Remender's Venom: The Trials & Burdens of One Man, Eddie Brock

Poor Eddie.

Eddie Brock has come into Rick Remender's Venom comic and has been playing big roles. It's great that Eddie is still an important character in the world of Venom. I'm very happy that Rick Remender's Venom series has been using Eddie Brock in its stories a lot. But there's a catch. Everything that Eddie has done or experienced since coming full-circle into this current Venom title has ended with Eddie losing, suffering, and being humiliated. You have to feel sorry for the guy; to play such a major role that only ends badly for him. He was temporarily possessed by the Venom symbiote he hates, had to sacrifice his Anti-Venom symbiote, found himself living a derelict lifestyle immediately afterwards, was abducted by Crime-Master and turned into the second Toxin, he has no control of the Toxin symbiote, and after being freed from the Toxin symbiote, is badly burned alive and possessed by Toxin again. Let's recap:

His role during Spider-Island as Anti-Venom, healing the infected citizens of New York, carried over into Remender's Venom with an Anti-Venom vs. Venom battle that ended with Venom triumphant & Eddie Brock defeated and crumpled unconscious on the ground in a heap of his own symbiote's regenerating mass. Eddie was then delivered to Mister Fantastic, webbed up and carried off like a slab of meat.

Later into Remender's Venom run, a now symbiote-less Eddie goes on a crusade to hunt and kill symbiotes. His attempt to take down Venom ends with him being webbed up by Venom and left behind knocked-out, Crime-Master and Jack-O-Lantern finding him after. We later find Crime-Master and Jack-O-Lantern in a secluded lab; in the most humiliating of situations, a nude man lies unconscious & restrained on the floor; Eddie Brock naked & hog-tied like an animal. He wakes up and finds himself being forcefully boned to the Toxin symbiote, against his will.

Eddie has no control over the Toxin symbiote. Toxin joins Crime-Master in his war against Flash Thompson, Agent Venom. Flash's first throw-down against the new Toxin results in Eddie's defeat via sonic pepper spray. Despite how much more powerful and threatening Eddie Brock is as Toxin, Flash takes him down by the simplest of means. A humiliating defeat for Eddie.

Venom storms Crime-Master's safehouses and has his second confrontation with Eddie's Toxin. This time Flash makes an earnest attempt at freeing Eddie Brock from the Toxin symbiote by weakening the Toxin symbiote with incendiary grenades. Toxin catches fire and Venom pulls Eddie from the Toxin symbiote. Eddie regains conscious but is then immediately snared by the burning Toxin symbiote, dragged through the flames, and is recaptured by the alien, with Eddie suffering serious burns. Eddie is once again under the control of the Toxin symbiote.

As of Venom's Savage Six arc, Eddie is once again trapped inside the Toxin symbiote. A tormented man who is only going to have it worse...

I'm not berating Rick Remender's directions for Eddie. I'm actually very happy with Eddie getting so heavily involved with this book, and seeing Eddie constantly put through the ringer only makes me appreciate him more. Attacked & defeated, left unconscious, forced to make critical sacrifices, then forgotten about and discarded by the public he helped save, homeless again, considered crazy, humiliated, stripped naked while tied and bound, bonded to another symbiote against his will with no free will or control. He's a character whose trials are engaging. I may feel sorry for him, but I'm ecstatic to see Eddie have so many key moments in a book he's not even the star of.

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Venom Fans - Carnage

Amazing Spider-Man 361-363
Another symbiote is loose. The spawn of Venom has bonded to serial killer Cletus Kasady, creating Carnage. Carnage begins a seemingly unstoppable killing spree, forcing Spider-Man to team-up with his most fearsome foe... 
 
My Favorite Parts 
Carnage tossing Spider-Man & Venom around like they were both lightweights 
Spider-Man & the Human Torch confronting Venom 
Spider-Man & Venom's battle/chase of Carnage throughout Madison Square Garden 
Spidey turning the sound up on Venom & Carnage
 
Essential Read? 
Very essential. The debut of Carnage, yet another return of Venom, the unlikely, amazing team-up of Spider-Man & Venom. Amazing story.
 
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Venom Fans - Maximum Carnage


 

Maximum Carnage

Carnage Returns! And he's not alone. With the likes of Shreik, Doppelganger, Carrion, and Demogoblin, Carnage is spreading murder an madness throughout all of Manhattan. Spider-Man & Venom team-up with various superheroes and vigilantes to bring the carnage to an end.

