Venom’s Shiny New Origin: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

September 6th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

It’s not easy being a Venom fan. Or, to be more specific, it’s not easy being a fan of Eddie Brock. I’m more or less saddled in with him for life because in the end, he’s the guy who got me into comics and is instrumental to this site’s existence all together. That’ll be a story for another time. Maybe I’ll finally get around to that series of articles about his history next week. I’m getting nowhere with the next Deadshot’s Tophat installment anyway.

Now, I’ve read through the 5 years of Venom being the Lethal Protector (fun fact: reading almost every Venom appearance from the 90’s is so torturous that the Republicans now believe I’m qualified to run for office). It wasn’t a good series, but like all failed comics, it’s at least interesting when you look at what went wrong. What went wrong is Venom’s flaw as a concept. Esther made a post about ailed characters who can never fix what’s wrong with them (note: who the hell is Esther?). Rogue can’t touch, Babs can’t walk, Peter Parker can’t be happy, and so on and so forth. At least those guys have strong characteristics and rich histories. Venom isn’t allowed to have that.

Most of Venom’s 90 run worked like this: a writer would use him for a blatant crossover story and occasionally introduce a new dynamic to the character. He’d give Venom some direction and a little bit of promise. After that storyline, said writer would leave and be replaced with someone else. That guy would toss all of that development out of the window for the sake of writing his own wicked crossover story and it all starts over again.

Then Larry Hama took over for the rest of the run, which is interesting for the fact that the final few arcs were based on Venom fighting for amnesty by working for a corrupt government group that’s implanted him with a bomb if he gets out of line. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

Not like they’ll ever follow up on that connection. You see, Venom is a malleable character against his own will. Nobody cares enough to do anything meaningful with him. No matter how many girlfriends he’s given or how many moments of clarity he gets, every single writer after will disregard it all because Venom’s their pet dollar sign with fangs and a hate-on for Spider-Man. No more, sometimes less.

There’s almost some kind of sad tragedy to it. Some kind of Groundhog Day curse, but without the hilarity of Chris Elliot.

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No Solicitors

March 22nd, 2007 Posted by david brothers

Have you guys read the new Marvel and DC solicits? I love comics, but those things are a bore and a half. It’s like they don’t even want you to read their books.

It’s cool, though. Here are the ones that are new and good and interesting. Jumping-on points only here, with one exception, perhaps. My pithy and vitally important commentary is in italics.

DC Comics is first since Marvel is better!

Written by Grant Morrison
Art and cover by J.H. Williams III
The Batmen of All Nations reunite for a weekend of fine food and nostalgia, but an unexpected visitor has other plans for the gathering. Batman, Robin, and the rest of the Club of Heroes find themselves trapped and at the mercy of a dangerous madman on the Island of Mister Mayhew!
This is why I read Grant Morrison. Mad ideas that sound completely goofy. He’s Silver Age with a Modern Age sensibility. Plus, I hope the sweet Knight and Squire from JLA Classified 1-3 shows up.

ROBIN #163
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II
Cover by Patrick Gleason & Wayne Faucher
It’s Tim Drake’s first Father’s Day as Bruce Wayne’s adopted son, and he wants everything to be just right. Unfortunately, the justice-crazed supervillains known as The Jury pick that very day to go on a murder spree in Gotham City!
This is a great idea for a story. The “family” part of Bat-family doesn’t get looked at often enough. “The Jury,” though, conjures up images of a certain ’90s anti-Venom team.

Written by Paul Dini and Judd Winick
Art by Bruce Timm, Joe Chiodo and others
Cover by Timm
Paul Dini and Bruce Timm -two of the masterminds behind Batman: The Animated Series – join forces in this volume collecting the miniseries BATMAN: HARLEY AND IVY! Also included is the special: HARLEY AND IVY: LOVE ON THE LAM by Judd Winick and Joe Chiodo, plus a newly-colored story rom BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE VOL. 2!
It’s Harley Quinn, so shut up and buy it.
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