The history of Venom and the Symbiotes in Marvel Comics has long been tumultuous and complicated, but Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman looked to change all that this week. In just one issue of their new Venom series, the creators altered the origins of the popular character, and the Symbiote race for good.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Venom #4! Continue reading at your own risk...
Almost the entire issue of Venom focused on the God of the Symbiotes, who told Eddie Brock the history of his creations, the "secrets" that people have often believed about them. Throughout the issue, Cates reveals that there is so much more to the Symbiote race than we ever thought, and that their home planet of Klyntar isn't at all what we thought it was.
First and foremost, it was revealed that the Symbiote God was the ruler of the void of space before the Celestials started showing up. To save his void, he decided to kill the Celestials, and the weapon he created was the first Symbiote, a sword called All-Black, the Necrosword. If you recall, this is the sword that was featured in Jason Aaron's original Thor: God of Thunder series in 2013, tying Thor to the Symbiotes. The book also mentions that this sword was forged in the fires of a dead Celestial, and a mighty, clanging hammer was used to mold it. This is the reason that Venom, and various other Symbiotes, fear fire and loud noises.
After losing the Necrosword, the God of Symbiotes learned how to create beings to forge with things that already existed, thus giving birth to the host-symbiotes like Venom. He used these beings to take over planets and keep creating his dark form of life, until he reached Earth during the period of Norse Vikings. The people he attacked cried for Beowulf to come help, but Thor showed up instead, blasting electricity into him and shattering his leadership over his creations.
The hive-mind of the Symbiotes then took over and realized that their creator was something truly evil. The light that Thor injected into them caused them to hate their master's darkness and, in the vastness of open space, the Symbiotes consumed him. They continued to envelop their creator until he was at the center of an inescapable, planet-sized cage.
And what's the Symbiote word for cage? Well, it's Klyntar, of course. The end of the book reveals that Klyntar isn't a planet at all, but a floating mass of Symbiotes who are constantly evolving to try and contain the evil of their master, who sits deep in the center of their prison.
To take things one step further, the Symbiote God referred to the light that corrupted the hive-mind as their own "venom," giving a backstory to the name itself.
And just like that, with one issue of a comic, the entire history of one of Marvel's most popular characters has been changed.
What do you think of Venom's new history? Let us know by dropping a line in the comments below!
Venom #4, written by Donny Cates and illustrated by Ryan Stegman, is currently available online and at your local comic shop.