Let’s Talk About Venom

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I’ve been getting back into comics the last year or so, and I’ve been finding that my tastes have drastically changed in characters and stories in my nearly twenty year absence.  As a kid, I loved Marvel comics, and didn’t ever pay attention to DC, now I’m definitely finding more in DC that I enjoy.  I used to love Spider-Man and the Avengers, and now when I am reading Marvel stuff it tends to be stuff that isn’t too closely related to any of the MCU films or other Marvel films.

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One of the characters that I used to love when I was about 12 or so, was Venom.  He was so cool.  I’m starting to think he may have been more of a ‘cool’ character, than a ‘good’ character.

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I remember reading some of the ‘Venom’ series, and thinking that he was like an edgy broodier version of Spider-Man.  I think I thought “Venom is what J. Jonah Jameson thinks Spider-Man is,” which I thought was incredibly cool.  At this same time in my life, I was also collecting all the ‘alternatives’ that were coming out like A-Next which was the next generation Avengers, and J² which was Juggernaut’s son.  I think I had crappy taste at the time.  But Venom was a bad-ass, and I was convinced that was amazing.

Then, Spider-Man 3 was coming out, and it was announced that they’d be doing Venom as one of the villains, I was ecstatic.  Even when they announced it was Topher Grace, who seemed so unlike Eddie Brock, but they explained that he was supposed to be Spider-Man’s mirror, so they sold me on it.  Then I saw the movie and thought “oh they really fucked that up.”  It was definitely the portrayal of the character, and not the character itself right?

So a couple months ago, the trailer for the new Venom movie was released, and I have to be honest, I think it looks like garbage.  I like every single person in it (especially Jenny Slate) but the way she pronounces symbiote (Sim BY Oat) is obnoxious, and I’m sure this will be like when people were telling me that the correct way to pronounce Smaug was with each and every single vowel present, and I was like “it may be right, but it’s still annoying.”  So there was strike one.  Strike two is that the actual Venom suit/skin looks horrendous.  Don’t get me wrong, it looks just like in the comics, but it looks awful when juxtaposed with non-animated characters.  There isn’t a strike three yet.  So hopefully, I’m wrong.

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Then lastly, I started reading the Venom vs. Carnage trade paperback, and after a few pages of “I’m your father, you have to listen to me,” and “Perhaps if my host had any regard for his family, I’d respect you dear old daddy” a lightbulb went off in my head.  What if Venom sucks?  What if it isn’t that the character hasn’t been portrayed right, but what if it’s that the character isn’t good, or perhaps he’s only situationally good, like in small doses, when paired with the right characters?

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Paul has talked a few times in articles and in the podcast about characters like Wolverine being best served in small doses, because they’re cool, and there is a tendency to over do them.  Maybe that’s Venom’s problem.  Or maybe unlike Wolverine who is cool, and has a great arc/background, Venom is just cool, and not ‘good’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go see the Venom film and I’m going to finish reading this book, but I’m not sure anymore about Venom.

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What do you think of Venom?  Is he just cool?  Am I missing some incredible story that does his character the most justice possible?  Let me know in the comments below.

written by Michael Cole

First Look: VENOM Poster & Trailer (Updated)

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Today we got the first poster for the Venom movie due out in October. It’s minimalist and I like it. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Venom. I always thought he was visually interesting character and that’s about it. You see, in the comic book world, there a lot of characters from the 90’s that are dubbed “cool“ and certain fans clammer to see them on the big screen. I’ve always viewed Venom as a characters like Apocalypse, Carnage, Gambit, Cable and Deadpool. But I’ve found, it’s usually people who really don’t have a deep understanding of comics and only like these characters because they all have a great visual designs and have character traits that are superficially cool. “90’s characters”: it’s always been a dirty phrase to me.

