SPOILER WARNING: This article contains massive spoilers for Venom, which is in theaters now.
After lingering in Hollywood limbo for years, Venom has finally swung its way to the big screen, even if it’s not exactly getting rave reviews. The Ruben Fleischer-directed film is the first entry in Sony Pictures’ proposed series of Spider-Man-adjacent movies that don’t star Spider-Man, but even without that friendly neighborhood superhero, Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock still some serious symbiote web-shooting and wall-crawling on his own.
Even if it doesn’t seem too connected to Marvel Studios’ all-encompassing Marvel Cinematic Universe, Venom is still a Marvel movie, in a looser sense of the term. And like any Marvel movie, Venom is packed with numerous nods to Marvel history. From comics to film and TV, here’s every Marvel lore deep cut and lightning-fast reference we caught in Venom.
Even though J. Jonah Jameson hasn’t been seen in Sony and MArvel’s Spider-Man reboot continuity, his son, John Jameson, makes a quick cameo near the beginning of Venom. Portrayed by Chris O’Hara, Jameson is one of the astronauts on the shuttle that brings Venom and the other symbiotes to Earth. However, it’s unclear if Jameson survives long after the shuttle’s crash landing.
Like his cinematic counterpart, Marvel Comics’ John Jonah Jameson III was also an astronaut. Years after debuting in Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man #1, Jameson found a glowing red gem on the Moon that turned him into the cosmic canine hero Man-Wolf. Jameson also appeared in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 as Mary Jane’s astronaut fiancé, but he, sadly, did not become a werewolf.
The Daily Globe
While Venom doesn’t dwell on Eddie Brock’s life story, Michelle Williams’ Anne Weying mentions that he used to write for The Daily Globe in New York City before being disgraced and chased out of town. In the comics, Brock used to be a reporter for that newspaper, too. There, Brock wrote a series of articles about someone who claimed to be a serial killer called the Sin-Eater. However, Spider-Man unmasked the real Sin-Eater and inadvertently destroyed Brock’s journalistic career.
When he’s looking for work in the movie, Brock contacts Barney Bushkin. In comics, Buskin was the editor of The Daily Globe and one of J. Jonah Jameson’s personal rivals. Before he hired Brock, he even hired Peter Parker for a very brief stint as a photographer for the paper.
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