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Venom: 10 Best Comic Issues Of The 2010s | ScreenRant

As Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theatres, Marvel comic geeks might want to update their knowledge on the iconic villain/antihero Venom. Even though Eddie Brock used the black symbiote for his evil means, the 2010s witnessed a change of heart for the character as he embraced the identity of Anti-Venom.

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The same decade also opened the avenue for several other parasitic symbiotes, most of whom were united in the special event Venomverse. At one point, Spider-Man comics included Venom and Carnage as the only symbiotes. But the last decade has proven successful enough for more such creatures in the larger Venom mythos.

10 Venomverse (Limited Series)

Just like Spider-Verse, Venomverse explores the possibility of multiple versions of Venom in parallel dimensions. Doctor Strange initiates the inter-dimensional travel for such Venoms to fight off Poisons, dark creatures that unite the symbiote with the host.

What's exciting is that the series introduces some never-seen-before avatars of the black symbiote, such as Venom bonded with parallel versions of Captain America, Ghost Rider, Rocket Raccoon, and X-23.

9 Circle Of Four (Venom Vol 2 #10-14)

The titular team in Circle of Four is an unexpected batch of flawed heroes and villains including X-23, Ghost Rider, Agent Venom, and Red Hulk. While Ghost Rider accidentally lets loose Hellish forces in Las Vegas, the four join forces to save the city, and eventually the planet.

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What's notable is the self-introspection it provides to characters like Flash Thompson and General Ross as both bear the guilt of their beastly alter egos. As for X-23, the clone also wonders if she actually ever had a soul. This clash of antiheroes and demonic forces provides enough entertainment along with thoughtful writing.

8 Agent Venom (Venom Vol 2 #1-5)

A new angle to Venom's history was established with Flash Thompson being the symbiote's host Agent Venom. Even though Peter Parker's bully was initially a secondary antagonist, he has matured in the past decade to finally do something good for a change. Considering his admiration for Spider-Man, he uses the black symbiote to become Agent Venom.

This storyline is a must-read for it kickstarted Rick Remender's run on Venom Vol. 2 while also revamping an unlikely character as the symbiote host. Agent Venom went on to appear in other iconic issues like Space Knight. 

7 Go Down Swinging (The Amazing Spider-Man #797-801)

This Amazing Spider-Man storyline pits the web-swinger against the classic Spider-Man villain Green Goblin. As Norman Osborn seeks to restore his Goblin powers, he embraces the Carnage symbiote. In his quest to defeat his arch-nemesis, Spider-Man draws upon trusted friends like the Human Torch and Agent Anti-Venom. The latter, in fact, even helps in curing some of his injuries.

What's notable in this arc is Osborn's ability to manipulate Carnage in his own ways. Instead of using the symbiote for the usual reckless slaughter, he is able to use it specifically to target Spider-Man.

6 King In Black (Limited Series)

King In Black is set in the aftermath of Absolute Carnage and deals with the supervillain Knull and his symbiotes invading the planet. Venom doesn't unite with his usual allies this time. In fact, he seeks the help of Marvel superteams like the X-Men and the Avengers.

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The King In Black storyline truly established Venom as a positive character with such heroic teams backing up his efforts. His transition from an unstable villain to a responsible hero was finally complete.

5 Venom Space Knight (Limited Series)

Venom Space Knight continues Flash Thompson's character transformation as he becomes an Agent of the Cosmos and an ambassador for Earth. Given his background as a soldier, Agent Venom, and even a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thompson has come a long way from being just a high-school bully.

The story's intergalactic setting gives it the tones of a space opera while there are a few comedic elements that characterize Venom storylines of this decade. The initial horror influences of the character can now be merged with other genres like sci-fi.

4 Absolute Carnage (Limited Series)

While Eddie Brock was able to find his redemption in the 2010s, Carnage's host Cletus Kasady has always been a raging maniac of a person. As the title suggests, Absolute Carnage finds the criminal uniting with Carnage once again to wreak havoc on every other symbiote in existence.

RELATED: 10 Best Spider-Man Comic Issues Of The 2010s

The comic is a perfect testimony to show Kasady's villainy and how he benefits a violent symbiote like Carnage. Woody Harelson's portrayal of Kasady in the new Venom film is bound to generate interest in the character once again. Hence, Absolute Carnage will make for a timely read.

3 The War Of The Realms (Limited Series)

In the mega-crossover, The War Of The Realms, the Thor comic villain Malekith The Accursed has conquered all major realms of the universe barring Midgard (Earth). As for Venom, the symbiote makes an appearance as a member of Captain Marvel's War Avengers along with Winter Soldier, Lady Sif, and many others.

Even though Venom wishes to help in fighting the Dark Elf ruler, his shapeshifting skills are misused in the hands of Malekith. The antagonist first merges Venom with his weapons and then fuses with the creature himself. This adds to the grey areas behind the symbiote as a character.

2 Venom: First Host (Limited Series)

While Marvel fans would think of Eddie Brock as the oldest host of the Venom symbiote, First Host reveals the story of a Kree soldier who first embraced Venom in the middle of a cosmic war. The plot then shifts to the present with Eddie Brock and the 'First Host' coming together to avert a global crisis.

This unique origin story added more perspective to Venom's extraterrestrial origins. There are enough comics on Venom and Carnage's misadventures on planet Earth but not enough on their other outer-world counterparts. First Host, on the other hand, starts off from Venom's home planet and adds further historical context in the Venom universe.

1 The Land Before Crime (Venom Vol 2 #150-153)

After a few years of using Flash Thompson as a host, the Venom symbiote reunites with Eddie Brock. The reintroduction of Brock is accompanied by exciting duels with obscure enemies like Stegron, the Dinosaur Man.

The Land Before Crime brings back the darkly comic attitude of Eddie Brock and Stegron's showdown only adds to the over-the-top nature of recent Venom stories. While Thompson has become a fan-favorite, Brock has always been a classic. Though he's still an antihero, his villainous tendencies do come out as he craves for Spider-Man's flesh.

NEXT: 5 Things Venom's Eddie Brock Was Right About (& 5 Times He Was Wrong)

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