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With Marvel Studios’ Venom: Let There Be Carnage slithering into theaters on Oct. 1, acolytes of the ravenous symbiote should be salivating for Marvel Comics’ new Venom series starring the shapeshifting superstar — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview to share with insight from its main architects.
Venom #1 arrives on Oct. 13 and begins a frightening new era of venomous storytelling in the wake of Venom #200 and Extreme Carnage. Its contents come courtesy of an all-star creative team led by writers Al Ewing (Immortal Hulk) and Ram V (Swamp Thing), with illustrator Bryan Hitch (The Ultimates), alongside a tempting array of variant covers from acclaimed artists including Peach Momoko, Mike Mayhew, Bill Sienkiewicz, and John Romita Jr.
This game-changing title vaults symbiote mythology up to the next level with intriguing new developments for the father-son pair of Eddie and Dylan Brock.
Each writer focused their talents on a different character in the refreshed series, with Ewing taking us deep into the cosmos with Eddie in his challenging role as the “King in Black,” and Ram V revealing Dylan’s uneasy genesis as a superhero. Together, each writer's saga will unite and impact one another to create a singular vision of otherworldly terror.
Scribes Al Ewing and Ram V have entered this project with unbridled enthusiasm in a combined effort with Bryan Hitch to deliver a riveting symbiotic tale unlike any other.
How does this new Venom project expand the scope of the character?
AL EWING: Donny and Ryan did us the great favor of leaving the characters in a position where pretty much anything could be done with them. We're taking out the "pretty much" - taking off what few limitations are left and pushing Venom - not to mention Eddie and Dylan Brock - into places, situations and modes of being they've never existed in before.
RAM V: I think if there is an agenda with this new run, it is to expand the scope of the character. I tend to like looking at big-picture concepts and seeing how/where they can be pushed. The interconnectedness of comic narratives is part of what brings me a lot of joy about writing stories in the medium. And I find the completely wild and malleable nature of Symbiote stories to be really interesting so I'm running with that. The Symbiotes are an ever changing organism.
Whatever we assume we know about them is bound to change. And there in lies the scope. Conceptually both Al's narrative and mine will be looking to push our assumptions about what these organisms are. Tie that in with the fact that I am writing an adolescent protagonist in that part of his life where all things are in flux. The ground beneath his feet is moving and he is changing into the adult that he will become. I suppose it will suffice to say it is a time of evolution for both Dylan and Venom.
In what ways will your run prepare fans for the new Venom sequel film?
AE: You’ve got the cart before the horse there - it's not our job to prime fans for the film, it's actually the film's job to prime fans for us. I hope Tom Hardy understands the weight of responsibility on his shoulders.
RV: Ha! I don't quite think of stories in those terms. This run exists because I am excited about telling a Venom story that will thrill and excite in itself. I imagine that is impetus enough to go grab your tickets and watch the film. I suppose the more interesting question is in the years to come what parts of this run and story might linger and one day find its ways into other mediums and stories. That kind of longevity of concept and narrative is what I enjoy and aim for.
Where were you first introduced to Venom and what are your early memories of the villainous creature?
AE: I was there at the beginning - the first Marvel comic I ever bought was the UK reprint of SECRET WARS. So I watched as Spidey get a ball of black goop out of a weird machine and let it crawl all over him like an idiot. But a fashionable idiot! That costume was amazing. That reprint dovetailed with SPIDER-MAN AND ZOIDS, also out at the time and featuring Spidey's ongoing adventures with gigantic dinosaur-shaped robots (sadly never sharing the same page), so I got a good look at the whole Black Costume Saga. So I guess I first encountered the symbiote as a strange, alien thing that nobody knew the rules for. And now here we are.
RV: My first glimpse of Venom, I think, was in the Spider-Man animated show. I used to watch all the cartoons as a kid. I didn't really have access to the latest Marvel comics back in India, you see. My first reaction I imagine was like that of any kid. It was Spider-Man but all in black and burly and badass. I'm still hoping to preserve some of that child-like joy with how I'm approaching things in this run!
What elements of Bryan Hitch’s Venom inspires you and defines his vision for the symbiote?
AE: Working with Bryan has been a dream so far - he's very professional, very involved, and always thinking about the final work. With someone like that, you want to give them the best material you possibly can, so he's an inspiration in that way.
In terms of what defines his version - I'd say physicality and range. He's got the range to bring life to Venom in a number of different modes - from the sleek science fiction that Eddie's going through to the messier, more brutal realities that Dylan encounters - and it's all right there on the page. Everything's solid, everything has weight, all of it pulls you right into the comic. I'm looking forward to seeing him draw what's coming up.
RV: When I found out Bryan was involved I was absolutely over the moon. Bryan's one of those guys that I imagine is a huge reason for what we all agree is the contemporary comic aesthetic of superhero comics. So imagine my joy when looking at Bryan's pages and chatting with him, I can see that he is absolutely tying into the theme of "evolution" and "change" with his Venom and his general approach to the story. It's been a thrill collaborating with him and I think this book gets better and more interesting by the page because of him.
Now lunge into our 4-page peek at Marvel Comics' Venom #1 (Oct. 13) in the full gallery below.