WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom, in theaters now.
When Eddie Brock tries to put a stop to the cruel experiments performed by Carlton Drake and the Life Foundation in Sony’s Venom, he soon finds himself surrounded by alien symbiotes, including the one bonds to him. Although they may appear slightly different in director Ruben Fleischer’s film, many of those amorphous extraterrestrial characters were adapted from the comics, specifically Marvel’s 1993 miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector, in which Venom was forced to spawn six offspring.
The film may have changed some key details, but it follows a similar enough pass that it still makes sense to highlight each symbiote appearance, and compare the alien to its comic book counterpart. Some of them were pretty notable in Venom, while others may have been a little more difficult to spot. If you missed one don’t you worry: That’s what we’re here for.
Played by Riz Ahmed, Carlton Drake sees the symbiotes as the next step in human evolution. Mankind is on the verge of collapse, and Drake is determined to ensure its survival by reaching into space and bringing back a symbiote for everyone. Alhough it wasn’t his plan, he bonds to the rogue symbiote, Riot, who uses Drake to try to beat Venom into submission.
Riot first appeared in Venom: Lethal Protector #4, written by David Michelinie, and illustrated by Ron Lim, Sam De La Rosa, Al Milgrom and Marie Javins, alongside Venom’s other offspring. There, the gray symbiote didn’t bond to Carlton Drake, but rather one of the Life Foundation’s security guards, Trevor Cole. As Riot, Cole would create blunt weapons in battle, due to Cole’s aggression. The only similarities between the film adaptation and the comic book depiction of Riot are superficial. Otherwise, they’re pretty much two different characters.
Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) initially appears in Venom as Brock’s fiancee and an attorney affiliated with the Life Foundation — that is, until Brock secretly uses confidential documents emailed to uncover the company’s the seedy underbelly. His betrayal costs Anne her job. Despite her best efforts to move on with her life, she finds herself embroiled in the struggle against the Life Foundation. Venom uses that to his advantage to reattach himself to Brock by briefly turning Anne into She-Venom.
The film was actually quite faithful to the comics in its adaptation of Anne. Like she is in the film, Anne was a lawyer who had a relationship with Eddie Brock, except that in the comics she was his ex-wife. A while after Eddie became Venom, he encounters serial killer Sin-Eater, who shoots Anne. To save her life, the symbiote bonds with her, turning her into She-Venom in 1995’s Venom: Sinner Takes All #2. The notable difference between the film and comics when it comes to Anne and her relationship to Eddie is how it ultimately ends. To say that the film was optimistic in that regard is something of an understatement.
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