'Venom' Prequel Tie-In Announced

AMC Theatres are offering fans a chance to read up on Venom before seeing the movie, by pre-ordering tickets today and getting a look at a digital prequel comic.

The comic, which was created by Marvel's custom imprint that typically does low-run tie-in books for things like the Brooklyn Knights mascot campaign, will tie into the world of the movie, rather than the comics, making it similar to what Geoff Johns, David Goyer, and Jerry Ordway did for Man of Steel a few years back.

The comic was written by Sean Ryan and features art by Szymon Kudranski, colors by Ian Herring, and lettering by VC’s Joe Sabino. A photorealistic cover of a very Tom Hardy-ish Eddie Brock was created by Skan.

Movie adaptation comics used to be much more common than they are now, although Marvel still does direct adaptations for the Star Wars films and prequel-style tie-in comics for their Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that are widely available through the direct market. Marvel has not made direct tie-ins with any of Fox's X-Men or Fantastic Four movies in years, and DC's most recent cinematic tie-ins were similar to the Venom comic: usually digital, and exclusive to one retailer with a related purchase. A number of Batman v Superman comics were released inside boxes of cereal.

You do not need to purchase tickets to the movie to read AMC's Venom comic, a link to which is in the tweet above.

The comic barely counts as a "prequel," given that it centers on the symbiote's backstory and features Eddie interacting with it and taking out some bad guys. It will be interesting reading for fans who mostly know Venom from the animated series or Spider-Man 3, as it goes into a "Planet of the Symbiotes"-inspired take on the costume's backstory.

The film, which will not feature Spider-Man, is coming to theaters next month with a PG-13 rating. While this is likely good news for the box office (it is expected to open in the $60-70 million range), it is frustrating news for some fans, who had expected a more horror-tinged take on the alien symbiote, especially given repeated comments by the filmmakers and cast about how dark they were willing to go.

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Earlier today, rumors started to circulate that an unrated version could be prepared for home release.

Venom will be in theaters on Oct. 5.