The Vindication of Venom Part 12: Appendix and Conclusion

In this FINAL installment we examine some tangential ideas relating to Venom’s origins.

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There were numerous side points I wished to make in the main parts of this essay series. However since they would have derailed my central arguments or else didn’t really address the central questions I proposed I cut them. But I didn’t want to simply throw them away or present them altogether out of context for this series.

As such I’ve included them below alongside my conclusion to this series.

Power Trip

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An important aspect to consider in Brock’s portrayal in ASM #300 is his callousness and general attitude towards violence.

When it comes to violent acts (or even just the prospect of them) Brock reacts with humorous, delight or at times nonchalance.

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I’m not suggesting Brock was always like this as evidence of him always being a twisted person. Rather I think he developed these approaches towards violence from a few potential places.

The easiest explanation for it would be that his actions and attitudes are all part and parcel of his continued delusional state. He’s so out of touch with reality he no longer can perceive the horror or immorality of his violent acts.

Potentially his attitude is an outgrowth of his long-term furious workout regime where he visualized himself performing violent acts on Spider-Man over and over again as he obsessively exercised.

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Visualization can have a powerful effect upon one’s actions and mind, especially when done repeatedly and with such fervour as in Brock’s case. Remember he was also looking at pictures of the person he hated to motivate him.

However I’d suggest the more likely (or most prominent) explanation is that upon bonding with the symbiote Brock went on a massive  power. As an extension of this his own delusions and his desire for revenge would’ve been further fuelled through the acquisition of raw, tangible physical power. Such an experience also wouldn’t have helped if Brock were already somewhat narcissistic (see his proclamations of his journalistic skills and respect).

After all, many of Spider-Man’s villains have had their egos explode once they acquired super powers. Doctor Octopus is a prime example if one were to re-read Amazing Spider-Man #3.

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Whilst Doc Ock might be excused on the grounds that his origin was created in the 1960s, in the 2000 story ‘Revenge of the Green Goblin’ Norman Osborn’s origin was recounted, telling the readers that he felt himself above mortal men by virtue of his newfound super strength.

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In fact Spider-Man himself goes on, if not a power trip, then at least a radical inflation of his ego upon gaining his own powers. He talks about how much better the powers now make him and how above the mockery of his peers or petty concerns for other he is. This is even featured on the cover of his first appearance.

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To an extent one might argue that such a power trip is natural for most human beings. Indeed having superior physical power is a dream and desire engrained into the collective consciousness of all mankind. It is a very big reason why we have mythic figures such as Heracles, Sampson and even our modern day superheroes. And those with power (physical or otherwise) often times feel it entitles them to assert their wills and dominate others simply because they have the means to do so. Might makes right.

Power trips can prove particularly poignant for individuals who’ve lived with a sense of helplessness/powerlessness in some way in their lives (especially if their new power is physical in nature). Such people who obtain power will almost inevitably see their egos inflated and this could include a presumption in (and further entrenching of) their own righteousness. Part of that could involve a tweaking of the facts (or their perception of them) to suit themselves.

In the wake of the Sin Eater scandal, Brock had lost his career. He’d lost the degree of ‘power’ he could assert as a journalist. He was forced to seek out work from writing drivel he found repugnant and demeaning. He lived in a run down area. And to him all this happened because some asshole butted into something that wasn’t his business. And that person was nothing less than some anonymous, inhuman ‘hero’ with powers beyond mere mortals like Brock (meaning he had little hope of exacting retribution). Eventually he was in such despair he was seriously considering ending his own life. Under these circumstances I think it’s safe to say he felt incredibly powerless.

So when the symbiote came along and abruptly handed him immense power, power in fact similar yet greater than the person he blamed for his woes, inevitably there was going to be an adverse affect upon his mind, his actions and his very perception of himself and his life.

