The Symbiotes are a parasitic species that feature in Marvel Comics.
The Symbiotes were a race of amorphous beings that were able to bond to other forms of life. One account of their origins was traced to the beginning of the universe where a big known as Knull lived in the primordial darkness until light brought about existence. During this time, the cosmic Celestials sought to organise the chaotic universe according to their grand design that was an act that angered this entity. In response, Knull forged All Black the Necrosword from his being and used it to slay the Celestial. From its body, he refined the blade that was an early Symbiote alongside a suit of darkness as armor for continued war against the gods. (Venom v4 #4) The waste products of his experiments later formed an imperfect race of parasites known as the Exolon that were dumped in the Exoteric Latitude. (Web of Venom: Wraith v1 #1) He slayed many before being defeated and calling on an unknown world where the Necrosword was taken from him by another being. In time, Knull restored his essence and learnt a new power to bond his essence to other beings whereby he could control this leading to the dawn of the Symbiotes. He came to rule a world where the Symbiotes served him with Knull himself serving as the living hive mind for them where he directed them in bringing darkness to the universe. One day, he came to Earth during the era of Beowulf where he brought terror to the primitive humans until he was defeated by the Asgardian Thor whereupon the Symbiote he used was imprisoned. The Symbiotes began to spread about where the connection to hosts began to infect them towards more noble thoughts where they turned against Knull and imprisoned him in their own substance with this cage being called Klyntar. They formed a world around him to keep him contained and hid all mention of his existence as they created a new identity for themselves. (Venom v4 #4) Thus, the species came to be referred to as the Klyntars that were native to the uncharted world known as the Planet of the Symbiotes where they claimed to be a symbian race that sought out races in the cosmos in order to help them heal themselves. Members of their kind attempted to go into space to bond with the perfect host but were found flawed beings instead creating corrupt Symbiotes. They would become murderous and violent as they separated from the collective on their homeworld with their people gaining a reputation as monsters to the cosmos. (Guardians of the Galaxy v3 #23)
Those that managed to find the optimum host came to form a group known as the Agents of the Cosmos that aimed to be heroes and fight evil. (Venom: Space Knight v1 #2) Their species at some point became a space travelling race who spread to other worlds and acted as intergalactic locusts. One of the worlds they had infested was visited by the Silver Surfer who was one of the Heralds of Galactus. After witnessing the parasitic race consume the planets inhabitants, the Surfer became disgusted by these creatures and summoned his master Galactus. The planet would be consumed by Galactus and destroyed with this event traumatizing the Symbiotes who would record it in their genetic memory. This led to them fearing Galactus and the wielders of the Power Cosmic who they also desired to kill. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #430) Long ago, the Kree Empire discovered the Planet of the Symbiotes leading to their encounter with one of the creatures. They decided to tame the creature to serve as a living suit for one of their warriors named Tel-Kar for use in the Kree-Skrull War. (Venom: First Host v1 #2) To achieve that end, Tel-Kar was modified with implants and drugs to make him the perfect host for the Symbiote allowing him to control it along with alter its memories to serve him. With its powers, he was able to bring about heavy losses to the Skrulls in the war until his eventual capture though the Kree managed to send the Symbiote away to safety where he intended to bond with it again to steal a Skrull doomsday weapon for use against his people's hated enemy. (Venom: First Host v1 #3) Years ago, the Shi'ar made first contact with a Symbiote called Zzzxx with the creature captured and sent to be studied under the orders of Emperor D'Ken. (X-Men: Kingbreaker v1 #1)
