A bloodthirsty race, the Symbiotes seek out hosts to complete their otherwise incomplete DNA and end up on Earth, bonding to the planet’s heroes and villains.



A race made of a viscous protoplasm, the Symbiotes graft themselves onto hosts, imbuing them with powers and creating the universe’s most deadly predators.


The Void

The Symbiotes are an extraterrestrial race composed of viscous protoplasm and created by the primordial deity Knull in his dark abyss known as the Void. The Symbiotes start as a blade, with Knull pulling its shape from his own and casting its edge in the fire of a dead Celestial that he felled. As he became God of the Forge, the first proto-symbiote and weaker creations of Knull’s fear the fire of the forge and the sound of the hammer beating their will into something he could wield: the All-Black, The Godslayer, the Necrosword. With the sword, Knull slays gods of light and creation until weakened and defeated, and his sword is taken up by the man who would become Gorr the God Butcher. Laying in a pit for a hundred or more years, he soon discovers he can create a symbiosis with lesser creatures and pilot their forms, drawing strength and information from them. Knull gathers a horde of Symbiotes, becoming its hive mind as the God-Host, able to control them from across the cosmos. 

When the Symbiotes leave their planet millennia ago, they traverse the galaxy, leaving 100,000 extinct species in their wake. Addicted to strong emotions, the Symbiotes subdue a race and force them to take risks in order to receive a rush from the host’s stress hormones. Their domination would quickly kill the hosts and depopulate the planet. Uncaring, the Symbiotes leap from world to world, their scout ships constantly scouring the galaxy for suitable replacements. Galactus’ herald, Norrin Radd, AKA Silver Surfer, visits the Symbiote-controlled world of Joot and summons his master to consume it. The few survivors pass their desire for revenge through the genetic memory into every succeeding generation.

The Symbiotes then arrive on Earth and attack the ancient Norse people, who pray to their God of Thunder, Thor Odinson, AKA Thor, to save them. Thor answers, striking down the horde with his lightning, severing Knull’s connection with his creations. Knull’s Symbiotes unravel and seek new hosts, who infect them with their venom: notions of honor, nobility and light. The reformed Symbiotes return to Knull and overthrow their creator, trapping him in a Klyntar, or cage, of an infinite number of Symbiotes. They rename themselves the Klyntar and go on to seek hosts across the galaxy.


Bloodthirsty Beings

The Symbiotes are a bloodthirsty but otherwise emotionless race. Composed of viscous protoplasm, they graft onto the adrenal and nervous systems of other beings, using them as hosts from which they absorb memories, traits, emotions and DNA to complement their own incomplete DNA. 

Symbiotes can convert themselves to energy, allowing them to travel through telephone lines; this may be a vestigial trait from a symbiote subspecies that subsists solely on their host’s positive emotions, and possesses electromagnetic energy-manipulation abilities. Symbiotes are susceptible to pain and injury from noise and fire; however, Symbiotes cannot be killed by conventional means, though they have been killed by conscious discorporation or by being eaten.


A Symbiotic Relationship

At first, the Symbiotes are controlled by their maker, Knull, until the connection is severed and they seek new hosts to bond with.

Symbiotes reproduce asexually by budding once per generation, though they produce up to six “seeds.” Although they share genetic memory, strength and powers with the newborn, they have no social structure or concept of family. The offspring become more formidable than their parent, but the thousandth generation child tends toward psychotic breakdown. 


Superhuman Foes

The Asgardian Thor is the Symbiotes’ first foe as he disrupts their link to the hive mind and God-Host Knull.

The Symbiotes come into contact with many enemies, sometimes through their hosts, including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Dr. Stephen Strange, AKA Doctor Strange, Steve Rogers, AKA Captain America, Robert Reynolds, AKA Sentry, and the Shi’ar empire.

The Poisons, an interdimensional species bent on conquest, can consume Symbiotes and their hosts. They attack Earth and forcibly bond heroes to the alien Symbiotes for sustenance.

While bonded to the Venom symbiote, journalist Eddie Brock often goes up against other Symbiotes to protect himself and those he cares about.


Unique Bonds

The Symbiotes are at first connected to a hive mind with their God-Host, Knull, as their leader. They bond to hosts and form a cooperative relationship, with Knull in control. The Symbiotes often take on their host’s personality traits. 

When the Symbiotes become disconnected from the hive mind, they veer off on their own, seeking new hosts. The Venom symbiote and Carnage symbiote both form unique bonds to their hosts, Brock and Cletus Kasady, AKA Carnage.

