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Venom Reading Order

A few decades before becoming the star of his own movie franchise, Venom was just a new, improved, and dark costume used by Spider-Man. Introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984), the black costume really became Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988) from David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, the sentient alien symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form, that bonds with a host.

Venom became one of Spider-Man’s most prominent villains when he bonded with Eddie Brock, a disgraced journalist who, after having wrongly accused a man to be the serial killer known as the Sin-Eater (the truth was exposed by Spider-Man!), became suicidal. That’s when he came into contact with the symbiote. They bond together, and Venom is born.

First a villain, Venom evolved to become an antihero (before reverting to his old ways… for a time). Eddie Brock is not the only host for the symbiote. He bonded with Mac Gargan (Scorpion), Flash Thompson, and more. He spawned several “children” like Carnage, Scream, Lasher, Phage, and more. Recently, the mythology surrounding the Alien symbiotes became massive to the point of menacing the entirety of the Marvel Universe.

Venom Reading Order

Want to know more about the other symbiotes? Check out our guide to Marvel’s Main Symbiote Characters.

The Venomnibus Collection

Before looking at the details, let’s talk about the omnibus collection Marvel has dedicated to Venom. It’s called the Venomnibus, and it’s mostly everything you need. Marvel also re-released recently an omnibus collecting the very beginnings of Venom:

  • The Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Man vs Venom Omnibus
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #258, #300, #315-317, #332-333, #346-347, #361-363, #374 And #378-380; Web Of Spider-Man (1985) #1, #95-96 And #101-103; Avengers: Deathtrap – The Vault Gn; Darkhawk #13-14; Spider-Man: The Trial Of Venom; Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits Of Vengeance #5-6; Spider-Man (1990) #35-37; Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #201-203; And Material From Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #373, #375, #388 And Annual #25-26; Web Of Spider-Man Annual #7-8; Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12; Marvel Comics Presents (1988) #117-122; And Spider-Man Unlimited (1993) #1-2; Plus Venom Subplot Pages.

  • Venomnibus Vol. 1
    Collects Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6; Venom: Funeral Pyre #1-3; Daredevil (1964) #323; Iron Man (1968) #302; Darkhawk #35-37; Venom: The Madness #1-3; Venom: The Enemy Within #1-3; Incredible Hulk vs. Venom #1; Venom: The Mace #1-3; Nightwatch #5-6; Venom: Nights of Vengeance #1-4; Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #6; Web of Spider-Man (1985) #118-119; Spider-Man (1990) #52-53; Venom: Separation Anxiety #1-4; Venom: Carnage Unleashed #1-4; material from Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #18-19.
  • Venomnibus Vol. 2
    Collects Venom: Sinner Takes All #1-5; Venom: Along Came A Spider #1-4; Venom: The Hunted #1-3; Venom: The Hunger #1-4; Venom: Tooth and Claw #1-3; Venom on Trial #1-3; Venom: License To Kill #1-3; Venom: Seed of Darkness #−1; Venom: Sign of the Boss #1-2; Spider-Man: The Venom Agenda; Venom: The Finale #1-3; Uncanny Origins #7; material from Amazing Spider-Man Super Special, Spider-Man Super Special, Venom Super Special, Spectacular Spider-Man Super Special, Web of Spider-Man Super Special and Spider-Man Holiday Special 1995.
  • Venomnibus Vol. 3
    Collects Peter Parker: Spider-Man (1999) #9-10, 12 (A-story), 16-17; Nova (1999) #7; Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #12 (A-story), 19; Spectacular Spider-Man (2003) #1-5; Venom (2003) #1-18; Venom vs. Carnage #1-4; Marvel Knights Spider-Man (2004) #7-8, 11; Sensational Spider-Man (2006) #38-39; Spider-Man/Fantastic Four (2010) #2; material from Spider-Man Family (2007) #1-2.
  • Venomnibus by Cates & Stegman
    Collects Venom (2018) #1—35, Annual (2018) #1; Web of Venom: Ve’Nam; Web of Venom: Carnage Born; Web of Venom: Wraith; Absolute Carnage #1—5; King in Black #1—5; material from Free Comic Book Day 2019 (Spider-Man/Venom), Free Comic Book Day 2020 (Spider-Man/Venom), Incoming! #1, and Carnage: Black, White & Blood #2.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Venom: The Alien Costume

Everything began during the first Secret Wars. That’s when Peter Parker found the Alien Costume.

