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The original idea of a new costume for Spider-Man that would later become the character Venom was conceived by a Marvel Comics reader from Norridge, Illinois named Randy Schueller. In 1982, Jim Shooter, Marvel's editor-in-chief at the time, sent Schueller a letter acknowledging Marvel's interest in the idea, which they ended up purchasing from him for $220.
The Symbiote was first introduced as Spider-man's new black costume in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984) as part of a story called "Homecoming!" The story takes place after Spider-Man's return from the events of the miniseries Secret Wars, where he first obtains the black costume. The full first appearance of Venom is in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988), after the Symbiote bonds with Eddie Brock.