|First Appearance:||Batman: Vengeance of Bane|
|Used by:|| Bane|
Venom is a highly-addictive compound engineered to greatly increase one's physical strength. A common user is Bane, one of Batman's arch-enemies.
Venom is a potently addictive strength-enhancing super-steroid. According to JSA Classified #17 (November 2006), Venom is based on the Miraclo formula developed at Bannerman Pharmaceuticals, the drug company formerly owned by Rex Tyler, the original Hourman. The first appearance of the drug was a five-part story arc, Batman: Venom, in the Batman anthology series, Legends of the Dark Knight, issues 16-20. Batman became addicted to the drug while searching for a way to surpass his limitations. Later, it resurfaced as the power source for Bane, who used it to overpower and cripple Batman in the Knightfall story arc. A variant of the original Venom is used by President Lex Luthor in the first "Superman/Batman" story arc.
In Other Media
In the Batman Beyond universe, steroid patches known as "Slappers" contained small doses of impact-release Venom. They were mainly used as performance enhancers in competitive sports, although the use of multiple patches could produce Bane-like combat abilities. However, they are highly addictive, where long time users of the Slappers start to need one just to get through a normal day.
- In the 1997 feature film Batman & Robin, Venom is based on snake venom samples used by Dr. Pamela Isley, which were to be injected into plants to give them the power to defend themselves, like animals. Her co-worker Dr. Jason Woodrue steals the samples from her lab to engineer the Venom compound to create a super-soldier army of which Bane is the prototype. These Venom samples are also part of Isley's transformation into Poison Ivy.
- Venom was mentioned in the Gotham episode "Viper", where it was revealed to be an improved version of the titular drug. It was created by a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises in a move that was implied to be off the books. In addition, it was ostensibly intended to be used for warfare.
Batman: Arkham Asylum introduces a highly-altered version of Venom called Titan. This formula was developed by Dr. Penelope Young to strengthen the inmates of Arkham Asylum so that they can survive the most stressful treatment methods, needed against the hardcore insanity of many of Arkham's worst. After Joker learned of the chemical's potential, he funded Dr. Young's research under the alias Jack White, allowing her to have Bane covertly transferred to Arkham and drain the Venom from his blood, causing Bane to suffer debilitating side effects and near-constant pain.
Titan is much more potent than Venom, requiring only a small amount for a Bane-like reaction. The treatment has a price, as the sudden release of endorphins and adrenaline, along with the extreme pain of the transformation, results in the recipient going into a crazed, psychotic state. The subject undergoes not only a size change but grotesque facial and muscular disfigurement, even causing their spinal columns to become exposed. Only the Joker retained his normal personality after injection, as he was already insane, actually enjoying the painful transformation, which in his case caused his exposed spinal column to resemble a set of dorsal fins. Batman, having taken a Titan-filled dart meant for the captive Jim Gordon, chose to resist the change and use the antidote on himself, much to Joker's chagrin. It is possible the drug reduced even Joker's intelligence, for while the fight was a ferocious one, Batman had no trouble finding a strategy to bring Joker down. Whatever his overall health, he did not look well when shown in withdrawal during the game's closing scenes, nor did his formerly enhanced henchmen.
In Batman: Arkham Origins, Bane is shown as being one of the eight assassins hired to kill Batman. Besides his regular use of Venom, which he acknowledged as a weakness, Bane also developed a variant of Venom, TN-1, as a means to overcome his addiction, but was reluctant to use it until it was perfected because it caused permanent and gradual memory loss. Bane learns about Batman's true identity, but the drug seems to have the effect of memory loss on the user. The drug greatly increases the user's bone density and muscle strength.
- In the original Venom storyline from Legends of The Dark Knight, the formula's supposed creator took another drug of his own creation, this one meant to vastly stimulate his intelligence. Just as almost all forms of Venom seem to increase aggression along with strength, this drug reduced the scientist's emotional connections to his life, to the point where he felt nothing as he successfully staged the death of his young daughter in a phony kidnapping in order to draw in Batman, who he saw as the perfect test subject for Venom, to him. In his coldness, he saw his child only as a means to an end. Like many a minor and major foe, he did not reckon on Batman's enormous will overcoming the addiction. Ironically, he was killed in custody while attempting to escape after taking Venom, which in his case seems to have made the attempted escape bloody but poorly planned. Whether this drug was a Venom variant remains unknown, and it has not been referenced since that original story.