For a time, Peter Parker wore the costume, and you can read some of those stories here:

Venom & Eddie Brock: The Early Years

As I was saying in the introduction, Venom was really introduced as a character in The Amazing Spider-Man #300. The essentials of the alien costume saga can be found in the next book:

  • Spider-Man: Birth of Venom
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #252-259, 300, #315-317, & Annual 25 (4th story), Web of Spider-Man (1985) #1, and material from Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #298-299, Fantastic Four (1961) #274, Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars (1984) #8, & Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #99-100.

If you only want Venom, the beginning is here. Eddie Brock tried time and again to take down Spider-Man! He mostly did that in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, but he also started to appear in other books like Avengers: Death Trap, the Vault (OGN), Darkhawk, Marvel Comics Presents, the crossover Spirits of Vengeance.

  • Venom Epic Collection: Symbiosis
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man #258, 300, 315–17, 332–33, 346–47, 388 (B story), Web of Spider-Man #1, Marvel Graphic Novel No. 68 – Avengers: Deathtrap – The Vault, Darkhawk #13-14 and material from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #25-26; Web of Spider-Man Annual #7-8; and Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12.

In 1993, with Venom: Lethal Protector, the symbiote became an antihero. It was also the beginning of a series of Venom miniseries (instead of an ongoing).

  • Venom Epic Collection: Lethal Protector
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man #361–363, 388, Spider-Man: The Trial of Venom #1, Web of Spider-Man #95-96, Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #5-6, Venom: Lethal Protector #1-6, and material from Marvel Comics Presents #117-122; and Amazing Spider-Man #373, 375.

    • Venom: Lethal Protector (2022)
      Collects Venom: Lethal Protector (2022) #1-5. Written by David Michelinie and published in 2022, this miniseries is set during that period of time.

Carnage Icon - Venom Reading Order

Maximum Carnage

Introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #361, Carnage is an offspring of Venom (see Carnage Reading Order) and his archenemy who found with serial killer Cletus Kasady a perfect host. As the title suggests it, he is the main antagonist of the Maximum Carnage miniseries: Carnage has returned and he’s ready to bring his brand of murder and mayhem to New York. But when Carnage adopts like-minded allies, it becomes Maximum Carnage. Can Spider-Man, Venom, and others stop him?

  • Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Maximum Carnage
    Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #378-380, Web of Spider-Man (1985) #101-103, Spider-Man (1990) #35-37, Spectacular Spider-Man (1976) #201-203, Spider-Man/Punisher/Sabretooth: Designer Genes (1993) one-shot, material from Spider-Man Unlimited (1993) #1-2.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Venom: The Anti-Hero

Eddie Brock and his alien symbiote stalk the streets of San Francisco looking for trouble as Venom in The Enemy Within. He also guest-starred in other series during that period.

  • Venom Epic Collection: The Madness
    Iron Man #302; Darkhawk #35-37; Venom: The Madness #1-3; Venom: The Enemy Within #1-3; Incredible Hulk vs. Venom #1; Venom: The Mace #1-3; Nightwatch #5-6; Venom: Nights of Vengeance #1-4. Missing from this collection are the following issues:

  • Venom: Separation Anxiety
    Collects Venom: The Mace, Venom: Nights of Vengeance, Web of Spider-Man #118-119, Spider-Man #52-53, and Venom: Separation Anxiety.
  • Other appearances collected in the Venomnibus Vol. 1:
    • Nightwatch #5-6
    • Silver Sable & The Wild Pack (1992) #30
    • Spider-Man: Arachnis Project (1994) #6

What’s coming next is collected in Venomnibus Vol. 2.

  • Venom Epic Collection: Carnage Unleashed
    Collects Spider-Man: The Arachnis Project #6; Web of Spider-Man #118-119; Spider-Man #52-53; Venom: Separation Anxiety #1-4; Venom: Carnage Unleashed #1-4; Venom: Sinner Takes All #5; Uncanny Origins #7; and material from Venom: Sinner Takes All #1-4
  • Venom: Along Came a Spider
    Collects Venom: Along Came A Spider 1-4, Venom: The Hunted 1-3, Venom: The Hunger 1-4, Material From Spider-Man Holiday Special 1995.
  • Venom: Tooth and Claw
    Collects Venom: Tooth And Claw #1-3, Venom: On Trial #1-3, Venom: License To Kill #1-3, Venom: Seed Of Darkness #-1, Venom: Sign Of The Boss #1-2, Spider-Man: The Venom Agenda And Venom: The Finale #1-3.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

As the title explained it, Venom: The Finale was the end of the Venom miniseries. Eddie Brock was separated from the Symbiote, but that did not last long. What’s coming next is collected in Venomnibus Vol. 3.

