Super Colossal Giant Size Massive Venom Update!

Discuss your thoughts on the articles written by J.R. Fettinger from the www.spideykicksbutt.com website.

Moderators: PartyHardy, BD, MadGoblin

Super Colossal Giant Size Massive Venom Update!

Postby MadGoblin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:17 am

Dark Side of the Spider Part 2

From Venom's Return to Carnage to the Lethal Protector - I give you two parts for the price of one this edition! You have nothing more important to do in your life than read this essay :mrgreen: Well, that and listen to the DeFalco-Frenz podcast also at the Crawlspace
Last edited by MadGoblin on Mon May 21, 2007 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
MadGoblin
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 6:42 pm

Postby Thanos6 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:34 am

Kickass article, JR, like always. Just a couple of things--

On the Spider-Man Crawlspace Message Boards, webmaster Brad Douglas questioned whether or not appreciation for Venom is a generational thing, with hairless, toothless, arthritic, cranky old codgers like me who started reading Spidey in the 1970's (or earlier) not caring for him because we love our Octopi and Goblins, with the brash, cocky, pimply-faced youthful generations preferring Venom. I thought that Brad's idea might have some merit, but to my surprise, debate on the boards seemed to be split, with some whippersnappers actually siding with the Alzheimer's crowd in preferring the old villains.


I started reading right about the time Carnage made his grand debut. And while the symbiotes will always have a place in my heart, my favorite Spidey villain is a threeway tie between Roddy Kingsley, Doc Ock, and--Electro. Yep.

You can bet that Reed Richards scanned and studied Brock & Venom atom by atom after Spidey dropped him off at the end of issue #300, filing a complete report before he was turned over to the Vault.


I *think* that at the time Reed wasn't with the FF; he was semi-retired and Ben Grimm was leading the team. Not sure though, so don't take my word as gospel.

Ginger or Mary Ann? Aaaahhhhhh.... (just for the record - Mary Ann - no contest).


Agreed 100%. :D

The Femme Fatales (with such names as Mindblast, Whiplash, Knockout, Bloodlust), Cardiac, Tri-Sentinel, Hyperion, Bloodshed, the Praetorian Guard - I probably haven't even touched them all. Then there was Todd McFarlane's bizarre horror twist on Spider-Man, and other weirdo villains such as Doppelganger and DemoGoblin.


Don't hate me for liking most of those characters. Especially Cardiac. :)

"Night of the Demons," "The Assassination Plot," "Acts of Vengeance," "Cosmic Spidey," "Round Robin: The Sidekicks Revenge," "Infinity Gauntlet," "Infinity War," "Spirits of Vengeance," "Spirits of Venom,"


*points to my name* Trash Infinity Gauntlet at your own risk. ;)

Anyway, if I remember correctly, none of Spidey's titles actually crossed over with the Gauntlet; that was a SENSIBLE crossover, where only the most powerful heroes had their books devoted to the war against Thanos; the Hulk, and the ones you'd expect, like Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and my own favorite Quasar.

Infinity War, yes, was crossover-a-go-go, but Gauntlet was an infinitely (pun intended) more sensible approach, with Spidey only appearing in the INFINITY GAUNTLET mini-series itself.

The Coming of Carnage!


Again--I liked Carnage, at least in this first three-parter. Hell, I even liked Maximum Carnage itself (it was my first real Spidey crossover. I was 10, gimme a break :)) and it's still a guilty pleasure.

I don't think Carnage really went downhill until the Annual of the same year as MaxCarn (*that* was overexposure that even a 10 year old could recognize).

Mind you, the Maximum Carnage videogame is still a lot of fun and justifies the entire story. :)

Issue #362 demonstrated just how much Marvel seemed to be revelling in this bloodlust as it advertised Carange as "The villain so awesome we had to put his name on the cover twice!"


