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  1. #16
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    Venom as a concept is great.

    But when someone actually writes Venom, it's pretty girl and miss. The current book is amazing and everyone should be reading it, but that's because Cates loves weird characters. Remender and Bunn also had some great work with Agent Venom and really, we've had a lot of good work with Venom since Agent Venom began. But that's because writers have been allowed and encouraged to use Venom as a character and Eddie isn't just a bad 90s joke.

  2. #17
    More eldritch than thou Venomous Mask's Avatar
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    Venom was on a good trajectory character-wise until about late 1996, though the insistence of writers to have his comic feature tons of guest appearances really dragged down the character. The early reboot era was underwhelming, The Hunger was quite promising, but I had absolutely no love for the Gargan (I did really like Anti-Venom). Agent Venom was amazing and I'm sorry that the main story was cut story in lieu of Superior Venom and later Space Knight (the latter of which had potential but was too superhero-y for Venom). I absolutely love the new Cates/Stegman run, as both really seem to understand the character.

    The thing about Venom is that venom works best when he isn't treated as simply an edgy, monstrous version of Spider-Man. Cates really shows that at his core, Venom is about paranoia, disease, cosmic dread, isolation, addiction, and the twin fears of both being alone and being overly reliant on someone else for just about everything in your life. Eddie Brock is a well-meaning but deeply disturbed individual who can barely function without the symbiote, a highly erratic, cruel, and utterly inhuman space monster that has and sometimes still does pretty much make Eddie its slave. The current story, The Abyss, really shows how the two are almost becoming a single organism with two minds, with neither able to fully function without the other. As we saw at the beginning of Abyss, we saw how when Eddie lost even a bit of control over the symbiote, Venom became nothing more than a murderous monster:



    This perverse combination of codependency and body horror are at the heart of what makes Venom so terrifying. Venom, while working well as both a Spider-Man villain and lethal protector, is at his heart, a highly diseased, corrupted creature that, depending on the circumstances, is just as likely to devour somebody as he is to save them. Even at their worst, Peter Parker and most of the other Spiders would not do this. This balance between sanity and insanity, hero and horror, is what has led to some of the best Venom stories ever. Is Venom a he or an it? Is Venom an incredibly powerful, hard-edged hero or a mentally and physically degenerating alien slug dragging around a disease-ridden meat sack for sustenance? Is Venom more moralistic than many other supervillains, or the worst of them all? After all, it was a psychic scream from the Venom symbiote that nearly led to the Earth being eaten by an invading symbiote army. It is this dynamic that really makes Venom interesting, and makes for the best Venom stories.
    "I should describe my known nature as tripartite, my interests consisting of three parallel and disassociated groups; a) love of the strange and the fantastic, b) love of abstract truth and scientific logic, c) love of the ancient and the permanent. Sundry combinations of these strains will probably account for my...odd tastes, and eccentricities."

  3. #18
    Incredible Member AngelJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venomous Mask View Post
    Venom was on a good trajectory character-wise until about late 1996, though the insistence of writers to have his comic feature tons of guest appearances really dragged down the character. The early reboot era was underwhelming, The Hunger was quite promising, but I had absolutely no love for the Gargan (I did really like Anti-Venom). Agent Venom was amazing and I'm sorry that the main story was cut story in lieu of Superior Venom and later Space Knight (the latter of which had potential but was too superhero-y for Venom). I absolutely love the new Cates/Stegman run, as both really seem to understand the character.

    The thing about Venom is that venom works best when he isn't treated as simply an edgy, monstrous version of Spider-Man. Cates really shows that at his core, Venom is about paranoia, disease, cosmic dread, isolation, addiction, and the twin fears of both being alone and being overly reliant on someone else for just about everything in your life. Eddie Brock is a well-meaning but deeply disturbed individual who can barely function without the symbiote, a highly erratic, cruel, and utterly inhuman space monster that has and sometimes still does pretty much make Eddie its slave. The current story, The Abyss, really shows how the two are almost becoming a single organism with two minds, with neither able to fully function without the other. As we saw at the beginning of Abyss, we saw how when Eddie lost even a bit of control over the symbiote, Venom became nothing more than a murderous monster:



    This perverse combination of codependency and body horror are at the heart of what makes Venom so terrifying. Venom, while working well as both a Spider-Man villain and lethal protector, is at his heart, a highly diseased, corrupted creature that, depending on the circumstances, is just as likely to devour somebody as he is to save them. Even at their worst, Peter Parker and most of the other Spiders would not do this. This balance between sanity and insanity, hero and horror, is what has led to some of the best Venom stories ever. Is Venom a he or an it? Is Venom an incredibly powerful, hard-edged hero or a mentally and physically degenerating alien slug dragging around a disease-ridden meat sack for sustenance? Is Venom more moralistic than many other supervillains, or the worst of them all? After all, it was a psychic scream from the Venom symbiote that nearly led to the Earth being eaten by an invading symbiote army. It is this dynamic that really makes Venom interesting, and makes for the best Venom stories.

