Venom has always been a popular member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast. What began as a simple costume change for Marvel Comics web-slinger has evolved into a character that can headline his own event and exist mostly outside of the orbit of his heroic adversary. This year has seen the dark wall-crawler lead the charge on multiple fronts, starring in a solo comic while also setting the stage for the upcoming Venomverse adventure, and it’s all leading up to October’s solo movie starring Tom Hardy.
Sony’s standalone feature film will present the latest version of the character’s origin story to audiences, which has left some people asking… why? It will set Venom up as someone who stands apart from Spider-Man from the get-go, and as such, longtime fans are a bit leery about whether it can succeed. While it remains to be seen whether the film is a success, one major obstacle is that the Venom origin story has only been told successfully twice; the original comic book version, and the one we saw on The Spectacular Spider-Man.
This month marks the ten-year anniversary of the animated CW and Disney XD series. The show drew influence from a variety of Spider-Man comics over the decades, a nowhere is this more apparent than the way the show developed the relationship between the webhead and his dark archenemy.
Typically, the relationship between Spider-Man and Eddie Brock involves Spidey humiliating Eddie while the hero possesses the black symbiote, with the alien later making its way to Brock so they can ruin both the personal and superhero aspects of Peter’s life. And sure enough, that’s what happens in Spectacular’s two season of animated episodes, but there’s something more, well, intimate about the way the relationship between the two characters shakes out. The show draws inspiration from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, making Peter Parker and Eddie childhood friends as a result of their parents working together. When their parents died in a plane crash, Eddie grew up without the support system Peter did, though he buried his jealousy by being the big brother Peter needed growing up, protecting him from bullies in high school.
What makes Eddie’s anger towards Peter more understandable is that most of his beef with his younger friend start cropping up even before the black suit eventually comes into play. Eddie’s issues begin early in the series when Peter decides to take pictures of himself as Spider-Man fighting against Eddie’s boss, Curt Connors after he transformed himself into the Lizard. By the time Peter’s wearing the Symbiote, he’s already pissed off Eddie just through blowing off his friends and rejecting Gwen Stacy’s invitation to their school dance.
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