling characters due to his ability to work as both an ally and an adversary. Venom made his dramatic debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 in ‘88, and for more than 35 years, he’s experienced daring developments and surprising opportunities.
Many modern audiences are used to Venom’s role as a hero, whether in Sony’s live-action movies or as one of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Venom has certainly proven himself a hero, but there’s a strong case to be made that he’s at his best when he’s a villain.
10 He Functions As A Dark Mirror To Peter Parker & Spider-Man
Venom has experienced significant change since his origins. This has led to the symbiote adopting several different human hosts over the years.
Despite these new vessels, Venom’s design is a clear parallel to Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. The character is still at its most effective when he’s treated like a dark doppelgänger to Marvel’s heroic web-slinger. Marvel’s “Spider-Family” continues to expand, and Venom generates the most impact as a clear threat to Spider-Man’s image and the evil inverse of what Peter Parker fights for every day.
9 Venom Looks Evil & Was Designed To Be A Villain
Plenty of Marvel characters, heroes and villains alike, have outgrown their initial purposes and become stronger for it. This means that Venom shouldn’t be forced to remain a villain because that’s how he started, but it’s hard to argue with the character’s aggressive design that provokes feelings of fear, not safety.
Additionally, Venom was first conceived to be a manifestation of Peter Parker’s guilt, self-loathing, and the negative traits he’s acquired since starting his tenure as Spider-Man. There’s such a toxic nature baked into Venom that it’s too hard to strip from the character and his design.
8 Venom’s Twisted Sense Of Justice Works Better For A Villain
So much of what differentiates heroes from villains is how they perceive themselves in relation to the rest of the world. Venom is a particularly intimidating presence because he always considers himself the hero in the situation, whether that’s true or not.
There’s a fine line here, but Venom is much more compelling when he’s someone who has the desire to be good, but fails to execute these intentions properly. Venom just messes things up and makes matters worse, and this misguided perception is more terrifying than a villain who redeems themselves and actually does become good.
7 It Allows Venom To Ruin The Lives Of More Hosts
Venom has a personality of his own, but it’s also important to remember that this symbiote character requires a host body to really accomplish anything. Venom first bonds with Peter Parker, but he’s also gone through extensive story arcs with Eddie Brock, Flash Thompson, Mac Gargan, and other lost souls.
These parasitic bonding experiences can occasionally be positive, but by and large, Venom’s infection runs the risk of manipulating and ruining someone else’s life. Venom needs someone else to function properly, which means there’s always a victim or casualty involved with him.
6 Venom Comes From A Bleak Planet Of Dark Origins
The comic side of the Marvel universe is full of fascinating anomalies and alien worlds, unlike Earth’s. Spider-Man has even ventured into space on multiple occasions and visited planets of both pleasant and inhospitable natures. It’s eventually revealed that Venom comes from Klyntar, the symbiote homeworld, a terrifying realm where these hungry, parasitic entities thrive.
One look at Klyntar reiterates that Venom is a monster of extraterrestrial comprehension with a tenuous grasp on everyday customs. He’s a chaotic force of nature born out of an angry world.
5 Venom Weakness Would Be Too Debilitating As A Hero
Over the years, there have been various interpretations of Venom’s powers and weaknesses. Still, a consensus that’s been reached is that Venom’s symbiote is especially vulnerable to high-pitched sound frequencies and fire. It’s only fair that most heroes and villains have their share of weaknesses so that a fair fight can be achieved.
A vulnerability to sound is just too big of a liability for a Marvel hero. It makes more sense to position Venom as a wild villain where this weakness can be used to rein him in during extreme situations.
4 Venom’s Powers & Transformations Are Terrifying & Vicious
One of Venom’s most apparent traits is his body’s malleable and viscous nature. Venom’s symbiote’s limitless nature allows him to transform his appendages into weapons that can cleave targets in half.
Another of Venom’s signature features is his gaping mouth and intimidating tongue, which aren’t just for show, and he frequently chomps down on people. These tactics don’t exactly align with those of heroes, and it’s rare to see one of the good guys chew their enemy to pieces.
3 Venom Has Intimate Knowledge Of Peter Parker & Spider-Man
Venom evolves to the point that Peter Parker is truly in his past, but there’s no denying that the two characters briefly share a significant connection that could be used against the hero. Venom benefits from having intimate knowledge of Peter Parker that he acquires during his parasitic bond with him.
So many Spider-Man villains long for the hero’s secret identity or how to get some collateral over him. Venom already has this and a deep understanding of how Spider-Man fights and functions, which is a more appealing dynamic to explore when Venom is a villain who uses it against Peter.
2 Venom’s Completely Willing To Take Lives
Reasonable force is a common question when it comes to comic book heroes and villains. Some heroes, or anti-heroes, are willing to cross certain lines and understand that taking a single life may be necessary for some greater good. Meanwhile, other heroes like Peter Parker strictly avoid being pushed to the point of murder.
On the other hand, Venom has plenty of stories that are dense in his massacres, whether for an alleged greater purpose or purely his own self-interests. This mentality alone makes it easier to view Venom as a villain.
1 Symbiotes Are Parasitic & Destructive By Nature
An important factor to consider when it comes to Venom and his symbiote origin is that the initial bonding process is shown to be incredibly painful and the stuff of horror movies. Venom’s ability to continually bond with individuals becomes more natural, but the first transformation is depicted to be vicious and strenuous.
It’s not the type of metamorphosis that heroes experience. Removing the Venom symbiote can be even more painful, which indicates a villainous and forced union rather than an amicable process. Every time a host bonds with Venom, they’re abandoning some of their agency in the process.
NEXT: 10 Marvel Villains With Ridiculous Motives
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