Get Started In VENOM

Current Series  |  Latest Jumping-On Points  |  Compilations  |  1st Appearance  |  Origin Story  |  Main Publication History  |  Secondary Publication History  |  Key Storylines  |  Media Source Material  |  Key Issues

by snowbi-wan, updated May 2019

To fully explain who the character 'Venom' is, the term 'Venom' requires a short lesson in history and semantics. The 'Venom Symbiote' is an alien, gooey, sticky, black substance/being that must bond with a host being for continued survival. The symbiote originally bonded with Peter Parker, giving him the iconic appearance of his black costume. At that time, the new and much-enhanced costume for Spider-Man was not yet revealed to be an alien symbiote, but rather some kind of supernatural substance obtained during Marvel's first SECRET WARS event. As it became apparent to Peter Parker that the costume was an alien symbiote and that it was affecting him and his life in a negative way, Peter forced a separation. The scorned symbiote next bonded with Eddie Brock, another character whose life had been recently ruined by Peter Parker. Together, the symbiote and Eddie Brock called themselves 'Venom' and made it their mission in life to destroy Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Exibiting his characteristic maw of dagger-like teeth and long tongue, Venom has been one of Spider-Man's toughest and most popular rogues. The symbiote is vulnerable to fire and sonic waves, but grants enhanced powers and abilities to its host. Venom is extemely strong and has limited shape-shifting abilities, including the ability to form spikes, assume other's forms or even a camoflage-like invisibility. Having bonded with the super-human, Spider-Man, Venom retains spider-man-like abilities and does not trigger Spider-Man's spider-sense, a huge disadvange for Spider-Man when battling Venom. Originally introduced as a super-villain, Venom has taken alternate turns as villain and anti-hero throughout his long publishing history, graduating from supporting character to a headline Marvel character. The symbiote has bonded with several other human hosts under the name Venom as well. Flash Thompson is one of the more significant hosts. But the symbiote has history with Eddie Brock, and they somehow always seem to come back together for adventure and mayhem.

Related GSIs: DEADPOOLPUNISHERSPIDER-GWENSPIDER-MAN (MILES MORALES)SPIDER-MAN (PETER PARKER)

Related Tags: 2099 RELAUNCH STORYLINE [2020]2099 VARIANT COVERS [2020]ABSOLUTE CARNAGE [2019]ALEX ROSS (CA)AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] NO. 300 COVER HOMAGEART ADAMS (CA)AVENGERSAVENGERS FAMILY TITLESAVENGERS VARIANT COVERS [2018]BILL SIENKIEWICZ (CA)BUBBLICIOUS GUM INSERT VARIANTS [1983]CROSS-PROPERTY CROSSOVERSCULLEN BUNN (W)DAREDEVIL FAMILY TITLESDEADPOOLELEKTRAFRANK CHO (CA)GHOST RIDERHULKHULK (BRUCE BANNER)HULK FAMILY TITLESINFERNO [1988]J. SCOTT CAMPBELL (CA)JIM LEE (CA)KRAVEN'S LAST HUNT [1987]LAKESIDE TATTOOZ INSERT VARIANTSLEE X-MEN TRADING CARD VARIANT COVERS [2017]MALIBU ULTRAVERSEMARVEL 'BRING ON THE BAD GUYS' VARIANT COVERS [2019]MARVEL 2099 UNIVERSE [1992]MARVEL 80TH ANNIVERSARY FRAME VARIANT COVERS [2019] (10)MARVEL 80TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIALS [2019]MARVEL 80TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2019]MARVEL BATTLE LINE VARIANT COVERS [2018]MARVEL FACSIMILE EDITIONSMARVEL HOW-TO-DRAW VARIANT COVERS [2017]MARVEL IMMORTAL WRAPAROUND VARIANT COVERS [2019]MARVEL IRON MAN 2020 VARIANT COVERS [2020]MARVEL LEGACY HEADSHOT VARIANT COVERS [2017]MARVEL LEGACY [2017]MARVEL LENTICULAR HOMAGE VARIANT COVERS [2017]MARVEL MILESTONE EDITIONS [1991-1999] (22)MARVEL NOW! 2.0 [2016]MARVEL NOW! [2012]MARVEL SKRULLS VARIANT COVERS [2019]MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURESMARVEL TRUE BELIEVERS REPRINTS [2015]MARVEL TSUNAMIMARVEL YOUNG BABY VARIANT COVERSMARVEL YOUNG GUNS VARIANT COVERS [2018]MARVELS 25TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE COVER VARIANTS [2019]MARY JANE VARIANT COVERS [2019]MARY JANE WATSON VARIANT COVERS [2017]PETER DAVID (W)PHOENIX VARIANT COVERS [2017]PUNISHERRED HULK (THUNDERBOLT ROSS)RETURN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR VARIANT COVERS [2018]RICK REMENDER (W)SCARLET SPIDER (BEN REILLY)SECRET WARS II [1985]SECRET WARS [1984]SPIDER-MANSPIDER-MAN (PETER PARKER)SPIDER-MAN FAMILY TITLESVENOMVENOM 30TH ANNIVERSARY VARIANT COVERS [2018]WAR OF THE REALMS [2019]WIZARD ACE EDITIONS (36)X-MENX-MEN FAMILY TITLES

