Published January 23, 2024

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Venom?

Read on for everything you need to know about Venom before playing 'Marvel's Spider-Man 2'!

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Venom?

Of all the enemies that Peter Parker and Miles Morales face in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, few are as terrifying and relentless as Venom. Powered by an extraterrestrial symbiote, the villain threatens all of Marvel’s New York over the course of the game and pushes the Spider-Men to the very limit. The fight with Venom is especially personal for Peter, both through his own experiences with the symbiote and whom the symbiote has since bonded with, delivering his greatest challenge as a hero.

Here is everything you need to know about Venom, including the symbiote’s appearances throughout the video game series, the pivotal role it plays in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, and how it compares to Venom’s extensive history in the comics.


Venom’s Impact Before Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

The symbiote was first glimpsed at the end of Marvel’s Spider-Man, albeit within a stasis tube, and bonded to Harry Osborn to stabilize Harry’s terminal illness. Harry’s father Norman lied to Harry’s friends Peter and Mary Jane Watson that his son was working for Oscorp in Europe, when the truth was Harry was diagnosed with a terminal neurological disease and hidden in Oscorp Tower in Manhattan. As Norman approached Harry’s stasis container, the Venom symbiote visibly reacted when Norman touched a glass window on the container.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales provided a brief update on Harry and the Venom symbiote at the end of the game. Harry remained in a medically induced stasis bonded to the symbiote but began to emerge from stasis while under Doctor Curt Connors’ supervision. Despite Curt’s warnings, Norman ordered the doctor to revive his son, unconcerned about the stability of Harry’s condition outside of the controlled environment within the stasis tube.


Venom’s Role in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

Harry reunited with Peter and Mary Jane early in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, apparently cured of his terminal condition and ready to use his family’s resources to change the world. In reality, Harry had secretly bonded with the Venom symbiote, which hid within Harry’s body, with its origin revealed to be from a meteorite recovered by Oscorp years prior. After learning Peter is Spider-Man, Harry uses the symbiote to help his best friend fight crime and help people around New York.

After Peter is gravely wounded, Harry allows the symbiote to bond with his friend to save his life, only for the symbiote to negatively affect Peter’s personality. After a series of catastrophic events, Miles has to battle Peter to remove the symbiote from Peter’s body. Miles initially helps rid Peter of the symbiote while Harry seeks to get it back. The symbiote re-bonds to Harry, who is resentful that Peter initially kept the symbiote to himself due to its malevolent influence on him. Upon re-bonding with Harry, the symbiote transforms Harry into the monstrous Venom, who then kills Kraven the Hunter and creates symbiote nests around the city.

Traces of the symbiote remain in Peter’s psyche until Miles and Mister Negative fully purge the symbiote from Peter’s body, giving Peter Anti-Venom powers in the process. Working together, Peter, Miles, and Mary Jane destroy the symbiote nests throughout Marvel’s New York, including the meteorite that brought Venom to Earth in the first place. During his final battle with Spider-Man, Harry temporarily gains lucidity and urges his friend to destroy Venom, at the cost of his own health. Peter reluctantly complies with Harry’s wishes, destroying the symbiote, with Harry rendered comatose from the ordeal.


Venom in the Comics

Rather than being bonded to Harry Osborn, as it was in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, the Venom symbiote has bonded to a number of other characters in the comics throughout its lengthy history. The character most associated with Venom is Eddie Brock, a professional rival of Peter’s who first bonded with the symbiote in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #299 by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. The symbiote combined its own resentment for being abandoned by Peter and Eddie’s hatred towards Peter to form a truly terrifying enemy for Spider-Man.

Instead of arriving on Earth via a meteorite, as it did in the video game, the Venom symbiote came to Earth already bonded to Spider-Man, fixing itself to him while he participated in the cosmic showdown SECRET WARS (1984). After Peter purged the symbiote from his body and it bonded to Eddie, Venom possessed all of Spider-Man’s abilities, but with greater physical capacity. To make him even more deadly, Eddie became aware of Peter’s secret identity from the symbiote’s time bonded to Spider-Man, and he gained the ability to nullify Spider-Man’s heightened senses.

Over time, the Venom symbiote created its own offspring, which bonded with a serial killer named Cletus Kasady to form the new villain Carnage. Sensing a greater threat than his grudge with Spider-Man, Venom reluctantly agreed to work with Peter to stop their mutual enemies and the two have maintained an uneasy truce, occasionally dipping back into their old conflicting ways. Since then, Venom has become something of a lethal protector rather than an all-out villain, protecting the innocent, albeit with more excessive force than his old webslinging rival.

'Marvel's Spider-Man 2' Explained: Who Is Venom?

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is available now only on PlayStation 5. Order the title on PlayStation StorePlayStation Direct or your friendly neighborhood retailer!

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