A host of symbiotes will take over the Marvel universe in the “Edge of Venomverse” five-issue series this June. The story arc spills out of the events in “Venom” and this month’s Venomized Variant Program and sees the return of Eddie Brock, along with Marvel superheroes becoming hosts to sinister symbiotes that will include dream matchups and fan-favorite creators. A Marvel press release teases that Brock will not be the only familiar character to make his return.
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Eddie Brock was the alien symbiote’s original host, as we learned in 1988’s “Amazing Spider-Man” #300 by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. Brock and the symbiote both held a grudge against Peter Parker — the symbiote for Spider-Man’s rejection of their bond, and Eddie for his belief that Peter had destroyed his reputation as a journalist. The two found each other, and through their shared hatred, a villainous bond was formed.
For years, the two would plague Spider-Man as Venom, alternating between attempting to kill the wall-crawler and playing the semi-heroic role of “lethal protector” until 2008 when the bond between them was severed. At this point, Brock bonded with a different symbiote to become the anti-hero known as Anti-Venom. When that symbiote died, Brock bonded with yet another symbiote, Toxin, once again taking on the mantle of a violent anti-hero. As Toxin, Brock has most recently been seen hunting down the most dangerous symbiote/human hybrid of all, Carnage.
As for the Venom symbiote, following its separation from Eddie Brock, it was re-programmed and bonded with Spider-Man fan and ally Flash Thompson. The result was the character’s Agent Venom incarnation, which began with Flash in near-total control over the symbiote’s abilities, and ended up as a harmonious relationship between the pair. The symbiote’s other worldly origins were explored and explained, as it and Flash joined the ranks of the Guardians of the Galaxy and took on the Space Knight mantle.
The character’s current series, “Venom,” launched in November of 2016 and featured an all-new host for the alien symbiote. Mac Gargan, the symbiote’s host between Brock and Flash, has played a role in the title, but the new host is one Lee Price, a former Army Ranger with a massive, violent chip on his shoulder. The symbiote, who is now fully sentient and desires to do good, has found itself subjugated to Price’s will, forced to perform terrible, violent acts against its wishes.
The five-issue series appears similar to the Spider-Man event “Spider-Island” that weaved in and out of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” family of titles in 2011. In the story, Manhattan’s citizens found themselves with powers similar to Spidey’s, only to learn that with great powers came horrifying side effects. Marvel Animation Vice President Steve Wacker revealed the storyline will be adapted for the new Disney XD animated series “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”
Stay tuned to CBR as more information becomes available.