Current Series

This is a curated list of the current series to help you get started with Venom comic books. The series listed in this section are predominantly series of individual comic issues, but the list can include digests and softcovers (and even hardcovers) if the material is original material.

VENOM relaunched its flagship title with a new #1 in May 2018, a few months before his very own feature film debuted in Oct 2018. WEB OF VENOM is a very interesting series of one-shots coming out approximatel quarterly. These self-contained stories tie-in tangentially to what is going on in the ongoing flagship title, but they stand alone as well. We've included short descriptions in the list below to help you evaluate all of the Venom offerings.

PublisherFrequencySeries 
MARVELOngoingVENOM [2018](flagship title)
MARVELAnnualVENOM ANNUAL [2019]
MARVELLimited (4)SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE [2020]
MARVELOne-ShotWEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE [2019](WEB OF VENOM is a series of one-shots (published approx quarterly) that tie into story beats of the ongoing title)
MARVELOne-ShotWEB OF VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE [2019](WEB OF VENOM is a series of one-shots (published approx quarterly) that tie into story beats of the ongoing title)
MARVELOne-ShotAMAZING SPIDER-MAN: VENOM 3D [2019](reprints AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #300 in 3D)
MARVELOne-ShotVENOM 2099 [2020](2099 relaunch tie-in)

Latest Jumping-On Points

Comic books are serialized periodicals. The absolute best place to jump on with any comic series is a series beginning, but, if the run has gotten lengthy, the beginning of a new story arc or of a new creative team are other great--and perfectly acceptable--places to get started right away. This section contains a curated list of the latest issues from current and recent series where you can get started in Venom. Look below for series beginning or start of a story arc. Subsequent sections explore the subject's publishing history and indicate other less recent places to get started in Venom.

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
VENOM #11
Quick View
Feb 2019VENOM [2018] #11   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #12
Quick View
Mar 2019VENOM [2018] #12   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #13
Quick View
Apr 2019VENOM [2018] #13   (WAR OF THE REALMS tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #14
Quick View
May 2019VENOM [2018] #14   (WAR OF THE REALMS tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #15
Quick View
Jun 2019VENOM [2018] #15   (WAR OF THE REALMS tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #16
Quick View
Jul 2019VENOM [2018] #16   UNAVAILABLE$2.59
      
VENOM ANNUAL #1
Quick View
Jul 2019VENOM ANNUAL [2019] #1   (stand-alone story)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
VENOM #17
Quick View
Aug 2019VENOM [2018] #17   (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #18
Quick View
Sep 2019VENOM [2018] #18   (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #19
Quick View
Oct 2019VENOM [2018] #19   (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #20
Quick View
Nov 2019VENOM [2018] #20   (ABSOLUTE CARNAGE tie-in)UNAVAILABLE$2.59
VENOM #21
Quick View
Dec 2019VENOM [2018] #21   (VENOM ISLAND, Part 1 (start of a story arc))PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE #1
Quick View
Nov 2019SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE [2020] #1   (Part 1 of 4 (mini-series beginning))UNAVAILABLE$2.59
SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE #2
Quick View
Dec 2019SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE [2020] #2   (Part 2 of 4)PRE-ORDER$3.99
$2.59
      
WEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE #1
Quick View
Apr 2019WEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE [2019] #1   (one-shot)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
WEB OF VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE #1
Quick View
Jul 2019WEB OF VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE [2019] #1   (one-shot)UNAVAILABLE$3.24
      
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: VENOM 3D #1
Quick View
Aug 2019AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: VENOM 3D [2019] #1   (one-shot)UNAVAILABLE$5.19
      
VENOM 2099 #1
Quick View
Dec 2019VENOM 2099 [2020] #1   (one-shot)PRE-ORDER$4.99
$3.24

PLEASE NOTE: The issues presented in this section are either in-stock issues or pre-order/pre-sale issues. To get the largest discount, new comic books can be pre-ordered two months before they are published. We offer pre-sale books for issues that we plan to have in stock when they are published. If you purchase pre-order/pre-sale comics now, you will be charged now, and the comics will be shipped after they are all published. If you mix in-stock issues with pre-order/pre-sale issues, you will create two orders subject to separate shipping charges. In-stock issues will ship right away.

Compilations

In modern comic publishing, it's common (and expected) for individual comic book issues to be collected into compilations of trade paperbacks and/or hardcovers, as well as other special compilations. Unlike the individual source issues, the collected editions typically stay in print for long periods and are less 'collectible.' If individual issues are out of reach or are not of interest to you or if you just need reading copies, the following collected editions of Venom comic books are the most recent in-print editions and are the perfect alternative to get started right away with Venom. The following compilations are presented in a chronologically-based suggested reading order with softcover editions before any hardcover editions (unless the only in-print editions are hardcover--these are integrated into the softcover list).

Venom has had a long publishing history, and not everything is in print at all times.

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CoverRelease MonthSeries / Number / Storyline
SPIDER-MAN: BIRTH OF VENOM Quick ViewMar 2007SPIDER-MAN: BIRTH OF VENOM [2007-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR Quick ViewOct 2011VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR [1997-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: SEPARATION ANXIETY Quick ViewDec 2016VENOM: SEPARATION ANXIETY [2016-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES Quick ViewSep 2018VENOM: PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: ALONG CAME A SPIDER... Quick ViewAug 2018VENOM: ALONG CAME A SPIDER... [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: TOOTH AND CLAW Quick ViewSep 2018VENOM: TOOTH AND CLAW [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM BY DANIEL WAY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION Quick ViewSep 2018VENOM BY DANIEL WAY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2011-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM VS. CARNAGE Quick ViewDec 2004VENOM VS. CARNAGE [2004-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: DARK ORIGIN Quick ViewAug 2018VENOM: DARK ORIGIN [2008-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM BY RICK REMENDER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL 01Quick ViewJun 2015VENOM BY RICK REMENDER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2015-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOM BY RICK REMENDER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION VOL 02Quick ViewAug 2015VENOM BY RICK REMENDER: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2015-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM BY CULLEN BUNN: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION Quick ViewSep 2018VENOM BY CULLEN BUNN: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT VOL 01Quick ViewJun 2016VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT [2016-TPB] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT VOL 02Quick ViewNov 2016VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT [2016-TPB] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM VOL 01: HOMECOMINGQuick ViewJun 2017VENOM [2017-TPB] VOL 01: HOMECOMING
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOM VOL 02: THE LAND BEFORE CRIMEQuick ViewOct 2017VENOM [2017-TPB] VOL 02: THE LAND BEFORE CRIME
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOM VOL 03: LETHAL PROTECTOR--BLOOD IN THE WATERQuick ViewJan 2018VENOM [2017-TPB] VOL 03: LETHAL PROTECTOR--BLOOD IN THE WATER
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: VENOM INC. Quick ViewMay 2018AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: VENOM INC. [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM AND X-MEN: POISON-X Quick ViewMay 2018VENOM AND X-MEN: POISON-X [2018-TPB]
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOL 01: REXQuick ViewNov 2018VENOM BY DONNY CATES [2019-TPB] VOL 01: REX
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOL 02: THE ABYSSQuick ViewApr 2019VENOM BY DONNY CATES [2019-TPB] VOL 02: THE ABYSS
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
      