In 2003, Marvel launched a Venom ongoing series written by Daniel Way. Here is the synopsis: Somehow separated from Eddie Brock, the Venom symbiote has resurfaced near the Arctic Circle – hopping from host to host with the greatest of ease and on the run from enigmatic forces with their own agenda for the elusive alien. Ravenously hungry and craving adrenaline to satiate its appetite, the symbiote seeks out people experiencing intense, base emotions like rage, jealousy and hatred. As it cuts a bloody swath toward civilization through Canada’s northern regions, it sets its sights on a short, hairy guy with a bad temper: the X-Men’s Wolverine! And as the action moves to New York City, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four are forced to play damage control as…TWO bloodthirsty Venom creatures cause havoc?!

Venom is on the loose attacking people seemingly at random in “The Hunger“. But what does he want and what will it take for Spider-Man to defeat him?

Venom’s offspring, Carnage, is about to have a baby itself – a creature of indescribable power and appetites. Question is, who’s gonna bring up the baby?

Without surprise, Venom is part of the “Venomous” storyline in Marvel Knights Spider-Man. If the brief appearance of Angelo Fortunato as Venom II is not important, we cannot say the same about the first appearance of Venom III (Mac Gargan) in #10, as he will become the main Venom for the years to come.

But what is happening with Eddie Brock? see The Sensational Spider-Man #38-39 (also collected in Spider-Man, Peter Parker: Back In Black)

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Mac Gargan is Venom, a member of the Thunderbolts

After Marvel Knights #8, the symbiote stayed with Mac Gargan, previously known as Scorpion (another classic Spider-Man villain). The different Venom first appeared in the Beyond! miniseries about a group of superheroes and supervillains transported to the alien Battleworld. After that, during the infamous Civil War, he joined the Thunderbolts. It’s as a member of the team that we will follow him during that era.

Civil War Daredevil Reading OrderCivil War! The U.S. Government proposed the Superhuman Registration Act, intending to register all super-powered beings as living weapons of mass destruction and requiring all costumed heroes to unmask themselves before the government and subject themselves to federally mandated standards. Heroes had to choose between rallying behind either Iron Man’s pro-registration forces or Captain America’s opposition. The Civil War began. (see the reading order)

  • Civil War
    Collects Civil War #1-7, plus extras.

During that event, Venom appeared in Civil War #4, Civil War: Choosing Sides #1, Civil War #5-6, Civil War: Front Line #10, Civil War #7, Civil War: The Initiative #1.

In the wake of Civil War, Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato launched Thunderbolts, a team of “reformed” villains who are in pursuit of the unregistered superhumans.

Secret InvasionSecret Invasion! It begins with a brutal battle between the New Avengers and the Hand—one that claims the life of Elektra and reveals that she was a Skrull! As the Secret Invasion stands revealed and the Skrulls attack Earth, which heroes will be exposed as alien impostors? (see the reading order)

During that event, Venom appeared in Secret Invasion #3, Thunderbolts (2006) #122-124, Secret Invasion #6, Secret Invasion: Front Line #4-5, Secret Invasion #7.

Dark ReignIn the aftermath of Secret Invasion, Marvel launched “Dark Reign”, a period during which Norman Osborn was in control. To learn more about this, take a look at our Dark Reign Reading Order. Venom appeared mainly in the Dark Avengers series, but also made guest appearances (as a member of the Dark Avengers) in a multitude of other series. We are sticking to the essentials here.

Marvel Siege LogoSiege! Coerced by Loki and on the brink of madness, Osborn, in his final bid to take total control, targets the final obstacle in his mission…Asgard. This is the end of the “Dark Reign” era (see the reading order).

  • Dark Avengers: Siege
    Collects Dark Avengers #13-16, and Dark Avengers Annual.
  • Siege
    Collects Siege: The Cabal, Siege #1-4, and Avengers: The Way Things are.
  • Siege: X-Men – Dark Wolverine & New Mutants
    Collects Dark Wolverine #82-84, New Mutants #11, and Siege: Storming Asgard – Heroes & Villains.
  • Siege: Embedded
    Collects Siege: Embedded #1-4.
  • New Avengers: Siege
    Collects New Avengers #61-64, New Avengers Annual #3, The List – New Avengers, and New Avengers Finale.
  • Siege: Battlefield
    Collects Siege: Spider-Man, Siege: Young Avengers, Siege: Loki, Siege: Captain America, and Siege: Secret Warriors.

During that event, Venom appeared in Siege: The Cabal, Dark Avengers #15, Siege #1, Siege: Storming Asgard – Heroes & Villains #1, Siege: Embedded #1, Mighty Avengers #33, Dark X-Men #3, Avengers: The Initiative #32, Dark Wolverine #82, Dark Avengers #14, Siege #2, New Avengers #63, Siege: Embedded #3, Dark Avengers #15, Siege #3, New Avengers #64, Siege: Secret Warriors #1, Siege: Spider-Man #1, Siege #4, and Dark Avengers #16.

