The Evolution of Venom | Yellow Spandex #21 | NowThis Nerd

Hi everybody, we are Moose, and on today’s Yellow Spandex, we’re talking about a costumes that’s as far from fabric as it gets The symbiote known as Venom

So many snacks, so little time It's a superhero suit with a life of its own, a sentient organism with uncontrollable power, and a living, breathing fashion statement With a new movie on the horizon and crazy new developments in the comics, we thought it was the perfect time to chow down on The Evolution of Venom We start, as always, with the comics, and the creation of The Classic Spider-Man’s mysterious black suit first appeared in 1984, a few months before its alien origin was revealed in issue 8 of the ‘Secret Wars’ crossover We’d later learn that it’s part of an alien species called the Klyntar, but all that backstory was secondary compared to how damn cool it looked The simple, high contrast design came from artists Mike Zeck and Randy Schueller, based on a proposed look for a new Spider-Woman

Originally, red was going to be the secondary color, but even after Zeck switched to a black and white scheme, the costume was still pretty far from the slobbering symbiote we know and fear today Writer David Michellene decided to use it as the basis for a badass new villain, and created its most famous host: Eddie Brock Venom’s killer look came from Spidey artist Todd McFarlane, whose signature style transformed the basic black suit into a hulking monstrosity with a toothy, demonic grin I didn't know that the character was gonna be a human inside of it It's actually a happy accident, because if David had given me that information earlier, I guarantee I wouldn't have made him as big as he was

I thought he was an alien, I just went in there and thought I could do something super crazy with him Later artists like Erik Larsen introduced Venom’s tongue and slathering saliva, and for his first solo series, Mike Bagley came up with Venom’s most disgusting evolution yet: Eddie’s monstrous mullet Artists have a lot of leeway when drawing the alien symbiote, it's gooey, there's tentacles, there's drool, there's teeth, you can pretty much draw it however you like, but when Brock is behind the wheel, they mostly keep to the original ‘80s design, even though the meaning behind it has changed Just this year, we learned that the logo on his chest isn’t supposed to be a spider, it’s a dragon, representing the ancient avatar of Knull, god of the symbiotes Eddie’s been rocking some brand new wings as a result, but it’s still more or less the same as Zeck and McFarlane’s classic design

Brock has experimented with alternate looks, like his brief run as the inverted Anti-Venom, and his gooey purple Ultimate universe counterpart, but the biggest changes usually come when someone else succumbs to the symbiote, In the 34 years since its debut, Venom has attached itself to dozens of different characters Honestly, if you name a popular Marvel hero, odds are they’ve tried Venom on for size at some point, especially if you count ‘What If’s’ and alternate universes But only four individuals have worn the suit long enough to be considered ‘main’ Venoms, so let’s look at The Hosts with the Most Eddie Brock remained Venom for nearly twenty years But in 2004, the symbiote found two new hosts, courtesy of writer Mark Millar A cancer-stricken Eddie becomes a born-again Christian after seeing ‘The Passion,’ because again, 2004, and to atone for his evil deeds, he sells the Symbiote at a black market auction and donates the profits to charity

The highest bidder is a mob boss who buys it for his wimpy son, Angelo Fortunato Which translates to "fortunate angel," which you'll see the irony of in like, 30 seconds Angelo took to the suit quickly, and tricked it out with a new design that dialed back some of the ‘90s excess Instead of blank, stylized eyes, the white markings on Venom’s head became more like facepaint, and his new chest symbol had thicker, angular lines that extended to his arms Sometimes

Unfortunately for Angelo, his new best friend wasn’t impressed with his cowardice, and abandons him in midair, to fall to a grisly and horrible death Fortunate angel ideed The symbiote settled on Mac Gargan, aka

the Scorpion, one of Spidey’s oldest and least respected supervillains You're nothing but a two-bit, no-account, second-rate, sewer-breath babboon with the brain of a pigeon and the face of an eel! Stop it! Bonded by their mutual hatred of the wallcrawler, Gargan kept the new look, although he eventually incorporated his trademark stinger As Venom, Gargan was thrilled to have finally made it to the ‘A-list’ of supervillains, and as an imposter Spider-Man, he relished in tarnishing the name of his hated foe But the as the symbiote set its hooks in, it forced Gargan into unthinkable acts of carnage and cannibalism, driving him even more insane The authorities separate him from the symbiote, and hand it to a more controllable candidate: Eugene "Flash" Thompson Always wanted to be the hero

