WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Venom #7 by Donny Cates, Iban Coello, Andres Mossa and VC’s Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
When Venom made his debut in 1988's Amazing Spider-Man #300, the Eddie Brock/alien symbiote combination was one of the most visually intimidating characters in the Marvel Universe. A lot of that can be attributed to his oversized muscles and exaggerated mouth, teeth and tongue.
All it takes for Venom to leave a criminal shaking in his boots is to show those sharp teeth and elongated tongue, and let the drool ooze from his widened mouth. It's the type of thing nightmares are made out of, while also allowing artists to create stunning splash pages and covers of Venom slinging his saliva.
Speaking of Venom's saliva, you may not have noticed, but it comes in different colors like Skittles -- there's the simple, clear liquid that we all produce, and then there is the gross, green substance that the symbiote occasionally spits out. If you've ever wondered why there is a difference in the saliva's color, then Venom #7 is the comic for you. The revelation comes on the heels of Venom's confrontation with the symbiotic Grendel dragon and Knull, the god of symbiotes.
Venom #7 finds Eddie Brock in the clutches of the Ultimate Universe Reed Richards. The Maker fills Eddie in on how he sent a group of four men to collect a living sample of the dragon, and their discovery of Eddie's charred body. What they weren't expecting was for the Venom symbiote to have kept Eddie alive, including protecting him by attacking the henchmen and going on the run. During the fight, The Maker's hired guns unleash their rounds at Venom, causing the green saliva to make a surprise appearance.
Maker casually refers to the green saliva as the symbiote's waste product, which catches Eddie by surprise. Of course, the result is an entertaining exchange where Maker gets to explain that Venom's green saliva is actually how the symbiote excretes the foreign matter that enters the body. In this instance, the foreign matter would be the bullets Venom absorbed while being shot at. So if you're keeping score at home, Venom relieves himself through his mouth, not his rear end.
Even though he tries to play it cool, you can tell Eddie never gave the saliva's origin a second thought. Honestly, why would he? When the green is flying that's usually a sign Venom is getting down to the business of inflicting pain and punishment to his victims. We do have to wonder if it's only the green saliva that's an excrement, or does the regular saliva count as well?
This is a clear example of Donny Cates picking something that fans have taken for granted with Venom and giving it a deeper meaning. Of course, one could argue the merits of taking green drool seriously, but it follows Cates' trend of adding to Venom's backstory. Now when fans go through their Venom back issues and see the use of the green saliva, they will know what it truly means... even if the truth makes you sick to your stomach.
KEEP READING: How Venom and Flash Thompson Redeemed Each Other