(This symbiote lecture was originally on Tumblr and was deleted in 2018 after tumblr started randomly deleting users and content on its platform)
Yeah why not, Ultimate Venom is a big part of my childhood so this feels like a good topic to tackle, especially to talk about why i’m really dissatisfied with how it was used later on in the Ultimate Spider-man Series.
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Let’s rewind back to the year 2000. Marvel really really wanted to make their comics appealing to a newer and younger audience, so the idea they came up with was to create an entirely new and secondary continuity with revamped and reimagined versions of their main heroes. Don’t be fooled tho’, all of them are shit. All of them except Ultimate Spider-man. The series was written by Brian Michael Bendis (a writer with a very specific style of writing for which he’s costantly made fun of) and drawn by Mark Bagley (long term artist who already worked at Marvel for a long time by that point and he was extremely familiar with the character of Venom since he worked on the Lethal Protector series and a lot of Spider-man comics during the 90s, Venom’s iconic look is based mostly on Bagley’s art despite not being the first artist to draw the character, that would be Todd Mcfarlane).
Anyway, the point of the Ultimate comics was to repackage classic stories but with a more modern taste. Not every single alteration was necessarily good or worked, but the Ultimate comics are still a really huge inspiration for lots of secondary media Marvel puts out even to this day (Spider-man Homecoming for example takes A LOT of inspiration from the later issues of Ultimate Spider-man). But where’s our favorite bulky tentacle idiot in this new continuity?
Ok so, back in the day Peter and Eddie Brock were childhood friends and their fathers were two scientists working together on a project. An organic suit that could enhance the immune system of the body making it able to cure anything, even Cancer. This was the “Venom Project”. The two eventually got short on funds and had to resort to working for Trask industries but the company eventually stole the project from their hands. The two started working on a secondary version of the suit which they called “phase 2”, making it form fitting and enhancing not only the host’s immune system but also their physical strenght in hope to use it as leverage for a court case where they were going to try and take their project back. Unfortunately on the flight there Eddie’s father tried the suit on. becoming the first Venom and crashing the plane, killing everyone on it.
Yeah Venom is the reason why Peter’s parents are dead in this continuity.
Anyway, cut to a bunch of years later, Peter is now Spidey and because of documents he just discovered about his parents he decides to get back in touch with Eddie, now a college student.
Let me make this absurdly clear: Ultimate Eddie is really lame. They tried to do something similar to the original one, with Eddie being basically a dark mirror of Peter (lots of power, same powers but pinning the fault on everyone except himself = no responsability), but he’s not interesting at all. He’s just a whiny egocentric asshole.
Anyway, Eddie shows the suit sample he still had with him to Peter, and Pete decides to snuck into the lab it’s in to steal a piece of it so he could continue his father’s work. Unfortunately a tiny piece of it fell on his hand, covering him completely and giving him the black suit.
Pete is really liking the suit since it’s making him faster, stronger, can produce webbing on its own and he can even take a bullet through the shoulder without worries since the suit heals that shit completely. Nice.
Unfortunately there was an issue he didn’t expect: the fact that the suit was actually a man-made parasite that would eventually make the host go berserk and feed on people so it could continue living. And that’s what happened, the suit tried to take control of Peter and make him kill someone, but Pete managed to kill the suit he was wearing by inadvertenly electrocuting himself. He then went back to the lab to destroy the rest of the sample of the Suit but he was confronted by Eddie.
Eddie was shocked by Peter's lies, which didn't bode well with the new discovery that he was Spider-man and that he was trying to destroy the only thing Eddie still had of his father. Peter managed to “convince him” to let him take the suit so he could destroy it, but Eddie didn’t tell him that they had another sample in the lab, and decided to DUNK himself into the goddamn thing. Flawless plan.
And he became Ultimate Venom. This is probably one of my favorite designs for the character, i love how much of a mess it looks like: with stuff not looking exactly right and the implication that it just swarms and moves costantly. I lllllove it.
Anyway, Eddie was now mostly under the control of the parasite and started absorbing people. Unfortunately the parasite had a huge issue: it wasn’t complete and it was based on Peter’s Father’s dna, so it needed the next best thing to Peter’s father to be complete: Peter himself. So now the plan was to absorb Peter so the Artificial Symbiote could be whole and stop tearing Eddie from the inside out. Unfortunately during the fight he got electrocuted and disappeared without a trace.
