Posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 by Alex Riviello
Sony Pictures plans to have a Venom movie in theaters by 2018, but we still have no idea what story they’ll be telling.
The toothy alien symbiote that famously corrupted Spider-Man during his “black-and-white suit” days has been around since 1984, so there’s plenty of comic book stories to choose from. The problem is that most of these tales will only work if Sony decides to do what they did with Marvel in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming and work within an already established cinematic universe. Venom’s story is so intrinsically linked to Peter Parker that it’s hard to separate the two without the aid of a sonic blaster, but as you’ll see, some of the character’s best and most famous storylines are actually pretty intriguing… and out of this world.
There have been literally dozens of characters who have become Venom, although there are only two people who deserve to wear that costume on the big screen: Eddie Brock or Flash Thompson. While Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 more-or-less showed the villainous origins of Eddie Brock’s disgraced newspaper reporter, in recent years Venom has been Flash Thompson, Peter Parker’s friendly rival. Let’s examine the best stories from each of them.
The Villain – Eddie Brock
This is by far the best choice if Sony wants to go for that Deadpool money with an R-rated movie, but they’ll need to tweak it quite a bit. This four-part series sees Eddie Brock’s symbiote running out of a chemical called Phenethylamine that it needs to survive. Fortunately, it can be found in people’s brains! Venom’s new diet essentially makes him a New York City serial killer, offering up some real darkness to explore.
Venom’s new diet is a reach too far for Eddie, who tries to stop himself from what he’s doing and ends up fighting his suit physically for the first and last time. He eventually teams back up with it again for the finale in order to take down a bigger threat, which he does so while singing David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” (Seriously). Adding to the sillier aspects of this story, Eddie learns that he can simply keep his symbiote satiated with another source of the chemical – chocolate. That’s right, Venom survives by becoming a chocoholic, cramming his face from a heart-shaped box. People will throw things at the screen! It will be Peter Parker dancing all over again! Maybe it could be great?
2003’s Spectacular Spider-Man remade the story from The Hunger by adding Spidey to the equation, with the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler helping the cops hunt down a mysterious vampire-like killer who ends up being Venom. This version added a new story beat: the symbiote was getting sick of Eddie and needs a new host.
John Carpenter’s The Venom
Fans might not appreciate Sony going with the story from this 2003 18-issue Venom series. That’s because it’s one of those terribly comic book-y stories where it’s eventually revealed that it wasn’t the real Venom all along, but an imposter. Still, it’s got what it takes to make a fun sci-fi/horror superhero flick, especially with the number of homages to classic movies it contains. That’s obvious from the start, which kicks off in an arctic outpost that gets overrun by the symbiote. It’s blatantly borrowing from John Carpenter’s 1982 masterpiece, The Thing, but there are certainly far worse movies from which to derive inspiration! It even takes over a dog at one point. The symbiote goes from one host to the next, making the remaining survivors paranoid as it takes them all over. It eventually makes it to civilization (after a stop in Canada to mess with Wolverine, natch), finding Eddie Brock in NYC and forcing a two-way Venom fight.
If they needed a standalone story, this could be it. While a couple of familiar superheroes show up, they really don’t need any additional characters to tell this story. Plus, it could serve as an origin story if they so chose.
This is probably the safest pick for an Eddie Brock story. In Marvel’s rebooted Ultimate Spider-Man, Eddie Brock, Jr. is Peter Parker’s childhood friend, and Venom was a creature genetically engineered by their scientist dads in order to cure cancer. Both dads died mysteriously in the same plane crash after trying to steal back their research, and this black ooze is all they have left of them.
Peter sneaks into the lab containing the organism one night and it takes over his body, making him bulletproof and able to finally spin webs on his own. It’s impressive, but he almost immediately realizes how dangerous it is after he almost kills a criminal in full toothy Venom mode. He destroys the sample but doesn’t realize that Brock has another. Brock, being mad that Parker destroyed the last thing left from his dad, takes it upon himself to stick his hand in the other sample, and being far weaker in body and mind (he’s a bit of a douchy MRA type here), he becomes Venom.
This story needs the most Spider-man but it’s likely the strongest! But there’s another choice.