Venom has been making appearances in Spider-Man titles for decades, acting as a questionable ally and common antagonist in these stories.
Fans of the Marvel’s Spider-Man games that have been developed by Insomniac Games have been waiting for the reveal of the sequel to the 2018 game for months. Since the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales almost a year ago, people have been talking about what they think will happen in a Marvel’s Spider-Man sequel. At the PlayStation Showcase this past week, some major suspicions were confirmed and hopes realized when Venom was shown in the closing shot of the reveal trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
This isn’t the first time that Venom’s appearance in Spider-Man games has been significant, and hopefully, 2023 won’t be the last either. With a publication history spanning almost 40 years, the black suit and Venom have been relevant to Spider-Man stories for decades. This includes video games from the early 90s, to the current series that kicked off with Marvel’s Spider-Man. While often similar in style, each title has had a different approach to the Klyntar character as well as his spawn and other family members.
The 90s placed Venom in three different Spider-Man games. While he made appearances in other titles throughout the decade, those with a dedicated tie between Venom and Peter Parker were limited. But as Spider-Man video games have become more popular, so has Venom’s appearance in them.
- The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin – Boss – 1991
- Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage – Playable – 1994
- Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety – Playable – 1995
- The Amazing Spider-Man: Lethal Foes – boss – 1995
- Spider-Man – Boss – 1995
The first decade of the 2000s is modest in its number of Venom appearances in Spider-Man games, but makes up for it by having the character appear in some of the most memorable titles. The classic 2000 Spider-Man game featured Venom, as well as the tie-in game for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies that featured the character in its final movie.
- Spider-Man – Boss – 2000
- Ultimate Spider-Man – Boss – 2005
- Spider-Man 3 – Boss – 2007 Film tie-in
- Spider-Man: Friend or Foe – Playable – 2007
- Spider-Man: Web of Shadows – Main Enemy/Boss – 2008
The 2010s were able to swing a couple more Spidey and Venom appearances thanks to two new Spider-Man movie franchises, as well as the continued popularity of Spider-Man games. While some appearances are better described as cameos and easter eggs, since characters like Black Cat got more screen time, Venom still remains relevant in several games throughout the decade. This trend is likely to continue as more games based on Marvel characters seem to be announced every couple of months, tapping into some of the franchises not so friendly neighborhood heroes like Blade and Wolverine in Midnight Suns.
- Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions – Playable – 2010 (The suit is used but Venom is controlled by Peter rather than him succumbing to the symbiote)
- The Amazing Spider-Man – 2012 – film tie-in – Two different versions of Spider-Man/Venom black suit appear as costumes
- Spider-Man Unlimited – 2014 – Several different versions of Venom are playable
- Marvel’s Spider-Man – 2018 – Cameo but never fully revealed, the symbiote is being used as a possible “cure” for Harry Osborn
The appearance that fans are probably looking forward to the most is Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. While the game probably won’t release for a solid two years, the excitement can be hard to contain. Both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales had great stories, so seeing the two web-crawlers working side-by-side in a grander narrative will likely be an incredible experience.
On top of Venom, the Spiders will also have to worry about the likes of Kraven the Hunter, and some other villains from both of their pasts. With plenty of enemies to choose from for the game’s main conflict and side missions, there should be no shortage of villains and problems to face in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Fans should also look forward to the possibility of adapting Kraven’s Last Hunt and other amazing Spider-Man stories.
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