Venom Settles a Huge Fan Debate: Yes, Symbiote Colors Matter


  • The recent Venom comic confirms that colors do matter in symbiote lore, with the implication that red symbiotes are stronger than black ones.
  • The hierarchy of symbiote colors is now established, with red symbiotes being naturally stronger than black ones.
  • The white Anti-Venom is considered one of the strongest symbiotes, further solidifying the hierarchy and establishing its position at the top.



Within the Marvel community, fans of Venom have long debated whether or not symbiote colors actually mean anything. When the film Venom: Let There Be Carnage suggested a hierarchy of colors by acknowledging Carnage’s terror simply by being “a red one,” the actual comics gave a different explanation for why Carnage is red, but never offered a consistent meaning for differently colored symbiote characters. Until now.

In the pages of Venom #8 by Al Ewing and Bryan Hitch, Eddie Brock travels to the distant future where symbiotes have excessive power. He quickly discovers a much larger, seemingly stronger symbiote with noteworthy spikes sticking out of its body. Brock and Venom’s first observation that alarms them? “That’s a red one.”

Venom explains Red Symbiote color meaning in Marvel Comics

At face value, Brock’s mention of the enemy symbiote’s red coloring is clearly a nod to the aforementioned line from the Venom movie sequel. However, beneath the surface, this simple line helps canonize and legitimize the idea that colors actually do matter in symbiote lore.

Related: Venom’s New ‘War’ Form Unlocks New Hulk & Iron Man Powers

Venom Confirms Red Symbiotes Are Stronger Than Black

When symbiote enthusiasts began the Maximum Carnage storyline with Spider-Man Unlimited #1 by Tom DeFalco and Ron Lim, it seemed clear that Carnage was red simply because he bonded with Cletus Kasady through his blood. In terms of power, Carnage is usually depicted as being stronger and deadlier than Venom due primarily to his rage, madness, or bloodlust… but never explicitly because of a color-related reason. To complicate things further, unrelated Marvel writers and artists have suggested color serves mainly to distinguish one symbiote from another (to the point that Mighty Avengers: Venom Bomb arc treats them as interchangeable).

Venom #8 has changed those assumptions, with the immediate implication of a red symbiote other than Carnage also being stronger than Venom confirming there is indeed a hierarchy in place. At the very least, a red symbiote is naturally stronger than a black symbiote. What this means for symbiotes who sport a green, purple, or even yellow color is up in the air for now. Although, it is worth noting that the white Anti-Venom is one of the strongest symbiotes, even sporting a one-of-a-kind symbiote killing touch, further establishing a hierarchy that places Anti-Venom at the top.

No matter what else may be debated, Venom fans can now rest assured that colors do, in fact, matter, and they should keep an eye out for moments like this that confirm that fact for other symbiote colors.

Next: Venom’s New Symbiote Suit Gives Marvel a Toxic Version of Iron Man


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