10 dazzling facts about Venom

5. Venom is currently a Guardian Of The Galaxy

Source Marvel Comics

Amidst all of Marvel’s character revamping and roster shuffling in recent years, the current wearer of the Venom suit is Peter Parker’s former bully and wounded soldier, Flash Thompson. Under the name Agent Venom, he uses the suit in small doses as a means to complete government missions while resisting its villainous inclinations.

This new variation of the character was designed for a new generation of readers, who never knew Venom as a villain. They instead see Flash as a hero with an awesome costume that lets him do cool stuff. In order to further establish this more youthful and heroic tone, he was recently added to the Guardians Of The Galaxy, ostensibly to act as a liaison between them and the Avengers.

Fans are still adjusting to this manic status quo, but it does make some sense for the character. The symbiote is alien, after all.

4. Venom replaced Vulture in Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3. Source Marvel Movies

You weren’t the only one who hated Spider-Man 3 – director Sam Raimi feels the exact same way, mainly because it wasn’t the movie he got to make. It was always his intention to make the secondary villain of the piece be the Vulture, not Venom. Citing what he perceived as the fans’ wishes, it was producer Avi Arad who forced Raimi to use Venom instead.

That’s right – instead of Ben Kingsley or John Malkovich playing the Sandman’s cellmate who manipulates him into being his muscle, we got a crackhead who couldn’t keep his costume on…

Raimi apparently hated Venom from the outset, never connecting with his lack of humanity. He evidently saw no appeal in a darker Spider-Man (the cerebral older man who uses mechanical means to feel younger was more engaging to him), and that really came across on-screen. We are now only left to wonder what Raimi’s original vision entailed.

3. The movie version of Venom was inspired on jungle cats and drug addicts

Spider-Man 3. Source Marvel Movies

The big-screen Venom was completely and utterly disappointing. Despite that, however, all of the elements pertaining to his creation and performance on film sound like they should have worked, which makes the finished product all the more lacklustre.

From a visual standpoint, the animators from Sony Pictures Imageworks used jungle cats like tigers, cheetahs, and panthers as models for Venom’s movements. It was an undeniably creative way to add a beast-like nature to the creature and make him come across as a monster.

On the other side of things, the horrifically miscast Topher Grace said he based his performance on drug addicts and alcoholics. This should have worked since Brock has often been depicted like an addict craving the symbiote. Grace had the right ideas in mind, but there was clearly far too many factors working against him for it to ever work.

2. Venom was originally going to be a woman

Source Tumblr

A pregnant woman’s life takes a dark turn when she witnesses her husband die after being hit by a distracted taxi driver who had been watching Spider-Man. The woman would, in a matter of minutes, lose her husband, her baby and her sanity. This nameless woman would subsequently focus all that hatred towards Spider-Man, whom she held responsible. This was going to be the original Venom.

Like Eddie Brock, her main feature was always going to be her ability to avoid triggering Spidey’s spider-sense. Unlike Brock, her femininity would have furthered her dichotomy with Spider-Man, even allowing her to symbolically ‘birth’ creations from the symbiote.
Unfortunately, Marvel editor Jim Salicrup didn’t think she’d be a credible threat, so it wasn’t until years later that Eddie’s ex-wife, Ann Weying finally became the first female host. Another layer of depth could have been added to the character by making him a female while retaining all of the other classic elements, but instead we’re left to wonder “what if?”

1. A fan created Venom and sold the idea for $220

A copy of the letter Schueller received from Shooter in August of 1982. (Source)

You won’t see him credited, but Randy Schueller, a comic book fan from Illinois was the one who came up with the idea for Venom. Specifically, it was the idea for a Spider-Man with a black costume made up of unstable molecules that enhanced his power. Hearing of this pitch, Jim Shooter, the editor-in-chief at the time, sent him a letter of interest and promptly bought the pitch for $220.

From there, multiple creators helped perfect the character we now know and love. Mike Zeck modified the idea of the unstable costume into that of a symbiote, while writer David Michelinie would write his backstory. Even John Byrne had an impact, suggesting that Venom’s costume ought to itself be alive.

Over the years there’s also been controversy over artist Todd McFarlane’s involvement in his creation. Though McFarlane was undeniably responsible for Venom’s popularity, the true credit evidently belongs to a humble Spider-Man fan from Illinois.

Published on: March 2016
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