The raw physical power the symbiote lent him gave him free reign to his violent inhibitions. Brock likely he felt that the usual constraints of society no longer applied to him, hence not only his violent actions as an outlet for his rage but his casualness, joy and twisted humour in relation to those acts. When it comes to Spider-Man he was also handed another form of power, knowledge of his secret identity and the power to render Spidey’s greatest defence utterly useless, both of which (as far as he knew) were profoundly unique to him. The idea that the very act of gaining this immense power affected his mind is hinted at in ASM #300.

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After being handed the means to free himself from his wretched existence and make his fantasies reality Brock became akin to a kid in a car on their way to Disney land. Excited and delighted at the prospect of getting to make their dreams come true. This is rather nicely reflected in the second Venom story, specifically the climax in ASM #317.

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On the other hand his humour could’ve been a by-product of his experience as a writer where he might have needed to be witty or funny at times. Or maybe he just had a particular dark sense of humour.

However I think it makes much more sense that his attitude towards violence is more poignantly tied to what I discussed above. In his mind the rules of regular society and ‘lesser people’ (i.e. weaker non-super powered people) no longer apply to him. His power (and his ‘suffering’) puts him above all that, so it doesn’t matter if some people get hurt along the road to his personal gratification; he is justified.

Furthermore you could also argue that his constant visualization of Spider-Man’s violent death likely desensitized him to the idea of violence to some extent.

Echo Chamber

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In Web of Spider-Man #1 we learn that the processes of symbiosis cuts both ways meaning the symbiote could itself be influenced by it’s host.

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For what it is worth this is somewhat corroborated in Spider-Girl #100.

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Though Spider-Girl exists in a different universe from the mainstream 616 version of Spider-Man it had an identical history to the 616 Marvel Universe up until about the stories published in 1998. The series was also shaped mostly by veteran Spider-Man writer/editor Tom DeFalco, who is recognized as an authority on Spider-Man if there ever was one. DeFalco actually penned ‘Spider-Man: the Ultimate Guide’ back in 2001, at the time the most definitive Spider-Man information book ever.

Spider-Girl #100 was itself not only worked on by DeFalco but also Ron Frenz who along with DeFalco actually introduced and explained the symbiote’s origins back in the 1980s.

However yet more corroborative evidence is provided in Brian Michael Bendis’ run of Guardians of the Galaxy as well as Robbie Thompson’s run on Venom: Space Knight, both of which assert that the symbiote was ‘corrupted’ through exposure to it’s hosts, something common to it’s species.

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This can go some way to explaining the symbiote’s hatred Spider-Man despite it also caring about him and attempting to save him in Web #1. It was influenced by Brock’s own hatred of the wall-crawler.

However since ‘symbiosis is a two-way street’ and we see clearly Brock talking to the symbiote in ASM #300 it is possible Brock could’ve ‘felt’ the symbiote’s hatred for Spider-Man. This then could have validated Brock’s own hatred for Spidey and caused him to double down on his warped interpretation of events.

If you accept that Brock and the symbiote could to some extent influence one another, this could then be said to have created a kind of echo chamber, or rather an ‘amplifier chamber’.

That is to say Brock’s hatred for Spider-Man causes the symbiote to hate him more. Then the symbiote reflects those increased feelings of hatred back onto Brock. This would then magnify Brock’s hatred for Spidey and he’d reflect that back onto the symbiote, and the cycle would begin again. The end result would be both individuals have their hatred amplified and their rationales for said hatred continually validated. These notions were also implied in the above image from ASM #300.

Role of Religion

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Eddie Brock’s religious beliefs cannot be dismissed when analysing the character.

To begin with he was a man in despair when he encountered the symbiote. He was considering suicide and though he couldn’t go through with it, he was still in a state of helplessness. The symbiote’s arrival must have seemed to be a kind of miracle to him. He even talks about their meeting using religious language.

 

He was a man of faith in his darkest hour praying for help in a holy place when and then from above him the answer to his prayers appears. He gets a constant, affectionate companion who shares his deepest darkest desire and gives him all the means he could ever need to fulfil it.

