Watch as the acclaimed writer goes inside the tortured mind of Eddie Brock!

A primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York City, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of Webslingers. On stands now, writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman‘s VENOM #1 has launched a groundbreaking new era for the symbiote.

Watch the exclusive interview above, as Cates teases this strange and exceptionally toxic chapter for Venom and Eddie Brock. “Something’s happening to the symbiote that terrifies him. It’s starting to speak in this other language that Eddie can’t understand and it’s driving him insane,” he explains. “The symbiote is starting to be very cruel and it’s starting to kind of operate without Eddie’s consent.”

Much like Eddie Brock, the writer himself has been empowered by the vicious might of the symbiote. “I’ve been let off the leash on this thing,” he says, “and I’m kind of going ballistic.”

Get VENOM #1, by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, at your local comic shop or online right now!

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Cullen Bunn warns of dark days to come as the Poisons invade!

The events of VENOMVERSE reach their climax in the five-issue event that is writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello‘s VENOMIZED!

When issue #1 hits shelves April 4, Venom and the X-Men are desperately racing back to Earth to warn everyone of an impending invasion by the Poisons, who want to bond every super hero with a Klyntar symbiote. And to add insult to injury, the alien usurpers have already taken possession of Jean Grey, whose powerful psychic abilities, when corrupted, do not portend good things for anyone.

Speaking to Marvel.com ahead of the first issue, Bunn detailed the impending threat, the key players in the story, and how this event will prove to be a poignant send-off.

Marvel.com: You’ve written several Venom stories now; what lessons have you learned to apply to VENOMIZED?

Cullen Bunn: That’s a tough question, really, because VENOMIZED is so different from, say, my run original run on VENOM. My Flash Thompson Venom stories focused on one man (who wasn’t necessarily super hero material) trying to be the best super hero he could. VENOMIZED (and VENOMVERSE and “Poison-X” before it) are much more focused on popcorn sci-fi action. But if my original VENOM stories taught me anything, it’s that this new tale, no matter how wild and crazy, needs to lean into the host and symbiote’s relationship. With dozens of Marvel characters getting symbiotes, I definitely focus on a couple.

Edge of Venomverse (2017) #1

Edge of Venomverse (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

With Eddie Brock, we’ve seen tons about his relationship with the symbiote already and we’ll continue to see more in his book, I’m sure. So, I instead turned a magnifying glass on Eddie’s relationship with symbiotes as a whole. What does he think about the alien species? There are other characters who will have more complicated one-to-one relationships with their symbiotes. In particular, Spider-Man.

Marvel.com: Can you talk a little about the creation of the Poisons and why they pose such a threat in this run?

Cullen Bunn: The Poisons were created for the VENOMVERSE story. If you’re not familiar with how these semi-event comics (at least sometimes) come together, when I pitched VENOMIZED, I flew to New York and sat in a room with several editors. I threw out my idea for the story (going into the room, I was told only that Marvel wanted to do a tale focused on Venomized versions of various characters, with Eddie Brock as a focal point). From there, the story was broken down and rebuilt and broken down again. In the beginning, the “Poisons” were going to be the “Symbiote-Slayers” I introduced way back in my original VENOM run. Then they were going to be the true progenitors of the symbiotes. Then we settled on the idea that they would be the perfect symbiote hosts.

Venomized #1 cover by Nick Brdshaw and Jim Campbell

I came up with the notion that these creatures were naturally very, very weak. They were at the bottom of the food chain. But when they come into contact with an alien symbiote (especially one worn by an individual with enhanced abilities) they become these super-predators. These creatures, picked on and bullied for so long, became the ultimate bullies, and they went on a rampage to collect more and more power.

Now, the Poisons have come to our Earth, and they are collecting as many super powered individuals as they can. When they take over a person, they consume them. The person dies in order to fuel the transformation and the symbiote bonding process for the new host. The Poisons couldn’t care less about our world, save that they want all of our enhanced heroes and villains. And they have brought hundreds of Poisoned heroes and villains from other worlds to help them on their hunt.

