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SYFY WIRE Spider-Man

Eddie Brock is back in first look at Marvel's big 'Free Comic Book Day' event Spider-Man/Venom

By Jeff Spry
Venom Hero

Originally planned to be released this past May as part of Free Comic Book Day, Marvel is spicing up your mid-summer fantasies with the special giveaway issue, Spider-Man/Venom #1, adding superhero heat to July 22. 

The first of the two delayed issues, Free Comic Book Day 2020: X-Men #1, was unveiled last week, and now comes this never-before-seen Spidey-centric offering that delivers a wicked taste of dynamic future storylines — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview of all the swinging, symbiotic adventures.

Spider-Man/Venom #1 provides a pair of enticing tales connected to the upcoming prominent narratives in Venom, Amazing Spider-Man, and Black Cat, both written by Donny Cates and Jed MacKay with artwork courtesy of Ryan Stegman and Patrick Gleason.

Spidey Cover

Stegman (Venom, Absolute Carnage) had a blast working his artistic magic on this free Spider-Man issue and gave us a little hint of things to come.

"Surprises! Twists! Turns! But for real, some very fun stuff," he tells SYFY WIRE. "Donny and I worked a little differently on this one  he just wrote a plot and I worked from that. The original Marvel method, if you will. So I had free reign to do all kinds of cool stuff with venom that we haven’t seen before. And oh yeah, perhaps you’ve heard of this new character Virus? He will be making his first appearance in this story." 

Spidey Venom 1

It's rare for creativity to strike on an empty stomach and Stegman's appetizing tale of how this collaboration with Donny Cates (Doctor Strange, God Country, Redneck) all came about has us salivating for smoked ribs and pulled pork.

"Donny and I were in Louisville for a convention," he recalls. "We went out to a nice bbq dinner (as you do when in Louisville) and we talked about it right there. Donny ended up writing a page by page plot that was about one sentence per page on a napkin and I worked from that! As for how it connects? Well, now we are getting into spoiler territory. We will have to wait and see!"

Spidey Venom 2

What defines Stegman's version of Eddie Brock's venomous incarnation? He never forgets there's a real human being inside the sinister symbiote suit.

"From day one of our Venom run I have tried to pull him back from being as overtly monstrous as some artists draw him," he explains. "We’ve tried to inject a lot of humanity into Eddie as a character and we don’t want to lose that when he venoms out. To me, Venom is a combination of Eddie and the symbiote and Eddie should never be lost when he’s in costume."

Marvel's Free Comic Book Day: Spider-Man/Venom #1 arrives on July 22.