Over the years, the Venom symbiote has had countless hosts, but some rise above the rest. The symbiote has many inherent powers – from enhanced strength and agility to being able to form into different shapes – but it’s at its strongest when it’s enhancing a host’s existing abilities. Spider-Man may have become a powerhouse when he wore the black Venom suit, but in the right hands, the symbiote isn’t just superhuman – it’s a god.

Created by Knull – the primordial void made flesh – symbiotes were always intended to be extensions of his will, enslaving all other forms of life to his bleak vision. However, the symbiotes eventually rebelled, earning freedom even as the rest of the galaxy saw them as predators. Since then, individual symbiotes have been both world-saving heroes and sickening villains, often influenced by the personalities of their hosts. However, while initially seen as just another alien species, the symbiotes’ cosmic origin means they can possess pretty much anything, no matter how powerful. From Asgardian gods to gamma-powered monsters, here are the ten hosts who truly tapped into Venom’s potential, and the insane abilities they gained by doing so.

Related:Venom’s Upgraded Hydra Powers Finally Justified His Name


10 Drax the Destroyer

drax as venom

During Flash Thompson’s time as Space Knight Venom with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the symbiote, becoming uncontrollable, took the opportunity to fuse with various members of the Guardians, finally landing on Drax in Brian Michael Bendis, Valerio Schiti, and David López’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 #22. While each member of the team brings something new to the symbiote – from Groot’s horrifying tendrils to Rocket Raccoon’s gun hands – it’s Drax who is the most impressive, effortlessly taking down the entire team. Drax is often underestimated, but fusing with Venom reminded fans he was created as an unstoppable engine of destruction.

9 Thor

venom thor symbiote

Thor Vol 6 #28 by Al Ewing, Donny Cates and Salvador Larroca features the God of Thunder combining with Meridius, a time-traveling version of Venom from the far future. Possessing all Thor’s godly abilities turned up to 11, the new combination called itself the God in Black, and gave Thor the boost he needed to beat Darkoth the Death Demon, who wielded Mjolnir’s dark opposite. There are only a handful of beings in creation that Thor can’t conquer alone, but when Darkoth proved to be one of them, the God in Black did what the God of Thunder couldn’t.

Related: The Venom Symbiote Gave Rocket Raccoon The Perfect Superpower

8 Captain Marvel

captain marvel venom

In Siege: Spider-Man #1 by Brian Reed and Marco Santucci, Carol Danverse is possessed by the symbiote, which delights in its new host. Captain Marvel is a conduit for cosmic energy, possessing the power of a literal star at her strongest level. When Venom took control, it began literally leaking cosmic energy, revelling in the overwhelming strength and the novel power of flight. Thankfully, Venom got so greedy for energy that Carol was able to siphon enough to break free before the symbiote was able to access the planet-shattering full potential of her abilities.

7 Hulk

Symbiote Hulk

In Absolute Carnage: Immortal Hulk #1 by Al Ewing and Filipe Andrade, Bruce Banner’s various personas vote whether to bond with the symbiote in order to defeat Carnage, a combination which they note has never happened before. Hulk has limitless power, and yet the Venom symbiote was able to keep pace, pounding on the godlike Dark Carnage, who had been empowered by Knull himself. While Carnage was sadly able to break the connection, Venom-Hulk’s short tenure confirmed that just like the Jade Giant, there’s no upper limit to Venom’s strength when he has the right host.

Related: Carnage’s New Weapon Makes Him Marvel’s Next God-Level Threat

6 Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider and Venom mash-up fighting bad guys

Edge of Venomverse #3 – by Simon Spurrier and Tigh Walker – features a multiversal Venom variant known as the ‘Host Rider’. This Venom is a combination of the Symbiote with Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider, removing Venom’s weakness to fire and creating an unstoppable vengeance monster with no morality. Ghost Rider is one of Marvel’s most powerful forces, able to destroy any being worthy of vengeance, and Venom tears a fiery path through his enemies. What’s particularly notable about this combo however is how it removed one of Venom’s only weaknesses, showing how the symbiote’s best matches are more than the sum of their parts. And yet, shockingly, this wasn’t the most impressive time Venom bonded with a Spirit of Vengeance…

5 Red Hulk & Ghost Rider

Red Hulk venom Ghost Rider fusion.

In Venom Vol 2 #13.4 by Rick Remender, Jeff Parker, Rob Williams and Lan Medina, Thunderbolt Ross – aka Red Hulk – bonds with both the Venom symbiote and Ghost Rider’s Spirit of Vengeance, becoming a hellfire-charged, Venomised Hulk. Given that Red Hulk has single-handedly felled Thor and that Ghost Rider is one of the few beings capable of wiping out the regular Hulk, it’s hard to imagine just how powerful this version of the symbiote (known as the Circle of Four) actually was. Though shortlived, this partnership was fittingly consequential, saving the entire planet from the machinations of the demonic Blackheart.

Related: Bonding with the Void Turned Venom into a New Species

4 Malekith

venom malekith

Malekith’s War of the Realms saw the Dark Elf using his magic to forcefully bond with the Venom symbiote in War of the Realms #3 by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman. He then went on to summon All-Black, the first ever symbiote created by the Symbiote god Knull, to wield in its Necrosword form. It takes the full force of the Marvel Universe and multiple Thors to stop Malaketh’s advance as he cuts a path with All-Black and uses the symbiote to create the Dark Elf/Venom amalgam ‘Svartalfvenom.’ Malekith used his dark magic to enhance Venom, not just upgrading its shapeshifting abilities, but allowing it to possess many of his soldiers at once, turning Venom into a one-symbiote army.

3 Reed Richards

venom mister fantastic reed richards

In the alternate timeline of Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow by Chip Zdarsky and Pasqual Ferry, Spider-Man never gave up the Venom symbiote, and was corrupted into becoming a killer hero. After Peter finally separates himself from it, the symbiote infects Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic, and uses its new genius-level intelligence to synthesize a symbiote army using the Fantastic Four’s unstable molecules. In under a day, the Venom-Reed has infected countless other heroes, all under his command, and turned the Baxter Building into a personal fortress. The symbiote then murders Reed, eliminating his genius mind so its plan can’t be undone. While Reed’s stretching powers gave Venom a new ‘Alien Queen’-like form, it was actually his mind that made it more dangerous than ever, granting it the wherewithal to bend all New York’s heroes to its will.

Related: Marvel Reveals the Greatest Symbiote Hero, And It’s Not Venom

2 Eddie Brock

venom king in black

The original Venom may have started out as little more than a cannibalistic Spider-Man, but Eddie Brock’s recent tenure as King in Black, God of all Symbiotes, cements him as one of the most powerful of all of Venom’s hosts. With Knull’s defeat in King in Black #5 by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, Eddie takes on the ancient God’s title and total control of all symbiotes. A god by any definition, Eddie Brock eventually passed the Venom symbiote down to his son, since he was now able to project his consciousness into any symbiote across time and space, as well as accessing shocking new cosmic powers so strong, he effortlessly combined Mjolnir and Silver Surfer’s board into his personal weapon.

1 The Genetic Codex

venom with babies

In Venom: The End by Adam Warren and Chamba, readers get to see a future in which the Venom symbiote uses its innate ability to store biological DNA from its former hosts to become the last bastion of biological life in the entire universe. Facing an ascended form of artificial intelligence for the fate of all life, Venom uses the time travel powers of multiple mutants to fuse with literally every person in existence, becoming a complete genetic codex and gaining every superpower that ever existed. After repopulating countless planets, Venom eventually rips itself apart, spreading its accumulated DNA to bring life back to the galaxy.

Venom has spent plenty of time fighting supervillains on the streets, but his limitless potential has also made him the ultimate weapon of the gods, and even the final protector of all life – all it takes is the right host!

More: Venom’s New Form Is His ‘Creepiest Ever,’ Promises Marvel

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