While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised. We’ll have to wait and see.
While I have yet to see Venom, I’m hoping what I’m hearing from critics is wrong. Then again, I’ve been disappointed by superhero films before. I’ve also been surprised.
We’ll have to wait and see.
Best of the Bad
I’ve always liked the character of Venom. He was one of those unique villains, the ones you loved to hate and root against. However, you didn’t want them to die away completely.
You know, villains like Dr. Doom, Magneto, and Apocalypse.
Victor Von Doom, who would later become Dr. Doom, was a megalomaniac bent on world domination. He wanted to be 'The One Ruler of the Whole World.'
Then we have Magneto. As a Holocaust survivor, he’s seen the worst side of humanity. Being on the receiving end of that hatred led him to believe that humans are not fit to rule the planet, nor are they capable of even taking care of themselves. What’s a metal-bending mutant to do? Take over the world, of course.
We also have Apocalypse. (Not to the movie version. He was weak)
The comic book version was much more terrifying; He was born in ancient Egypt…let that sink in for a second.
This guy’s mutant power allowed him to live for millennia. He was born with grey skin and random blue lines. This terrified his tribe. As a result, they sought to kill him. Thanks to this lack of understanding, Apocalypse, known as En Sabbah Nur at the time, decided humans must be subjugated. Moreover, who better to do that than himself?
A theme among all these bad guys is the wounds, both physical and emotional, received from small-minded people. Instead of understanding that it was small-mindedness that caused this, they’ve decided ALL of humanity must pay. That anger becomes hatred, and that hatred is what drives them to do great and terrible things.
This drive also makes them scary.
Venom gets put in the same category as these guys.
Not because he wants to rule the world. In truth, Venom could care less who’s in charge of the world.
He wants only one thing- to eat.
Moreover, humans are the tastiest of foods available on the planet.
In his original debut, Venom was an alien symbiote. He’s not a mutant or something created in a lab. Well, in the Ultimate Universe he was, but that’s beside the point.
The point is, he didn’t come from earth. He just showed up.
Now, the symbiotes are different in that they need a host to survive. They bond with a nearby host, or they’ll most likely die. The Venom Symbiote bonded with the nearest candidate, and that was Spider-Man. However, thanks to Spidey’s strength of will and cunning, he separated himself from the thing.
Eddie Brock--arrogant, angry, forever scarred by an abusive father--was nearby and ended up bonding with the symbiote.
While I’m not sure how the movie handles it, and I’ve heard they could have done a better job, that’s the basic gist of how Brock bonded with Venom.
The two have been a pair for much of the character’s history. There were times when Venom was a good guy. There were times when he was tearing through cities and was nigh unstoppable.
Also, there was a time when an Anti-Venom existed. He was the opposite, even in color, to Venom.
Throughout it all, however, Venom wasn’t to be trusted. He could do good things from time to time, yet there was this feeling that he was just *this* close to losing it and tearing things up again.
While Tom Hardy was a great choice to play Eddie Brock/Venom, it remains to be seen if this incarnation will live on in the movies. If that happens then, by all means, keep Hardy. If not, then I suggest Scott Eastwood.
There is plenty of comic book fodder here to keep Venom going, even if it’s just the symbiotes themselves.
You see, Venom wasn’t alone.
A rare trait of this alien species was that they could reproduce asexually- meaning they merely “hatched” another symbiote.
When Venom did hatch another symbiote, that one did the same thing and looked for a host to bond to.
The problem was that it bonded with Cletus Kasaday.
Cletus was a cellmate of Brock’s. When the Venom symbiote came to bust him out, it left something behind. That something bonded with Cletus.
Cletus, unlike Brock, was an unstable serial killer.
The pairing of the two led to a real problem for the Marvel Universe.
Instead of a symbiote that could be persuaded to be good, from time to time, Carnage was never interested in doing anything for the good of others. Cletus loved to kill people. Carnage wanted to eat. Carnage could eat while also equipping Cletus with a unique way of murdering others.
He continues to be a problem, mostly for Spider-Man. A few other heroes have had run-ins with the deranged hunter-killer as well. Now and then it looks as though they’ve captured him and put him away, but he always finds a way to escape.
When they do debut Carnage on the big screen, and they need to do it soon, I suggest Toby Kebbell for the role.
Interestingly enough, when it came time for Carnage to hatch another symbiote, he ended up picking someone who was almost his complete opposite.
Patrick Mulligan was a New York City Police Officer and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Carnage, looking to offload his new symbiote, placed it in Mulligan, and left, thinking the problem was solved. If that were true, then there’d be no story and no reason to keep reading the comic. Luckily for the readers, and not Cletus, there was a problem.
When the symbiote hatched, Patrick did all that he could to keep the thing from going on a rampage. Unlike Brock, who was scared by an abusive father and Cletus, who enjoyed killing people, Patrick had a sense of justice and didn’t want to hurt anyone.
That sense of justice caused problems with the symbiote who came to be named Toxin.
Of the three symbiotes out there, Toxin is, by far, the most interesting.
When they do finally get around to casting a Patrick Mulligan, Liam Hemsworth would be great in that part.
After all, his brother Chris has done a stellar job as Thor, so why not let the younger brother have a shot at being a Marvel superhero?
Well, maybe not a superhero, but a highly conflicted anti-superhero.
Which One is Best?
While Eddie does have some sense of right and wrong, he’s ultimately a thug with a unique weapon. Whatever conflict there is minimal. This doesn’t degrade Venom as a character. Instead, he’s someone trying to wrestle with morality. The problem is that the “bad” side is constantly tapping at Eddie’s brain and making him feel hungry. Thus, Eddie usually gives in to Venom’s demands.
Carnage, on the other hand, is a straight-up sociopath.
While Lecter may use medical instruments to kill his victims, and Leatherface a chainsaw, Cletus has a suit that warps into blades and other sharp things. What more could a serial killer want?
For Cletus, the argument of right versus wrong is moot. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong, but he does not care.
Toxin is where it gets interesting.
Patrick feels beholden to justice; there is right, and there is wrong. For Patrick, it’s up to him to bring offenders to justice.
However, there’s this thing that keeps tapping at his brain, causing hunger in his throat, and that crawling sensation under his skin.
It will not go away.
So what’s a good guy to do?
And therein lies an intriguing conflict.
Until we get that movie, Venom will have to do. When it does hit streaming, make sure you’re hooked up with the best internet deals in your area. Just saying...
Between now and then, catch up on all your reading by heading over to Marvel Unlimited. This way you can stream the comics to your favorite device. You’ll be able to catch up on your reading whenever you have a free moment. You’ll also learn more about the characters as well.
The best part about this is you can form your own opinion about Venom, Carnage, and Toxin.
Who do you think is the best symbiote? When someone finally makes a movie about them, which actors would you cast?
For more news on upcoming films, provider reviews, and streaming technology, keep your browser open to On The Download.