VENOM: WAR OF THE REALMS Quick ViewAug 2019VENOM: WAR OF THE REALMS [2019-TPB]
  
UNAVAILABLE$10.39
      
VENOM UNLEASHED VOL 01Quick ViewAug 2019VENOM UNLEASHED [2019-TPB] VOL 01
  
UNAVAILABLE$11.69
      
VENOMNIBUS VOL 01Quick ViewJun 2018VENOMNIBUS [2018-HC] VOL 01
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon
VENOMNIBUS VOL 02Quick ViewFeb 2019VENOMNIBUS [2018-HC] VOL 02
CURRENT PRINTING
  
Available on Amazon Go to Amazon

1st Appearance

The first appearance of a character in comic book form is often the most valuable issue featuring that character. It's a nice place to get started in Venom, if it's within your budget. The alien symbiote is an integral part of Venom as a character, so it's a little more than just academic to note the symbiote's first appearance, in addition to Venom's first appearance. The first appearance of the symbiote/black costume is a little tricky, but it can be disentangled. The black costume appeared in three different series as part of the story only a few weeks apart. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #252 was the first and is easily the most valuable of the group, indicating fans place more weight on its significance. Two weeks later the costume appeared in both MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #141 and SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN [1976] #90 simultaneously. But even before these story appearances, the black costume was shown several times in preview sketches, but not part of any comic book story. Appearances such as this include the slightly more mainstream MARVEL AGE [1983] #12 and fanzine appearances in HEROES HOTLINE #8312, COMIC READER #215 and AMAZING HEROES [1981] #35 (likely the first sketch appearance in print). Rarely has a costume change alone warranted such publishing-wide scrutiny, but the black costume turned out to be not just a costume change. It turned out to be an alien symbiote which would go on to have a long story destiny of its own. The black costume was revealed to be an alien symbiote in MARVEL SUPER HERO SECRET WARS [1984] #8, published 28 Aug 1984.

Although Peter Parker (and a few other minor characters) hosted the alien symbiote first, Eddie Brock is the first host to be called Venom proper. Eddie's first appearance (without the symbiote) was in WEB OF SPIDER-MAN [1985] #18. Several characters have hosted the symbiote since Eddie and called themselves Venom. Two are worth mentioning, as they had more significant stories than the minor hosts. Max Gargan is the original Scorpion and merged with the alien symbiote as Venom. Norman Osborn used him as part of his Sinister Twelve and Dark Avengers. Flash Thompson, a character who--along with Peter Parker himself--first appeared way back in AMAZING FANTASY [1962] #15, is the most recent host to the alien symbiote as a character named Agent Venom. He was a government agent as first, but then went into space as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, calling himself Venom, Space Knight. In terms of pure value, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #300 is the winner as the most collectible first full appearance of Venom. While ardent fans may disagree--and courteous debate is healthy, most of the other items in the following list hold significance for valid reasons other than the '1st appearance' of Venom. They are included for completeness.

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #252  (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 31 Jan 1984)
  • MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #141  (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 14 Feb 1984)
  • SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN [1976] #90  (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 14 Feb 1984)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #299  (1st cameo appearance of Venom (Eddie Brock))
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #300  (*** 1st full appearance of Venom (Eddie Brock) ***)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [2003] #654  (1st appearance of Venom (Flash Thompson))

Origin Story

The original presentation of an origin story or a retelling/recounting of it can be a good place to get started with a character or subject. The recipe for the origin of Venom needs three ingredients (of varying significance): the origin of the black costume/alien symbiote, the origin of Eddie Brock, and the origin of how they came together.

  • MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS [1984] #8   (origin of alien symbiote/black costume)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #298-300   (introduction/origin story arc)
  • WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL [1985] #7   (3-page origin of Venom)
  • UNCANNY ORIGINS [1996] #7   (origin retold of Venom (Eddie Brock))

Main Publication History

Series beginnings are always great places to get started in comic books. Here is the Main Publication History for Venom comic books. Venom got his start in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963]. This list concentrates on his main headlining series after his initial appearances in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963]. Venom was a hugely popular character and made numerous appearances throughout the Marvel Universe in the early to mid 90's. From 1995 to 1998 Venom starred in a staggering string of 17 mini-series, all published back-to-back-to-back, equalling 60 issues total. Given there are nearly zero breaks between these mini-series, this could easily be considered technically one long series with numbering restarts at every single story arc (the mini-series' subtitles). After a five year break, Venom returned in his first 'long-numbered' series, VENOM [2003]. The venom symbiote would go one to bond with subsequent hosts and cause more mayhem. The 2017 event, VENOMVERSE, has done for Venom what SPIDER-VERSE did for Spider-Man: introduce a plethora of alternate versions of Venom, where any and all Marvel heroes are imagined to have become the Venom symbiote host.

  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #298-300, 315-317, 330-333, 344-347   (introduction/origin; early subsequent appearances)
  • VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR [1993] #1-6   
  • VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE [1993] #1-3   
  • VENOM: THE MADNESS [1993] #1-3   
  • VENOM: THE ENEMY WITHIN [1994] #1-3   
  • VENOM: THE MACE [1994] #1-3   
  • VENOM: NIGHTS OF VENGEANCE [1994] #1-4   
  • VENOM: SEPARATION ANXIETY [1994] #1-4   
  • VENOM: CARNAGE UNLEASHED [1995] #1-4   
  • VENOM: SINNER TAKES ALL [1995] #1-5   
  • VENOM: ALONG CAME A SPIDER [1996] #1-4   
  • VENOM: THE HUNTED [1996] #1-3   
  • VENOM: THE HUNGER [1996] #1-4   
  • VENOM: TOOTH AND CLAW [1996] #1-3   
  • VENOM: ON TRIAL [1997] #1-3   
  • VENOM: LICENSE TO KILL [1997] #1-3   
  • VENOM: SIGN OF THE BOSS [1997] #1-2   
  • VENOM: FINALE [1997] #1-3   
  • VENOM [2003] #1-18   
  • VENOM VS. CARNAGE [2004] #1-4   
  • VENOM: DARK ORIGIN [2008] #1-5   
  • VENOM [2011] #1-42   (Flash Thompson version)
  • THUNDERBOLTS [2013] #1-32   (Flash Thompson version is a team member)
  • VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT [2016] #1-13   (Flash Thompson version)
  • VENOM [2017] #1-6, 150-165   
  • EDGE OF VENOMVERSE [2017] #1-5   
  • VENOMVERSE [2017] #1-5   
  • VENOMIZED [2018] #1-5   
  • VENOM [2018] #1-   
  • VENOM: FIRST HOST [2018] #1-5   
  • VENOM ANNUAL [2018] #1   
  • SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: DOUBLE TROUBLE [2020] #1-4   (mind-swap story)
  • VENOM 2099 [2020] #1   (2099 relaunch tie-in)

Secondary Publication History

Venom has had countless appearances in the Marvel Universe. There is little utility in documenting every single guest appearance of Venom throughout his long publishing history. But there are some ancillary stories worth mentioning that do not fall into Main Publishing History of the previous section. These are Venom's one-shots and serialized arcs of particular note.

