Spider-Man has had quite the roster of villains, but arguably one of the deadliest was the alien symbiote known as Venom. Unable to exist without a host, this creature bonded with Peter Parker and even copied some of his abilities, forcing Spider-Man to up his game to deal with a foe that already knew all of his tricks!
Today we’re going to discuss Venom tattoos, delving into their rich history, meanings, and designs, so that you can learn a little more about this villain and see why he makes for such a powerful and eye-popping skin art choice.
Without further ado, let’s talk about Venom!
What is the History of Venom Tattoos?
In ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ issue #252, released in 1984, the wall-crawling, webslinger that we all know and love was sporting sleek, new black suit. That suit, however, wasn’t made of fabric, but was rather an alien symbiote who would later become known as ‘Venom’.
When it first bonded with Peter Parker, the creature enhanced his strength during the day and provided a wardrobe change that Peter had already been wanting for a long time. It was a good relationship for them both, as the symbiote could not survive without a strong host like Peter.
Unfortunately, the symbiote had some ideas of its own, and when Peter would sleep at night, it took over his body to fight crime – it’s own way. Rather than webbing-up criminals for the police, the extraterrestrial often beat criminals within an inch of their life, until Peter found out what he was up to.
Discovering that the alien was vulnerable to sound and fire, Parker managed to drive it away, but it found a new host in the form of a reporter –Eddie Brock — who already had a grudge against Peter for discrediting his work. Brock and the alien symbiote united in their hatred of Peter, and Venom was officially ‘born’.
What Do Venom Tattoos Symbolize?
Venom can represent a lot of interesting things. While the symbiote gives power to its host, nothing is free, and the creature has a habit of eating people alive! He would also converse with his host and sometimes they would fight about what to do, which is a perfect symbol of struggling with internal conflict.
In this manner, Venom could be representative of the tattoo owners personal struggle with their own temper, temptations, or even escaping old habits from the past.
Venom could even represent addiction. When Peter Parker first joined with the symbiote, the power was intoxicating, but he knew that it was also wildly destructive and dangerous for everyone around.
Ultimately, Venom perfectly symbolizes the dangers and temptations of power without discipline – and of listening to that ‘voice’ that tells to do things that you know that you shouldn’t!
What Do Venom Tattoos Mean?
The meaning of Venom tattoos is customized to the wearer, of course. Some choose to wear Venom simply because they love Spider-Man and Venom is arguable one of his most deadly foes. For others, it may be more personal, and Venom might represent a fight with past addictions or aggressive habits that are better left in the past.
Venom tattoos can also represent the feeling that one is living a double-life – kind and responsible on one end, impulsive and angry in another. Think about what the character means to you and whether you want to depict him alone or with other items, characters, or symbols present.
The meaning is going to come from your own personal experiences, as well as the context in which you present the infamous alien symbiote, so have a little fun with it and be sure to make it personal. As far as tattoos go, it really doesn’t get much more fun than the notorious Venom!
Characteristics and Styles of Venom Tattoos
Venom tattoos are extremely versatile. When not bonded to a host, he appears as a shapeshifting mass of inky-goo, and even when bonded he can change his form at will, extending to reach his target and even growing eyes, teeth, and claws to ensure that they don’t get away.
The style that you choose is up to you – you could go with classic comic book or graphic novel depictions, take a little stylistic freedom with his movie depictions, or create a completely new design based on whatever you imagine. Venom can change his shape, after all, so what he is doing is up to you.
You’ll usually retain the black ‘Spider-Man mask’, often displayed with a mouthful of teeth, but beyond this the sky is the limit.
While you could do black and white, as that’s Venom’s actual colors, going with a color tattoo can make a huge difference – clever shading and the addition of blues can really make the design pop, so it’s definitely something to consider when you are finalizing the design that you have in mind.
Where Do Venom Tattoos Usually Go?
As far as placement of Venom tattoos, the outer arm or even the shoulder is a very popular placement, but for some fans the chest or the back will be a better option. With more skin area available, you can go with a lot of color and a more complex design and really make an amazing piece of skin art.
You don’t have to go big to have an impact, though, as even Venom’s head is going to be recognized worldwide. It’s one of the fun things about choosing a character that is so well-known. If people see your tattoo and they know about Spider-Man, then they will almost always know Venom as well!
Some closing words on Venom tattoos
If you love comics, especially comic book villains, then a Venom tattoo might be just what the doctor ordered. This deadly, shapeshifting alien is not only amazing in ink, but has a lot of interesting symbolism that many of us can identify with all too well.
Sometimes skin art can be a lot of fun, and it doesn’t get much more fun than your very own Venom tattoo!