Now I look the part Now, ordinarily, you’d think Peter Parker’s biggest bully bonding with the symbiote would be Spider-Man’s worst nightmare, but Flash had grown up a lot since his time at Midtown High, and after losing both legs during his Army service in Iraq the government selected him as the perfect host for their symbiotic super soldier: Agent Venom Instead of looking like skintight spandex or gelatinous goo, Flash’s costume took the shape of tacticool armor, sort of like kevlar crossed with a spiky insect exoskeleton, and overall, it was an awesome new take on the character, a Lethal Protector for the Call of Duty era, but I do question the need for all those straps and pouches You’re wearing a living suit that can basically do anything, why would you need a pouch when you can just put things in… yourself? Flash tried out a bulkier new design when he was adventuring in space, but his run as Venom came to an end as the symbiote found a new host: a former army ranger turned henchman named Lee Price, who offered a unique twist to the character Normally, it’s the influence of the symbiote that causes the host to kill, but the alien enjoyed its time as a hero and wanted to keep the good vibes going

Unfortunately for the suit, Lee was already a ruthless killer, and his will dominated the symbiote’s, manifesting in a edgelord black trenchcoat, and a monstrous form that looks like a cross between Doomsday and a skeleton halloween costume Price didn’t last long as Venom, and honestly, it’s for the best For most fans, Eddie Brock is the definitive host, especially after decades of seeing him On Screen We’re not gonna cover videogames here, since we’ve already done a four-part history of Spidey games, so we’re going to start with Venom’s first TV appearance in ‘Spider-Man: The Animated Series’ The 1994 show made a huge impact on young Spidey-fans, and helped cement Venom as the webslinger’s most popular new baddie, thanks to an unforgettable voice provided by ‘Simpsons’ legend Hank Azaria, As Eddie, his New Yawk accent is a little over the top, My apawtmint?! and I can definitely hear a little Moe in there, You can't do dis! Well, that was an antique Crap! but the intense voice he used as Venom You've gotta separate from it! Separate?! We're MADE for eachother! scared the crap out of kids everywhere

AHHH! Kay, bye Since the ‘90s series, Venom has popped up in pretty much every animated adaptation, usually wearing a variant of the original design, although the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ series had basically everyone except Eddie wear the symbiote for a minute, from Harry Osborn to Kraven the Hunter Later seasons would introduce Flash as Agent Venom, but Brock came back after ‘Ultimate’ was replaced by a new Spidey series As for the big screen, there had been plans to push Venom as a solo star since the 2000s, but he didn’t make his debut until 2007’s ‘Spider-Man 3’ This movie was a disappointment in about a million ways, but the most glaring for me, at least visually, was the design of the symbiote

They took one look at the most striking, innovative, and modern superhero costumes ever, and said “nah, let’s just dye the regular Spidey suit black” They wanted to show Venom as a twisted, mangled mirror of Spider-Man, and used the webbing motif to illustrate the symbiote’s strangling grip on Spidey I was hoping it would look a little cooler once it found its proper host, but even with Topher Grace’s decent performance, Venom could not have been more lame If ya know what I'm talkin' about! He was barely more jacked than Tobey Maguire, his tentacles looked like a bad WinAmp visualisation, and he was constantly pulling back his face to reveal a very unintimidating Eric Forman with vampire fangs We never got a chance to see Venom in the ‘Amazing’ reboots, Oh, I have a parasite

Yeah Night Mrs Chen! which us brings us to the latest incarnation of the Lethal Protector: Tom Hardy While I still can’t quite see this version of Venom interacting with little baby Tom Holland, I’m definitely impressed by the design Modern CGI has given us a massive, jacked-up symbiote that finally looks as alien as its origin

It’s glistening texture and oozing tentacles reminds me of artist Clayton Crain’s extra gooey portrayal, and while I’m disappointed with the lack of a symbol, the sickly white veins are a pretty decent compromise Even Todd McFarlane seems pleased with it, although he’s got a few minor tweaks of his own: People keep asking me "Todd, what do you think of it?" I think it looks pretty cool in most of the spots there, but I would just do some little Toddy tweaks if my name wasn't Todd, it was God I can see where he’s coming from, but that’s sort of the beauty behind Venom: Every artist can approach it in a different way, because the design is so brilliantly simple The symbiote has become permanently bonded to all of comic fandom, and while the verdict is still out on the solo movie, we’re keeping an open mind We'll eat your face, right off your head

You'll be this little armless, legless, faceless thing! Rolling down the street like a turd in the wind

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