  • AVENGERS: DEATH TRAP, THE VAULT [1991-GN] nn   
  • WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL [1985] #26   (FIRST KILL!, Part 1 of 3; Venom solo story occurs chronologically prior to WEB OF SPIDER-MAN [1985] #18)
  • SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL [1979] #12   (FIRST KILL!, Part 2 of 3)
  • WEB OF SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL [1985] #3   (FIRST KILL!, Part 3 of 3)
  • INCREDIBLE HULK VS. VENOM [1994] #1   (mail-order only one-shot)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1   (PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES, Part 1 of 5: THE FAR CRY!)
  • SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1   (PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES, Part 2 of 5: LURKERS!)
  • VENOM SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1   (PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES, Part 3 of 5: MONSTERWORLD!)
  • SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1   (PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES, Part 4 of 5: INVASION!)
  • WEB OF SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1   (PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES, Part 5 of 5: MORTAL VICTORY)
  • RUNE VS. VENOM [1995] #1   (crossover with Malibu Ultraverse)
  • SPIDER-MAN: THE VENOM AGENDA [1998] #1   
  • VENOM/DEADPOOL: WHAT IF? [2011] #1   
  • VENOM: FLASHPOINT [2011] #1   (reprints material from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [2003] #654)
  • WEB OF VENOM: VE'NAM [2018] #1   (WEB OF VENOM is a series of one-shots (published approx quarterly) that tie into story beats of the ongoing title)
  • VENOM ADVENTURES DIGEST [2018-DIG]    
  • MARVEL SUPER HERO ADVENTURES: INFERNO [2018] #1   (all-ages team-up one-shot)
  • WEB OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN [2019] #1   
  • MARVEL TALES: VENOM [2019] #1   (one-shot reprinting noteworthy Venom stories)
  • WEB OF VENOM: UNLEASHED [2019] #1   
  • WEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE [2019] #1   
  • WEB OF VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE [2019] #1   

Selected Key Storylines

This section contains a curated list of some of the best storylines for Venom, any one of which can be a good place to get started.

Key Storyline cover 1 for VENOMKey Storyline cover 2 for VENOMKey Storyline cover 3 for VENOMKey Storyline cover 4 for VENOM
1988AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #299-300   (VENOM, introduction of Venom (Eddie Brock))
1992AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #361-363   (SAVAGE GENESIS!, introduction of Carnage)
1993VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR [1993] #1-6   (LETHAL PROTECTOR, Venom as anti-hero, first solo mini-series, kicking off a staggering string of 17 back-to-back-to-back mini-series)
1993MAXIMUM CARNAGE event storyline   (14-parts of pure 90's crossover excitement)
1996VENOM: THE HUNGER [1996] #1-4   (THE HUNGER, a stand-out of the long string of Venom mini-series)
2003VENOM [2003] #1-5   (SHIVER, revelations about the Venom symbiote's past)
2004VENOM VS. CARNAGE [2004] #1-4   (symbiote madness from Peter Milligan and Clayton Crain)
2007THUNDERBOLTS [2006] #110-115   (MONSTERS, Warren Ellis' dark take on a group of would-be heroes)
2008AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [2003] #568-573   (NEW WAYS TO DIE, introduction of Anti-Venom (Eddie Brock))
2009DARK REIGN: SINISTER SPIDER-MAN [2009] #1-4   (Venom (Max Gargan) shines as the ultimate killing monster)
2011VENOM [2011] #1-4   (Rick Remender establishes the compelling Agent Venom (Flash Thomspon))
2012VENOM [2011] #13, 13.1-13.5   (VENOM: CIRCLE OF FOUR, strong Remender story arc with Ghost Rider, X-23, Hulk, and Agent Venom)

Media Source Material

If you've enjoyed non-comic media for Venom, this section describes the comic book source material for some of the most popular non-comic media. WARNING: This section may contain spoilers!

Media source material cover for VENOM

Sam Raimi's 2002-2007 film series, SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN 2, and SPIDER-MAN 3, introduced movie audiences to Venom in the third installment. SPIDER-MAN 3 introduced the Sandman and Venom and concluded the previously established Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) plot thread. Venom's (Eddie Brock) origin was faithful to the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #299-300 VENOM storyline, with the exception of the source of the symbiote. In the comics, Spider-Man joins with the symbiote during the cosmic crossover series, MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS [1984]. The film has the symbiote arrive via a meteorite and find Spider-Man by coincidence.

