This Venom VS Spider-Man guide will explore how they’ve been at odds since the first incarnation of the Alien Symbiotes’ attachment to Eddie Brock.
The Symbiote, the alien species that bonded with Eddie Brock, is known as Venom by fans worldwide. It wasn’t always so; however, it used to be bonded to Spider-Man. Where it was just Spider-Man in a dark suit.
Spider-Man freed himself of the Symbiote, and Eddie Brock picked it up. Mutual hate for Spider-Man was the catalyst that truly created Venom. This hate would be everything the character was about for a long time.
Sure, he became an anti-hero, a lovable character, and even got his own franchise. But Spider-Man VS Venom is the origin of Venom. He is one of the most brutal enemies Peter Parker has ever faced.
Let’s dive into this history and see who comes out on top in our hypothetical Final Verdict versus the battle of these iconic pillars of the Spider-Verse.
Bottom line Upfront
We’ll examine the history of these two, their battles and team-ups. We’ll use this to make a verdict on who may win in this long-standing battle should they meet in fair combat.
Key Differences Between Them
- Spider-Man is the more resourceful, intelligent, slightly quicker and more agile hero with web-shooters.
- Venom is slightly stronger, regenerates more quickly from damage and has the ability to morph his symbiote into useful or dangerous shapes.
- Venom is weak to fire and high-pitch sounds, something Spider-Man knows.
- Spider-Man has a his fabled Spidey Sense, but it’s nearly useless against the symbiote.
There is a reason this is an all time classic brawl. It’s very even, so let’s dive deeper into these characters and their pasts.
Why Wrath VS Responsibility?
Venom is, in many ways, an enhanced Spider-Man when it comes to his powers. Spidey has webs and Spidey-Sense, but he is not as strong as Venom. Not to mention Venom can use his arms to launch similar web-like shoots to mimic Spider-Man’s webbing. Also, Spidey’s Spidey-Sense suffers a bit around Venom, having been bonded with the Symbiote once.
So, I wanted to delve into a big difference between them when I approached the title. You may see this portrayed throughout as we explore the history of these two comic book icons.
Spider-Man nearly always fights for what he believes is a responsibility, a sense of honor, and the moral standard he holds for himself and others with great power. This is reflected in how he fights, why he fights, and his actions during those encounters.
Venom…well, Venom is vengeful. He is full of that good old horseman characteristic, that carnal sin, wrath. His every reason to fight in almost any instance is due to how angry his enemy has made him. Even as an anti-hero, his wrath comes from anger about how certain villains conduct themselves or prey on the weak.
When these two enter a fight, it is on the far end of these reason spectrums. This will come into play during the Final Verdict.
That First Encounter
Battleworld. This place first appeared in Marvel’s Secret Wars #8 back in 1984, where Spider-Man discovered the black, alien substance that bonded with him to become his famed Black Suit for the first time.
In Spider-Man #252 that same year(actually coming out a bit earlier in the year, but in the Marvel timeline, it happens afterward), Peter Parker goes into the world with his black symbiote suit.
Fans didn’t like it that much.
The writers scrambled to come up with an idea to get the Symbiote off him, and six comics later, they came up with the most money idea they had ever scrambled.
The Symbiote wanted to bond permanently with Parker. It was causing problems with his personality, and Parker had to reach out to the Fantastic Four for help. Where they learned that the Symbiote was weak to fire and sound.
Splitting the Symbiote from Parker’s body worked, but it wasn’t dead. It desired still to bond permanently with someone for revenge against the one who refused it. It found none other than its true soul mate. Eddie Brock.
Soon, Venom was born. All he wanted to do, was kill the one who injured him, who refused him. Eddie Brock, who was so downtrodden by his failure compared to Parker, was about to take his own life(Comics can get deep). Venom gave him purpose, and Eddie gave Venom life. This was the villain Venom was meant to be; this was the wrath I talked of.
Fury was coming for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and it would not be stopped.