For a desperate religious person how could Brock not see this as a sign from God that his feelings and vengeance is righteous?

Of course in reality his use of this newfound power is utterly contrary to the faith he holds as so important. Conceptually not only does this hammer home the hypocrisy of the character but also highlights his insanity, coding him as a ‘religious lunatic’ type of character.

In a sense Brock is representative of numerous individuals throughout history who act upon religious beliefs and use them as justification for their actions despite ignoring other core tenants of said religion. The Ku Klux Klan, the Westboro Baptist Church, the Spanish Inquisition, the Knights Templar, Al-Qaeda and ISIS are just some of the many examples of groups  of individuals like this throughout history.

As mentioned in Part 8, the most illustrative example of Brock adhering to this archetype is his inability to kill himself  due to his religion despite his willingness to take the lives of others. However there are other examples to be found in ASM #300.

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The time period of the issue’s publication is important to these notions too. Remember this is the late 1980s.

In America during the late 1970s/early 1980s there had been something of a resurgence in traditionalist religion and with it of course a certain degree of religious zeal to accompany it. More poignantly you saw the mainstreaming of tele-evangalism, moral panics about the stuff that the kids were into and things along those lines.

This accompanied of course a certain peaked interest in the occult. These elements being part of the early-mid 1980s pop culture is what led to products such as Ghostbusters and the X-Men graphic novel God Loves Man Kills to be produced.

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Though the embers of that had died down when ASM #300 was published in 1988 it was still there, as evidenced by the X-Men crossover Inferno in 1989 centred around the idea of a demonic invasion of New York city.

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 In this context the religious aspects of Brock’s character and how they are conveyed act as shorthand to the readers that Brock is ‘a religious lunatic’. As times changed perhaps that shorthand became less prevalent to consequent readers. However it is still patently obvious.

Dark Reflections

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I stand by my statements from Part 3 that Michelinie’s primary conception of Venom did not involve him being a ‘dark reflection’ of Spider-Man. However by accident or design the character’s debut does grant him some traits that render him along these lines.

To begin with he obviously possesses Spider-Man’s powers, uses them for evil and does so whilst wearing a villainous version of Spider-Man’s costume that also has a darker colour palette. The basic ‘dark reflection’ villain starter kit.

Beyond this though Venom’s physicality and fighting style is different to Spidey’s. Peter is a muscular man with a lean build who uses his powers in combination with his intelligence (leading with the latter) to win battles. Brock by contrast has a bulky body build and relies upon overwhelming his opponents with his superior physical power to win battles, though he isn’t honestly stupid.

However where Venom is truly a dark reflection of Spider-Man is in contrasting their respective origins and motivations.

Brock is a foolish, immoral and possibly selfish actions in letting a dangerous individual roam free ruined his career. But he accepts no responsibility for what he has done, instead flimsily blaming a third party.

This led him to consider giving up on life until he gained power that he then used violently for the selfish goal of murderous revenge. It is a mission he at times carries out with a dark twisted sense of humour and feels is in it’s own sense heroic.

In direct contrast Peter Parker used his newfound power selfishly too, but for financial gain as opposed to anything truly violent or hurtful. He even resolved to use his financial gains to help a third party, his aunt and Uncle. Like Brock his ego and selfishness led him to make a mistake that allowed a dangerous individual to go free. And like Brock he paid for that act, but the cost was far larger than simply losing his career.

When the dust settled he accepted responsibility for his mistake and blamed himself  for what happened and went on to do the same for other events in his life. This included many things that he wasn’t honestly responsible for. He then used his powers to altruistically defend life as much as he could, simply because he felt it was the right thing to do. And he never gave up on his own life no matter how heavy the burden became, often employing witty good natured humour to help him deal with things.

