3/2/2012 – Not your daddy’s symbiote.

Comic or not, Daryl is badass. I can’t wait for him to meet Michonne.

That final panel is only partly autobiographical. It’s true that 18 years ago (son of a bitch, EIGHTEEN YEARS?), I was sat on the couch watching the black costume episodes of the Fox Spider-Man cartoon. And I did find it strange that they introduced the concept of the costume increasing Spider-Man’s powers and making him more aggressive. But unlike Josh, I did not foresee that this would become the symbiote’s defining trait in the comics.

To be honest…it does work, at least as a reason for Peter to reject the symbiote. It’s certainly better than his reason in the comics: “What, this thing is alive? It has hopes and dreams? Quick, lock it in a cage and forget about it!” So I don’t overly mind that little bit of revisionist history.

The part of it that’s a shame is it reduces the character of Venom to “guy possessed by an evil alien”. And he always had a much neater origin than that. The symbiote was a jilted lover, and Eddie Brock was a paranoid schizophrenic, and they combined to create essentially the first super-villain stalker. Say what you will about writer David Michelinie, but he was notable for introducing villains with more complex goals than robbing banks (Chance, Taskmaster, Justin Hammer, etc).

Venom’s history and motivations have become a continuity quagmire over the years, including some truly horrid stories where the symbiote starts craving people’s brains or feeding off the cancer cells in Eddie Brock’s body. The current Venom series by Rick Remender is actually quite enjoyable, embracing the “troubled guy influenced by evil alien” shtick to good effect. But I do still miss stalker Venom–the delusional human host and an alien that just doesn’t understand no means no–who would casually walk up to Aunt May’s door and creepily ask if Peter could come out and play.

(No, seriously, what the fuck, EIGHTEEN YEARS?!?!)


Quotable quotes from the world of comics:

“I don’t need help. Thanks, Alfred. I work alone. Thanks, Dick. Thanks, Barbara. Thanks, Tim. I’m not a team player. Thanks, Justice League.”
ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, Sh*t Batman Says




  1. João

    What do you recommend reading on that Venom?

  2. RaijinK

    Well, Peter’s original rejection of the symbiote wasn’t entirely selfish. It was draining his energy and making him sleepwalk…sleepwebsling…whatever. In the end, it really did seem like he just wanted to get rid of it because it creeped him out though. He didn’t seem to understand or care that it was sentient, he just wanted it gone.

    As for making him a hostile jerk, I think it’s funny that the modern depictions of symbiote-influenced Peter just have him acting like regular college student Peter as written by Lee and Romita in the 70s. If there was any period in the comics that made Spider-Man seem like an unreasonable asshole, it wasn’t when he was possessed by an alien, it was when he was a teenager that didn’t know how to handle a social life.

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