In 1966, S.H.I.E.L.D. were investigating some disturbances in Scandinavia as they came to believe that Hydra was operating in the region. Instead, they found the frozen remains of the Grendel Symbiote leading to an encounter with alien life. They began to study the creature and determined that it was a Symbiotic organism that could bond with other forms of life. After a period of study, they proceeded with tests on living subjects that proceeded to human testing as Nick Fury's superiors wanting to create a new breed of supersoldiers after the loss of Captain America. This led to the development of the Sym-Soldier program with the Symbiotes bonding to a team of hosts led by Rex Strickland that were deployed into Vietnam. (Web of Venom: Ve'Nam v1 #1) The program later became involved with an iteration of Project Rebirth in creating a new type of elite soldiers for use by the United States. (Venom v4 #1) The organisms went rogue leading to Fury enlisting Logan accompanying him to stop the creatures. Ultimately, they were able to capture the infected hosts who were largely unconscious and put into stasis with only Strickland still operating. (Web of Venom: Ve'Nam v1 #1) The disaster resulted in the project shutting down by Weapon Plus came to recover the resources and personnel where they began to use Sym-Soldiers as part of Weapon V. (Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus v1 #1)
The Life Foundation took an interest in the use of Symbiotes to be equipped to select individuals that would help police their future Utopia as they grew convinced of the destruction of society by nuclear war. This led to them capturing Venom and probing the Symbiote in order to extract the last of its five 'seeds' that would be cultivated to serve as guardians. The organisms were than bonded to five of the Foundation's top security personnel where they were given the code names of Scream, Riot, Phage, Agony and Lasher.
Following a psychic scream from the Venom Symbiote, a group of Symbiotes landed on Earth where they scavenged together to create a dimensional jump gate from which one of their infected worlds could attack Earth in large numbers. These Symbiotes began to seek out and take over human host bodies with a band of heroes seeking to stop them. (Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special v1 #1) Carnage who had been freed from captivity later discovered that he could absorb these invading Symbiotes and add their bio-mass into his own turning him to gigantic proportions. In an effort to stop them, Venom subjected them to unbearable emotions to the point that the invading Symbiotes chose voluntary destruction thus killing all of them. (Web of Spider-Man Super Special v1 #1)
The Symbiote bomb was detonated in New York City where the parasites began to take over a large number of host bodies until Iron Man created an antidote from data at the Baxter Building. He examined the satellite launch mechanism and determined it was sent from Latveria. (Mighty Avengers v1 #8)
A group of Brood were infested by Symbiotes who took them to the S.W.O.R.D. station known as the Peak which orbited Earth. Once there, they took over the station's populace that included Deathbird who was being held captive. From there, they intended to devour everything in their path as they intended to create a powerful interstellar empire from their new base. A number of Brood were devoured during this time and the Symbiote infested crew used a Bamf generated teleportational gate to the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning to invade it. Spider-Man along with the X-Men managed to go the station where they freed the crew from the Symbiotes. (Spider-Man and the X-Men v1 #5)
The bounty hunter Haze Mancer made a profit by capturing Symbiotes from their homeworld of Klyntar and selling them at a high cost. (X-Men: Blue Annual v1 #1)
After the birth of Venom's latest Symbiote offspring, Liz Allan of Alchemax sought to study the organism and use it to create a new range of wonder drugs for profit. (Venom: First Host v1 #1)
Kasady's efforts also saw him devastate the Weapon V program in order to murder hosts for genetic codices. This saw a number of Sym-Soldiers stage an ambush against Carnage with the aid of Weapon H but the Weapon Plus operatives were killed with Clayton Cortez able to escape with his mother-in-law after she was being held hostage. (Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus v1 #1) Carnage looked to acquire the remaining codex fragments or to force Eddie to absorb the remaining from himself. To force the matter, Kasady targeted Eddie's son Dylan Brock with Venom forced to kill the villain and thus take the codices pieces. Unknown to the rest of Earth, this allowed Knull to free himself from the Planet of the Symbiotes. (Absolute Carnage v1 #5)