Or to really boil it right down, Spider-Man is a hero who embraces the responsibilities of his life and uses his powers to safeguard life, whereas Venom/Eddie Brock is a monster who doesn’t truly take responsibility for anything and uses his powers to endanger life.

I don’t know if that was truly David Michelinie’s intent in creating Venom. If it was then his interest and focus for the character was evidently elsewhere.

 

Nevertheless in this sense comic book Eddie Brock is not only a dark reflection of Spider-Man, but a damn good one too.

 

Creative Value

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Eddie Brock in so far as his motivations are concerned amounts to a disturbed individual with an obsessive hatred for Spider-Man over an imagined slight.

From a creative perspective this is actually a pretty great conception for a Spider-Man villain than most people give credit for.

I’m sure many people reading this essay series will simply hand wave a lot of what I’ve outlined in prior instalments as:

He’s crazy so he can do anything. Lame!

However that is grossly oversimplifying what I’m saying.

A vital part of Spider-Man’s conception is that he is (relatively speaking) the everyman superhero who juggles his secret identity with the realistic ups and downs of life. Peter Parker’s secret identity not only serves to allow him to have those common life experiences, but also protect himself and those close to him from danger at the hands of his enemies

Of course these enemies mostly consisted of Spidey’s established rogue’s gallery of super villains. Readers could presume the numerous nameless common crooks Spidey had nabbed might seek vengeance upon him if they knew his secret identity

 

However Eddie Brock represented another side to Peter’s foes. He was the unseen enemy. One of the dangerous and disturbed individuals who wish to do serious harm to Spider-Man and his loved ones for irrational reasons.

This is not only very much in line with Spider-Man’s core concept as it is entirely realistic, but it is also pretty frightening. Perhaps it is even frightening precisely because   it is entirely realistic.

Most of us do not have actual enemies in our lives who want to do us serious harm. But Eddie Brock represents how sometimes in life you can earn the ire of someone dangerous for no logical reason. Maybe something you did had an unpredictable tangential effect that negatively impacted someone. Maybe you just bumped into the wrong person. Or maybe you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In these ways the existence of Brock as a villain reinforces Spider-Man’s need for a secret identity. He just reinforces that need from a different, uncommonly tapped angle than one might expect.

Original Origin

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As I touched upon back in Part 1 David Michelinie’s original origin for Venom was very different from what we wound up with. Let’s revisit what he said in his own words.

Initially she [Venom] was a woman…The whole idea is that whenever I write a character I try to utilize the unique aspects of that character. And one thing Peter Parker had that no one else had was his spider sense…Someone flings at him from behind its a reaction he doesn’t even think about it, he ducks. And this has saved his life so many times I started thinking ‘Well, what if there was a villain who didn’t trigger that spider sense? How would he react? How would he cope with that?’

And they had already established in Secret Wars that the black costume didn’t affect Peter’s spider sense. So I started working out a character who would join with the symbiote costume and actually be a villain…

…My original origin story had been a woman who was pregnant and…her husband was trying to flag a cab as she was going into labour, and a cabbie was driving along looking into the sky at the Living Monolith, tying it into that graphic novel, [Michelinie wrote the Graphic Novel in question] where Spider-Man was fighting the Living Monolith…and he hits the husband and kills the husband…the shock of this sends to woman into premature labour and she loses her child, all because the cab driver was watching Spider-Man. So she became unhinged and when she got out she had this fanatical hatred of Spider-Man, blaming him for the loss of her husband and their unborn child. And that drew the symbiote to her and she became one with the symbiote and was going after Spider-Man…

Michelinie’s plans changed though when he was apparently told readers wouldn’t accept a woman fighting Spider-Man.

Many people use this original story as ammunition against Venom’s origin from ASM #300. Their points generally focus upon how the alleged problems with Venom stems from Michelinie having to come up with something different for his character at the eleventh hour.

However that really doesn’t quite add up when you really think about it.

