WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Venom #13 by Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello, Andres Mossa and Clayton Cowles.
You can take the man away from the superhero game, but you can't take the superhero game away from the man.
For the past few issues of Venom, Eddie Brock has been on his own. While he and his symbiote have been through a great deal together, they've recently reached an impasse. As a result, the symbiote, which is only a shell of its former self, decided to run away, leaving Eddie without the powers and protection it usually affords him.
Now, in Venom #13, brought to readers by the guest creative team of Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello, the War of the Realms knocks on Eddie Brock's door, and it isn't long before he suits back up as Venom -- with a major Asgardian upgrade.
We know what you're gonna say: How can Venom be back if Eddie and the symbiote are separated. Well...
In Venom's first tie-in issue for Marvel's massive crossover event, Eddie and his son Dylan find themselves in the middle of Malekith's invasion. Dark Elves are on every street corner, attacking everyone they can get their hands on. But even without a suit, Eddie can't let innocent people fall prey to the Dark Elves. With nothing but his fists, he challenges Malekith's forces. Obviously, his efforts are less than spectacular, but his raw strength and heroism is enough to attract the attention of someone else, one of Malekith's War Witches (as seen in War of the Realms #2).
The War Witch, who apparently is used to toying with subjects, approaches Eddie with a dangerous gift -- a Dreamstone, which brings life to dreams and desires. Seeing a golden opportunity to become a weapon and lethal protector once more, Eddie takes the stone, which grants him his wish. He is transformed into a new Venom.
Thanks to this upgrade, this Venom has the familiar, iconic look of the symbiote, but it's taller and much thinner -- almost ghoulish-looking. Plus, the addition of spikes that cover large portions of his body and razor-sharp claws makes Venom a fearsome new enforcer in the War of the Realms.
What's more, this Venom is not comprised of two beings. There's only Eddie. "We are... I... am Venom," he says, realizing that this murderous creature is all him. The only problem is that Eddie used the Dreamstone to create this suit on his own, but it's filled with an anger that drives him to kill more and more.
For the time being, this makes for a good reinforcement in the battle against Malekith. But how long will it take for the Dreamstone to take over Eddie, to drive him to become even more dangerous than the actual Venom? Perhaps this is another lesson that he has to learn. Venom is a necessary guardian, yes. But perhaps not a single person can be Venom.
Perhaps Venom was never meant to be an "I."