With Venom, Donny Cates Promises a Lovecraftian Action Film In Comic Form


Venom is an anti-hero, stalking the dark corners of the Marvel Universe where he releases bloody and brutal justice on those that that would harm or exploit the innocent. Eddie Brock and his symbiotic Klyntar “Other” hunt in the shadows because it allows them to get the drop on their unsuspecting prey while limiting other heroes from interfering in their crusade. This spring, though, there will be something sinister in the shadows hunting Eddie and his symbiote. What's more, their clash will attract the attention of a Spider-Man Eddie's never met before, but who harbors a grudge against him, Miles Morales.

That's the set up for the introductory arc of writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman's new Venom series, which kicks off this May as part of Marvel's Fresh Start initiative. CBR spoke with Cates about his lifelong Venom fandom, his take on Eddie Brock and the symbiote, bouncing Miles Morales off of the Marvel Universe version of the monster who killed his mother in the Ultimate Universe, and the joy of collaborating with Stegman.

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CBR: Donny, looking at your creator-owned work and Marvel books like Thanos it feels like Venom is a character that is definitely in your wheelhouse and one you probably have quite a bit of affection for.

Donny Cates: Oh absolutely, I’ve been a Venom nut since I was a little kid. Venom turns 30 this May, I’m 33, and I started reading comics with Venom in them when I was around 3! So I’ve been here for the whole ride. In fact, true story: I used to do these sculptures of him in high school that I then submitted to get a scholarship to art school. I got that scholarship based on those sculptures (and some other stuff) and it was at that art school that I met Geoff Shaw. Geoff and I then went on to create Buzzkill, The Paybacks, and God Country, which led to Marvel seeing us and grabbing us for Thanos. So, in a very bizarre way, Venom led me all the way around back to him. He called me here!

Donny Cates' Venom statue

I’ve always loved how conflicted and unsure Eddie can be as a character. He’s not as straightforward as many of the other Marvel heroes’ you know? He’s still very much a man trying to figure himself out. That really speaks to me as a writer to be able to take on a character whose clay is still wet (so to speak.) Also, and let’s be honest here, he just looks so cool! That was what I fell in love with as a kid, this scary looking Spider-Man monster!

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