To the surprise (and perhaps concern) of many Spider-fans and comic book aficionados alike, it recently came to light that despite their unfortunate handling of the Spider-verse over the past few years, Sony still plans to move forward with their Venom franchise — without Spider-Man.
Comic book fans the world over breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier this year when Marvel and Sony came to terms regarding the future of Spider-Man in the MCU after years of speculation and rivalry. It appeared that Sony had learnt a lesson in letting go after relinquishing their tight grip on the spandex-clad teenager (that’s a weird sentence), but with Sony’s recent announcement came a lot of justified concern from fans, who seem to be wondering just how Sony plans to helm a franchise based on Venom without the presence of one of his most enduring and definitive foes. It’s easy to forget though, that Venom is actually a very successful character in his own right, with his own stories and arcs that work completely separate from Spidey’s; which is why today we’re going to take a look at 6 classic Venom storylines that Sony could use in their movie.
6. The Hunger
Early on in this story, we learn something… interesting about the Venom symbiote: the fact that it requires a chemical known as phenethylamine to survive. Problem is, the primary source of this chemical is found in brains. Human brains, to be more specific. After depleting Eddie Brock’s supply of the chemical, Eddie flat-out refuses to sate the appetite of the bloodthirsty symbiote by snacking on grey matter, and the bitter symbiote subsequently decides that the duo need some time apart. Naturally, this results in Eddie being locked up in an insane asylum by the evil Dr. Paine (no points for subtlety there) whilst the symbiote embarks on a brain-slurping spree that would make George A. Romero proud. Eventually, Eddie breaks out of the asylum and finds an alternative source of the chemical, but not before Dr. Paine steals the symbiote for himself, resulting in a showdown between doctor and patient. Needless to say, Eddie defeats Paine and reunites with Venom, resuming their dark partnership.
This story would be a blast for Sony to adapt, especially considering the tremendous success of DeadpooL, which might spur the studio to go all out in terms of gore here. While it could be argued that separating Eddie from the symbiote for such a significant portion of the movie would defeat its entire purpose, it would give us time to explore both characters individually before bringing them together for a spectacular finale.
5. Separation Anxiety
With Sony’s fixation on building franchises for pretty much all of their properties becoming more and more apparent, this might be a direction they choose to take. The story follows several other symbiotes known as Scream, Agony, Phage, Lasher and Riot (who also happen to be the offspring of the Venom symbiote), as they track down an imprisoned and Venom-less Eddie Brock for help in controlling their parasitic friends, only to discover that they’re being killed off one by one. Naturally, the blame turns to poor Eddie, who becomes the focal point of the symbiotes’ wrath, until its eventually revealed that the killer is in fact an insane Scream, who has now killed and taken over all of the other hosts and has her sights set on Eddie next.
As you could probably guess, Eddie ends up reconnecting with Venom and fighting off Scream rather easily, so this fight would need to be beefed up for the movie, but there’s no denying that it would be unique and interesting to see a kind of ultra-violent super-villain murder mystery that takes lessons in paranoia and body-horror from The Thing.
4. Dark Origin
This is a natural place for Sony to start, and is currently one of the most likely choices on this list due to the fact that it’s essentially a more in-depth look at Venom’s origin. What’s great here is that this story really gives Eddie Brock some room to breathe as a character. We see into some of Eddie Brock’s most personal moments in this arc, providing some much needed context as to why he is the way that he is, and why the Venom symbiote has such a hold over him.
Spider-Man would need to be omitted from the story of course, but I’m sure that wouldn’t stop Peter Parker at least getting referenced in the movie. Either way, this story could work really well as a Cronenberg-style body-horror flick, as we witness tortured soul Eddie Brock become dependent on this grotesque life form as he descends into violence, savagery and madness in order to harness the powers of Venom.