By popular demand, a complete Venom reading order, from his origins to Maximum Carnage, to Venom’s current role with the Guardians of the Galaxy! Get to know Spider-Man’s most venomous villain!
I) The Birth of Venom
A few notes about this section. There is some overlap in the available trade collections for the issues of Spider-Man in which Venom first appears. For example, “The Birth of Venom” includes the first Amazing Spider-Man issues in which Spidey and Venom battle, but it also includes backstory for the black suit all the way to its origins in Secret Wars. Of course if you’re reading on Marvel Unlimited, this won’t be an issue.
Additionally, “Venom: Dark Origin” is the only series on here published during the 2000’s. Although it was published much later, the story deals with the origins of Venom, and can be read closer to his original appearances in Spider-Man.
Secret Wars #8, Amazing Spider-Man #252-259, #298-300 & #315-317, Fantastic Four #274 And Web Of Spider-Man #1
Amazing Spider-Man 298-300, 315-317
#1 – #5
Amazing Spider-Man 330-333, 344-347
#1 – #6
Amazing Spider-Man #332-333, #346-347, #361-363 And #374-375, Spider-Man: The Trial Of Venom — And Material From Amazing Spider-Man #373, #388 And Annual #25-26, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #12, And Web Of Spider-Man Annual #8
II) Venom Begats Maximum Carnage
Venom reading order will not quite double as a complete Carnage reading order, but because Venom and Carnage are so closely related, you will find plenty of Carnage included here, notably Maximum Carnage.
Amazing Spider-Man #378-380, Spectacular Spider-Man #201-203, Spider-Man #35-37, Spider-Man Unlimited #1 And #2, And Web Of Spider-Man #101-103
Check out this page, for a proper Maximum Carnage reading order.
#1 – #4
#1 – #4
III) A Venom for the 21st Century
Not necessarily the beast Venom stories on our list, but the Marvel Knights Spider-Man from Mark Millar in particular has a big influence on the status quo of Venom. The individual inside the symbiote will feel a bit confusing if you skip over this section!
Venom #1 – #18
#1 – #4
Marvel Knights Spider-Man Ultimate Collection
#5 – #12
I’ll be clear that Civil War is in no way a Venom story, but it does include the sinister symbiote and sets up his status during the following section. You’ll want a passing familiarity with the core Civil War story.
IV) Venom and the Thunderbolts
Some of the most interesting Venom stories stem from his unexpected time as one of the “heroic” Thunderbolts. Following the events of Secret Invasion, this leads to an even more intriguing period of Venom as a part of the Dark Avengers.
#110 – #121
#122 – #125 (Secret Invasion reading order)
#568 – #573 (Aug 2008 – Oct 2008)
#126 – #127
#1 – #4 (June 09 – Sept 09)
Dark Reign: Anti-Venom #1-3, Extra #2
V) An All-New Venom From Spider-Man’s Past
One of the greatest, and perhaps most unexpected turns in Venom’s existence. This is my personal favorite section of Venom comics, and I won’t spoil anything here by saying exactly what happens!
#654 & #654.1
#1 – #5
Amazing Spider -Man 666-673, Venom 6-9, Spider -Island : Deadly Foes , material from Amazing Spider -Man 659-660, 662-665, Spider-Island Spotlight
Within my modern Amazing Spider-Man guide, you’ll find a complete Spider-Island reading order.
Venom 10-13, 13.1-13.4, 14
Secret Avengers 21.1, 22-25
Secret Avengers 26-32 (Apr ’12 – Oct ’12)
Venom #23-25 And #28-30
Minimum Carnage: Alpha 1, Venom 26-27, Scarlet Spider 10-12, Minimum Carnage: Omega 1
I include a Minimum Carnage reading order within my Marvel NOW guide.
Secret Avengers 33-37 (oct ’12 – Feb ’13)
Superior Spider-Man 22-26, Annual 1
VI) Venom… In Space!
Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians Of The Galaxy) 1, Guardians of the Galaxy 14-17, Amazing Spider-Man 654 (B story), Captain Marvel (2012) 1