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Provide Some Answers – Who The Heck Freed the Venom Symbiote Way Back When?

by  in Comic News Comment
Provide Some Answers – Who The Heck Freed the Venom Symbiote Way Back When?

This feature is basically a counterpart to our Left Unresolved feature. That feature is for plotlines that were, well, left unresolved. In this one, though, we spotlight examples of long unresolved stories that WERE ultimately resolved by later writers. The only rule is that at least four years have to pass between the plot point being introduced and it being resolved.

Suggested by reader Dave W., this is a very unusual example for this column, since the original question WAS answered back in the day, pretty much. However, the answer that was given wasn’t really all that accepted back in the day and in the years since, it has been answered even FURTHER with new information! So read on to see who freed the Venom symbiote way back in the mid-1980s!

Okay, so Spider-Man gets a new costume in Secret Wars #8 (by Jim Shooter, Mike Zeck and John Beatty)…

In Amazing Spider-Man #258 (by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Joe Rubinstein), Spider-Man goes to visit the Fantastic Four where he discovers that the costume is ALIVE!!

After the Fantastic Four put him into a cage at the end of the issue, we see that the symbiote is pissssssssssed…

In Spectacular Spider-Man #97 (by AL Milgrom, Herb Trimpe and Jim Mooney), he almost tricks that moron Human Torch to let him out…

In Fantastic Four #274 (by John Byrne and Al Gordon), which came out at the same time as Amazing Spider-Man #261, the symbiote is freed (the same basic scene happens in both issues – maybe I should feature it in a future edition of that column I do about shared continuity)…

Okay, here’s the thing. Re-read the scene. Note that the probe clearly DIDN’T intend to free it necessarily, it just wanted to study it.

Four issues later in Fantastic Four #278 (by John Byrne and Jerry Ordway), the Baxter Building is lifted into outer space and exploded by Kristoff, the young boy who Doctor Doom had chosen to take over for him when he died (by imprinting his thoughts on to the boy)…

In the next issue, the Fantastic Four fake their deaths while we see the same probe from #274 check them to see if they are dead…

Meanwhile, in Spectacular Spider-Man #98 (by Milgrom, Trimpe and Mooney), the symbiote stalks Peter Parker and plans to bond with him again…

It succeeds in doing so in Web of Spider-Man #1 (by Louise Simonson, Greg LaRocque and Jim Mooney), but then Spider-Man drives it off by using the sound of bells, with the symbiote seemingly sacrificing itself to save Peter…

But then in Amazing Spider-Man #300 (by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane), we see that it survived and then bonded with that jerk Eddie Brock to form Venom…

Obviously, as far as John Byrne and Tom DeFalco were concerned, the story was resolved. Kristoff sent some probes in to set the Baxter Building up for him to launch it into outer space, and while he was there, one of the probes accidentally freed the symbiote. Here’s the thing, though, if the probes are meant to be in there to secretly prepare the Baxter Building for launch, why would they risk drawing attention to the situation by freeing the symbiote? Heck, why bother with the symbiote PERIOD when it wasn’t the mission at all? So while there was not intended to be anything unresolved there, plenty of readers still felt like something was missing (like Dave, who sent in this suggestion). Namely, WHY did Kristoff free it?

Well, roughly twenty-five years later, the truth was finally revealed. Go to the next page to see the surprisingly complicated explanation for why the symbiote was freed!

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