Media source material cover for VENOM

In 2014, Venom had a cameo appearance at the end of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. This second series of Spider-Man films from Sony sputtered to a halt before a planned stand-alone Venom film could be produced.

Media source material cover for VENOM

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR from Marvel in 2016 and SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING from Sony in 2017 have established the 'Sony Marvel Universe,' a pseudo-shared universe with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that exists coincidentally, but are not fully integrated. Sony released VENOM (2018) in Oct 2018, but it is a spin-off film with no real ties to existing film continuities. Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock/Venom in a story that borrows heavily from a couple comic book sources: the PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES storyline and the VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR mini-series. The PLANET OF THE SYMBIOTES storyline ran through a series of five spider-family SUPER SPECIAL one-shots in 1995: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1, SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1, VENOM SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1, SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1, and WEB OF SPIDER-MAN SUPER SPECIAL [1995] #1. While the plot of the comic books is a little more involved than the plot of the film, they both involve an invasion of Earth by symbiotes with Venom as a key character trying to stop the invasion force. The comic book mini-series LETHAL PROTECTOR is about Venom trying to stop a group of his own symbiote offspring from running rampant. Some of his offspring's names are the same as film symbiote names. Both the LETHAL PROTECTOR comic series and the film take place in San Francisco. In the film, the Life Foundation and its leader, Carlton Drake, are responsible for bringing the symbiotes back to Earth from a cometary research mission. The first appearance of the Life Foundation and Carlton Drake in comics is AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #298. The Life Foundation appears in the LETHAL PROTECTOR mini-series as well. In the movie, Eddie Brock's fiancée is Ann Weyling. In comics, Ann Weyling would become the first She-Venom in VENOM: SINNER TAKE ALL [1995] #3. (This is her first full appearance; She-Venom had a cameo appearance in the preceding issue #2.) To bring it back to Eddie, the film version of Ann bonds with the Venom symbiote, effectively becoming the She-Venom for the first time. The comic book character, Ann Weyling, was introduced in comics in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #375. The mid-credits scene introduces Cletus Kasady. Cletus Kasady made his first cameo appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #344 and his first full appearance in the next issue #345. The first comic book appearance of Carnage is AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #361. The financial success of the VENOM film virtually guarantees at least one sequel.

Key Issues

A key issue can be an acceptable place to get started with Venom, but they are more of a collector's checklist, as they can carry high price tags.

Key Issue cover 1 for VENOMKey Issue cover 2 for VENOMKey Issue cover 3 for VENOMKey Issue cover 4 for VENOM
  • MARVEL AGE [1983] #12   (preview of Spider-Man's new black costume)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #252   (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 31 Jan 1984)
  • MARVEL TEAM-UP [1972] #141   (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 14 Feb 1984)
  • SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN [1976] #90   (1st black costume in this series, May 1984 cover date, published 14 Feb 1984)
  • MARVEL SUPER HEROES SECRET WARS [1984] #8   (origin of alien symbiote/black costume)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #299   (1st cameo appearance of Venom (Eddie Brock))
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #300   (1st full appearance of Venom (Eddie Brock); last black costume)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #344   (cameo appearance of Cletus Kasady (pre-Carnage))
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #345   (1st full appearance of Cletus Kasady (pre-Carnage))
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [1963] #361   (1st full appearance of Carnage)
  • VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR [1993] #1   (1st Venom solo issue)
  • VENOM: FUNERAL PYRE [1993] #1   (1st issue of this series)
  • VENOM VS. CARNAGE [2004] #1   (1st issue of series)
  • AMAZING SPIDER-MAN [2003] #654   (1st appearance of Venom (Flash Thompson))
  • VENOM [2011] #1   (1st issue of series by Rick Remender)
  • VENOM/DEADPOOL: WHAT IF? [2011] #1   (mega-hot back issue, collects the 4-part backup story from 4 other WHAT IF? Issues)
  • VENOM [2017] #1   (1st issue of series)
  • EDGE OF VENOMVERSE [2017] #1   (introduction of the Venomverse)