An alien symbiote with a thirst for violence and flesh, Venom started out as a living costume for Spider-Man. The creature is a sentient alien with a gooey, almost liquid-like form. It requires a host, usually human, to bond around for its survival. In return the Venom creature gives its host enhanced powers. Created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, Venom made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #299 in 1988. When Spidey rejected Venom’s attempts for control, he latched onto the Daily Bugle’s Eddie Brock, spawning a decades-long quest for vengeance.
Arguably Spider-Man’s biggest nemesis, Venom is the comic book equivalent of a movie boogeyman like Freddy Krueger – he’s meant to be terrifying and villainous, but readers thought he was so cool that eventually the symbiote became less obviously evil (he always tries never to hurt bystanders), appearing in his own title. In fact, he was so neutered that not only did he occasionally team up with Spider-Man, but Marvel created an even more evil symbiote, the mass murderer, Carnage, in order to mitigate Venom’s crimes. Currently, the symbiote is not bonded with Brock, but that remains his most famous persona. He made his on screen debut in Spiderman 3 in 2007 (for 15 minutes) and there is a Venom spinoff movie in the works.