Monday, May 14, 2012

Let's Get It Out There

After a smaller debate with a fellow geek, I have made my mind up with regards to a simple feeling:
I definitely don't like Venom.
He's not a good character. Even when other characters are the host to the symbiote, he's not a good character. It's not that he doesn't have the ability to be cool. He does. The problem is that he's been ground into characterizing paste and so far nothing can build him back up.
First and foremost, Venom is a product of the 90s. Any fan of comics knows how bad the 90s got for the industry. Mass flooding of issues. Style over substance. Gimmicks over tactics. One selling concept was found and everybody tried to replicate it and that very much included Venom. Venom was new. Venom was dark and gritty and different. He was an archetype for the 90s in that all you had to do was take a hero, darken their colors, reverse their powers or abilities and there ya have their new enemy. And that worked. For a time. Spawn started that death.
Todd McFarlane (along with most the guys who started Image... Well, primarily he and Liefeld) created the ultra popular Spawn, who was as close to a Venom character as you can get without being sued. And it sold a ridiculous amount. Well, Marvel won't be out done by that. They created Carnage who came out a month apart from Spawn. And continued with six other symbiote characters within the year. To date, fifteen different characters have been created and seven different hosts to the original Venom have been swapped in and out (including Peter Parker and Eddie Brock). Male and female. Good and bad and good again. And as with most ideas from the 90s, he was thrown in our faces and was quickly cut down to size. Eddie Brock was given mini after mini. A few ongoing series that never went for long but he was always kept around. Yet nobody at Marvel was willing to change him. His fanbase was still steady and they didn't want to piss off the fanboys by changing their beloved character. 19 mini series. 2 ongoings (one of which is currently still going). Something has to change.
The current series is trying to be different. Flash Thompson is the host and he's trying to use it for good (again) while working for the government. He cannot stay bonded to the symbiote for more than 48-hours at a time otherwise it'll be able to take full control. All right. It's slightly different this time around but for how long? It's sales have been slightly up the last few months but it's dropped by 30,000 copies in sales since it's start. That's never a good sign. So is it time to hang him up for a while? Absolutely. Give the guy a breather. Let fans build with anticipation for a while. Plot some things out. Make him relevant and force people to demand him.
Venom isn't outta the game yet but it may be close to benching him for the season.

1 comment:

  1. Never been a Venom fan. Lame character, not very interesting at all. He looks cool, but that's about it. Although, the old-school black metal band Venom was pretty scary...