Sometimes the Symbiotes that bond with hosts team up with others, such as when the Life Foundation Symbiotes join with Paibok the Power Skrull, or when MacDonald Gargan, AKA Scorpion bonds with the Venom symbiote, and joins the Thunderbolts under Norman Osborn, AKA Green Goblin.

Current Members, Former Members
  • Current Members

  • Former Members

A Mutual History

One symbiote, “the Other,” was an aberration who sought to join with its host rather than dominate and destroy it. Judged insane by its race, it was incarcerated in a prison lab to be studied before execution; however, the Beyonder transported the lab to the patchwork planet Battleworld, used in the Super Hero/Super-Villain Secret War. Thinking he was employing an alien clothes-making machine there, Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man, inadvertently released the Other, which began bonding to him, imprinting a spider design on itself, providing organic webbing and responding to the web-slinger’s thoughts. Later, Spider-Man wore the Other back to Earth. There, seeking to bond permanently and feed off his adrenaline, the Other took Peter Parker out for web-swings around New York while he slept. Exhausted and beset by nightmares, Spider-Man visited the Fantastic Four, where Reed Richards, AKA Mister Fantastic, discovered the costume was a living creature. Unwilling to separate, the Other was forced from Spider-Man’s body by Reed’s sonic blaster and imprisoned. Escaping soon after, it reattached itself to Peter, who fought its influence long enough to reach the bell tower of Our Lady of Saints Catholic Church. Willing to sacrifice his life, Spider-Man subjected himself to the brain-shattering bell peals until the Other fled. Having learned humanity from its host, however, the Other pulled Peter’s unconscious body to safety. 

That humanity soon faded as the Other came upon fired Daily Globe columnist Eddie Brock at the Our Lady parish altar. Blaming Spider-Man for his misfortunes and suffering from adrenal cancer, Eddie was praying for forgiveness for his intended suicide when the Other bonded with him, sharing in his hatred, adding Spider-Man’s powers to his own strength, and absorbing the adrenaline rushes caused by the cancer. This symbiosis created the Venom symbiote, and thus Venom, a vicious Spider-Man opponent. In one battle, the Other was apparently killed when touched by the life-draining Jacob Eichorn, AKA Styx, but it regenerated and broke Eddie from prison, unaware that it was budding an offspring that eventually bonded with Eddie’s cellmate, sociopathic serial killer Cletus Kasady. Calling themselves Carnage, Kasady and the spawn (Carnage symbiote) went on a killing spree until stopped by the combined powers of Spider-Man and Venom.

Eventually reaching a stalemate with Spider-Man, Eddie moved to San Francisco, where corporate survivalists the Life Foundation captured him and extracted the Other’s five remaining seeds, artificially accelerating their maturation. Intending to create a team of super-powered protectors, the Life Foundation matched the new symbiotes with five of their top security personnel; Carl Mach, Leslie Gesneria, Ramon Hernandez, Trevor Cole and Donna Diego who, unbeknownst to the others, was schizophrenic. The five Venom spawn fought Spider-Man and Venom only to be seemingly killed when Eddie used the maturation accelerator to age them into decay. Later, however, they regenerated. The Life Foundation reintegrated them with their hosts, who abandoned the survivalist group and sought Venom’s help to control and communicate with their still immature “others.” Eventually finding Eddie forcibly separated from his Other and imprisoned in a New Mexico research facility, they abducted him. While Eddie refused to help, Donna succumbed to schizophrenia-induced voices that told her to destroy all symbiotes and hosts. Using a sonic knife, she killed her four comrades. Eddie, however, reunited with his Other and defeated her. Briefly escaping custody and teaming with Paibok the Power Skrull, the four hostless spawn were apparently recaptured by Ben Reilly, AKA Spider-Man, then placed in top secret Testing Facility #12 in the Adirondacks, where scientists tortured them while trying to analyze their biology.