  
Essential Read? 
The biggest moment in Carnage's comicbook career, with plenty of Venom moments. But the video game was far more superior.
 
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Venom Fans - Essential Reads: Separation Anxiety

 

Venom: Separation Anxiety 1-4
Defeated by the Scarlet Spider, Eddie Brock has been separated from his alien costume. Incarcerated, he finds himself being freed by the Five Symbiotes from Lethal Protector.
 
What I Liked

1.    The story focused on Eddie Brock (not Venom)

2.    The Five Symbiotes Returned

 
What I Hated 

1.    The final issue was plagued by story errors

 
My Favorite Parts
The story explores the personality of Eddie without the symbiote 
Eddie & reporter Ken Ellis working together to escape from the Five Symbiotes 
Eddie, without the symbiote, fights the Five symbiotes.
 
Essential Read? 
The story never drags on. It tells what it needs to and ends. Eddie coming to terms with what he's done over the years since becoming Venom and wondering how much of his actions was him and how much was the symbiotes, and seeing the Five Symbiotes again was great. Not essential, but I'd recommend it.
 
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Venom Fans - Essential Reads: Lethal Protector

 Venom: Lethal Protector 1-6 
In Venom's very first limited series, Venom plays the role of a vicious super-hero in San Francisco, doing everything from protecting underground homeless people from an evil business man, to fleeing from the murderous Jury, to fighting & teaming up with Spider-Man, to taking on the Life Foundation and their symbiotes.
 
What I Liked

  1. Great artwork
  2. The story never slows down; so much happens in every issue 
  3. Five more symbiotes
 
What I Hated 
  1. The final issue felt rushed, clumsy, and very anti-climatic
  2. Those Five Symbiote spawn were pretty much filler
 
My Favorite Parts
We get more insight on Eddie Brock's past
Venom battleing it out with the Jury
Spider-Man vs Scream
Spider-Man vs. the Five Symbiotes
Eddie (without the symbiote) teams up with Spider-Man to fight the Five symbiotes.
 
Essential Read?
Most of Venom's limited series were terrible, so thankfully at least his very limited series was entertaining. It has tons of action, more symbiotes (but that may not be a good thing), and great artwork. Since Venom spent almost as many years as a vigilante as he did a villain, I'd say seeing how that transition initially takes off is important.
 
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Venom Fans - Essential Reads: Venom

Venom
Amazing Spider-Man 300, the debut story of Eddie Brock, Venom. Venom has all of Spider-Man's powers, he's far stronger and more durable, Spider-Man cannot detect Venom with his Spider-Sense, and Venom knows everything about Spider-Man, including his secret identity, making Venom Spider-Man's most dangerous foe yet. Venom's obsessive hatred for Spider-Man is unfolded.
 
What I Liked 
  1. Everything.
 
What I Hated 
  1. There's nothing here to hate.
 
My Favorite Parts 
Venom reveals who he is and how Spider-Man ruined him, while Spider-Man tries to inch towards the sonic blaster he brought with him.
The battle between Spider-Man and Venom. Its there first fight ever.
 
Essential Read? 
This is the very first Venom story. The origins and motivations of the character is explained, and his feats are displayed. This is an absolute must-read.
 
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Venom Fans - Essential Reads: Dark Origin

 
Venom: Dark Origin 1-5
Retelling and re-imaging of Venom's origins, giving us a deeper story revealing Eddie's fall from grace and hatred of Spider-Man.
 
What I Liked

  1. Eddie's reasons for hating Spider-Man are fleshed out more
  2.  The Spider-Man/Venom confrontation & conclusion (loosely based from Amazing Spider-Man 300)...the verbal interactions, such as Venom revealing why he hates Spider-Man, and Spider-Man's explanation of how Eddie's downfalls are his own fault, were great.
 
What I Hated
  1. The mischaracterizations of Eddie
  2. The unnecessary changes to the already established past of Eddie and origins of Venom
  3. The Spider-Man/Venom confrontation & conclusion (loosely based from Amazing Spider-Man 300)...The overall feel of the battle felt nothing like in Amazing SM 300.
 
My Favorite Parts
  1. In issue three, Eddie encounters the symbiote in the church he planned on committing suicide in. The writer and artist's portrayal of the bonding between Eddie and the symbiote was fantastic.
 
Venom Fans - Essential Read?
This story isn't an improvement over any other retelling of Venom's origins, or the original Venom origin stories. Some of the touch-ups were nice, while too many were unnecessary and hurt the overall story. If you've read any past Venom origin stories, they were most probably at least twice better than this.
 
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