While not much is known in regards to plot in the upcoming Spider-Man spinoff Venom, and so far we only have the teaser trailer to base our excitement on, this is one character that many of us have been waiting for years to see properly embodied. After Spider-Man 3, we were assured time and again that Venom (and Carnage, while we’re at it) would be getting a standalone film, but it has taken over a decade for it to finally come to fruition.
As we await further trailers to give us more of a sense of the direction they are going with this one, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the history of Eddie Brock, a.k.a. Venom.
Venom made his official debut in 1988 in a cameo now in the final pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #299 and his first full appearance in #300, but the alien Symbiote itself actually first bonds with Peter Parker four years earlier in issue #252. A Spider-Fan actually designed the black ‘alien costume’ and Marvel purchased it from him for $220 and eventually turned it into a sentient being that requires a host in order to survive and has a weakness against fire and sonic energy. The early days of the costume are skip-able because we do not get our first taste of the true Venom until the Symbiote bonds with Eddie Brock, but there are a couple of early cameos by Eddie that you may want to check out.
Heeeere’s Johnny… I mean Eddie
|In hindsight we now know that Eddie appears in Web of Spider-Man issue 18 (1986) when he executes a near-perfect ambush by pushing Peter in front of a speeding train and then promptly disappearing into thin air. While only showing his hand in this issue, it hinted at a new villain that was quite possibly destined to be Spidey’s greatest foe yet. The ambush was sprung without Pete’s spider-sense alerting him to the danger and this happened yet again six issues later when a mysterious black arm suddenly snagged Peter through a window as he attempted to secretly change into his alter-ego on the ledge of a high-rise.|
|In The Amazing Spider-Man #301 we finally get to see the two face-off and the backstory of Eddie Brock is revealed. We all know that movies take ‘artistic license’ when it comes to origin stories and since we don’t have much to go on at this point, it is anyone’s guess as to how they will play up Brock’s hatred for Spider-Man as well as this coming into possession of the Symbiote. Or is that vice versa?|
A Foe for the Ages!
|In issues 315 – 317, Venom does their best to torment their enemy by torturing Parker’s family and we get a glimpse at why S.H.I.E.L.D. has designated Venom as one of the most dangerous entities known to man. But to Brock’s horror, they are separated by an unexpected virus attack and he is promptly imprisoned and the alien is rendered comatose. It isn’t long before the Symbiote breaks free and their reunion is one to behold.|
|As the pair escapes together, the alien leaves behind a piece of itself for Eddie’s cellmate, Cletus Van Damme – oops, wrong Shield – I mean Cletus Kassidy a.k.a. Carnage, in issues 344/345. Slightly less than 20 issues later, Venom and Spider-Man team up to take down the psychotic Carnage and put an end to his murderous rampage. This odd couple has teamed up several times over the years, usually to take on Carnage, but Venom’s hatred for Spider-Man has always been a constant.|
|With the rumor circulating that Tom Holland will have a cameo appearance in Venom as Peter Parker, he is even listed on IMDB at this point, we can hope that at least some of that chemistry is going into the mix – and that Sony does a much better job of it this time. Though I’m not so sure what Holland’s appearance does to the former announcement that this movie would exist outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s anyone’s guess on what the success, or failure, of this project will mean for future spinoffs. Venom has more offspring and has spent time as a vigilante over the years, so we could end up with some sort of amalgamation. I just hope the writers are actual fans.|
Tom Hardy as Eddie has me filled with hopeful trepidation. I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work but his stab at Bane in The Dark Knight Rises was just a complete miss for me – even though a big part of that is due to script and wardrobe choices that were made by others. You have to agree that Hardy playing Bane, who gets his incredible strength from a drug called Venom, and then actually playing Venom is some weird circle-of-life kind of stuff. Anyway, at this point in history, I think most of us will agree that anyone will be better than Eric Foreman.
With an October release date and Hardy having completed filming in January, we can be assured of at least a couple more trailers that will hopefully reveal a little more. The success of Deadpool and a rumored R-rating for Venom does give me hope that perhaps we will finally get the Venom we’ve been waiting for.
And then… Carnage!