Y'know, even as a kid I thought that was Marvel gently mocking themselves. *shrugs*

The Annuals at this time were criminally killing trees to bring us solo stories featuring any number of C & D list characters such as, uh, Solo, the Prowler, the Foreigner, the Shroud, Chance, yadda yadda yadda


:cry:

Now now, J.R., don't make me jump in and defend all of those characters, espeically Prowler and Shroud.

Sometimes a C/D lister just needs the right opportunity to find their audience; Wolverine was a nobody for YEARS before they dropped him into the X-Men. His arch-nemesis Sabretooth spent most of his early career getting his butt kicked by Luke Cage's friend Iron Fist and even taken out by the Black Cat before his own popularity took off fighting Wolvie.
User avatar
Thanos6
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Photographer
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 11:44 am
Location: Deep 13

Postby MadGoblin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:29 am

Always good to hear your comments and opinions, Thanos - let me warm up this morning by addressing some of them...


Thanos6 wrote:
You can bet that Reed Richards scanned and studied Brock & Venom atom by atom after Spidey dropped him off at the end of issue #300, filing a complete report before he was turned over to the Vault.


I *think* that at the time Reed wasn't with the FF; he was semi-retired and Ben Grimm was leading the team. Not sure though, so don't take my word as gospel.


Hmmm..now that I think of it...you may be right...I seem to remember something like that during my Byrne-stealing. Would that have extended to his scientific research, though?


Thanos6 wrote:
The Femme Fatales (with such names as Mindblast, Whiplash, Knockout, Bloodlust), Cardiac, Tri-Sentinel, Hyperion, Bloodshed, the Praetorian Guard - I probably haven't even touched them all. Then there was Todd McFarlane's bizarre horror twist on Spider-Man, and other weirdo villains such as Doppelganger and DemoGoblin.


Don't hate me for liking most of those characters. Especially Cardiac. :)

"Night of the Demons," "The Assassination Plot," "Acts of Vengeance," "Cosmic Spidey," "Round Robin: The Sidekicks Revenge," "Infinity Gauntlet," "Infinity War," "Spirits of Vengeance," "Spirits of Venom,"


*points to my name* Trash Infinity Gauntlet at your own risk. ;)

Anyway, if I remember correctly, none of Spidey's titles actually crossed over with the Gauntlet; that was a SENSIBLE crossover, where only the most powerful heroes had their books devoted to the war against Thanos; the Hulk, and the ones you'd expect, like Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, and my own favorite Quasar.

Infinity War, yes, was crossover-a-go-go, but Gauntlet was an infinitely (pun intended) more sensible approach, with Spidey only appearing in the INFINITY GAUNTLET mini-series itself.


And I even forgot Terminator Spidey, or Deathlok Spidey, or Borg Spidey, or whatever he was in that one Sinister Six story I think that I mentioned that by inclusion on my list they weren't necessarily bad - just the relentless stream of them at the time - particularly for a "street level" superhero who's at his best bashing more human and less hi-tech thugs and goons.

Thanos6 wrote:
The Coming of Carnage!


Again--I liked Carnage, at least in this first three-parter. Hell, I even liked Maximum Carnage itself (it was my first real Spidey crossover. I was 10, gimme a break :)) and it's still a guilty pleasure.

I don't think Carnage really went downhill until the Annual of the same year as MaxCarn (*that* was overexposure that even a 10 year old could recognize).

Mind you, the Maximum Carnage videogame is still a lot of fun and justifies the entire story. :)


Maximum Carnage seems to be a lot of people's guilty pleasure. We all revel in excess at times (I think "Death Wish 3" is a great movie - go figure). And I've also heard the same about the video game from a number of sources.

Thanos6 wrote:
Issue #362 demonstrated just how much Marvel seemed to be revelling in this bloodlust as it advertised Carange as "The villain so awesome we had to put his name on the cover twice!"


Y'know, even as a kid I thought that was Marvel gently mocking themselves. *shrugs*


Maybe if he were the run of the mill costumed badguy - but the content of the story always made me think otherwise.