With his army of Symbiotes, Knull took his children in an attack on Earth where on the way he had them corrupt several Celestials. Arriving on the planet, they came to encase the world in Symbiotes trapping the inhabitants inside allowing them to be preyed upon by the creatures. (King in Black v1 #1)
Ultimately, the God of Light that was the Enigma Force came to choose Eddie Brock as its new host thus resurrecting him and giving him the strength to battle Knull. With his new power, he overwhelmed the King in Black and succeeded in killing the God of the Symbiotes and took his place. As a result, Brock became the new hive mind of the species that were now free from their monstrous progenitor and in turn freeing the planet Earth from his attack. (King in Black v1 #5)
As an inorganic species, they were immune to corrosive acids that could reduce organic material to ash. (Venom v1 #12) Symbiotes were able to change their scent and alter their smell to prevent someone from tracking them. (Venom v1 #156) The green liquid produced by a Symbiote in their host that resembled saliva was actually excreted waste formed by the dissolving of foreign matter that entered the body. (Venom v4 #7)
They had access to a genetic memory with descendants have access to the memories of their ancestors. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #430)
It was said that Symbiotes had evolved to kill one another with incapable of surviving in the same host body. (Carnage v2 #15)
Symbiotes were stated to be empathic receptors who were sensitive to emotions. (Web of Spider-Man Super Special v1 #1) When torn from their hosts, the Symbiotes anguish emitted a psychic scream that could be picked by others of their kind that could be detected across worlds to nearby planetary solar systems. (Venom Super Special v1 #1)
Due to their genetic memory, they were capable of sharing knowledge with one another by absorbing the substance of another Symbiote. (Venom Super Special v1 #1) Some could control the substances in their bodies to achieve a chemical based form of communication allowing them to speak to the minds of hosts without possessing their brain stem. (Venom: First Host v1 #3) Symbiotes were able to shield the host from traumatic memories and instinctually erase parts that it believed would hurt their host. (Venom v4 #7)
They protected their hosts from impacts that would damage them. (Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special v1 #1) Symbiotes were known to keep a cellular imprint was retained of their former host that acted as a kind of codex that was used as a means of sharing information about hosts with the rest of their hives. Thus, they retained an aspect of the personality of the former host. (Venom v4 #8)
It was believed that spawning's were at random but research indicated was that Symbiotes sensed oncoming danger that required them to bolster their numbers. This was believed to be a collective unconscious response that operated as a kind of precognitive ability towards sensing seismic shifts to the environment or impending dangers to the hive. (Venom v4 #20) They had the ability to spawn offspring that were achieved by a Symbiote seed that resided within the organism. (Venom: Lethal Protector v1 #4) Young Symbiotes naturally produced metabolic by-products that had certain psychoactive properties allowing for euphoria, light sedative qualities, disinhibition and empathogenic state among humans. (Venom: First Host v1 #1)
It was claimed that Symbiotes had no feelings of their own. Instead, they were addicted to the strong emotions of host creatures. Once the subdue a race, they forced their unwilling partners to take risks so that hey could share on the adrenaline rush. Hosts, however, suffered from limited utility with entire races used up meeting extinction before the Symbiotes experienced their vampiric rush-lust. It was for this reason that scoutships were dispatched to scour the galaxy to find suitable replacements. (Venom Super Special v1 #1)
Symbiotes had the mind and soul of a warrior but needed a host in order to act in a noble and virtuous way. To achieve their ultimate goal of making a great society, they sought out a perfect host and achieve a complete symbiosis. However, the host needed to be a perfect blend of both physical and moral ideals. As such, with the correct host, they could become the ultimate noble warrior. However, few were able to achieve this balance turning the Symbiote into a more monstrous being. These imperfect Symbiotes became corrupted and took a life of their own that separated from their collective. (Guardians of the Galaxy v3 #23)