    At that point in time the Venom symbiote as a character had died. 'Venom' who in my opinion I see and think primarily as the individual Symbiote itself as a character was gone.
    It's voice gone and it's very being, consciousness with primary it's 'Ego', and 'Super Ego' psyche was killed as a martyr against the Symbiote devil. It sacrificed all it had become and died a hero not a monster.
    Eddie now has not a growing and learning in morality partner and somebody who can communicate like before but has reverted losing all advancements and learning it had made in its life minus possibly the deep feelings such as respect for former host Flash so much that now buried deep it's being and still protective of Flash however it had been defaulted into a dog beast mode. A very dangerous guard dog connected to Eddie. Now while what it was has died and that individual might be gone forever it also might have the opportunity to rise once more as a new individual but it's starting point is this currently.


    spoilers:
    In the recent issue Web of Venom it seems some sort of learning process and fairness to those that are not attacking it or it's host might still be in there. When i began reading the issue it seemed like based on the chaotic art that the dog was killing, eating, and blood swirling within mad eyes. However it was revealed it was actually saving others it seems from Carnage's worms that it discovered and began to sniff out and remove them from people being controlled by Carnage then warn Eddie. When I began I assumed the Venom Guard Dog being was being a monster but really it wasn't but a WORSE monster that once was human named Cletus Kasady was the true evil the Venom Dog was discovering and stopping what it could.
    end of spoilers

  4. #19
    Incredible Member Godzilla2099's Avatar
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    I vote Both.

    Interesting and Appealing.

    I guess I was lucky when I started reading comic books because I picked it up when Venom had one of the best creative teams behind him at the time.

    Amazing Spiderman #317 is without a shadow of a doubt the best Spider-Man Fight. Its the issue that got me into collecting comic books.

    Its the second fight between Spider-Man and Venom.

    Brock wants to settle the score once and for all. Parker knows the danger he's in and goes to the Fantastic Four for help. The Thing assures Parker he's covered. When Parker returns home, he finds Brock helping Aunt May fold laundry. Brock warns Parker this is only between the two of them, not the Fantastic Four.

    Parker tells MJ the situation and she's extremely upset. He pretty much says I love you and a possible good bye.

    Now time for the fight. Spider-Man is in an abandoned building unable to sense danger. Venom bursts through the wall and confronts him. The entire fight was Venom nearly owning Spider-Man. Toying with him the entire time, much like a cat playing with a mouse. Spider-Man tried the known weaknesses to a symbiote but Venom was prepared and danced around them.

    Spider-Man knew this fight wasn't going to be won with fisticuffs. Parker takes the costume off and calls out his opponent. "I'm here. Come and get me!" He specifies he's not talking to Brock, but the symbiote. Venom mocks Parker claiming they're bonded. Before Venom could finish his sentence the symbiote starts going back to Parker. Brock angrily yells you can't do this to me. "We share a beautiful hatred!"

    When the Symbiote tries to return to Parker it causes a chain reaction (due to the bonding process) which causes great pain to both men. It hurt Eddie far worse. Parker gets back up, and although the Symbiote is still with Brock, he's knocked out.

    It wasn't Spider-Man. Peter Parker won this fight.

    Its over.


    This is what I loved in a comic book. Spider-Man wasn't his care-free self in this situation. You couldn't get any more dangerous than this and Parker knew it. This was an enemy clever enough to predict most of Parker's Moves and used intimidation tactics that would scare him so Venom got what he wanted. In a fight, Venom held all the cards in power.

    Parker had to use his brains to get out of this one and he almost didn't make it.

    Still the most intense issue I read to this day.

    If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Its why Venom is one of my favorite villain/anti-heroes to this day.

  5. #20
    Better than YOU! Alan2099's Avatar
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    Eddie was never a real deep character, but a large part of that is due to his 90s limited series status. At the height of his popularity, he didn't get a regualr series where he could be developed and grow. he got one mini-series after another with a new guest star/guest villian/or gimmick each time.

    One thing I do like about Eddie being the Anti-Spider-man that I don't think gets brought up enough is how they look at responsibility. With peter, something went wrong, something ruined his life and it was all his fault. With Eddie, something went wrong yada yada yada and it was somebody else's fault. Not his fault, nope. He has to blame somebody else.


    As far as the other Venom's go ... I never cared for Scorpion or Flash being Venom. In each case, I feel they ruined what was already interesting about the villains. Scorpion was already the bigger, stronger, tougher but still a loser Spider-man... him being Venom didn't enchance that, it just turned him into a big dumb savage monster, which wasn't really the focus of either Venom or Gargan.

    As for Flash being Venom ... I just never liked the design. It never looked like Venom to me. It was just one of those overly realistic overly tactical superhero costumes that I hate. It had none of the simple charm of Eddie's design. I als really don't like the idea of Flash actually being part of the superhero set.

  6. #21
    Incredible Member tib2d2's Avatar
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    Such a good question posed by the OP.

    IMO, yes the concept is greater than the actual character. A character who appears similar to Spidey but is opposite in many ways. The fact that spider sense doesn't work with it, and the fact that the symbiote itself harbors a resentment for Peter Parker. All awesome concepts! I often think that the host doesn't matter there (eddie brock isn't very interesting to me) and the symbiote finding a constant line of hosts to fight a battle against Spider man for revenge would be more interesting.

  7. #22
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tib2d2 View Post
    Such a good question posed by the OP.

    IMO, yes the concept is greater than the actual character. A character who appears similar to Spidey but is opposite in many ways. The fact that spider sense doesn't work with it, and the fact that the symbiote itself harbors a resentment for Peter Parker. All awesome concepts! I often think that the host doesn't matter there (eddie brock isn't very interesting to me) and the symbiote finding a constant line of hosts to fight a battle against Spider man for revenge would be more interesting.
    That was the original plan, at least when the original plan of the symbiote bonding to a woman who lost her husband and child in the crossfire of a fight between Spider-Man and one of his villains was nixed because editorial didn't think a female villain would pose a credible physical threat to Spider-Man. The symbiote was going to eventually ditch Brock and hop from host to host trying to get at Spider-Man, heightening Peter's paranoia because instead of having to look out for Eddie Brock, the symbiote could have bonded with absolutely anyone in the crowd and Peter (or the people in his life) would never know it until it was too late. Brock got popular with the readership, though, so they had to come up with Carnage and soften some of Brock's rougher edges. That being said, I agree with Venomous Mask's summation of what truly makes Venom (at least when bonded to Eddie Brock) great.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  8. #23
    Astonishing Member Celgress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan2099 View Post
    . ....One thing I do like about Eddie being the Anti-Spider-man that I don't think gets brought up enough is how they look at responsibility. With peter, something went wrong, something ruined his life and it was all his fault. With Eddie, something went wrong yada yada yada and it was somebody else's fault. Not his fault, nope. He has to blame somebody else.....
    That's a great point and one I never truly considered before. Not only is Venom a physical dark mirror image of Spider-Man but also a philosophical one as well. They are polar opposites in the handling of grief; i.e. accepting responsibility for one's own role in a loss vs placing the entire blame for one's loss on another. Basically, Spider-Man represents empowerment while Venom represents victimhood.
    Last edited by Celgress; 01-11-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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  9. #24
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    You know I just saw Venom on home video. I have to say I enjoyed it tremendously. And I am finally a Venom fan.

    That version of the character...this loser symbiote who bonds with Eddie because he's a loser like him and saves Earth because it looks nicer than his piece-of-crap planet is just brilliant.

  10. #25
    Asking the Right Question Denirac's Avatar
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    Obligatory “You’re Trash Brock”, Always Prefered Cletus Kasady myself but I will give Cates credit for making me like Brock more tjhan any other writer
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  11. #26
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    You know I just saw Venom on home video. I have to say I enjoyed it tremendously. And I am finally a Venom fan.

    That version of the character...this loser symbiote who bonds with Eddie because he's a loser like him and saves Earth because it looks nicer than his piece-of-crap planet is just brilliant.
    Funny enough, that's not entirely different from the original comics version, where the Venom symbiote was locked up by its brethren for wanting to form lifetime bonds with one host as opposed to just using up host after host, which the others considered psychotic. The symbiote as a disgraced outcast from its society, much like Eddie Brock, makes them a better pairing than they'd initially seem.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  12. #27
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    To me, Venom is actually extremely interesting character with huge potential, but Morbius is still better.

  13. #28
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    Venom is an interesting concept but Brock was done so badly. His main motivation is awful, "Spider-man ruined my career because I didn't bother to do my job properly". Yes there is the whole mirror Peter idea with responsibility but still. Also trying to make Brock a hero is really bad, given he is an awful hypocrite. He wants to protect the innocent but has no problem threatening innocent people
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