Venom has come into the spotlight quite a bit lately. If you haven’t read my article on what we can expect from the upcoming 2018 Venom film, you should definitely check it out. With Venom only a month away, I wanted to write about Venom’s latest comic book escapade. This way, you MCU nerds that might want to know more about the beloved anti-hero can talk shop with even the geekiest of comic fans. We may only be 5 issues in, but Marvel’s 2018 Venom run by Donny Cates has completely knocked the hinges off one of Spider-Man’s most petty rivals.
Here’s a crash course on the Venom reboot’s author, Donny Cates. Cates started breaking into the comic book mainstream with Image Comics’ God Country, but I stumbled across him while reading his subsequent Image Comic’s breakout hit, Redneck. Redneck is a tale of vampires in Texas that survived for hundreds of years off of cattle blood until one day, all hell breaks loose.
More importantly, is that this helped catapult Cates into the Marvel echelon. Once at Marvel, Cates took over Doctor Strange and wrote the Damnation run. During Damnation, Strange brings the entire city of Las Vegas back from the dead! Along with the City of Sin’s denizens, comes Mephisto, ruler of a level of Hell. Dr. Strange cheats against Mephisto during a game of Brimstone Blackjack and ultimately pays the price with his soul.
It doesn’t end there. Cates even took over Thanos’ Marvel Legacy run where Thanos is taken to the future by wait for it- Future Thanos! Future Thanos needed past Thanos’ help to take on a future Silver Surfer who gains the power to wield Thor’s mighty hammer Mjolnir. All of this and Cates still introduces a brand-new character.
The Cosmic Ghost Rider or, Frank Castle in the future who gains the power cosmic AFTER becoming a spirit of vengeance (aka a Ghost Rider). Cates has had a bombastic 2018. Cates’ work comes with his grit, twisted sense of humor, and love of all things badass. Yes, Venom was in for a ride.
You might think Cates wanted to take Venom and crank the action and surprise character features up to a hundred, but Cates had a deeper mission than that. He wanted to get to the core of Eddie Brock. For the entirety of Venom’s history, Eddie Brock was always characterized by his relationship to the Klyntar Symbiote. As we all know by now, Eddie Brock bonded with his symbiote equals Venom. Cates wanted to know what made up Eddie’s core.
Who is Eddie without the Symbiote? What makes Eddie tick? Surely there has to be more to Eddie than his hatred for Spider-Man. How co-dependent is Eddie on his symbiote and just how does that affect him? Cates set out to answer this and give the Klyntar an out of this world origin. Literally
Up until now, The Kylntar are believed to have originated on their own planet, much like any other alien lifeform. Now this is where things start to get bonkers. In case I did not say it before, spoilers ahead.
The Kylntar all come from an original entity known as Knull. Much like many stories of creation, in the beginning, there was nothing. Knull was there in the darkness where he slumbered until the light of being blinded him. This Big Bang birthed the Celestials or first gods of the Marvel Universe. They banished Knull to the furthest corners of creation and called his kingdom Space because of its pure emptiness.
But Knull fought back and killed a celestial, for which he was banished to his void of Space forever. It was then that Knull used parts of himself to forge a great sword. This sword would become known as All Black The Necro Sword. Knull used pieces of himself to forge an army as well and began his war against the light.
Now fast forward to tie into the original origin story and we learn that Thor actually used the power of Thunder to defeat Knull when it came to Earth. The Symbiotes swarmed Knull’s body and trapped it in what is now known as planet Klyntar. Which explains why “Kylntar” is actually the symbiote word for cage.
The symbiotes know the evil that is Knull and fight to keep it trapped forever. However, Knull’s mind has awakened now and it wants to retrieve its body and renew the war against the light. And this is where we pick up with the current Venom Comic Book run.
More Venom stuff explained
Venom’s new origin story now explains why the symbiotes are weak against fire and sound. It is because they were created with the heat and hammering from Knull’s forge. The sound coming from the pounding of the hammer in the flames still affects the symbiotes to this day.
We also learn that Venom was not the first human symbiote host on earth either. S.H.I.E.L.D. had first discovered a dragon possessed by Knull frozen in ice. By extracting bits of it for study, they had the first symbiotes. These symbiotes were used to make soldiers for undercover government operations. The only problem is that after a while the symbiotes become mentally unstable and drove the hosts mad. This is where we find Eddie. He’s downing psychiatric pills to keep his mind quiet and calm the voices in his head.
Phew! Talk about a wealth of new depth for Venom. After encountering Knull for the first time, it unlocks powers Venom did not know he had previously. This would include flight: Venom grows wings! On top of this, Venom gains a serious power boost. What’s more exciting is that we have yet to learn what else the symbiote is capable of.
What’s to come
Remember when I said Donny Cates likes to add features and cameos to his comic book runs? Well, none other than Miles Morales Spider-Man joins forces with Venom to take on the Knull in New York City.The other big cameo is Wolverine. With all the hype surrounding this year’s Return of Wolverine run, this is just the kick of grit and claws that Venom needed.
Like I said, we are only six issues deep into Venom’s reboot, so who knows what else is in store. From your resident Marvel Nerd here at Metahuman Entertainment, sleep tight and don’t let the symbiotes bite.