There were many stories about the Symbiotes with some being true and some being false whilst others were made by renegade members of their kind. (Guardians of the Galaxy v3 #23) One account held that the Symbiotes were a race of conquerors. (Venom Super Special v1 #1) Their greatest strength was the ability to merge with others leaving them not alone as they were better, stronger and more powerful. (Venom v4 #5)
It was said that the only true way for a Symbiote to die was by choice whereby they consciously succumbed to discorporation. (Web of Spider-Man Super Special v1 #1)
One group within their society were the Agents of the Cosmos who were said to be tied to the cosmos itself and could hear its voice. Any cries for help were expected to be answered where they responded to stop act crime or villainy in space. (Venom: Space Knight v1 #2) These warriors of the galaxy protected their home planet and anyone that needed help. The Symbian was then honoured to fulfil the hosts desire to become the best and truest version of themselves in the hope that this brought them peace as well as happiness. (Guardians of the Galaxy v3 #23)
The Symbiotes knew of a dead language but it was one not spoken by their kind for millions of years. (Venom v4 #1) The word Klyntar actually meant 'cage' in the language of the Symbiotes. (Venom v4 #4)
They had the knowledge to create Stargates that served as a transportation device between worlds that only they could operate. (Venom Super Special v1 #1)
- Venom :
- Carnage :
- Scream :
- Phage :
- Riot :
- Agony :
- Lasher :
- Toxin :
- Zzzxx : a black Symbiote encountered by the Shi'ar with D'Ken wanting it studied where it was kept contained in a prison until Emperor Vulcan chose it to join his elite Praetorian cadre. (X-Men: Kingbreaker v1 #2)
- Scorn :
- Sleeper : a further offspring of the Venom Symbiote who had a range of unique organs allowing improved sensory abilities along with the capacity to manipulate chemicals and pheromones that could be directed either in liquid or aerosol form allowing it to bring about feelings of euphoria or sleep or manipulate other organic beings. (Venom: First Host v1 #3)
- Grendel : the name of the primordial Symbiote that was used by Knull who used it to form a massive dragonic-like being until it was defeated by Thor. (Venom v4 #4)
- The Symbiotes were created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz where they made their first appearance in Amazing Spider-Man v1 #258 (November, 1984).
- In Savage She-Hulk v2 (2009), alternate versions of the Venom Symbiote was shown to inhabit an alternate universe that was designated as Earth-8009. By the 23rd century, the inhabited the post-apocalyptic Earth where the were referred to as the Black Bloom that resided in the wilderness and consumed anyone that tread upon them. The United Sisterhood Republic of Milago treated themselves with a special pheromone that made them invisible to the Black Bloom allowing them to evade it.
- In Venomverse v1 (2017), various Venom Symbiotes throughout the Multiverse were engaged in a conflict with the Poisons. These were smaller dimunitive life forms that were weaker than other species but found that they could form a true symbiotic relationship with the Symbiotes. They merged with Venom Symbiotes that were bonded to a host to add to their hive and sought the acquisition of more Venom hosts throughout the Multiverse.
- In Black Panther v7 #6 (2018), an alternate distant future was shown where five galaxies fell under the control of the Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda. In this timeline, the Klyntar were driven to near extinction by the empire with one of their number finding N'Jadaka who had been betrayed by his superiors due to his growing strength. The Symbiote bonded with him giving him the strength to slay his ambushers whereupon he took the throne of the interstellar nation thus growing himself Emperor.
- In Venom: The End v1 #1 (2020), an alternate future was shown where the Venom Symbiote came to survive for trillions of years. It was said that the Symbiotes genetic codex was a living tesseract allowing it an infinite amount of space to store the genetics of other organisms. This allowed Venom to gather the genetics of many hosts until centuries in the future where various civilisations released the shackles of artificial intelligences. This saw the rise of Artificial Super-Intelligences (A.S.I.s) that proceeded to war against organics. Venom came to represent biolife that attempted to survive the devastation where it attempted to enlist the aid of the other Symbiotes. However, Symbiotes were chaotic by their very nature and refused leading to the Symbiote War that led to Venom deciding to operate alone.