In order to harvest super powered symbiotes, the Poisons must first prepare the harvest. That means giving as many heroes and villains symbiotes as possible. They have taken all of the symbiotes from the Planet Klyntar and are using them as weapons. You might think giving a hero a symbiote only makes your job more difficult…but the problem is, if you have a symbiote, one touch from a base-form Poison means death.

Venomverse (2017) #1

Venomverse (2017) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Marvel.com: How does the absence of Venom and the X-Men complicate matters? And when might we see them again?

Cullen Bunn: Well, the X-Men and Venom are racing back to Earth to warn everyone about the coming invasion. They’ll arrive in the first issue…but it will be too late to help. Maybe a bigger complication, though, is the fact that Jean Grey has been taken by the Poisons. She’s a very powerful psychic with a deep connection to Cyclops. That’s going to cause many, many problems.

Marvel.com: Who will be fighting the enemy in their stead? What sorts of methods will they employ to try to defeat them?

Cullen Bunn: Many heroes are getting drafted into this fight. The Avengers, the Champions, the X-Men, the Defenders…and others. Defeating the Poisons will not be easy, though, because they really have no idea who they are dealing with. One hero who may be key to the resistance is Anti-Venom. His abilities make him dangerous to the Poisons, even though he may not be willing to give it his all for various reasons. Anti-Venom is one of three “anomalies” the Poisons are very interested in. Another is Kid Kaiju, who would present the Poisons with some terrifying new abilities. Another is Carnage, an alternate universe version of whom gave them fits in VENOMIZED. All three of these characters will become targets for the Poisons. And some of them may fall victim to these alien invaders. Not every hero will walk away from this fight unscathed.

X-Men Blue Annual (2018) #1

X-Men Blue Annual (2018) #1

Marvel.com: What are you most excited for readers to see in this new limited series?

Cullen Bunn: I think there are some really fun—really creepy—beats in regards to how the Poisons see each other that I’m very excited about. We know they use psychic “lures” to draw in prey. Here, we’ll see that those lures have other functions, too. And, of course, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to see a bunch of Venomized heroes at play.

Read VENOMIZED #1, by Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello, this Wednesday—April 4!

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The wallcrawling adventure from Gameloft unleashes a symbiote update!

All-new characters swing their way into Marvel’s “Spider-Man Unlimited” from the symbiote-loaded “Venom Inc.” comic event. Players will get a crack at Agent Anti-Venom, Maniac, and more, along with an event and some new items. We talked to Gameloft Product Marketing Manager Sergii Gotsman to get the lowdown on everything coming to “Spider-Man Unlimited.”

Marvel.com: When have more symbiotes ever been a good thing for Spider-Man? I have a feeling things are going to get tricky for our heroes with this many baddies on parade.

Sergii Gotsman: It’s definitely worrisome, but as we’ve already seen in the comics (for example in “Venomverse,” “Poison-X” or “Maximum Carnage”), when faced with a greater threat, symbiotes can find a bit of common ground with the good guys and work with them. And with all the interdimensional menaces that threaten the Spider-Verse in “Spider-Man Unlimited,” I’m sure the Spideys and symbiotes can put their rivalry aside—at least for a moment.

Marvel.com: What can players expect from this update? We’ve got some new characters, some new items—and did I hear something about a new event?

Sergii Gotsman: Yes, we’re bringing in nine new characters, two new collectables and new limited-time events. Most, but not all, of this is tied to the recently concluded VENOM INC. comic books. You’ll be able to play as Agent Anti-Venom, Maniac (Lee Price), and Inkling versions of Black Cat, Hammerhead, and Mac Gargan, and take part in new Venom Inc.-themed events.

But it’s not only about “Venom Inc.— we’re also bringing some other heroes from the Spider-Verse into the fray, like Alistair Smythe, Ezekiel, Venom Angelo Fortunato, and Venom Zombie.

Marvel.com: The team is releasing nine new characters with the event? Holy moly, that’s a lot! Do you have a favorite? Anyone you want to take running?

Sergii Gotsman: In terms of my personal preferences, I really like Agent Anti-Venom—his 3D model looks really awesome and I like the idea that Eugene “Flash” Thompson is the new Anti-Venom of Earth-616. But I’m betting that Venom Zombie will become the community favorite from this update—Marvel Zombies has a pretty huge fan base and our players have asked about this character for a while.

