Axel-In-Charge: Unmasking the "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Sony might only have the rights to one major Marvel character, but that hasn’t stopped them from aggressively expanding their Cinematic Spidey-verse. In addition to a number of Amazing Spider-Man sequels, the film studio’s already announced Sinister Six and Venom – two films that will take the fledgling franchise into some dark territory. Even though their release dates are most likely still years away, producer Matt Tolmach has already dropped a big hint about Venom’s plot.
“The idea of Venom and Carnage … [we’re] taking it into consideration,” Tolmach told IGN. “Watch out for this Venom movie. We’re crazy excited.” It sure sounds like Venom won’t be the only symbiote covered character coming to the big screen. But if the producers are making room for Venom’s slightly more sadistic cousin Cletus Kasady, could they possibly bring a few more of Marvel’s symbiote-powered heroes to life? Here are five possibilities.
The Venom symiote’s attached itself to a number of hosts since it first hitched a ride on Spider-Man back to Earth. We’re assuming that the titular character in Venom will be Eddie Brock – the first guy to take on the Venom mantle. But could it be Mac Gargan, the baddie that originally annoyed Spider-Man as the Scorpion? Mac Gargan came to possess the Venom symbiote a while after anti-hero Brock ditched it. Gargan possibly posed an even bigger threat than his venomous predecessor, as the criminal possessed none of Brock’s moral code and was able to create a replica of his scorpion tail out of a symbiotic tendril. If Scorpion pops up in the third or fourth Amazing Spider-Man, odds are he could make an appearance in Venom.
As Venom begat Carnage, Carnage begat Toxin when he forced his symbiote “son” onto a former NYPD officer named Patrick Mulligan. Unlike his bloodthirsty alien relatives, Toxin maintained the sense of morality he possessed as a police officer. This allowed him to fight alongside Spider-Man on a number of occasions, and he was even considered for the Avengers’ Fifty State Initiative. With Carnage most likely slated to appear in Venom, it would not be hard for them to foreshadow the coming of Toxin at some point during the film.
After his symbiote bonded with Mac Gargan, original Venom Eddie Brock began working at a soup kitchen and underwent treatment for his cancer. All that changed when Gargan came crashing back into his life, bringing a homesick symbiote with him. Brock’s body, which had just been mystically cured of cancer, rejected the symbiote, but the interplay between the alien and his cure mutated Brock into Anti-Venom. In this new identity, Brock could sense sickness in others and use his mutated symbiote powers to heal them. If Brock pops up in a future Amazing Spider-Sequel as Venom, he could become Anti-Venom in the solo film if the titular role goes to someone like Mac Gargan or Flash Thompson.
The current host of the Venom symbiote is Flash Thompson, former high school football star and decorated war hero. After he lost both of his legs while serving overseas, the government grafted the Venom symbiote onto him in order to create a spider-powered super soldier. As Venom, Thompson has served with the Secret Avengers and will soon take to the stars as a Guardian of the Galaxy. Despite his heavy ties with some Marvel Cinematic Universe mainstays, Flash Thompson is still firmly rooted enough in the Spider-Man universe to appear in a Sony film. This version of Venom could easily be the one we see in the upcoming film. Seriously, who wouldn’t see a movie where Venom carries heavy-duty machine guns?
The newest addition to the symbiote’s extended family, Andi Benton owes the existence of her super powered alter-ego to her upstairs neighbor Flash Thompson. When a gangster called Lord Ogre tried to use Andi as a way to get to Agent Venom, Flash shared a portion of his symbiote with the young girl in order to protect her. The symbiote slice bonded to Andi with unexpected readiness, thus transforming her into Mania. The two continued fighting alongside each other, going up against threats like Crossbones and Mephisto. As one of the few female characters sporting a symbiote, “Venom” could do with a dose of Mania.