Geek Couples: Eddie Brock & Venom - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Geek Couples: Eddie Brock & Venom

We are Venom, says Chris Morley.

You might be forgiven for thinking that in Spider-Man's world the only partnership worthy of being tangled up in our Geek Couples web is that between Spidey himself & Mary-Jane. However, prepare to give yourself over to the nearest available symbiote & scoff as we consider the quite literal bond between Venom & its most popular host, Eddie Brock - not bad for what was originally a cast-off from Peter Parker's wardrobe of Spider-suits!

What was originally introduced as simply the Alien Costume in issue 252 of The Amazing Spider-Man comic series subsequently takes on a literal life of its own by its first full appearance as Venom in issue 300, where it first encounters Brock & forges that special connection thanks to a mutual hatred of Peter Parker, or at least his arachnid alter-ego. And you thought we'd go getting all soppy this Valentines week...

Well, they do first meet in a church at least, Spider-Man 3 taking its cue for the meeting between the symbiote-crossed mutual beneficiaries from that first full comic cameo. And like many great couples they work wonderfully well when they're of the same mind, let alone physical body!

Not that Topher Grace gets much chance to bring that particular facet of the unique relationship they share to the table, though at least one crucial detail as per the original comics makes the cut - the one person they can't stand is the one to bring them together! For Peter has by this point separated from Venom having enjoyed his own dalliance as per issue 8 of the Secret Wars comic series, a mysterious black sphere helping him replace his own usual red & blue suit after it comes back rather ripped from events on Battleworld.

It's not until later in the run of Amazing Spider-Man stories featuring the most renowned resident of the Planet Of The Symbiotes, though, that the revelation arrives that there's life in the thing & it rather likes taking over while Parker is asleep & helping him in his heroism in its own unique manner! Until he figures out what's going on & rejects it, possibly with a quick “ it's not me, it's you”, freeing it to find new & happier symbiosis with Eddie.
“You are far too good of a match to throw away so soon. Plus, I’m starting to like you. You and I are not so different.”

Aww. Not until Tom Hardy comes aboard for the stand-alone Venom film, though, do we actually get to see them in tandem, all the more remarkable for the fact that he portrays both the now so much more than a mere alien costume & his human host in a repetition in a sense of his pulling double duty as both the Kray twins in Legend. By now of course he's swapped the East End of London for the San Francisco of a compartmentalised universe all of its own, away even from the main Marvel Cinematic Universe, instead finding himself in the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. That matters not, though, for at its heart this is about two beings learning to live as one, the first big milestone of any blossoming relationship by anyone's book surely?
“You're Eddie Brock. I'm the symbiote. Together we are Venom.”

Enough to make any seasoned romantic weep & proclaim it's not dead after all! One of the film's producers, Matt Tolmach, managed to hit the nail on the head when talking about the importance of staying true to the characters as first given life in comic form - the basis of their story here a combination of comic stories Planet Of The Symbiotes & Lethal Protector, the second of those a turning point as Venom becomes more anti-hero than straightforward villain.
“Oh, fuck it. Well, let’s go save the planet.”

A transition hinted at thanks to Eddie's influence on the being now sharing his mind & body. Back to Tolmach for one second
“Stay close to the emotional story, and the rest is fun.”

Surely rule one of the romantic comedy, which even Brock & the other half of this oddest of couples get to try out in setting a few ground rules for their shared occupancy of the flesh!
Eddie Brock: I have absolutely no problem with you sticking around, but if you do, we’re going to have to have some ground rules, alright? You cannot just go around eating anybody that you want to.
Venom: I cannot?
Eddie Brock: No, you cannot. Alright, we need to, uh, we need to reiterate this. There are good people in this world, a lot of them, and then there are bad people. You have to tell the difference. The deal is, you will only ever be allowed to touch, harm, hurt, possibly, very possibly, eat very, very bad people, but never, ever, ever good people. Alright?
Venom: Fine.
Eddie Brock: Good.
Venom: But how does one tell the difference?
Eddie Brock: Well, it’s super simple. I mean, you just have to like, you can intuit it, you can sense it. Sometimes you can even feel it.
Venom: Whatever you say. But can we get something to eat now? Otherwise, your liver, it’s starting to look really, really good and juicy.
Eddie Brock: Yeah. Definitely. I know a place down here.

This after coming through his ex, Ann Weying, meeting his new & considerably less human companion in about the most intimate manner possible given the circumstances, combining to become She-Venom - see also issue three of Venom-Sinner Takes All - & plant a smacker on Eddie's lips!

And it wouldn't be love of a sort without the odd bit of bickering between the two sides, however unconventional their coming together.
Venom: Parasite?
Eddie Brock: Yeah. It’s a term of endearment, that’s all.
Venom: Apologize!
Eddie Brock: No.
Venom: Apologize!
Eddie Brock: Alright, fine. I’m sorry.

Still, all's fair when you take on board your significant other's stipulations & treat yourself to a nice gobbling up of a hapless burglar, as they say...

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