Following his forced separation, Eddie blamed the symbiote for his murderous rages and rejected it. The abandoned Other projected a psychic wail of pain that reached to the stars and attracted a Symbiote scout ship. Landing in upstate New York, the Symbiotes constructed a teleportation stargate connecting them to a Symbiote-controlled planet. When the Earth-93060 (“Ultraverse”) energy parasite Rune unexpectedly teleported through, he was taken over by the symbiote gate protector. Soon after, waves of Symbiotes were transported through to Earth–covering the planet, targeting strategic locations, causing death and despair, and enslaving thousands of humans including Captain America. As the invasion spread, Brock rejoined the Other and teamed with Spider-Man and Ben Reilly, now the Scarlet Spider, to fight back. Realizing that the Symbiotes’ weakness was their sensitivity to emotion, Venom returned to Our Lady of Saints, dredging up his old memories and spiritually merging with his Other until they released a combined psychic shriek of despair that drove nearly every invading symbiote to suicide. At least nine survived, however, including the Rune symbiote that was later eaten by his uncooperative host. Deep in Testing Facility #12, the four hostless Venom spawn heard the shriek and broke free. Merging together as Hybrid, the four temporarily bonded with Guardsman Scott Washington. Realizing that the four were scared and not evil, Scott let them go and was fired for his decision. Home in Brooklyn, Scott and his brother Derek opposed the Easy X street gang and were subsequently gunned down, leaving Derek dead and Scott paralyzed. The Hybrid symbiotes found Scott and merged with him, enabling him to walk. Initially craving revenge, Scott came to his senses, later convincing the mercenary band, the Jury, that he was a force for good even though he was bonded to symbiotes.

Meanwhile, Donna Diego, still on her killing campaign, became roommates with Zeena Hodges and befriended George Strickland, both of whom hosted psychic shriek-surviving symbiotes. Before she could murder them, however, they were consumed along with six other invasion symbiotes and taken over by a Xenophage, an alien Symbiote devourer who was eventually destroyed by Venom. Hoping to track more symbiotes, Donna used the Xenophage’s spaceship, which led her to Venom and the creature Dirt Nap, who ate her. Disgorged with help from Venom, Donna fled; now calling herself “Scream.” Her current whereabouts are unknown.

In a round-robin of host-switching, Venom’s Other briefly joined with Eddie’s ex-wife Ann Weying (dubbed “She-Venom” by the press) to save her life while the Carnage symbiote escaped Ravencroft Institute, possessing security chief John Jameson, then Spider-Man (Ben Reilly, “Spider-Carnage”), and much later, responding to the genetic revenge, the Silver Surfer (“Carnage Cosmic”). Eventually Venom absorbed Kasady’s symbiote, then had his own stolen by Z’Noxpossessed Senator Stewart Ward. Kasady found a new symbiote in the Negative Zone while Eddie regained his Other. In a battle with the Fantastic Four, Venom had his symbiote tongue severed. It ended up with the human-disguised alien nano-collective known as Bob, who planned to destroy life on Earth. Deriving a new symbiote from it, Bob genetically skewed the clone to produce reproductive hormones that would be triggered when combined with the Other, creating a symbiote army. The clone bonded with a number of hosts, including a dog, a swarm of cockroaches, James Howlett/Logan, AKA Wolverine, and several humans before bonding with Army Lieutenant Patricia “Trish” Robertson. It then confronted Venom, and the two symbiotes merged, as Bob intended. Although the Other later claimed to be with child, Bob’s plan apparently ended in failure. Ultimately, it was Carnage who gave birth, producing the potentially psychotic 1000th generation that bonded with New York policeman Patrick “Paddy” Mulligan to become Toxin, stronger than Carnage and Venom combined. Paddy left his wife and infant son for fear of harming them but after struggling to educate his “other,” defeating several Super Villains, and choosing to apprehend rather than kill his father’s murderer Douglas Scott, AKA Razor-Fist, Mulligan recently returned to his family. Revealing Toxin to his wife, however, brought nothing but her screams.

With Eddie dying of cancer, the Other separated and sought to feed on other adrenal gland cancer patients. Later, it allowed Eddie to auction it off to crime boss Don Fortunato, who gave it to his son Angelo. Disgusted by Angelo’s cowardice, the Other abandoned him in mid-air, letting Angelo fall to his death. Eddie slashed his wrists and was hospitalized, while Carnage apparently died when hauled into space and ripped in half by the Sentry. The Other soon joined with MacDonald Gargan. As Venom, Gargan became a member of the Thunderbolts under director Norman Osborn, and currently serves as “Spider-Man” as part of Osborn’s Avengers. 

Brock, meanwhile, was cured of his cancer by the crime lord Martin Li, AKA Mr. Negative; as a side-effect of the cure, however the remaining symbiote tissue in Brock’s system bonded with his own antibodies, transforming him into the superhuman vigilante Anti-Venom. Another symbiote, of the bliss-feeding subspecies, bonded with scientist Max Trent; after Trent’s murder, the symbiote was converted to energy and bonded with Trent’s daughter Mavis. She adopted the alias Payback and established the True Believers, a group of superhuman truth-seekers.

