Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Entertainment Weekly has a preview of this summer's Spider-Man storyline featuring the debut of a new villain Anti-Venom. He looks like a photo negative of the current Venom but taller and skinnier. He's basically Bizarro Venom. It's been something of an on-going tradition in Spider-Man to create "even badder" versions of popular super villains. Sandman gave way to Hydro Man. The Lizard begot Stegron the Dinosaur Man. There have been three Kraven the Hunters. There were multiple Green Goblins, plus Hobgoblin and Demon Goblin. The popularity of Venom led to a number of symbiote characters including Carnage, Shriek, Hybrid, Toxin and others. And now we can add Anti-Venom to the list. I gotta say this is getting old. Venom is my favorite villain but he hasn't been cool for a very long time. He was a victim of his own popularity. They created all those spin-off characters. They've tried turning him into an anti-hero with his own series. A later series had him as a mindless horrific monster. Then he became just another of Spidey's rouges willing to join the Sinister Six. Now Eddie Brock has debilitating cancer and now the Scorpion, Mac Gargan, is the possessor of the Venom symbiote. He's currently a member of the Thunderbolts. Venom has been way overexposed and anything that had once made him unique has long been forgotten. Creating yet another spin-off character, one that hews even closer to the original, is just adding fuel to the fire. I really think the character is in need of some reexamining. Someone needs to take him back to what made him interesting in the first place; Spidey's obsessive vengeful stalker. I suppose it's far too late for that to happen now. I anticipate the arrival of Venom Red and Venom Blue in the coming years.