Why Doctor Strange's Spell Pulled Venom Into The MCU (Even Though He's Never Met Spider-Man)

It is no secret that the Marvel multiverse is being explored in truly big ways. This began earlier in 2021 with the release of shows like "WandaVision" and "Loki," but has truly taken off in a massive way with the release of "Spider-Man: No Way Home." However, there was a big rip in the multiverse several months back with the release of "Venom: Let There Be Carnage." Now that both movies are out, it is worth discussing some choice bits about how these universes may or may not be connected. The answer is deceptively simple, yet complex and wild, all at the same time.

Warning: spoilers for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" ahead. Proceed with caution.

The Curious Case of Venom In the Marvel Multiverse

Sony owns the film rights to the "Spider-Man" franchise and the character is allowed to appear in the MCU because Sony and Disney have a deal in place. However, Sony has made movies like "Venom" and "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" that exist in a universe removed from the main one featured in the MCU, as Sony is looking to make movies using the characters connected to Spidey that they also control.

But things changed once the multiverse started opening up, as it meant the streams could cross, as it were. The first major seeds of Tom Hardy's Venom/Eddie Brock making his way to the MCU were planted in the "Let There Be Carnage" post-credits scene. For those who may need a refresher, Eddie/Venom are chilling at a beachside resort when they are hit with a blast of mystical energy, seemingly pulling them into the same universe as Tom Holland's Spider-Man. It was a big deal.

As it turns out, this was further explained in "No Way Home." Peter Parker asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell so the world will forget he is Spider-Man, as the reveal kind of ruined his life, and the lives of those he loves. This spell is botched as Peter begins to question it mid-spell. That wave of mystical energy ripped a hole in the multiverse, allowing those who know that Peter Parker is Spider-Man to come into the main universe of the MCU.

However, some have questioned how it is that Eddie managed to be on the MCU's Earth (as was revealed during the "No Way Home" mid-credits scene) as he didn't know Spider-Man's true identity. Be that as it may, there is an explanation for this that opens the door for a great many possibilities in the future.

The Explanation

The explanation lies within a key line from "Let There Be Carnage" said by Venom to Eddie. While the two are connected, it is easy to forget that they are separate entities living as one. And that is the key here. Venom, in speaking to Eddie, says the following, as was pointed out by Richard Newby on Twitter:

"80 billion light years of hive knowledge across universes would explode your tiny little brain."

So there we have it. Venom is an alien being that has existed for a long time and his relationship with Eddie is only a small part of his story. As it turns out, if we take this hive mind concept into account, the time we've spent with Venom hardly accounts for a grain of sand's worth of time compared to 80 billion lightyears. But that little bit of information also opens the door for some potentially huge things in the future, be it in the likely "Venom 3" or elsewhere in the MCU, or even Sony's further Marvel adventures.

The Symbiote Hive Mind Explained

While there have been many explanations for the symbiotes in the pages of Marvel Comics over the years, what is said by Venom to Eddie in "Let There Be Carnage" seems to hint at a more recent addition. This was brought to us by comic writer Donny Cates, who had a character-defining run on "Venom," and also put forth a couple of game-changing events in the form of "Absolute Carnage" and "King In Black."

Much of this seems to tie back to a key villain named Knull, who debuted in the pages of "Thor: God of Thunder" #6, before making a full appearance in "Venom" #3. In essence, Knull is an ancient being the predates the multiverse as we know it. He crafted the first every symbiote in the form of a sword ages ago, and used it to behead a Celestial. He is quite powerful, as it turns out. Fandom's Marvel Database explains how this event led to the creation of the symbiotes as we know them:

Waging war against the Light, Knull became a legendary figure of divine terror but eventually found himself stranded on a nameless planet after an inhabitant stole his blade and unwittingly followed in his footsteps. Experimenting with his powers, Knull discovered he could create amorphous parasites from the darkness he controls and merge them with "lesser creatures", so he decided to use this as a way to corrupt the Light. Establishing himself as the nexus of the Hive he created, Knull proceeded to conquer worlds and form a fleet of Symbiote Dragons. When two of his dragons arrived on Earth, the young God of Thunder Thor Odinson struck down one of them and severed Knull's connection to all of the other Symbiote Dragons, who dissipated into countless individual symbiotes.

So yeah, comic books are crazy. But the point is, Venom clearly references this great hive mind, which seems to hint at a connection to Knull. Could it be that this is all building to a wild war with Knull and is symbiote dragons? Could we eventually get a loose adaptation of "King In Black?" Perhaps that's reaching a bit, but the connective tissue is certainly there. At the very least, it explains how Eddie was brought to the MCU, as Venom knows much that his host does not.

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage" is available on digital platforms and Blu-ray/DVD. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is in theaters now.