In other media
- In Spider-Man, the Symbiotes appeared in the 1990s animated television series with the Venom Symbiote being discovered during an exploration of an asteroid in space.
- In Spider-Man Unlimited, the Symbiotes were heavily involved in the plotline that took place on Counter Earth. The Symbiotes exhibit newer abilities then those demonstrated in their cartoon and comic continuities. They are capable of turning into a liquid state and disappearing into their surroundings in order to escape battle or ambush their enemies by appearing behind them. This liquid state also allowed two symbiotes to merge into a combined entity to provide extra strength as well as abilities. A symbiote was also capable of taking a part of its living material and placing it on another being where they engulf the body and turn the living creature into a mindless vessel under the control of the Synoptic. This change becomes apparent by their completely white eyes and a spongy greenish mass that covered parts of the body. There is apparently a guiding intelligence of the Symbiotes known as the Synoptic whose imperative asked the symbiotes to spread spores that would erupt into newer Symbiotes that would possess more hosts.Its revealed by the third episode that millennia ago, Counter Earth was dominated by dinosaurs at which point a swarm of meteors from space crash landed on the planet. Within the space rocks were insectoid creatures which were parasitic in nature and related to the Symbiotes. These parasites took control of many of the dinosaurs and the planet lived in harmony under the Symbiotes rule until the Catacylsm occurred where asteroid crashed into Counter Earth thus wiping out the dinosaurs. In the upheaval, many of the now hostless symbiotic insects went underground where parts of their bodies turned into a liquid substance creating a group mind known as the Synoptic. There it awaited for millennia until its liberators could arrive and bring about a new reign of the symbiotes on the planet once more. Venom and Carnage work together in this continuity and demonstrate add abilities that even Spider-man notes did not occur previously. Here they work to infiltrate John Jamesons space shuttle in order to smuggle themselves onto Counter Earth where they quickly begin plans to spread Symbiote spores around the planet under the directives of the Synoptic. At first, they quickly become an elite team of specialists that work for the High Evolutionary but quickly reveal that they have goals of their own to accomplish. Later on, they work on their own where they uncover the gigantic symbiotic biomass underground and free it. They begin their plans on spreading the Symbiote spores in order to take the planet over once more. By the end of the season, the Symbiote spores that were planted around the city by Venom and Carnage erupt and rain younger Symbiotes around the city. As the show was cancelled, the fate of the symbiotes was never explained.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, Symbiotes were shown as antagonists in the episode "Hitchin' a Ride". They were black skinned fluidic shapeshifters that sought host bodies to take over and being adaptive as well as cunning. Symbiotes were shown to have a weakness to fire and sound with Gamora having encountered them before. Their origins were shown in the episode "Symbiote War" where they were known as the Klyntar and native to their own world where they bonded to the native lifeforms. This was until the Mad Titan Thanos arrived and harvested the planet of numerous Symbiotes before destroying their world after which he began to study the organisms for use as weapons. He established a laboratory on the ruined world of Planet X where he corrupted the Symbiotes turning them feral. Thanos was impressed by their ferocity but their violent nature meant that they would turn on him leading to him abandoning them on the planet where they grew and multiplied their number due to Planet X's rich life energy. A former mining world containing a number of Symbiotes once held the Cosmic Seed that mutated the creatures. They would attack the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ravages when both groups sought the Cosmic Seed. These Symbiotes were shown as being stronger and sought to spread as well as infect the rest of the galaxy. Ultimately, they were destroyed by the Guardians before they could make their way to an inhabited world.
- In Avengers Assemble, Symbiotes appeared in the animated television series fourth season Secret Wars where it appeared in the episode "The Immortal Weapon". They managed to land on the Beyonders Battleworld where they came to reside to the east of K'un-Lun. One of their number was within a satellite that crashed in K'un-Lun where it burrowed through the ground to bond with Dracula who was kept imprisoned. After he was freed, the Symbiote made him immune to sunlight with Dracula intending to find he remaining creatures to bond with his Vampire hordes to make them immune to sunlight. The Symbiote was forced from Dracula with the power of the Iron Fist who departed in pursuit of the Vampire to prevent him from acquiring the other Symbiotes.
