How Spider-Man’s ’90s Show Changed Venom’s Origin

For years, I was completely wrong about Spider-Man’s black suit and Venom‘s origin in Marvel Comics, all thanks to Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the 1990s. I’m not alone in this misconception, as many fans remember the classic tale differently from how it actually unfolded in the comics. This phenomenon is a classic case of the Mandela Effect.

How Spider-Man’s ’90s Cartoon Created a Mandela Effect

The Influence of Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Spider-Man: The Animated Series aired in the 1990s and had a significant impact on how fans remember Spider-Man‘s black suit saga. The show’s portrayal of the symbiote made it seem like it was a corrupting influence from the start, which wasn’t the case in the original comics.

Differences Between the Cartoon and Comics

In the original comics, after Peter Parker bonded with the alien symbiote, he didn’t become more aggressive. Instead, his first adventures in the black suit showed him being even friendlier and more effective as a hero. This contrast with the cartoon’s version has led to widespread misconceptions.

The Original Symbiote Saga in Marvel Comics

Spider-Man’s First Encounter with the Symbiote

In “Amazing Spider-Man” #252, Spider-Man gets his new black suit, which surprises him with its capabilities. The suit could generate its own webbing and respond to his thoughts. Initially, there were no signs of aggression or a dark influence.

Misconceptions About the Black Suit’s Influence

The idea that the black suit made Spider-Man more aggressive didn’t come into the comics until later adaptations. Early on, Spider-Man continued to be the friendly neighborhood hero, even showing kindness to strangers during his patrols.

Why Spider-Man Wanted to Get Rid of the Symbiote Suit

The Suit’s Creepy Behavior

The real reason Spider-Man decided to rid himself of the symbiote was that it started taking over his body while he slept, using him to swing through the city at night. This creepy behavior, not any corrupting influence, was what led Peter to seek help from Reed Richards.

Discovering the Symbiote’s True Nature

With Reed Richards’ help, Spider-Man learned that the suit was a living being. This revelation creeped him out, prompting him to remove the suit. The symbiote felt rejected, leading to its anger and eventual bond with Eddie Brock, creating Venom.

How Spider-Man: The Animated Series Rewrote Venom’s History

The ’90s Cartoon’s Dark Influence

The ’90s cartoon significantly altered the narrative by portraying the symbiote as a corrupting force. This version of events showed Peter Parker becoming more aggressive and nearly harming those around him, a drastic departure from the original comics.

Impact on Later Adaptations

This darker portrayal influenced subsequent retellings, including “Spider-Man 3,” where Peter’s behavior under the symbiote’s influence was much more violent and destructive. The cartoon’s version became the accepted lore for many fans.

The Real Timeline of Spider-Man’s Symbiote Saga

The Brief Tenure of the Black Suit

Spider-Man’s time with the symbiote suit was relatively short. He first appeared in the black suit in January 1984’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #252 and removed it by July 1984 in “Amazing Spider-Man” #258. The full story of the suit’s origin wasn’t told until “Secret Wars” #8 in August 1984.

Lasting Misconceptions

Despite its brief duration, the black suit saga left a lasting impression. Many fans believe it lasted longer due to subsequent stories and adaptations that revisited this era and added darker elements.


Spider-Man’s ’90s cartoon created a Mandela Effect that altered how fans remember the symbiote saga. While the original comics portrayed the black suit differently, adaptations have ingrained the idea of the symbiote as a corrupting force. Understanding the true history of Venom and the black suit highlights the impact of different media on comic book lore.

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Founder of Comicphase and based in New York in the United States. With a decade-long journey of tracking the Marvel library, Ben initiated the website in 2022. His unwavering passion for all things Marvel Comics, Movies, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fuels his dedication. Ben’s pursuit of a degree in Media Studies further honed his storytelling and analytical skills, making him a valuable source for in-depth Marvel insights. | Contact:

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