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Off My Mind: Why Flash Thompson Should Be Venom
by Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero on
Has the identity of the 'new' Venom been revealed? Here's why Flash should be given a chance as Venom.
Originally I thought Vin Gonzalez, Peter Parker's former roommate and former NYPD police officer would somehow get roped in. Seeing his behavior and Goblin tattoo after being released from prison, this possibility seemed unlikely.
Marvel then released a tiny bit of information stating that the government would be in control of the symbiote so that led me to believe it would be John Jameson. How ironic would that be given that his father, J. Jonah Jameson, cannot stand anything that has to do with the wall crawler. John's current story bringing him back to his astronaut roots started making his chances go down. Plus he's had too many different identities and adding Venom might be too much.
Then there was Flash Thompson. Flash Thompson first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15. He hated Peter Parker but was Spider-Man's #1 fan. He has developed a friendship with Peter years later but his life was drastically changed in Amazing Spider-Man # 574.
Why does all this make him the best choice in becoming the new Venom?
== TEASER ==
Flash has always wanted to be a hero. He was abused as a child living with his alcoholic father. He became a bully because that was his only outlet for his anger. Seeing Spider-Man in action, he was the first to cheer him on and saw him for the hero he was. Flash even dressed as Spider-Man in order to make Puny Parker learn to respect the hero (Flash's plan ended with him getting kidnapped by Doctor Doom, who was looking for the real Spider-Man).
It wasn't until Flash enlisted in the Army that we saw his character getting serious. He became the hero that he always wanted. Returning to the States, he got a hero's welcome but it didn't last long. Unfortunately, he didn't have a lot of options in terms of a career. He worked for Norman Osborn (who drugged him, got him drunk and caused him to get in a car accident to ruin his life as a way to get a rise out of Spider-Man) and later spent some time as a Gym teacher at Midtown High. Going back to serving his country, Flash found himself in the middle of another conflict. While under heavy gunfire, Flash managed to save a fellow officer but wound up losing both his legs.
He's been seen with prosthetic legs but his chances of being the hero he wanted to be really seemed slim now. That's where the Venom symbiote suit comes in. If the government is looking for a volunteer, you know Flash would be the first. He would absolutely love to become a web-slinger. The suit could easily compensate for his lack of legs.
Flash Thompson as Venom will indeed have an affect on Peter's life. Flash would be one of the last people he'd want to be mixed up with the dangers of the suit. It will be interesting to see if the Venom suit will have any recollection of Spider-Man's identity. How would suit react to being bonded with someone who thinks so highly of Spider-Man when it feels like a jilted lover after Spider-Man abandoned it? Will Flash Thompson become addicted to the power of the suit? Will he be able to wear the suit and be a hero or will he start getting urges of eating people's brains? Would Spider-Man know who is wearing the suit right away? Will Betty Brant, Flash's girlfriend, know about the dangerous missions he goes on?
Apparently it was accidentally leaked out that Flash would be the new Venom (Marvel has seemingly confirmed it but we'll find out for sure in Amazing Spider-Man #654.1 in a couple weeks). There's the tiny chance that the leak was to throw people off (but that seems unlikely). If Flash Thompson does indeed become Venom, I applaud this decision. Flash Thompson has evolved so much over the years. He went from a bully to a soldier to a friend to a hero that suffered a loss. As if losing his legs wasn't a big change, becoming an actual superhero is a huge step for him. And to think, some people feel the Spider-Man characters haven't been given a chance to change over the years. Flash Thompson may not be the number one choice of Venom fans but he could add a new dynamic to the character that we haven't seen before.