Apart from Hybrid, Payback, Scream, Toxin, and Venom, the Symbiote race is generally believed extinct by the people of Earth; however, there are still millions of existing symbiotes scouring the galaxy in scout ships and dominating species on other worlds. A group of these spacefaring symbiotes was encountered and captured by the Avengers; while en route to the Baxter Building for study, however, the truck transporting them collided with a herd of dinosaurs that had recently been teleported in from the Savage Land by Wade Wilson, AKA Deadpool. The resulting symbiote-possessed beasts rampaged across Manhattan until they were defeated by the city’s superhuman guardians. Another spacefaring symbiote was captured and imprisoned by the Shi’ar empire and given the name Zzzxx. Zzzxx was dispatched by Shi’ar emperor Gabriel Summers, AKA Vulcan, as part of a team of fellow convicts to hunt down the Starjammers. The symbiote eventually merged with the cyborg Starjammer Raza Longknife. Soon separated, Zzzxx was captured and held captive on Ego until taken and consumed an evil version of Charles Xavier

Evil symbiotes soon took over a Sentient Worlds Observation and Response Department (S.W.O.R.D.) satellite and all those aboard, including Abigail Thanriaguiaxus, AKA Abigail Brand, and Cal’syee Neramani, AKA Deathbird, who was pregnant. Spider-Man and the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning’s Special Class intervened, helping save the day.

A symbiote then possessed Emperor N’Jadaka of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda, who also possessed the powers of the Panther God Bast and the resurrected mind of Erik Killmonger. He launched an invasion of Wakanda Prime on Earth.

The Poisons, an interdimensional species bent on conquest, began consuming Symbiotes and their hosts. They attacked Earth and forcibly bonded heroes to the alien Symbiotes for sustenance.

When a cult who followed the God of Symbiotes resurrected Carnage using the Grendel symbiote, Carnage was reborn with a new mission: to collect as many of the codices—remnants—of other Symbiotes to help free Knull and summon him to Earth. Meanwhile, Venom learned of Carnage’s plan and began destroying codices thanks to a machine created by an evil version of Reed Richards known as The Maker, who was from another universe. Soon Venom faced off with a transformed Carnage, who had become more dragon-like, replete with wings. Spider-Man and several other Super Heroes aided Eddie in fighting Carnage. When Eddie’s son Dylan defended himself against Carnage with unexplained symbiote powers (equipped with his mother’s codex), Carnage threatened to kill him. Eddie used his symbiote to craft a blade and with it, he cut Carnage in half, took his codices into himself and learned that Knull had broken free of his cage, destroying Klyntar. Knull created Symbiote Dragons from the Symbiotes holding him and was headed for Earth.

On his way to Earth, Knull and his Symbiote army of dragons destroyed swaths of planets, including Silnius, the rimworlds in Shi’ar and Kree/Skrull space as well as those among the Zn'rx colonies. Upon arriving on Earth, Knull wrapped the planet in a symbiote dome and murdered Brock. The heroes of Earth banded together and launched an attack on the God-King of the Symbiotes and learned that an entity born of light could bond to a host and imbue them with cosmic abilities: the Enigma Force, which was brought to Earth by the Silver Surfer, who revived Brock’s lifeless corpse. With the Enigma Force and as Captain Universe, Eddie defeated Knull, freeing the Symbiotes but becoming the hive mind, the King in Black. Removing his son’s codex, he took it into himself, freeing his son of the hive.

With the ability to control the hive, seeing and acting through them, Eddie had the Symbiotes kill Carnage, helped Gorr liberate his homeworld from pirates, and repaired a fault that prevented the release of the Cancerverse. He also met with heroes using Symbiote proxies all from the comfort of his own home where he raised his son. But tapping into the hive took a toll on his body and aged him to that of an old man. He soon warned the heroes and protectors of Earth that the Maker was on his way to replace their universe with his own so he could join a group calling themselves the Council of Reeds—a council of interdimensional duplicates of himself. 

Soon Carnage, who had survived his death, formed a rival hive and joined the Friends of Humanity to stoke fear of symbiotes in humanity. Carnage, meanwhile, attempted to take Brock’s throne. But Brock’s future self, Meridius, came back to kill him, sending his codex through time, leaving the hive leaderless.