Surely if Michelinie et al were conceiving their new male Venom at the last minute it’d make sense to just play out the same intended story but simply switch the roles and genders. That is to say that in the revised origin it was Eddie Brock who witnessed his (possibly pregnant) wife run over by a taxi driver who was too distracted by Spider-Man. Consequently he would then blame the wall-crawler for his loss?

But what we got in ASM #300, whilst retaining a few broad concepts from the intended origin (a stranger to Spidey blames him for ruining their life, bonds with the symbiote to kill him, etc.), is essentially a page 1 rewrite of the Venom character.

Brock’s origin and desire from revenge come from a radically different place from his female prototype. In fact they are actually much more complicated.

I do not mean more complex, I mean that the A>B>C chain of events forming his origin has more elements to it and less direct than Michelinie’s original version of Venom.

Compare and contrast

a) During a graphic novel your supposed to remember, a cab driver is distracted by Spider-Man swinging by>runs over pregnant woman’s husband>the shock of seeing this causes pregnant woman to lose baby>woman blames Spider-Man>woman becomes unhinged>woman bonds with symbiote and becomes Venom

To

b) Someone confesses to Eddie Brock that he’s a serial killer from this older Spider-Man story you’re supposed to remember>Brock publishes the story>Spider-Man catches real killer>Brock is fired>Brock is unable to get work other than sleazy tabloids>Brock blames Spider-Man>Brock contemplates suicide but is super religious so he goes to a church>symbiote finds and bonds with him and they become Venom

One is a lot simpler and more direct than the other right?

In other words it is unlikely that Michelinie just threw something together at the eleventh hour.

More than this though, many of the ideas underlying Venom’s motivations are still present in the original female (let’s call her Edwina) conception of the character.

·       Both Eddie and Edwina’s origins tie into a previous storyline. The Death of Jean DeWolff and Revenge of the Living Monolith respectively.

·       Both endure misfortune that Spider-Man is tangentially involved with but cannot reasonably be blamed for.

·       Despite this both latch onto Spider-Man for ruining their lives.

·       Both stories involve a third party more directly at fault for their misfortunes. For Edwina it’d be more logical to blame the cab driver and for Brock it’d be more logical to blame Emil Gregg or even Stan Carter.

Note what Michelinie also said in his rundown of Edwina’s backstory (emphasis mine).

So she became unhinged and when she got out she had this fanatical hatred of Spider-Man, blaming him for the loss of her husband and their unborn child. And that drew the symbiote to her and she became one with the symbiote and was going after Spider-Man…

‘Unhinged’ and ‘fanatical hatred’ a descriptors entirely applicable to Eddie Brock as well as Edwina. As I went to great pains to illustrate in prior instalments, Eddie Brock is a man not in his right mind. He is not someone who is operating along sane, rational or logical lines of reasoning, at least not the kinds most people live their lives by. Understanding this is the key to grasping Brock’s intentions as a villain and his motives for despising Spider-Man.

Michelinie’s recounting of Edwina’s backstory also arguably supports another facet of Venom’s origin: the idea of him being an everyday person and a stranger to Spider-Man. Like Brock Edwina was someone Peter Parker didn’t know. She was a civilian affected tangentially by his actions as Spider-Man and who then blamed him for an imagined slight. This touches on both the fear factor of Venom being someone who could exist in reality, the philosophy of Spider-Man as an everyman and arguably the idea of Venom as a stalker character.

Uncanny Origins #7

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As I mentioned in the main body of the essay series, Uncanny Origins #7 is a retelling of Brock’s origin and other events in his life.

It is however more than likely non-canonical due to the various contradictions to older stories it presents. Nevertheless it does illustrate (perhaps more clearly than Amazing Spider-Man #300) a lot of what I’ve discussed about Brock from Part 7 onwards.

