The Superhero Debates: Round 2
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February 13th, 2013 (7:17 PM). Edited February 13th, 2013 by Zissou.
Join Date: Feb 2013
Ok, here we go!
Alexial and I were up very, very late last night talking about Venom, the Secret Avengers, and other such concerns. We came up with a few conclusions that I believe will benefit this thread.
First of all, Spider Man and Venom have much less to do with each other than most people believe. It is true that Spider Man and Venom have fought time and time again, but those events lack drama and depth. Venom is an alien symbiote that requires a host to survive on Earth. Spider Man is a scientifically-caused genetic mishap. They just don't have the duality to make a good hero/villain pair.
The real hero/villain of the Venom saga is the host vs. the symbiote. Originally we saw Eddie Brock taken by the symbiote. His desire for revenge against Spider Man and the world that shunned him lined up perfectly with the inherent rage and lust for destruction the symbiote carries with it. They made a great team and were only separated when Marvel decided that Venom could be much more than a big, hulking villain for the Avengers to fight twice a year.
When Flash Thompson was introduced (particularly in the new "Venom" series), Venom took on a whole different light. Flash was crippled during his tour of duty as a soldier and no longer has legs. He also suffers from very severe PTSD, alcoholism, and several very strained relationships with those he loves. Venom gives him the ability to walk again, but it's desires don't line up with his at all. In a great twist, Flash's willpower is enough to overcome Venom's controlling influence and Flash is able to use the Venom symbiote to perform standard "hero-work" like putting out fires and stopping robberies.
As the plot thickens, Venom is recruited to be a member of the Secret Avengers. Dr. Pym comes up with a way to "neuter" the symbiote to make it more pliable to Flash's will. This allows Flash to wear the symbiote almost full-time, but introduces a whole new set of problems that don't really pertain to this discussion.
My point here, I suppose, is that Venom has serious potential that is finally being realized in the ongoing Venom and Secret Avengers series. Just imagine how many problems can be created and solved by the same "hero"! Flash Thompson as Venom re-defines the character and gives a human face to the symbiote and a symbiotic reflection of the broken human within Flash. Both have been worked to death in the Marvel universe over the past 20 years, but they're currently being given new life that could easily re-define both characters. Personally, I'm excited about it!
To bring this whole thing back to the actual topic at hand, I believe firmly that the villain came before the hero. Venom's existence validates the need for a Spider Man much more than the inverse. Because of this, true drama and storytelling can take hold in comics, books, and films about the subject. I think all literature began with an inherent evil and concluded with a necessary evolution of the hero. Comics and their characters are no different.
What do you think?
::: one drop ::: pens
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