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Jim Shooter Sells VENOM Rights for $10,000!

by 08.30.2021

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Venom is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with Spider-Man. The character is a sentient alien symbiote with an amorphous, liquid-like form, who survives by bonding with a host, usually human. This dual-life form receives enhanced powers and usually refers to itself as “Venom”. The symbiote was originally introduced as a living alien costume in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984), with a full first appearance as Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988).

The Venom symbiote’s first human host was Spider-Man himself, who eventually discovered its true nefarious nature and separated himself from the creature in The Amazing Spider-Man #258 (November 1984)[2]—with a brief rejoining five months later in Web of Spider-Man #1.[3] The symbiote went on to merge with other hosts, beginning with Eddie Brock, its second and most infamous host, with whom it first became Venom. Originally a villain and one of Spider-Man’s archenemies, Venom has since evolved into an antiheroic figure, slowly distancing himself from his initial goal to ruin Spider-Man’s life to try and do good instead. After Brock, numerous other hosts for Venom followed; some of the most notable are the villain Mac Gargan, who was the main incarnation of Venom from 2005 to 2009, and Flash Thompson, who became the superhero Agent Venom in 2011.

A fan favorite character and well-known figure in popular culture, Venom (primarily the Eddie Brock incarnation) has been featured in various media adaptations of Spider-Man over the years, including feature films, television series and video games. The character was portrayed by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3 (2007), and by Tom Hardy in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe film Venom (2018) and its upcoming sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021).

The Eddie Brock incarnation of Venom is among Spider-Man’s most famous rogues, and is regarded by many as a dark reflection of the hero.[4] Comics journalist and historian Mike Conroy writes of the character: “What started out as a replacement costume for Spider-Man turned into one of the Marvel web-slinger’s greatest nightmares”.[5] Venom was rated 33rd on Empire’s 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters,[6] and ranked 22nd on IGN’s list of 100 Greatest Comic Villains of All Time.

Conception and creation
The original idea of a new costume for Spider-Man that would later become the character Venom was conceived by a Marvel Comics reader from Norridge, Illinois named Randy Schueller.[8] In 1982, Jim Shooter, Marvel’s editor-in-chief at the time, sent Schueller a letter acknowledging Marvel’s interest in the idea, which they ended up purchasing from him for $220.[9] Shooter came up with the idea of switching Spider-Man to a black-and-white costume, possibly influenced by the intended costume design for the new Spider-Woman; artist Mike Zeck designed it.[10]

Writer/artist John Byrne says on his website that he conceived a costume of self-healing biological material when he was the artist on Iron Fist — to explain how that character’s costume was constantly being torn and then apparently repaired by the next issue. Byrne says explaining that he ended up not using the idea on that title, but that Roger Stern later asked him if he could use the idea for Spider-Man’s alien costume. Stern in turn plotted the issue in which the costume first appeared but then left the title. It was writer Tom DeFalco and artist Ron Frenz who established that the costume was a sentient alien being that was vulnerable to high sonic energy during their run on The Amazing Spider-Man that preceded Michelinie’s.[11]

The symbiote was first introduced as Spider-man’s new black costume in The Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May 1984) as part of a story called “Homecoming!” The story takes place after Spider-Man’s return from the events of the miniseries Secret Wars, where he first obtains the black costume. The full first appearance of Venom is in The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (May 1988), after the symbiote bonds with Eddie Brock. [12]

Hosts
Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Main article: Spider-Man

The Venom symbiote bonds to Spider-Man in Secret Wars #8. Art by Mike Zeck.

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