- In Spider-Man, Symbiotes appeared in the 2017 animated television series with this appearing with the Venom Symbiote. The organism was encountered by the space administration that brought the liquid back from exploration for study with them being unaware that it was a life form. This sample was given to Horizon Labs who designated it as V252 for study in order to see if it could be applied to a scientific breakthrough as the substance was incredibly elastic yet durable and light. Max Modell continued secret work in attempting to control the Symbiote where he used samples of it to create a synthetic version that was safer for use and did not dominate the mind of the host. Venom was accidentally freed from its containment where it absorbed the synthetic Symbiote after which it went to the site where its meteor crashed on Earth. From there, it uncovered the Seed which it used to send out an energy signal to its kin in deep space. Though defeated, the signal attracted the other Symbiotes who headed to Earth to make it their new homeworld. The Guardians of the Galaxy sent a distress call to Earth but the Avengers were taken over by a Symbiote advance force. A Symbiote ship was gradually heading towards Earth until Spider-Man disrupted the signal from the Seed that was located at Horizon University.
- In Venom, Symbiotes appeared in the setting of the 2018 live-action film. They were shown as a race of parasites that invaded other worlds and destroyed them. Venom came to Earth to be the vanguard of this invasion but he was captured by the Life Foundation who were looking to find perfect hosts to bond with the Symbiotes to make a superior race. In addition, the team leader Riot also arrived on the planet in order to spearhead the destruction of the world. However, Venom bonding with Eddie Brock led to the Symbiote coming to like the planet and wanted to protect it where together they destroyed Riot.
- In Spider-Man, the Symbiotes were part of the plot of the video game where they were made by Carnage who cooperated with Doctor Octopus. This involved Carnage attempting to create a Symbiote army to invade the city with this Symbiote Invasion encompassing the use of a gas that prepared human hosts for the alien symbiotes. These Symbiotes were engineered by Doctor Octopus and appeared as pink coloured creatures with no legs but moved through their symbiotic liquid form. They possessed a somewhat elongated face and two curved blades for hands. A greenish gas was being spread across the city in order to prepare the Human hosts for the symbiosis process.
- In Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, the meteor that brought Venom to Earth possessed numerous Symbiote fragments in them which Mysterio used to create the PHANTOMs.
- In Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, the Symbiotes appeared as antagonists in the game when the Venom Symbiote began a mass spawning.
- In Marvel Heroes, Symbiotes made an appearance in the MMORPG video game where a number of them spawned from Venom and infected civilians causing them to go rogue.
- In Marvel: Contest of Champions, the Venom Symbiote was shown on characters such as Venom, Agent Venom and Venompool. Non-playable foes known as Symbiods were introduced that resembled a mixture between a Symbiote and an Adaptoid.
- In Spider-Man Unlimited, various Symbiote characters appeared in the iOS video game.
- In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Symbiotes appeared in the setting of the fighting video game where the Marvel and Capcom universes had merged. M.O.D.O.K. who headed the A.I.M.brella Corporation was looking to breed Symbiote soldiers in his company. Similarly, Jedah Dohma was breeding a powerful Symbiote that was fed the souls of living beings to create a powerful beast with which he intended to unleash to destroy Ultrom Sigma.
- Amazing Spider-Man v1: (1984)
- Venom v1:
- Mighty Avengers v1:
- X-Men: Kingbreaker v1:
- Venom v2:
- Guardians of the Galaxy v3:
- Venom: Space Knight v1:
- Venom v4:
- Venom: First Host v1:
- Web of Venom: Ve'Nam v1:
- Absolute Carnage v1: (2019)
- Absolute Carnage: Weapon Plus v1: (2019)
- Venom: The End v1:
- King in Black v1: