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Eight Deadly Venoms

Any career can lead to complicated partnerships and the supervillain game proves no exception. Take Venom for example. The Klyntar alien symbiote spent so much time with Spider-Man that, when the two split up—because the creature took Peter Parker on a few patrols while the hero slept—the ditched being felt more than slighted.

Since then, the Venom symbiote has bonded with a variety of characters, many of whom failed to control the creature’s more nefarious nature. With Lee Price becoming the latest cohort in the pages of VENOM by Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval, it’s the right time to look back at some of those less-than-successful partnerships!

Hey, remember that time Deadpool snuck behind the scenes of Secret Wars, tried on what would be known as the Venom symbiote first and then had another run-in with it on Earth? Well, it’s true and can be seen in in the pages of DEADPOOL: BACK IN BLACK. In fact, some say that the reason for the symbiote’s instability could be because of Deadpool’s maddening influence over the creature.

Peter Parker
More readers will remember Peter Parker donning the black costume in 1984 between appearances in his own books and the seminal SECRET WARS #8. Instead of just changing looks, though, he soon realized that the black costume actually exhibited a hostile nature that seeped into his own consciousness. They eventually split, leading to an intense resentment from the suit towards its former companion.

Eddie Brock
In AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #299, Eddie Brock revealed himself as Venom, kicking off the symbiote’s longest relationship to date. These two stayed together through a variety of Spider-Man stories plus plenty of limited series in the 90’s. In the next few decades the Brock-Venom combo accidentally created Carnage and played hero from time to time until, disillusioned with one another, Brock sold his longtime partner to Don Fortunato.

Angelo Fortunato
The shy, weak and bullied son of Mafioso big wig Don Fortunato, Angelo decided to bond with the symbiote that his pops just paid $100 million for in the pages of MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #7. Ultimately, this coupling didn’t work out when, disgusted by Angelo’s fears, Venom released his new partner while between buildings, letting the young man plummet to his death.

5Mac Gargan
In MARVEL KNIGHTS SPIDER-MAN #9, the symbiote presented itself to Mac Gargan, also known as The Scorpion. As Venom, Gargan joined up with the Thunderbolts for a time under the watchful eye of leader Norman Osborn. Thanks to a chemical provided by Osborn, Gargan even took on a more humanoid look, to become the Dark Avengers’ Spider-Man during Dark Reign. However, he didn’t escape the Siege on Asgard and had the symbiote removed while in prison.

6Flash Thompson
With Venom removed from Gargan, it gave the government the opportunity to merge it with Flash Thompson, creating a super-soldier in the process. They also built in safety precautions like a 48-hour time limit and a kill switch if the alien took too much control. Agent Venom joined teams like the Secret Avengers, Red Hulk’s Thunderbolts, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and even the Space Knights. A trip to the symbiote home planet healed Venom and restored some mental stability, but the two split after returning to Earth for Civil War II, in a tale yet to be told!

Lee Price

Separated from Flash, the symbiote wandered looking for a new host in VENOM #1. He latched on to a homeless man who stumbled into a botched deal involving former Army Ranger Lee Price. The creature joined with Price and tried to convince him they could be heroes, but the man’s darker nature took over, negatively influencing Venom anew.

The She-Venoms
One of the sadder Venom hosts has to be Ann Weying, Eddie Brock’s ex-wife. In VENOM: SINNER TAKES ALL the symbiote bonded with her to save her life after Sin-Eater shot her. Once combined, they killed a group of people which sickened Ann. Brock sent the symbiote to do the same thing in the pages of VENOM: ALONG CAME A SPIDER. Later, in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #19, Ann kills herself after seeing Spider-Man swinging around in a black costume. Another woman, Patricia Robertson, became known as She-Venom for a time, but that came as the result of her interactions with a Venom clone.

The continued evolution of the Lee Price-symbiote relationship will be chronicled by Mike Costa and  Gerardo Sandoval in VENOM #3 on February 22!

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Pitted Against the Prowler

Jackal has lost control. New U has begun to collapse into itself and the villains he so kindly resurrected can smell that the end draws nigh. They feel scared, angry, confused and they want someone to take it out on.

Enter Hobie Brown in PROWLER #5 on February 22.

As an established hero and a sort of lieutenant to The Jackal, Prowler proves too tasty a bit of revenge for a quintet of villains. We caught writer Sean Ryan trying to dump New U stock at the end of the trading day and he took some time to tell us what bad guys and girls will be seeking a bit of therapy by Prowler.

A revolutionary to some, a terrorist to others, Anton Miguel Rodriguez found himself cast out from his fellow agitators after he murdered someone without reason. He immediately betrayed his apparent ideals and joined the government as Tarantula, conceived as a kind of Captain America figure for his country. However, once again, Rodriguez’s amoral behaviors led to him being fired from the position and going freelancer mercenary.

He died via suicide by cop in the midst of a horrifying transformation due to a genetic experiment gone awry.

“He’s a skilled fighter, agile and a weapon master,” Ryan points out. “The guy knows how to fight. We didn’t actually saw Tarantula and Prowler interact in my series, but you have to imagine that [with] Prowler as basically the ‘warden’ of New U, Tarantula probably couldn’t wait to get his hands on [him] for bossing him around.”

A kangaroo enthusiast from childhood, Frank Oliver studied the animals and developed a leaping fighting style inspired by them. Eventually, he lost himself in the moment, however, and jump kicked a boxing opponent, critically injuring him. Oliver tried to escape to the United States where he found himself detained for extradition. Instead he escaped and became a petty criminal.

Significantly overmatched by the heroes of Manhattan, Oliver turned to Dr. Jonas Harrow for a power boost which allowed him to at least tangle convincingly with Spider-Man.

His quest for power ended up undoing him, however, as he—in order to keep his powers—went to steal a radioactive isotope for Harrow. Not educated about the dangers of radiation, Oliver did nothing to protect himself from it and ended up reduced to a pile of smoldering ash during the robbery.

“Kangaroo is a real beast,” argues Ryan. “He’s got those super powered legs just begging to kick Prowler right in the chest. Kangaroo doesn’t like being kicked around by other people, so he’s excited to kick him right back.”

Raymond Bloch possesses incredible strength and, typically, fights alongside Fancy Dan and Montana. He recently died in a fight with Spider-Man and Deadpool when Itsy Bitsy joined the fray and stabbed him repeatedly.

“Ox is also a real beast,” acknowledges Ryan. “[He] is a massive dude who could pummel Prowler to a pulp without really even thinking about it. Which is good for Ox, since he doesn’t do much thinking. He never liked Prowler acting better than all of the other bad guys in New U. He’s looking to smack Hobie down to size.”

Ox’s teammate in the Enforcers, Montana came to Manhattan with a ton of rope tricks and a desire for crime. He paid with his life recently too, at a moment of his highest achievement—becoming Kingpin’s chief lieutenant—when he got tossed out a window by Hobgoblin.

“Montana is an expert with a lasso,” Ryan states. “He could tie Prowler up before Hobie even knew it. Montana is a man that always feels in control. Seeing Prowler run the show got under his skin more than he thought it would. He can’t wait to get Prowler all tied up.”

Less charitable people might label Francine Frye a super villain groupie. She would claim “enthusiastic fan” as a more accurate moniker. Regardless of what you’d choose, she became friends with the original Electro and sought to become even more. Unfortunately, Max Dillon lost control of his power and accidentally killed her the moment they kissed.

When Jackal resurrected Francine, she came back with electricity powers as well due to the DNA of Dillon’s saliva. Under Jackal’s direction, she went to Dillon to convince him to come to New U to receive a treatment sure to return his powers. Instead she took the moment to kiss him to death, literally. In the aftermath, she proudly took on the identity and costume of her would-be lover/murderer/first victim.

“Prowler and Electro have been brawling a lot recently,” Ryan reminds readers. “She killed him in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17. Then they fought again in PROWLER #3. Each one has a victory, so issue #5 of PROWLER is the tiebreaker.”

PROWLER #5, written by Sean Ryan with art from Jamal Campbell and Javier Saltares, hits Hobie Brown hard on February 22!

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Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ begins production while the cast excitedly tweets from set

Marvel Studios announced that production has begun on “Black Panther,” starring Chadwick Boseman in the titular role, alongside a star-studded cast including Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker.

Andy Serkis was also named as part of...

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Marvel Entertainment and Square Enix Team-Up for Multi-Year, Multi-Game Creative Partnership

Marvel Entertainment and SQUARE ENIX® today announced a new multi-year, multi-game licensing agreement to develop and publish original games based on beloved Marvel Super Heroes, beginning with The Avengers. This newly established partnership pairs the creative minds at Marvel and Square Enix for one of the most powerful alliances in interactive entertainment. The first blockbuster game is being crafted by Crystal Dynamics®, developers of the award winning Tomb Raider® series, in collaboration with Eidos-Montréal, the home of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Deus Ex game series.

The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise. Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come. More details on The Avengers project and other games will be announced in 2018.

The world premiere teaser trailer of The Avengers project can be seen here.

“By partnering with Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal, we are now working with two of the industry’s most talented and respected game development studios to bring Marvel stories to life in ways our fans have never experienced,“ said Jay Ong, Senior Vice President, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “The Avengers project is a perfect example of how Marvel is making games a key part of the landscape for Marvel storytelling, alongside comics, television and film. We can only do this by matching our greatest Super Heroes with the world’s top developers, such as the creative minds at Square Enix.”

“Marvel’s diverse, innovative universe has created millions of longtime fans, including all of us,” said Phil Rogers, CEO, Square Enix Americas and Europe. “It’s exciting to bring together Square Enix’s award-winning development studios with Marvel’s extraordinary storytellers to establish a new entertainment powerhouse.  This collaboration of passion and talent will craft epic, imaginative experiences allowing gamers to live out their Super Hero dreams like never before.”SQX_AVG_001_MKT__ANNOUNCEPARTNERIMAGE

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