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But it’s dangerous to make generalizations. I realize a lot of what I just said was very dismissive of an entire Fanbase. I’m not saying that’s right, I’m just saying that’s been my point of view. Deadpool really changed things for me. I always hated Deadpool. I thought he was the a pitta me of everything I just described. I genuinely didn’t understand his popularity. But at the same time I was rarely exposed to him in comic books because I avoided them. But then I begin to read Rick Remender’s excellent X-Force run. Basically, Cyclops (right in the middles of becoming the new metaphorical “Magento” of the Marvel Universe) created a mutant, black-ops, kill squad. X-Force was designed to preemptively find threats to mutant kind and quietly take them off the board before they can threaten the mutant race and when I say “take them off the board” I mean horribly kill them. The team which included Wolverine, Psylocke, Archangel, Fantomex, and Deadpool. This is an excellent X-Men book, definitely one of the best runs of the last decade. It was here that I started to like Deadpool. Then Deadpool started to pop up more in other mainstream marvel books like Avengers and I found myself liking him more and more. Then the movie came out and I’m eating some crow and loving the character. Deadpool 2 is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. My point is opinions can change.

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Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in the first official image released from the film

Now if I was going to make a Venom film, I think Tom Hardy is an excellent Eddie Brock. You can do a Venom film with out Spider-Man because there’ve been numerous Venom series’ in which he’s an antihero going up against a worse villain like Carnage for example. I think the Venom movie will take inspiration from the Venom: Lethal Protector miniseries where he’s definitely a more heroic character. Even when he’s gone up again Spider-Man, Venom has never viewed himself as a villain, he’s viewed him self as a hero.

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Carnage: The Movie’s Villain

The movie’s director, Ruben Fleischer did Zombieland so we know there’s some talent and vision behind the camera. But I can’t help but think how interesting it would be just see the Spider-Man that we saw in Homecoming, the very young, boy learning to become a hero, go up against someone like a Tom Hardy Venom. It would be a dark, brutal story. Definitely something different and definitely something I wouldn’t mind seeing. Now when I say that, I mean I would want it to be a Spider-Man movie were Tom Hardy’s Venom is the villain. From the jump, it’s been made very clear that this Venom film has nothing to do with Spider-Man: Homecoming or the Marvel cinematic universe. But with rumors of Tom Holland being on set of the Venom film, it clouds things up a little. When this poster was released, there was also a hashtag that said “tomorrow”. So I would say we should plan on seeing a Venom teaser trailer tomorrow. That will start to give us an idea of what this movie is and what it’s going to look like. Like Deadpool before him, though I am not a huge fan of Venom, I will give this movie a chance. I just hope it doesn’t squander it.

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Check back here tomorrow where we will have the trailer posted IF it’s released. Thanks for reading guys!

UPDATE:  (2/8/18) Well, just as I predicted a trailer for Venom was realeased today. Take a look below and then I’ll give you my thoughts:

 

I really wanted to give this a chance, but man that is a terrible teaser. You have no idea what the movie is or what its about. You’d probably not even know it was a trailer for a Venom movie, if you didn’t KNOW IT WAS A TRAILER FOR VENOM MOVIE! We don’t get any sense of the character at all. We don’t know if they’re going to play Venom as more heroic or a darker character. There are almost no hints that there’s even a sci-if/comic book angle to the movie. There’s a very brief shot of what appears to be a symbiote in some kind of containment device, but THAT IS IT. Not good enough. Especially for a skeptic like me.  I was very against the Han Solo film, but at least they were able to put out a really good trailer and start to win me over. I had no interest in a Venom film from the beginning and if they keep putting out material like this, they’ll start losing people that are already on board, let alone bringing in new people like me.  Anyway I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Also check out our Amazon Affiliate links below to Uncanny X-Force Vol.1-2 by Rick Remender which collects his entire run on the series. As I said in the main article, I can personally vouche for it being one of the best X-Men stories in the last 20 years. Below that I’ve also put an Amazon link for the Venom: Lethal Protector series I mentioned If you’re curious what kind of material the movie will be based on. Going to Amazon through the links help’s support World’s Best Media and  we always appreciate it!

-Paul

 

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