Published February 20, 2019

6 Times Venom Teamed Up with the Bad Guys

Venom will be joining forces with the Maker -- but what other Super Villains have brought Venom under their wings?

For a frightening alien-human hybrid that has spent most of its career being known as one of Spider-Man’s scariest and most dangerous foes, Venom has spent surprisingly little time teaming up with other bad guys. Fans will get a new chance to see this rare occurrence in VENOM #12, on sale Wednesday, March 20, when the Lethal Protector finds himself collaborating with the Maker.

To prepare for it, has selected six earlier stories that show what happens when Venom works with villains.

Two Agendas Converge

Venom battles Sandman

Venom wanted to kill Spider-Man. Electro, Sandman, Vulture, Mysterio, and Kraven the Hunter do not particularly like Spider-Man but had a lot more anger towards Doctor Octopus at the time. However, Mysterio reasoned that if they team up, not only can they call themselves the Sinister Six again but they could each work towards each other’s goals. Venom could help punish Doc Ock and the quintet could help Venom pummel Spidey.

Sandman, however, did not really love this idea and interfered the moment it looked like Venom had the Webhead on the ropes. The team disbanded or, rather, Venom left and the five forgave Octavius. For some time after, though, Venom held a grudge. He went as far as seemingly killing Sandman at one point.

The Least Likely of Team-Ups

Venom teams up with Carnage

Venom and Carnage hate one another and always have. However, they found common ground when they realized Carnage’s symbiote had spawned and there would soon be another alien-man collaboration running around.

Venom wanted the symbiote dead so there would not be another Carnage nor another host’s life ruined. Carnage wanted the symbiote dead because he did not want the competition.

While they fought at first in their rush to be the first to get to the alien creature, eventually they decided they would have better luck as a duo. However, the moment Venom realized the new symbiote lacked bloodlust, they ended up in opposition once again, with Venom protecting the new host and symbiote—Toxin—and Carnage remaining dedicated to killing the symbiote and the host.

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

Evidently learning nothing from his time with Eddie Brock and being in the Sinister Six, the symbiote bonded to Mac Gargan and they collectively decided to join Norman Osborn’s Sinister Twelve. The team only lasted long enough to be handed their lunch by a collection of heroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while Spider-Man took down Venom all by himself.

If the Twelve proved a bust though, it did achieve one lasting impact that arguably had benefits for Venom. By joining the Sinister Twelve, he struck up a relationship with Osborn. And that relationship led directly to our next entry.

Villainy Like Lightning Followed by Darkness

Venom and Green Goblin

By connecting with Osborn, Gargan ended up rising in esteem right alongside the formerly disgraced Super Villain. First, Osborn was put in control of the CIVIL WAR-era Thunderbolts, a team designed to hunt down non-registered Super Heroes and Villains. Osborn used Venom as his monstrous attack dog, letting him run wild and subdue heroes in all kinds of toothy ways.

Then came the Dark Avengers. Now fully in the spotlight, Gargan could not afford to be eating limbs left and right. Osborn, again, came up huge for him with a formula that made him appear more like the classic black-suited Spidey than the monstrous, drooling, teeth-gnashing beast he had become.

A good gig while it lasted, the whole thing fell apart when Osborn went too far in SIEGE. Gargan was taken down, imprisoned, and forcefully separated from the symbiote, never to be reunited.

A Forced Partnership

After abducting Betty Brant on behalf of Crime Master, Jack O’Lantern had Flash Thompson’s Agent Venom over a barrel. Feeling as though he had no choice but to do as Crime Master says, Venom teamed up with Lantern to help the clearly unhealthy villain steal some vibranium for his boss.

After the job was complete, the villains did not play it straight with Venom. He had to chase after Brant to rescue her. Jack O’Lantern attacked Thompson with zeal and great delight, declaring that Venom was his nemesis. Spider-Man, thankfully, interceded in time to ensure that Betty met no lasting harm.

A Toxic Bonus Team-Up

Toxin with Crime Master

Eddie Brock had returned to crime and teamed up with the Crime Master, Jack O’Lantern, Death Adder, the Human Fly, and Megatak. And yes, Brock had bonded to a symbiote. However, Thompson, at the time, maintained control of the Venom symbiote while Brock had bonded with the Toxin symbiote. So technically, he’s not Venom, he’s Toxin – but still a symbiote while teaming up with a cabal of bad guys.

This team-up fell apart when Brock came back to his senses and abandoned his quest to kill every symbiote and their hosts. Additionally, Crime Master’s spree ended abruptly when Betty Brant shot him after the revelation that Master and her brother Bennett were one and the same.

VENOM #12, written by Donny Cates with art by Ryan Stegman, goes on sale Wednesday, March 20. Pre-order your copy today, online or at your local comic shop!

Cover of Venom #12