If you guys played the PS2 Ultimate Spider-man game this shit might sound really familar to you: well that’s because most of what i just talked about is LITERALLY THE INTRODUCTION/TUTORIAL OF THAT GAME. You can check the whole thing now, gogo, Ultimate is a nice game.
That game was supposed to be a tie-in with the comics but after a while it started going on its own merry way for the plot. I'll start talking about the differences between game and comic later.
From here the events of the comics play really similar to the ones in the game (just with some alterations here and there): Eddie mianders around New York, sometimes falling under the Symbiote’s control and killing people while being chased by Silver Sable and her gang trying to catch him so they can take him back to the company who originally stole the project from his father.
At the same time Spider-man meets the Beetle, a b-tier supervillain who now has a snippy new robot suit and is costantly trying to steal Symbiote samples for vague reasons.
From this point, the events of the Videogame and comics differ a quite a bit, let’s start with the comics:
At one point the CIA decided to create clones of Peter so they could use them as government agents. One of the clones was a malformed one of Gwen Stacy (who in this continuity was killed by Carnage, which was created as another mangled clone of Peter). But this Gwen clone was special because it was created using elements of the original Carnage, making her a weird Gwen Stacy/Carnage hybrid.
Kinky i know.
She managed to escape her enclosure and eventually met Peter and Eddie. Eddie absorbed the Carnage parts of the Gwen clone becoming whole and attaining full control over the Symbiote (while also getting a really terrible redesign), and then he fled.
The Beetle eventually met up with Eddie and captured him so he could take him to Latveria (that cool European Country Dr. Doom is the ruler of).
That’s literally the last time we see Eddie in the Ultimate comics. What a satisfying and not terrible at all ending. Especially with Nick Fury being like “YO THAT SHIT COULD CAUSE WORLD WAR III BOI!!” Bleh.
Videogame: the company eventually catches both Eddie and Peter and they start experimenting on Peter’s body, injecting a sample of the Venom Symbiote DIRECTLY INTO HIS BLOODSTREAM, turning him into Carnage. Venom fights this Carnage and absorbs the sample out of Peter, becomig whole and attaining full control over the Symbiote (he even gets the white spider logo on his chest).
He then decides to get revenge on Bolivar Trask (the President of the company) but Spidey stops him and Trask is arrested for all the illegal bullshit his company did during the years. Eddie manages to escape capture and kills Trask while he’s in prison. After that he disappears, and nobody has seen him again since…
And that’s how the videogame story ends.
Honestly, i like the videogame ending a bit more despite the fact that both versions have stuff that i genuinely like or hate. It’s just that the comic one has more stuff to hate. Also the videogame feels like it has a proper ending, there is a sense of closure missing from the comics.
I know there’s another appearence of Venom in the Ultimate comics but it’s when Miles Morales takes the stage as the new main Spider-man and in the grand scheme of things it’s just a random guy wanting Spider-man for no given reason and they don’t even explain where he managed to get the Symbiote. It’s also absurdly pointless when you count the fact that Marvel erased (but not really) the entire Ultimate Universe during a recent event. Which means no more stories in that universe.
So no real conclusion to what happens with Venom in the ultimate comics.
What a rip off. Just play the goddamn game.
Update - April 2020 -
Hello from the future! Or your past in this case! Currently going through a global pandemic as i repost and edit this lecture on newgrounds and since 2018 we've had news regarding Ultimate Venom!
The current Venom comic series started in 2018 outside of being really good most of the time also deals with a lot of forgotten plot threads from previous Venom comics in interesting ways.
In the series there's a new villain called "The Maker" which is an evil version of Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic from the Fantastic 4) from the universe where the Ultimate Comics took place. The Maker has a weird fascination and interest for symbiotes for reasons that were unknown up until...
He showed that the Symbiote from the Ultimate Universe is still alive and kicking.
We don't exactly know what his plan is yet and we don't have any more updates for now but i guess we'll see...
If you want to know more about this stuff feel free to check my other Lectures or check these comics: