Over the years, a number of people have bonded with the alien Klyntar symbiote known as Venom, but only one host has been able to make the blood of both the Marvel Universe’s heroes and villains run cold. Eddie Brock has used the monstrous might of the symbiote to empower his unpredictable and ruthless nature in a quest for violent justice against anyone who violates his narrow moral code. After having been separated for a number of years, Brock and his symbiote recently reunited in the pages of writer Mike Costa and artist Gerardo Sandoval’s Venom series, and this fall the duo will embark on their biggest adventure yet.
That adventure will unfold in the pages of September's Venomverse, a five-issue miniseries by writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello that will plunge Brock and an all-star team of multiversal Venom counterparts into a desperate fight for survival against an evil alien race. CBR spoke with Bunn about Eddie Brock, the familiar Venom counterparts his protagonist will fight alongside and clash with, and the opponents they’re up against.
CBR: At the center of Venomverse is the original man to bear the name Venom, Eddie Brock. After being separated from his symbiote for a number of years, during which he went through quite a bit of changes, the two were recently reunited. So what's your take on Eddie, the symbiote, and their relationship?
Cullen Bunn: Eddie and the symbiote are really the perfect pairing, two pieces of a well-oiled machine. There may not be a better host/symbiote relationship. They are the picture of a perfect union, and we'll explore that a bit. We're going to be looking into the characteristics that make Eddie the perfect Venom. He's not a good person, but the protagonists of this story need someone just like Eddie if they hope to survive.
In addition to the central character Venomverse, like Spider-Verse before it, features lots of different other worldly takes on Venom. A number of these takes involve the symbiote joining with familiar Marvel characters. What was it like coming up with these different takes on Venom? Did joining with the symbiote add a specific element to each character's life? Or did it vary from character to character?
Some of the Venoms that appear in this story were already set up for me, but it was a thrill to flesh out the team. One of the things I love about the symbiote/host relationship is that you can see how Venom enhances different personalities and different abilities. I feel like all the characters are pretty unique. I also love how each character reacts differently to the grim circumstances they are facing.
Who are some of your favorite other Venoms to write so far? What do you especially enjoy writing about these characters?
Besides Eddie? There are several Venoms I really enjoy writing. Rocket Raccoon has risen to the top as one of my favorites. Mania--a character I have been dying to return to, even in some small way--is also here, so I'm excited about that. And Deadpool plays an important role in this story, a role that I think will take people by surprise.
And speaking of surprises, some of the supporting characters in this book are going to knock your socks off!
In Spider-Verse, Peter Parker became the leader of all the other Spider-Heroes, but Eddie Brock isn't necessarily the leader type. What can you tell us about Eddie's relationship and dynamic with the other Venoms of Venomverse?
Eddie isn't the leader, but he offers a slightly different perspective on the battle they are fighting. His outlook on the battle and his unorthodox methods prove successful, so that makes him valuable to the team. But there are other Venoms in the group... most of them in fact... who do not think of Eddie Brock as the greatest Venom ever. In fact, they see him as a terrible Venom--one of the worst. The question is, can Eddie change their minds? And does he really care to try?
What can you tell us about Venomverse? How does it compare to Spider-Verse, which was sort of an interdimensional war story.
Venomverse is a heavy action story, fast-paced, furious. While Spider-Verse was this kind of war tale, I see Venomverse as more of a siege story. The Venoms in this story are facing an unbelievably deadly foe. They are being attacked relentlessly, and they are just barely hanging on.
It looks like that foe is an alien race dubbed the Poisons. What can you tell us about these characters? Are they a symbiotic based race like the Klyntars? And are they necessarily all evil?
The Poisons are pretty evil, yes. At least, anyone who crosses their path probably considers them evil. I can't really say much about them other than they are absolute apex predators. Something about their genetic makeup makes them very dangerous to Venom and those like him.
Venomverse reunites you with your Deadpool and the Mercs for Money collaborator, artist Iban Coello. What's it like working with him on this story?
I was thrilled that we would be teaming up for this story. I knew going into this that Iban would be perfect for the frantic, violent, tendril-heavy symbiote action. And I wasn't wrong! As you can see in the preview pages for this book, Eddie and the other Venoms are looking fantastic!
I understand there will only be one real Venomverse tie-in, -- the anthology series Venomverse: War Stories. What do you want readers to know about this series?
That's my understanding, yes, although I have really only heard about a few of the tie-ins from that book. The stories, focusing on various Venom incarnations, sound super exciting to me. It'll be great because I'll still be able to be surprised by those tales. They do not connect to the story I'm telling in Venomverse in a big way. They are just designed to enhance the overall experience.
Finally, can you talk at all about the impact of Venomverse? What kind of shape will Eddie's world be in when it's over? And will there be some new toys added to the larger Marvel Universe toybox?
Seriously, I can say almost nothing. We are 100% adding some new "toys" to the Marvel Universe, but that's about all you can get out of me. But trust me when I say the impact is going to be huge.