Thanos6 wrote:
The Annuals at this time were criminally killing trees to bring us solo stories featuring any number of C & D list characters such as, uh, Solo, the Prowler, the Foreigner, the Shroud, Chance, yadda yadda yadda


:cry:

Now now, J.R., don't make me jump in and defend all of those characters, espeically Prowler and Shroud.

Sometimes a C/D lister just needs the right opportunity to find their audience; Wolverine was a nobody for YEARS before they dropped him into the X-Men. His arch-nemesis Sabretooth spent most of his early career getting his butt kicked by Luke Cage's friend Iron Fist and even taken out by the Black Cat before his own popularity took off fighting Wolvie.


I don't dispute that. However, when I fork over the extra money for a Spider-Man annual - and 30-40% of the content is stories with these other characters, I feel ripped off.
User avatar
MadGoblin
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 6:42 pm

Postby Spider-Caster » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:47 am

Yeesh - what's next? "Venom's Bedtime Stories"? "So the Three Bears came to Little Bear's bedroom and found Goldilocks sleeping in his bed. They then PROCEEDED TO EAT HER BRAIN. The end. Pleasant dreams, boys and girls..."


That was pure gold.
Image
User avatar
Spider-Caster
Black Suit Spidey
Black Suit Spidey
 
Posts: 619
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:07 pm

Postby Janoe-42 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:21 pm

I enjoy reading your essays and this one was no exception! I really laughed though at the Truckstop of Doom. Even without the various parodies of it, it's still so-bad-it's-good type of humor.

But, like Thanos, I grew up with Carnage. I didn't really start reading comics a lot till a year ago, but I did look at my brothers comics when I was 4 or 5. My favorite hero was Spider-Man, and he only had issues with Venom or Carnage, so I read them and now have a soft spot for Venom and Carnage, no matter how horribly written they are (I won't go hunting for copies of Lethal Protector though :P ). Still, reading this was kind've an insight into the minds of Spider-Fans everywhere, and was an interesting read.
User avatar
Janoe-42
Black Suit Spidey
Black Suit Spidey
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:23 pm
Location: Arizona

Postby Venom65437 » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:40 pm

I really do have nothing better to do with my life than read it! So excuse me!!
Image
User avatar
Venom65437
Avenger
Avenger
 
Posts: 2085
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Postby Echowarrior » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:42 pm

Can I say right now that I'm glad for the update, and the podcast?

Anywho, speaking as a young hopeful writer myself, this is a really fun lesson in what not to do as a writer or an editor. Did Marvel ever keep a factlist on Venom through this whole thing? Did anyone call David on the apparent about-faces on Venom, or did they not care so long as the money is coming in?

It may have been interesting if David had ever kept a fact-sheet of what villains had what backgrounds/abilities/motivations/what have you. It helps me with my projects, and it may have prevented a lot of what went wrong with Venom. Course, that's just my opinion.
William Rendfeld
That Echowarrior guy...
User avatar
Echowarrior
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Photographer
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Indianapolis

Postby Itsjustme » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:46 pm

Well for starters I loved the article. I think you definitely covered the reasons for Venom's decline (freefall?). Which started with him saving that baby.Anyone else notice Venom has a strange penchant for saving babies? Anyhow, after reading Venom's first few appearances I loved the idea of him killing people when it was "necessary", saying he was sorry and then doing it again. I thought that Eddie Brock was just the kind of person who couldn't own up to his own mistakes. The direction he was taken in was disappointing, to say the least.
Plus, making Venom an anti-hero completely ruined the point of him knowing Spider-Man's secret identity. Venom was this looming threat that could strike at Peter's friends and family at anytime, just like the Green Goblin, who was at the time dead.
I think another problem that appeared with Venom was the ensuing symbiote-o-mania. I think that carnage, toxin, and those five others whose names escape me, took away something that made Venom special.
After Marvel (belatedly) realized what they had done to the character attempts were made to redeem the character, such as the death of Brock's wife and improving his origin. However, in the end Brock really has too much negative history.
I think that Gargan-Venom will work for a while but Eddie should come back with a new outlook.
That my 10 cents anyway. Great article. Appreciated the eh for us Canadians :lol:
It's always Norman Osborn. Even if that's impossible. Even if he's dead at the time. If Spider-man gets a hangnail, its Norman Osborn.
User avatar
Itsjustme
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Photographer
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:11 pm

