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10 Most Powerful Symbiotes in the Marvel Universe

Written by Sera Serinda A

A symbiote is a creature from outer space that comes to Earth to bond with humans for survival. When a symbiote enters a human's body, it gains control and grants its host superpowers. Humans possessed by symbiotes transform into frightening monsters and often behave in a cruel and brutal manner.

In the Marvel universe, Venom is perhaps the most famous symbiote because of its compelling backstory. Venom is known for its immense strength and has long been a formidable adversary of Spider-Man.

However, Venom isn't the only powerful and well-known symbiote in the Marvel universe. There are several other symbiotes that are even more dangerous and malevolent. Curious to know who they are? Read on for more details.

1. The Life Foundation Symbiotes

The Life Foundation Symbiotes

The Life Foundation is an organization made up of Cold War survivors who focus on humanitarian efforts. The leader of the organization, Carlton Drake, harbors a secret: he conducts research on symbiotes to create super-strong soldiers.

This research involves using the original genetic material from Venom to create five new types of symbiotes named Agony, Scream, Riot, Phage, and Lasher. These symbiotes successfully merged with The Life Foundation's top five soldiers, forming a lethal military unit.

2. Carnage


Carnage made his debut in "The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 361" comic, released in April 1992. This symbiote is known for its extremely sadistic and cruel behavior, even more so than Venom. It chose a serial killer, Cletus Kasady, as its host, making Carnage one of the most dangerous supervillains.

Carnage is set to appear in the second sequel of the live-action Venom film, scheduled for release in 2021. Actor Woody Harrelson has been cast to portray Cletus Kasady. In 2009, IGN ranked Carnage number 90 on their list of The Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

3. Venom


Eddie Brock is not the first host of the deadly Venom symbiote. According to Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars Vol. 8 comic from 1984, the symbiote first possessed Spider-Man, also known as Peter Parker. It altered Spider-Man’s personality and behavior, giving him a darker edge.

Later, the Venom symbiote merged with Eddie Brock, transforming him into an anti-hero who either battles against or cooperates with other superheroes. Venom made its movie debut in a live-action film in 2018, with actor Tom Hardy playing the role of journalist Eddie Brock.

4. Red Goblin

Red Goblin

In the Spider-Man series, Norman Osborn, also known as the Green Goblin, is a recurring threat to Peter Parker. After losing control of his Green Goblin persona, Norman acquired the Carnage symbiote gene from an ancient temple.

The Carnage symbiote immediately bonded with Norman, gaining full control over his body. The fusion of Norman and the symbiote created a new super symbiote known as the Red Goblin. Unlike other symbiotes, the Red Goblin is highly resistant to all sonic and fire attacks.

5. Knull


Knull is revered as the god of symbiotes and ranks among the most formidable supervillains in the Marvel universe. When the Celestials started creating life, Knull awoke from a long slumber, crafted the All-Black sword, and clad himself in symbiote armor.

His violent actions led to the death of a celestial, igniting a catastrophic conflict among the gods. After his forces were defeated by Thor, Knull entered a state of suspended animation and was subsequently marooned on a desolate planet named Klyntar, which eventually became known as the cradle of symbiotes.

6. Toxin


Emerging from the lineage of Carnage, Toxin is the 1000th symbiote in his line and is considered even mightier and more perilous than Knull by both Venom and Carnage. Initially, Toxin sought to take over a New York police officer named Patrick Mulligan.

This symbiote displayed a superior tolerance to sonic waves and fire compared to its progenitor, Carnage. When merged with Patrick, it resembled Spider-Man closely but transformed into a fearsome creature with sharp fangs and elongated claws when provoked.

7. Scorn


Hosted by a female psychiatrist named Tanis Nieves, Scorn is a sibling to Toxin and nearly matches its power level. This symbiote boasts a greater resistance to damage than Venom, Carnage, and even Spider-Man.

Additionally, Scorn possesses enhanced extrasensory abilities akin to Spider-Man’s spider-sense, capable of detecting threats from all directions. Unique among its kind, Scorn can also infiltrate and manipulate technological systems, making it a lethal entity in the cyber space.

8. Mania

The symbiote known as Mania originated from a fragment of Venom’s tongue, cloned by the Ararat Corporation within their Mesa Verde Laboratory in New Mexico. Ararat’s sinister aim was to engineer a being capable of annihilating all life on Earth.

Like its counterparts, Mania is susceptible to attacks from heat and sonic sources, which cause severe discomfort. Nevertheless, it remains impervious to more forceful assaults. Mania first appeared in Venom vol. 1, created by Daniel Way and Francisco Herrera.

Over time, it has bonded with various hosts, including US Army lieutenant Patricia Robertson, student Andrea ‘Andi’ Benton, and the felon Lee Price.

9. All-Black


All-Black emerged from the shadow of the deity Knull and was crafted using the energy of a vanquished Celestial. This unique symbiote manifests as a sword composed entirely of darkness. After Knull's defeat by the gods, All-Black abandoned him and allied with Gorr, a misotheistic alien.

This alliance inadvertently set Gorr on a path similar to Knull’s, leading him to slay gods across the universe, earning him the title "The God Butcher." This symbiote transformed Gorr into an evil deity, granting him immortality and powers on par with Knull.

10. Anti Venom

Anti Venom

Eddie Brock has separated from Venom, yet traces of the symbiote linger in his system. Now battling cancer, Eddie volunteers at the FEAST Centre, led by Martin Li, who also operates as the supervillain Mr. Negative.

Li's attempt to heal Eddie's cancer unintentionally merges the symbiote remnants with his white blood cells, creating a new hybrid symbiote that envelops Eddie's body.

This new white symbiote, named Anti-Venom by Eddie, possesses remarkable healing capabilities and can generate antibodies that combat various illnesses. With Anti-Venom, Eddie maintains complete control over his actions and the symbiote itself.

These are the 10 most powerful symbiotes, each adding rich and thrilling narratives to the Marvel universe. From the list of symbiotes discussed, do you have a favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

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