In the retelling you see

  • Brock’s ambition
  • His narcissism
  • His being called out for shoddy journalism (and thus by extension his lying about his skills in ASM #300)
  • The erosion of his self-esteem
  • His growing obsessive hatred of Spider-Man
  • How this was informed by Spider-Man’s costume
  • The religious context he views his transformation in
  • And of course Brock’s warped perception of reality and delusions. This is even called out by Venom himself when the story retells his transformation into an anti-hero

Note however that the retelling goes beyond the events of ASM #300

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Some Circumstantial Evidence

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There is some further food for thought to be considered regarding the ‘unsatisfying mystery’ of Venom’s identity.

First of all, lets bear in mind David Michelinie’s prior work. This is the man who co-created enduring characters such as Scott Lang, Taskmaster, Justin Hammer, James Rhodes and many others. This is the man who scripted/co-plotted what is regarded as the definitive Iron Man run. This is a writer who had at least around ten years worth of experience writing comics by the time he penned ASM #300.

With this in mind I find it extremely difficult to believe that a writer with this much experience would honestly make such a rudimentary misstep as to have a mystery story, then reveal the culprit as someone whom no one could have guessed because he was a complete stranger to the audience.

Even novice writers know enough about mystery stories via pop cultural osmosis to reveal the culprit’s identity as someone the readers already know, or at least could’ve become aware of in the course of the story.

It is therefore very suspect that such a massive and obvious mistake would be undertaken by a writer who’d been around the block a few times by 1988. In the past I’ve criticised the way Dan Slott handles his mysteries but even the flaws in his mystery storytelling never comes from revealing someone to be a complete unknown. His big reveals are genuinely reveals, with the culprit being someone the readers would be familiar with, even if they might not have been able   to deduce them as the culprit in the first place

Then you have the fact that Michelinie spoke about the origin of Venom with critically acclaimed writer extraordinaire, Peter David.

Apparently a writer of David’s calibre felt no pressing need to point out the seemingly obvious oversight that Michelinie was resolving a mystery by revealing the culprit as an utter stranger to the audience. Less than a year before ASM #300 David himself had to resolve the controversial Hobgoblin mystery and as unsatisfying as this was to many people, he certainly didn’t just say it was someone no one had ever met.

Furthermore David has been on record as stating he really likes Venom and felt he had a good start as a character. Which is an odd thing for such a skilled and acclaimed writer to say about a mystery character’s identity being completely impossible for anyone to solve.

That is unless as I stated in Part 5, the Venom storyline was never intended as a legitimate mystery story in the first place.

This is also backed up when one considers that Venom’s presence in ASM #300 was apparently because then editor Jim Salicrup wished to debut a new villain.

Regardless, Salicrup seemingly didn’t feel the need to point out that the reveal of Venom’s identity was obviously unsatisfying as a resolution to a mystery storyline. One would imagine that as an editor shrewd enough to have made Kraven’s Last Hunt runt through all the Spider-Man titles and innocuously referenced recent issues in ASM #298, he’d catch such a glaring problem. And in catching it would demand the character’s identity be someone the readers were familiar with.

But he didn’t. Which makes quite a bit of sense if the point was not that he was the centre of a mystery so much as he was simply a new character.

Finally, whilst this doesn’t quite prove my points definitively I did in fact go so far as to personally ask David Michelinie directly about the issue of Venom’s identity.

ME: Mr Michelinie, I am currently writing a series of articles analyzing Venom’s earliest appearances and wondered if you could be so kind as to answer a query I had about Amazing Spider-Man #300.Essentially I would like to know why did you choose to make Venom/Eddie Brock a previously unknown character?

DAVID MICHELINIE: It was a new character, a clean slate, one with a fresh background, origin, personality and motivations. Why would I want to limit what I could do with it by making it a previously known character?

I strongly feel the above further cements that Venom’s status as a new character was the real mission statement behind him, as opposed to being the subject of a mystery story.

Spectacular Misconceptions

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In Part 3 I discussed how the readers mistook some of the core ideas behind Venom and saw something different in their place. This then led to them misunderstanding and misinterpreting the character.

