The Venom symbiote has been a constant part of the Spider-Man story for a long time. It’s had many hosts, it’s black and white patterns are inspired and shared with many Spider-Men and Spider-Women. But it’s never been quite like this.
Eugene “Flash” Thompson, as Agent Venom, joined the Guardians of the Galaxy in hopes of finding out more information about his alien partner. Eventually, prolonged time in deep space started affecting the symbiote and it started acting paranoid, and even violent. It finally took over several members of the Guardians’ crew and directed their ship to an unknown region of space, finally landing on an uncharted planet.
This planet turned out to be the original birth place of the symbiote race. Once Flash, once again in possession of the symbiote, realized the symbiote was being called here by its race, he chose to merge with them believing he would finally get the answers he so desired. After several moments, he emerged reborn.
The alien symbiotes were able to communicate to the Guardians that all the symbiotes the universe has known so far have been a corrupted faction of their race, the Klyntar, that in truth desires to make the universe better. Once back on the homeworld, the Venom symbiote was able to be cleansed of its corruption and purified, giving it new powers. The Klyntar proclaim that Flash’s symbiosis is now a perfect one, and presumably, the Venom symbiote won’t lash out in vicious anger anymore.
Since this process, this “Agent of the Cosmos” has demonstrated abilities such as forming the symbiote into large crystalline looking structures, as well as form sharp implements like blades, which, so far, only other symbiote offspring have been able to do. He can even survive in the vacuum of space now. Whether or not that is the extent of his new powers remains to be seen.
Flash is the star of a new solo comic series called Venom Space Knight.
In the MC2 Universe, Normie Osborn eventually became the owner of the Venom symbiote, but his honest and peaceful nature calmed the beast and it lost its evil ways, and desire to hurt people. Oddly enough he’s shown on the cover here as having six arms, but in the actual comic pages he only has two. Maybe he manifests extra arms at one point, but I wasn’t able to find more images like this one.
Black Tarantula, aka Carlos LaMuerto, is a Spider-Man villain who, while wearing a black and white spider suit, does not have spider powers, and is also not related to Venom in any way. Instead he is a crime lord who seems possibly immortal if his claims of being over 700 years old are true.
While it seems he can’t die from aging, he can be hurt or wounded, however to combat that he also has a healing touch he can use on himself or even others. He once easily broke the super powered assassin Delilah’s neck and healed her on the spot just to make a point.
In the MC2 universe, the Black Tarantula role has apparently been taken over by Carlos’ son Fabian. They pretty much look the same except that Fabian’s arms are partially bare, so I’m just going to lump them together for this entry.
While this guy isn’t really a spider character per se, I included him because I remember when I first saw him long ago I thought he was somehow related to Venom, and I figured I’d include him to clear that up for others too.
During the Spider-Island side story of the 2015 Secret Wars comics, the Spider-Queen managed to succeed in taking over New York City, and transformed the vast majority of the citizens, and heroes, into spider people.
One of the few people who avoided being changed and taken over is Flash Thompson as Agent Venom, thanks to his symbiote protecting him. Flash ends up assembling a series of artifacts and serums that could further transform other heroes (werewolves, vampires, lizard people) so that the Spider-Queen couldn’t control them.
As Agent Venom, Flash is hugely susceptible to the weaknesses of his symbiote, one of the main ones being sonics. This is a huge problem considering the Spider-Queen has a hugely powerful sonic scream.
Luckily, after rescuing Spider-Man, he tells Flash about the Sonic Proof suit he had made, but never used himself. Flash puts it on under his symbiote, and when the Spider-Queen later blasts him with her scream, the symbiote is able to peel away from the brunt of it and Flash is able to continue the mission and save the day.
After becoming Agent Venom, Flash Thompson moved to Philadelphia and took up a job as a high school assistant coach in his personal life. His neighbour in his apartment building, Andrea Benton, also turned out to be one of his students.
One day Andi (the name Andrea goes by) witnessed Flash using his symbiote boosted powers and quickly put together that her coach was the recently arrived to Philly Venom.
Andi ends up being targeted by one of Venom’s enemies Jack ‘O Lantern. While Flash tries to save Andi and her father, he is unable to save both, and Andi’s father is killed. Then when Jack ‘O Lantern releases a toxic poison, Flash extends the symbiote over Andi, which would be able to filter out the poison in the air. Somehow, that portion of the symbiote separated from the main body and became its own being, bonding to Andi. Thus, Mania was born.
Technically, Mania’s symbiote is considered a clone of the Venom symbiote. It also carries the Hell Mark that was originally magically branded onto Venom by Mephisto.
Flash Thompson has had a few alternate reality versions of himself as Spider-Man, but in the regular 616 Marvel reality, Flash’s desire to be a hero like his idol Spider-Man lead him to join the US military. He became a good solider, but only raised to the rank of corporal. During a mission during the Iraq War, Flash was caught in an explosion while saving his partner, which resulted in the loss of both his legs at the knees.
Flash later became a candidate for Project Rebirth 2.0 which saw him receive the Venom symbiote which had come into the possession of the US government. Part of the project made sure the symbiote would be removed from Flash within a certain time span to make sure it didn’t bond to him, but during a mission in the Savage Land, the mission ran long, resulting in a permanent bond being formed.
As Agent Venom, Flash is able to use the symbiote to reform his missing legs, and his preference for military gear causes the symbiote to form what looks like armour such as shoulder pads and a bullet proof vest, among other items. While the symbiote has taken on the look of chitinous insect armour, it still acts the same way it would normally, providing no additional protection over its own natural abilities.
Despite having the Venom symbiote, Flash still replies on his military training, and primarily uses guns when going on the offence. What Flash does excel at in the use of the symbiote is using it to hold additional weapons, such as holding genades in reserve under its surface, or even equipping, using, and firing extra firearms.
The one downside that Flash faces as Agent Venom is keeping his temper in check. He has sedatives that keep the symbiote docile, but after they wear off, if Flash lets his temper get out of control, the symbiote will begin to take over control. When this happens, the look of the symbiote changes back to its traditional, toothy appearance.
After being Spider-Woman, and later, Arachne, Julia Carpenter inherited the powers of Madam Web from Cassandra Webb. Changing her costume to that of a red trench coat and sun glasses, Julia only appears as Madam Web when her precognitive powers show her that she is needed. The rest of the time she is able to live a normal life taking care of her daughter.