Eventually, they had a brawl for all when Venom tried to put Mary Jane in harm’s way to punish Parker. Peter outsmarted Venom, forcing him to use his “webbing,” which was part of the Symbiote’s body, unlike Parker’s. Stretching itself too thin, Spider-Man was able to attack Eddie and defeat Venom. First true victory, Spider-Man.
Venom Becomes an Anti-Hero
Unlike the dark suit Spidey wore, Venom became liked by fans pretty quickly. The Symbiote, however, became a go-to for creation by the writers in the Spider-Verse.
The first fallout of the Symbiote is the creation of Carnage.
Carnage is one of the most dangerous villains to arise in the Spider-Verse. Its first iteration was a red piece of goo born from the Venom Symbiote when it was removed from Eddie or came back onto Eddie. It is essentially, originally, Vemon’s kid.
That is not the case in the current films, but this is important for Venom’s significant rise as an anti-hero.
When Eddie breaks out of jail thanks to his Symbiote finally coming back to him, the little piece of it that drips off during the escape attaches to his crazy, murderous cellmate. A cellmate who was about to kill Eddie before he transformed into Venom.
Cletus Kasady, Carnage was soon to bring hell to everyone.
A Change of Heart
Venom was shown not to be a bad guy. At least as Eddie, who was just a man struggling with finding peace and plagued by his inescapable hatred for Spider-Man.
The next they meet Eddie Brock and Spider-Man have a second brawl in which Peter does something unheard of for a hero.
Knowing the only negative characteristic at this point in the comics about Venom is his need for Parker’s death, he fakes his death. He makes Venom believe he has killed Spider-Man and leaves him alone. Eddie becomes instantly happy, and Venom becomes pretty chill and starts a new content life on an island away from the world, which sees him as a villain.
Peter leaves him like that…until Carnage comes.
Carnage wrecks Spider-Man, and no one seems to be much help. This forced Parker to go to the only other enemy similar to this red Symbiote for help.
After a very intense confrontation, Venom teams up with Spider-Man to take down his insane cellmate, who he feels somewhat responsible for creating. It is not an easy fight, but they win, and Venom still doesn’t like Spider-Man(who imprisons Eddie afterward…bit of a dick move).
When Venom returns next, he goes right after Parker for arguably some righteous vengeance. Kidnapping Parker’s Family members to lure Spider-Man out, Venom confronts him in an all-out brawl.
Eddie Brock’s ex-wife almost dies during the brawl. Still, Spider-Man saves her…and she convinces Venom that killing Spider-Man out of hate would lead to more innocent deaths, much like hers would have been. Venom agrees to leave Spider-Man alone, and he goes on from here to be an anti-hero.
Some new fans may forget that Venom’s creation was solely a foil for Spider-Man. Writer’s don’t, and the two fight each other time and time again throughout the years. He gets to be the good guy now and then in his own comics and, eventually, his own film franchise.
Has Venom ever Defeated Spider-Man?
Sort of but…not really. Though there are some essential encounters to look at, though.
As earlier mentioned, Spider-Man did fake his death to give Venom a start at a new life. It was a show of kindness in some ways, but it wasn’t just kindness. Spider-Man realized during the fight he could not, at the time, go blow for blow with Venom. The battle would end in death, so it was better if he just faked his own.
The Symbiote, Venom, has attached itself to others and was even attached to Flash Thompson for a long time. This is interesting because Flash added a projectile weapon and a more thought-out approach to Venom’s game. Also, he was generally a good guy, though Peter Parker and he did have it out.
In the fight, technically, Venom wins. Although this is notable, I am using the Eddie Brock version of Venom for this encounter, just as I am using the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man. In the case of these two, the “hero” always overcomes the “villain.”
This is important to keep in mind because it will not be hero VS villain in the final verdict.
What’s interesting from examining the fights is that while Venom is physically stronger, Spider-Man is often faster. Comic writers seem to be more combat sports fans than I realized because speed does a lot of the impact damage of a strike. Such as a punch or a kick.
While overall strength plays less of a part in how hard someone hits, the muscles that allow you to move faster are greatly linked to striking damage. This is relevant because, by studying the fights, we see Spider-Man has a more brutal punch.
Venom can fling Spider-Man around with ease. Yes, Venom can also morph his body into sharp, dangerous weapon-like spears. Still, Parker’s reaction time has shown to be good enough to avoid dying from this time and time again. Overall strength will matter more for Venom than his tendrils, and going blow for blow could be a poor choice.
I think I need to review their team-ups a bit more.
The team-ups between Spider-Man and Venom are almost always to deal with Carnage. The stronger, deadly offspring of Venom.
The Maximum Carnage storyline is the best of these. It led to Carnage becoming a threat to much of the Marvel Universe. Heroes from all over came to help Spidey and Venom stop. Carnage proved to be the most overpowered of the Spider-Man Menagerie of Villans at the time, with Shriek, who had joined him, seeming a close second.
Captain America, Iron Fist, and even Cloak and Dagger came to help. Carnage handled them all. He had Shriek send out psychic waves turning everyday people into murderous mobs. Running roughshod over New York City, Carnage was on a tear. Venom wanted to finish him for good, and Spider-Man wanted to find another way.
All the heroes had got their tale handed to them at some point by Carnage near the end, so Venom couldn’t see eye-to-eye with Spidey on this and went off solo.
The heroes did find a way to do some good-guy type turnaround. They had a way of forcing feelings like remorse and guilt into their enemies, while Carnage was being too indulgent. The red monster had turned on his own allies(the few he had accumulated). This led to the heroes being able to activate their plan and take out Carnage’s team.
Carnage escaped, but he was befuddled and hated the “feelings” they gave him. He wouldn’t let them drown out his joy for, well, carnage.
Venom was still solo and hunting Carnage during this time. Lucky is the vigilant…for Carnage found Venom first. A bloody battle ensued, and it was Venom, alone, who defeated the powerful red Symbiote. It was implied that he had killed Carnage by frying him up in electrical wires.
Spider-Man, bless the web-crawlers heart, has never taken down Carnage in a 1 VS 1 scenario. Yes, Carnage was a little off-kilter with the “feelings bomb,” but still, this is a big feat.
This is by no means a small Final Verdict to consider. Every time we examine their history, and one clearly has an advantage, something else that sways it in the other direction comes to light.
See also: Spiderman vs Wolverine: Web vs Claw
Eddie Brock has been portrayed in cartoons and live-action films by some incredible talent. Tom Hardy is arguably the best and most recognized live-action Venom. However, this Venom’s origins are far different than previous portrayals. It has never been bonded to Spider-Man, has no ties to the web-slinger, and, contrary to perception, is weaker than some of its comic book depictions.
In addition, this Eddie Brock begins as a decent human being, and the two have more of a bonded friendship than an evolved personality. Sharing choices, and though I am a fan of the films, this version of Venom isn’t as likely to handle Spider-Man as the comic book version.
Venom could mess with Parker’s Spidey-Sense because it had once been bonded with him. It knew a lot about his fighting style and did so well against him based on this fact.
Whereas the many iterations of Spider-Man are pretty on level with their comic counterparts. Especially the current version portrayed by Tom Holland, who is getting stronger with each film and has access to Tony Stark level tech. Though it should be noted that if the two fought in film, it would still be even as this Spider-Man does not yet know Venom’s weakness to fire or sound.
The possibility of them clashing in live-action form is high. Keep an eye out.
See also: Batman Endgame Explained
It’s time. Peter Parker and Eddie Brock walk into the arena. No other soul in sight for miles. No City. A coliseum of old, if you will.
Spider-Man has his mask off, and Eddie hasn’t put Venom up yet. There’s history here, and we’ll lean into that a bit to make sure this fight has stakes.
Spider-Man sees Venom as an unstoppable monster that would attack his family and never stop until Parker is dead.