Postby Echowarrior » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:56 pm

Itsjustme wrote:I think another problem that appeared with Venom was the ensuing symbiote-o-mania. I think that carnage, toxin, and those five others whose names escape me, took away something that made Venom special.


Carnage and the symbiotes that became Hybrid I won't argue about. Toxin, however, I feel is potentially interesting as a character, and I'm kinda looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.
William Rendfeld
That Echowarrior guy...
User avatar
Echowarrior
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Photographer
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 4:31 pm
Location: Indianapolis

Postby MadGoblin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:07 pm

Itsjustme wrote:Anyhow, after reading Venom's first few appearances I loved the idea of him killing people when it was "necessary", saying he was sorry and then doing it again. I thought that Eddie Brock was just the kind of person who couldn't own up to his own mistakes. The direction he was taken in was disappointing, to say the least.


That was the biggest thing that I learned as I researched this series. I had always harped on Venom stating that he was weak because I thought that Brock's original motives were lame - which, well, they were BUT - my gripes were misdirected. It was where they took the character after his first two appearances. I also failed to recognize why people thought he was cool and that those reasons were legit. I was miffed because he knew Spider-Man's identity but was no one we knew - but 20 years later that's a moot point.

As far as why neither David Michelinie or anyone at Marvel could see what they were doing to the character - I suspect that Marvel in the early and mid 1990's was in meltdown mode with wild swings from pushing as much product out as possible to massive staff and title cuts - it probably was not a period conductive to quality storytelling and attention to detail.
User avatar
MadGoblin
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 6:42 pm

Postby BackinBlack » Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:07 am

Eddie's clubhouse? :shock:
User avatar
BackinBlack
Webslinger
Webslinger
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:20 pm

Postby MadGoblin » Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:58 am

BackinBlack wrote:Eddie's clubhouse? :shock:


Yes indeed - with your avatar, I assumed you were a member already!
User avatar
MadGoblin
Administrator
Administrator
 
Posts: 629
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 6:42 pm

Postby MsMarvel1 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:43 am

I actually thought those "Truck Stop of Doom" stories were awesome, but I've been watching too much of The Venture Bros. Hee-hee. Maximum Overdrive.

I liked the article, however I must protest to this ...

And I've also heard the same about the video game from a number of sources.


LIES! Freakin' fighting 80 freakin' dorks in overcoats and chicks with visors until you get to the second part of the level where you get knocked off the building and AAAARGH! Why do they keep coming? Why can't I just swing away? Why does my spider-sense do nothing when the laser comes?


... Yeah, I don't like that game. @_@
User avatar
MsMarvel1
Freelance Photographer
Freelance Photographer
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 11:15 pm

Postby BackinBlack » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:19 pm

MadGoblin wrote:
BackinBlack wrote:Eddie's clubhouse? :shock:


Yes indeed - with your avatar, I assumed you were a member already!


Nope, I just started reading comics a few years ago with the release of Spiderman 2, I do really like Venom though and that is why I have the avatar I do.
User avatar
BackinBlack
Webslinger
Webslinger
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:20 pm

Postby Venom65437 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:27 pm

It's ok BiB, Venom is awesome, MG just likes to chug his haterade! :lol:

In all seriousness I did enjoy the article MG and I do think your points have some validity, but I still think Venom is just awesome when he is written correctly. His early appearances remain his best though.
Image
User avatar
Venom65437
Avenger
Avenger
 
Posts: 2085
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 7:20 pm
Location: Fort Myers, Florida