Archrivals: Spider-Man vs Venom

It’s spiders and symbiotes galore as we salivate over some of the great Spider-Man/Venom slugfests of yore



By Jim Beard Insane even by alien symbiote standards, Venom's got a mad-on for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that burns bright battle after battle. VENOM: DARK ORIGIN #1, by the incredible team of Zeb Wells & Angel Medina, due on August 6, illuminates the dark spots of the saga between loser Eddie Brock and the alien parasite that changed his life, just in time for the sinister symbiote to slither its way back into Spidey's life this August and September in the six-part "New Ways to Die" epic spinning into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN courtesy of Dan Slott and John Romita Jr. Together, Brock and Venom cemented their place in Spider-Man history forever as one of Peter Parker's deadliest opponents—and this new limited series aims to shed a bit of life on that malignant partnership. Now, drool over these choice historic tussles betwixt Spider and Symbiote!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #258 (1984) After gaining his dope black duds in SECRET WARS #8, Spider-Man soon sensed something wasn't quite fresh about said threads. Peter swung off to consult with Dr. Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, and ol' Big Brain scanned the problem: the suit possessed a mind of its own, and not a terribly friendly one. Spidey's first struggle with the Venom symbiote ended under a barrage of sonics and Peter believed he'd seen the last of the alien stickum.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #300 (1988) The symbiote joined with journalist Eddie Brock and together the pair's only collective thought amounted to "Kill Spider-Man!" Joined in fierce battle on the roof of Our Lady of Saints Church, Spidey and the newly-revealed Venom both depleted their reserves until a terrifyingly high fall delivered Brock & Co. to Slumberland—and back into Fantastic Four HQ incarceration.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #332 (1990) Not even the super-secure prison known as the Vault could hold the living ball of fury known as Venom. Back on the trail of Spider-Man, Brock lured his nemesis to a public park where a tense battle ensued. In the midst of the titanic tussle, innocents became entangled in Venom's rage over Spider-Man and a baby's life hung in the balance. Peter then witnessed an incredible sight: the symbiote rescued the child and put the kibosh on any further fisticuffs.

VENOM: FINALE #2-3 (1997-1998) Alongside the Overreach Committee and a certain Agent Smith, Spider-Man confronted an amnesiac Venom in the heart of the city. Hoping to trap the symbiote with sonics, Spidey and Smith's plan blew up in their faces and the super hero resorted to old-fashioned streetfighting. Eddie Brock's deeply-buried hatred of Peter erupted in full-force during the melee, endangering Spidey, but a last-minute shot of Dopamine inhibitors from Smith put the capper on the sordid story.

PETER PARKER: SPIDER-MAN v2 #10 (1999) Having re-digested his "son," Carnage, Venom triumphantly returned to the mission of ridding the world of Spider-Man. The symbiote kidnapped J. Jonah Jameson and swung off to the site of his first battle with Peter: Our Lady of Saints Church. There, Spidey saved JJJ and delivered some punishing punches to his long-time foe, hoping to then deliver the coup de grace with Venom's weakness: sound. Unfortunately, Venom curtailed that hope but also fortunately something he ate didn't agree with him—Carnage!

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #11 (2005) One Spidey-villain: bad. 12 Spidey-villains: worse. An all-new Venom—former-Scorpion Mac Gargan merged with the original alien symbiote—joined the Sinister Twelve and their atrocious attempt to squash Spider-Man. Webslinging across the city to save Mary Jane, Peter fell under a vicious Venom attack and the wily symbiote split itself to deliver double-disaster to Our Hero. Venom failed to consider Spidey's great love for MJ in his equation and ended up with an entire building on his pointy head for his troubles. The moral of the story? Never trust an alien symbiote, kids! Spiders are our friends! Pick up VENOM: DARK ORIGIN #1 on August 6 for the rest of the story and keep your eyes peeled for "New Ways to Die," coming soon to AMAZING SPIDER-MAN! Also, for more Venom, hit up Marvel Digital Comic Unlimited!
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