, or the Venom Symbiote
, is a fictional extraterrestrial life form appearing in books published by Marvel Comics
, specifically those featuring Spider-Man
. The creature is a sentient alien Symbiote
, with a gooey, almost liquid-like form. It requires a host, usually human, to bond with for its survival. In return the Venom creature gives its host enhanced powers. When the Venom Symbiote bonds with a human, that new dual-life form itself is also often called Venom. The Symbiote's first known host was Spider-Man, who eventually separated himself from the creature when he discovered it was a life form attempting to permanently bond itself to him. The Symbiote went on to merge with other hosts and so began its reign as the villain known as Venom. Its second host, Eddie Brock
, after bonding with the Symbiote to become the first Venom, is one of Spider-Man's archenemies
Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy
writes of the character: "What started out as a replacement costume for Spider-Man turned into one of the Marvel web-slinger's greatest nightmares."
Venom was ranked as the 22nd Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time in IGN
's list of the top 100 comic villains,
and 33rd on Empire'
s 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters.