Edward Charles Allan Brock (Venom)

venomfilmAnd here’s another bad guy from Spider-Man‘s rogue gallery, one of the most popular ones: Venom, the evil version of the Wall-Crawler. Albeit Venom’s alter ego Eddie Brock was mentioned in The Amazing Spider-Man viral marketing, his only live action appearance so far is in Spider-Man 3, where he’s portrayed by Topher Grace in a not-so-memorable version. In the movie, Eddie is a delusional photographer who once dated Gwen Stacy and believes her to be his girlfriend, and a dishonest journalist who falsifies his pictures to frame Spider-Man; when Peter Parker exposes him and J. Jonah Jameson fires him, he goes to a church praying God to kill Parker (!), and in response to his prayer he obtains the Venom Symbiote and transform into a lethal avenger who teams up with Sandman to defeat the hero. The movie version could be much better, unfortunately Sam Raimi didn’t like a character who was imposed to him by the production. Waiting to see a better version of the character, let’s take a look at the original one together.

Born in San FranciscoEdward Charles Allan Brock was the son of Carl and Janine Brock, a couple of Roman Catholics. Janine died during childbirth, and Allan always blamed his son for his wife’s death. Needless to say, Eddie’s childhood was a long attempt to obtain his father’s approval, trying to have from him the affection Carl always refused to give him. Trying to impress Carl, Eddie became a model student, excelling even in sports, but Carl never gave him a single sign of approval. Eddie also stole things from other children in school from time to time, so that he could be the one to “find” them and to bring them back to the rightful owners: he met all his childhood friends this way. In college, Eddie fell in love with a girl, Ann Weying, who was studying law; albeit he excelled in sports, he started studying journalism after reading an article on the Watergate Scandal. He got his degree with the maximum grades, and joined the Associated Press immediately after graduation. He married Ann and obtained a job as a journalist for the Daily Globe…but none of these achievements ever
succeeded in impressing his father, a task he finally gave up on accomplishing. As a reporter, Brock made quite a name for himself, proving to be highly talented, exposing scandals such as an illegal human experimentation at venomcomics1Devlin-MacGregor Pharmaceuticals. Eddie, however, wanted to hit a big story, something he would have been remembered for: the occasion arrived when he was contacted by Emil Gregg, a man who claimed to be the wanted serial killer Sin-Eater. Almost too good to be true, Brock interviewed Gregg, and announced through his journal that he knew who the Sin-Eater was, releasing the interview piece by piece, day after day. Pressured by the authorities, Eddie finally revealed the name of his source…just in time, as Spider-Man had captured the real Sin-Eater, Detective Stan Carter: Gregg was Carter’s neighbour, and a compulsive confessor. Eddie Brock was publicly ridiculed, and he lost his job at the Daily Globe; he ended up writing for a third-category tabloid, and eventually even Ann left him. Alone, full of hatred and pain, disowned by his own father, without a job he cared for, with the gym as his only vent, Eddie Brock became constantly enraged and grudging, blaming all his misfortunes on Spider-Man.

Eventually, hatred became depression, and rage became shame and self-loathing: he considered putting an end to his life, and went to Our Lady of Saints Church in order to beg God for forgiveness for the mortal sin he was about to commit. On that same church’s belltower, however, the now Black Spider-Man was struggling against his new, sentient costume, an alien Symbiote vulnerable to soundwaves. Thanks to the bell’s toll, Spider-Man managed to break the bond between himself and the Symbiote, and the alien creature escaped inside the church…where he was attracted by Brock’s overwhelming emotions, by his despair, his hatred, his rush of adrenaline. Eddie was enveloped by the creature, and the Symbiote merged with him both mentally and physically: sharing their thoughts, man and alien found out they shared a common hatred towards Spider-Man, who had ruined Brock’s life and had rejected the Symbiote. They formed an alliance, swearing to make their enemy pay for what he had done to them; the Symbiote also told Eddie everything he knew about Spidey, included his secret identity, Peter Parker. With the Symbiote, Brock had gained all of Spider-Man’s powers, and more: he could mimicry all his abilities to an extended venomcomics2range, plus he had additional skills granted to him by the alien’s powers. Naming himself Venom, Brock started stalking Peter Parker, taking advantage of the fact that the Symbiote was able to fool Parker’s Spider-Sense. After a couple of mild murder attempts, aimed to scare Parker and little more, Brock even confronted his wife, Mary Jane Watson: Eddie’s personal moral code prevented him from harming MJ in any way, but the message was delivered, and Parker was now painfully aware of the new menace in his life. Recognizing the black costume he used to wear, Spider-Man borrowed from the Fantastic Four the sonic cannon he had already used on the alien, but soon found out that the bond between Brock and Venom was much stronger than his own, and that he wouldn’t have been able to separate the two beings without killing Eddie. The moment he put down the cannon, Venom reacted, and tied him to the same bell he had used to get rid of the Symbiote. Eventually, Spider-Man managed to defeat his adversary by tricking him into losing mass with webbing, then locking him in the super-prison Vault. Soon after, however, Venom managed to kill a guard and to break free: the hunt for Spider-Man had just begun…

Eddie Brock is a grim and tormented man, a vengeful lunathic with an obsession with Spider-Man, who seeks in the hero somebody to blame for all his failures. Bonding with the Symbiote only made Brock go over the edge (the alien, in turn, got mad for the intensity of Eddie’s emotions), creating a dangerous monster out of an unbalanced man. Even as Eddie Brock, he possesses a remarkable strength, result of a training that brought his body to peak-human levels; as Venom, he’s an unstoppable force of nature, with superhuman strength, durability, speed, agility, reflexes and stamina. He’s nearly invulnerable to physical arm, and possesses a rengenerative healing factor for everything that manages to hurt Brock’s body; the Symbiote’s memory is able to replicate Spider-Man’s powers, so Venom can stick to any surface, and is able to project an organic webbing far stronger than the original one; he’s also undetectable by Spidey’s Spider-Sense, and he can model the Symbiote in any shape or form, creating sharp weapons and blades with the black alien; the costume is also able to imitate any dress or clothing, camouflaging in any environment; finally, Venom possesses poisonous fangs and a prehensile tongue, making him all the more dangerous…and creepy. Driven by a twisted moral code, Venom isn’t exactly a bad guy: he truly believes he’s using his powers for good. Unfortunately, “good” includes disemboweling Spider-Man.

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9 Comments

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  6. […] how much (and how badly) it affects his personality, the Symbiote bonds with the vengeful Eddie Brock and goes on a revenge spree, only to be later destroyed with a Pumpkin Bomb (everything […]

  7. […] the massive breakout in the Vault, where his pyrokinesis was the only thing able to keep at bay Venom. Eventually, FF was disbanded, and Pyro and Blob were abandoned in Kuwait after a disastrous […]

  8. […] things. He was supposed to be portrayed by Ben Kingsley in Spider-Man 3, but he was replaced by Venom, and again by John Malkovich in the cancelled Spider-Man 4; the villain’s wings had been […]

  9. […] Jameson to keep an eye on Jonah’s medicines and blood pressure, she’s hit on by Eddie Brock and she even flirts with a now rebellious Peter Parker. The rest of the time, she’s always […]


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