Marvel is set to tell the biggest Venom story of all time. Marvel Comics today announced Venomverse, a spiritual successor to 2014's Spider-Verse. As Spider-Verse did with Spider-Man, Venomverse will bring together a multitude of Venom symbiote bonded characters from across Marvel's multiverse.
Marvel recently returned the alien symbiote to the original Venom host, Eddie Brock. Venomverse writer Cullen Bunn and editor Devin Lewis are determined to show that's where Venom belongs.
"If Spider-Verse was Saving Private Ryan," Lewis tells Nerdist, "then Venomverse is Die Hard."
For the last several years the Venom symbiote to has bonded to war hero Flash Thompson. Flash taught the sentient symbiote to be a hero, joining the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. When the Guardians came crashing down to Earth during the events of Civil War II, the creative team behind Venomverse saw an opportunity to pivot towards a new yet familiar direction.
"There was an opportunity we saw, not only to put Venom back on Earth but also to re-centralize him as a Spider-Man villain," explained Lewis.
Artist Clayton Crain created a massive image featuring Venomized versions of many of Marvel's most popular characters. The image will span five interlocking Venomverse covers and can be seen in full in the gallery below.
Venomized Marvel characters won't just be limited to covers but will play an important role in the story of Venomverse.
"Part of picking this cast was definitely thinking about who readers would be most excited to see," said Bunn, "but another part of it–something that I've always found important–is how the Venom symbiote interacts with other hosts. What's really exciting is that we get to see this with characters you'd never expect, like Black Panther, Mary Jane, and Old Man Logan."
The antagonists of the series are called the Poisons, and they'll be taking over other Marvel characters as well. Lewis says "the Poisons will present a unique challenge for these Venoms, who're some of the strongest and most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe. They're nature's answer to the symbiotes."
You can see concept art for Poison Hulk and Venomized versions of Black Panther, Old Man Logan, and Gwenpool in the gallery below. Other Venom characters will include Pork Grind, the Venom from Spider-Ham's universe, and VenomPool, the Venomized Deadpool from a previously explored alternate universe. The miniseries Edge of Venomverse will feature tales of Venomized Wolverine, Gwenpool, Ghost Rider, Old Man Logan, and Deadpool.
"There are definitely some horrific moments in this series, not just the gross-out or the jump scare. I think there's some real emotional horror aspects to this story. The threat they're dealing with has some pretty strong horror chops," Bunn says. "For me, just because we're dealing with the symbiotes in general, there's a heavy science fiction element to this story. It's heavily rooted in some sci-fi horror inspiration."
Accompanying Venomverse will be the tie-in anthology series Venomverse: War Stories. The first issue of the anthology includes a Punisher story written by Declan Shalvey.
Venomverse #1 goes on sale in September.
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