Venom sees Spider-Man as a “fake” good guy, who betrayed him, cost him his job, and left the Symbiote for dead.
There’s a silence.
Spider-Man didn’t bring any tricks. It’s not how these VS battles work. So, he’s looking at an all-out brawl he believes he can’t win.
“There’s no choice,” The words are for himself as much as for Eddie.
“None at all,” That’s what Venom wanted to hear. The fear, the conviction, like The Shot Heard Around the World. Parker’s words start the fight.
The black Symbiote wraps around Eddie, and Venom charges at Spider-Man. Venom is a more reckless fighter, relying on his many skills, something Spider-Man has to do on occasion.
Yet, Parker is an intellectual, and he’s fought every kind of bad guy. His reaction time is better, and his every attack is planned two steps in advance. Neither is a martial artist nor a great manipulator of joints. But Parker manages to use Venom’s momentum against him based solely on his experiences.
Venom takes a lot of the first hits. Only ever-grazing Spider-Man. Parker can’t land a solid punch without putting himself at risk, and the longer the fight goes on, the better Venom gets a read on his foe’s plans. This we learn from their history.
Though Venom suffers plenty of blows, Parker is the first one to feel wounded. His arms are grabbed, and web-shooters are crushed into his wrists. A stiff dropkick sends Venom crashing into the walls of this coliseum as Spider-Man processes the pain. Spidey will heal, but Venom is healing faster.
Shades of his encounter with Wolverine occur, only this is different. Venom isn’t going to stop, he is going to end Parker’s life, and he has more reach and more abilities than Logan. Yet, Spider-Man is the better thinker between the two of them.
If Spider-Man dies in this fight, who will take up his place? Parker stops brawling and starts thinking as Venom is already moving toward him.
The fight becomes a chase. It is now brains VS brawn. Spider-Man uses his speed advantage and mind to locate anything that can make fire. Venom, determined, will catch Parker more than once in this race, and sometimes Spider-Man will take heavy damage.
Bloodied, determined, goading Venom to do the very thing that Eddie did in their first fight and expend more of the Symbiote to catch the leaping, agile Spider-Man. Parker trudges onward.
This would work, not as well as it did the first time, but enough that Spider-Man would realize no fire or high pitch sound is coming to him before Venom finishes what he started.
Venom, swinging with one arm and tossing anything he can grab by morphing his other arm into a sling-like weapon, will catch and finish Parker. So, new plan. That big Spider-Man brain.
During this chase, the Symbiote is spread thin. Spider-Man is keeping an eye out for any signs of Eddie’s flesh. Parker’s incredible agility allows him to turn with great speed when it appears.
Spider-Man grabs the arm of Eddie Brock with one hand and, with his other hand, reaches in, ripping the Symbiote off.
He takes more heavy damage in this amazing endeavor, but throwing the Symbiote to the ground and knocking Eddie unconscious is not the end of the fight. The Venom Symbiote attacks him. Parker rips open his broken web-shooters and encases the Venom Symbiote in webbing.
This he would eventually burn, ending Venom. Spider-Man wins.
I give this fight to Spider-Man only 6 out of 10 times. It is plausible Venom caught him during his run or skewers him when he tries to rip the Symbiote off. It is the more unlikely conclusion. However, it is possible.
Question: Who is stronger, Venom or Spider-Man?
Answer: Venom is stronger.
Question: Did Spider-Man kill Venom?
Answer: In the Spider-Man 3 film, it does seem that way. But not in the comics.
Question: Who has won more fights, Spider-Man or Venom?
Answer: Spider-Man has the higher win ratio at the moment.
Question: Why does Venom hate Spider-Man?
Answer: The symbiote Venom hates him for rejecting him. Eddie Brock hates Peter Parker for getting the scoops on his stories, and debunking some of his work cost him his career.
These characters are beloved for different reasons and forever linked at the hip. I hope you enjoyed our take on the long rivalry between Venom and Spider-Man.
Farewell, True Believers.