In Amazing Spider-Man #648 (collected in The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time), the Venom symbiote is confiscated from Mac Gargan by the government.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Flash Thompson is Agent Venom

After being a supporting character of Spider-Man for a very long time, Flash Thompson is finally the star of his own series as he becomes Agent Venom. Introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #654-654.1 (collected in The Amazing Spider-Man: Big Time), Agent Venom is Flash and the Symbiote working together as a government agent.

The Venom Series has already been collected by run. First, the two volumes for Rick Remender:

Then, Cullen Bunn’s work on the series has also been collected in one volume:

Here is a more detailed reading order for this volume 2 of Venom:

Icon Spider-Man Reading Order Spider-Island! Welcome to Spider-Island, where a million New Yorkers suddenly possess Spider-Man’s powers – but none of the responsibility! (see the reading order)

Venom Icon - Venom Reading OrderAfter Venom #15, Flash joined the Secret Avengers (in issue #23), a series written by Rick Remender who left Venom after #22. Cullen Bunn took over.

Cullen Bunn became the main writer with issue #23.

Agent Venom also joined the Thunderbolts, but left the Secret Avengers in SA #37.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Flash Thompson is Agent Venom, Guardian of the Galaxy!

In the Free Comic Book Day 2014 issue, Agent Venom joined the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Agent Venom temporarily leaves the Guardians in #17 but came back in #21

Secret Wars 2015Secret Wars! The event that rebooted the entire Marvel Universe took place here (click here to know more about that massive event). Flash appeared in Spider-Island: Warzones!

It’s an All-New All-Different Marvel, Eddie Brock is back (as Toxin) in the new Carnage series, and Flash Thompson is still Agent Venom, Space Knight, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Civil War IICivil War II! When a new Inhuman emerges, with the ability to profile the future, Captain Marvel wanted him to work with the Ultimates, in order to preemptively tackle disasters before they happen, but Iron Man opposed the idea. Issues #11-12 of Venom: Space Knight and #11-13 of Guardians of the Galaxy are part of the event (see the reading order).

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Eddie Brock is back as Venom

Things got a bit complicated for a short period of time. After Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4 #19, Agent Venom left the team. We reconnect with Venom as he became the symbiote of Lee Price, a member of Black Cat‘s gang who decided to use Venom for his personal gain. That didn’t last long. In Venom #6, Eddie Brock returns as Venom. Then, there was a switch to Legacy numbering with #150. In this anniversary issue, we learned the truth behind Flash Thompson’s separation from the Venom symbiote revealed. The series was written by Mike Costa.

Venom Icon - Venom Reading Order

Venom by Donny Cates & Ryan Stegman

The most popular Venom run is a recent one (most of it has been collected in Venomnibus by Cates & Stegman). Written by Donny Cates with art by Ryan Stegman, the new Venom series started in 2018 and introduced elements of the symbiote mythology, but also connected old ones, to lead us to the massive King in Black event. You can learn more about the story and the different collected editions in our Donny Cates’ Venom Reading Order.

War of Realms Logo 72War of Realm! For some time now, Malekith the Accursed has been conquering the Ten Realms one by one until there is only one left: Midgard (Earth!). Thor with a lot of Asgardian warriors and Earth’s heroes must now fight against a full-on invasion. (see the reading order).

  • War of the Realms (the symbiote story)
    Collects War of the Realms #1-6.
  • Venom: War Of The Realms (Eddie Brock story, written by Cullen Bunn)
    Collects Venom (2018) #13-15, and Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1.
  • Silver Surfer: Black
    Collects Silver Surfer: Black #1-5. Not a Venom Story, but still connected to the Knull story and written by Donny Cates.

Carnage Reading Order IconeAbsolute Carnage! From one event

to the next. After being resurrected by a cult dedicated to the worship of the god Knull and being bonded to the deific primordial Grendel symbiote, Carnage makes his comeback to New York in order to collect codices, traces left inside those who wore a symbiote, even once. (see the reading order).

Venom Icon - Venom Reading OrderKing in Black! The sequel to Absolute Carnage. Knull, the god of the symbiotes, is finally coming to conquer Earth—with an army of thousands of symbiote dragons at his beck and call. Of course, Earth’s heroes will fight back. (see the reading order).

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Ram V leaves the title after issue #15, with Ewing remaining as the main writer.

Last Updated on July 10, 2024.