Monday, May 22, 2017

Real Name: Unknown (Symbiote)
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-man #252 (May, 1984)
Fight Club Ranking: #18

Featured Fights:
- vs BLACKLASH: Marvel Team-Up #145 (Sep 1984)
- vs AVENGERS: What If...? #4 (Oct 1989)
- vs CARNAGE: Spider-man Unlimited #2 (Aug 1993)
- vs IRON MAN: Iron Man #302 (Mar 1994)
- vs SHOCKER: Spider-man Adventures #9 (Aug 1995)
- vs FLASH & QUICKSILVER: DC versus Marvel #4 (Apr 1996)
- vs SUPERMAN: DC/Marvel: All Access #1 (Dec 1996)
- vs AVENGERS: Marvel Knights: Spider-man #11 (Apr 2005)
- vs SPACE PHANTOM: Beyond! #1 (Sep 2006)
- vs JACK FLAG: Thunderbolts #111 (Apr 2007)
- vs SANDMAN: Spider-man Family #1 (Apr 2007)
- vs SPIDER-MAN: Spider-man Family #2 (Jun 2007)
- vs OLYMPUS GROUP: Incredible Hercules #128 (Jun 2009)

Holy moly! A live-action Venom spin-off is officially in the works -- and it'll star Tom Hardy!

It's no big shock that Sony would greenlight development of a Venom solo film -- a symbiote-centric adventure has been kicking around in Hollywood for a good couple of decades now. That they've managed to attract a star the caliber of Tom Hardy is where this goes from just another franchise superhero flick - to something much more intriguing!

The Hollywood Reporter expects Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer to direct, with Hardy signing on to play the title role of Eddie Brock.

Fans disappointed by Topher Grace's turn as a Peter Parker doppelganger in Spider-man 3 will no doubt look forward to a more faithful, physically imposing depiction of the classic Spidey villain.

Hardy's highlights paint a promising picture! He was a man of action in Inception, a lethal protector in Mad Max: Fury Road, and a physically intimidating Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. His 2008 star-making turn in Bronson offered another demonstration of range and moods -- all of which could come in handy in the schizophrenic journey from Eddie Brock to Venom!

Exactly how tangled the webs of Disney & Sony will be is the next big question. The imposing adult frame of Hardy seems an odd match for a pubescent Spider-man created by Tom Holland in Captain America: Civil War. Holland's Peter Parker will star in the official reboot of the Sony Spider-man universe in July, taking the character back to high school in Spider-man: Homecoming.

Will Homecoming drop the first hints of the bigger Spider-man picture? With Venom reportedly coming to screens as soon as October 5th, 2018, it may be the running start the film needs to stitch into a world that it may only tangentially occupy.

A limited role for Spider-man could provide a welcome deviation into slightly more adult fare, appeasing fans who aren't quite ready to pal around with a fifteen year old Spidey. Venom's history as a twisted anti-hero lends itself to a more challenging portrayal of superheroes on the screen, and could really diversify Sony's franchise in similar ways to FOX's Logan and Deadpool.

There's also potential to tell an inverted story. depicting Spider-man only in costume as a perceived antagonist to Venom's troubled title hero. The economy of working with stunt-men and CGI to create Spider-man would no doubt have its appeal. It could also allow Venom to remain indistinct with its connection to the world of Spider-man: Homecoming.

Sony have a deep bench of Spidey villains to pull from, which may mean the web-slinger need not get involved at all! At least in the short term. Emulating Marvel Studios' success with The Avengers could mean eventually building to a bigger Spider-franchise pay-off.

There are already rumors of a team-up film starring Black Cat and Silver Sable. Which would mean the Marvel Cinematic Universe (television included) would soon contain actors playing: Spider-man, Venom, Black Cat, Cloak, Dagger, Iron Fist, Deathlok and Captain America.

That roster is getting dangerously close to the classic line-up featured in Maximum Carnage! A story that isn't just a multimedia milestone of the early nineties, but also provides a natural convergence point for a lot of disparate properties. Lord knows we all want to see those Netflix characters find their way to the big screen!

With any luck we'll find out more in July, but until then, let the speculation run wild! Heck! With Marvel gearing up to go very cosmic in next year's Avengers: Infinity War -- how far off are we from a Venom origin that skews closer to the alien suit of Secret Wars fame? (Do we even want that?)

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