However this phenomenon is not exclusive to the comics.

On the (exemplary) Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series Eddie Brock was a supporting character, with his arc throughout the first season gradually building to his transformation into Venom.One particularly talked about scene for his character was in episode 11, ‘Group Therapy’.

In the episode Eddie Brock takes Mary Jane Watson out on a date to get back at Peter Parker for several perceived slights.Their date consists of a less than safe motorcycle ride wherein Brock rants about Peter in an angry and unhinged manner, including mentioning the death of their parents.

Many viewers of the show felt the scene was out of nowhere and inconsistent with the character as had been established. This point was made particularly in light of earlier episodes such as episode 3 ‘Natural Selection’, in which Brock (a normal young man) risked his own life to try and fight the Lizard.

However the intention by the makers of the show was to convey that Brock was in fact somewhat unhinged and had a death wish. His risking his life against the Lizard wasn’t meant to be taken as an act of heroism but as an example of very dangerous recklessness, feeding back into his unsafe driving later on.All of which was meant to underscore how this show’s version of the character was somewhat in love with death due to the loss of his parents.

For whatever reason the idea and intentions of the character as presented didn’t quite reach many members of the audience and the same is true of the comic book Venom too.

Professional Opinion

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The character of Venom is near and dear to me and it is because of that affection that I was inspired to write this essay series and make it as comprehensive as possible.

To that end when it came time to tackling the sticky subject of Brock’s motivations I wanted to be able to speak with a certain degree of authority.

Consequently I actually printed off the relevant pages of Eddie Brock’s earliest appearances from Web of Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man #298-300, wrote up some background context presented them to someone who’s studied, taught and worked in the field of psychology, even writing a psychology curriculum. They also have a keen interest in literary analysis but relatively little knowledge of comic books and Spider-Man in general. This is because as a 58-year-old resident of the United Kingdom their potential exposure to the wall-crawler was limited at best.

We then had a few lengthy conversations about Brock’s mental state and motivations and they helped me to pin down many of the points I’ve made in the course of this essay series.

It was this psychologist who outright diagnosed Brock as someone experiencing Delusional Disorder as part of a serious psychosis.

They also corroborated that were we to take Brock and Spider-Man as analogues to real life people that Venom’s origin and motivations were entirely believable, even ignoring the influence of the symbiote.

Conclusion

Venom/Eddie Brock as presented in Amazing Spider-Man #300 is categorically NOT  the poorly written or poorly conceived mess of a character that people have painted him as since 1988.

Rather the character’s perception has suffered due to two key intertwined factors.

Unwarranted presumptions of the character then exacerbated by somewhat poor communication of the concepts underpinning him.

However when one truly examines the character it becomes obvious that there is little wrong with him inherent nature or intentions as a character.

Venom as originally conceived is in fact a pretty clever and psychologically layered character who posed a very potent threat for Spider-Man and had a unique place, even iconic, place in Spidey’s already superlative rogue’s gallery as he touched on themes and concepts close to the heart of the character.

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Author: Alex Evangeli

I’ve loved Spider-Man, Spider-Girl and the Clone Saga since I were but a wee lad living in the United Kingdom. Glad to be here!

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Profile photo of Alex Evangeli

Alex Evangeli

I've loved Spider-Man, Spider-Girl and the Clone Saga since I were but a wee lad living in the United Kingdom. Glad to be here!

2 Comments:

  1. I think you have made a pretty superb analysis here of Venom. Ive often been torn between which side of the venom camp im on(is he a good villain or a poor villain). However major things you touched upon primarily venom being the ultimate stalker and brocks mental state affecting the symbiot and making it evil instead of(or perhaps together with) the otherway around are ideas ive contemplated about the character for quite some time. I really wish an adaptation would try this take on him instead of the usual symbiot is evil first and make brock worse as adaptations have usually gone with since the 90’s show.

  2. You’ve certainly made a strong case for ol’ Eddie. Well done, Al.

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