Marvel.com: Can you tell us a little more about the items and event coming down the pipe?

Sergii Gotsman: As I mentioned, story-wise it’s tied to Venom Inc. In addition to running, fighting and web-swinging, players will have to collect Symbiote Samples and Astrobiological Serums—which are drawn from an important plot device in the original Venom Inc. story. You see, when Lee Price absorbed Mania’s symbiote and became Maniac, he developed a new ability—the power to infect people with pieces of the symbiote, giving him control over them. That’s where Astrobiological Serums come in handy—in small doses, they regulates the hormonal output of the symbiote and may help to get rid of Maniac’s influence.

The Venom Inc. events are scheduled to run until the end of April, and those who will have managed to collect all the new characters from them will also be rewarded with Rank Up cards and vials.

Marvel.com: What are you all most excited for players to get their hands on with this update?

Sergii Gotsman: I really like that we’re able to offer events tied to a recent Spider-Man story. I mean, we’ve just read VENOM INC. and now we get to enjoy it a bit more in the game. The whole “Spider-Man Unlimited team is eager to see how the community will react to it.

Marvel.com: Anything else that we need to know?

Sergii Gotsman: Be sure to keep up with all the latest news about the game on Facebook and YouTube—we’re constantly sharing art and videos from the game with our community there. And stay tuned, the next update—which we’re currently working on—will feature some crazy, titanic-sized stuff!

Pick up “Spider Man Unlimited” on Google Play and iTunes and stay tuned to Marvel.com for more news and interviews.

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Big announcements at WonderCon 2018!

Marvel Animation panels are always a packed house thanks to continuing storylines for our favorite heroes, and new and interesting art styles that fans love to see. This year’s WonderCon panel was no exception, as fans waited excitedly to see what would be revealed during Marvel Animation: From Pencil To Screen.

The crowded panel room were welcomed by Cort Lane, Marvel’s SVP, Animation & Family Entertainment, who lead a panel featuring Kalia Ramirez, Director, Family Entertainment – Development & Partnerships; Harrison Wilcox, Senior Director, Television, Development & Production; Eric Radomski, SVP, Production & Creative Director, Animation; Jeff Allen, Supervising Director; Mairghread Scott, writer and story consultant; and Collette Sunderman, Voice Director, “Marvel’s Spider-Man.”

First up was big news for fans of “Marvel’s Avengers,” Lane described season five as a Black Panther story and is thusly titled, “Marvel’s Avengers: Black Panther’s Quest.” Along with the addition of this new hero comes a design change that simplifies the style and conceptualizes a brand new look. The new style reflects T’Challa’s sleek fighting style that sets a new tone for the production design.

James Mathis continues to voice T’Challa and the big reveal was that his sister Shuri will be voiced by Daisy Lightfoot. Recording as an ensemble to voice the Wakandan siblings reflects the core of the season where togetherness reigns as Black Panther must battle an old foe, the Shadow Council.

Fan-favorite “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout!” integrates the Guardians with the Disney California Adventure Ride attraction and the fallout of dealing with the Collector. Scott teased this season the Guardians will quite literally get to explore the galaxy even more, including further exploration of the Symbiote storyline. Expeditions into different dimensions also brings about the possibility of changing animation styles.

Marvel Funko Shorts have always been a hit with fans, and at the panel the audience was treated to the premiere viewing of the new short, “Rooftop Rock,” which features Spider-Gwen and Marvel’s most popular villain, Venom.

The Marvel LEGO collaboration brings toys and animation together and the panel was the perfect opportunity to announce the voice cast for “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes – Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda.” James Mathis III returns to his role as T’Challa/Black Panther, along with previously announced Daisy Lightfoot as Shuri. The cast is rounded out with Keston John (Killmonger), Yvette Nicole Brown (Okoye), Trevor Devall (Klaw), Mick Wingert (Iron Man), Travis Willingham (Thor), Roger Craig Smith (Captain America), Laura Bailey (Black Widow), Liam O’Brien (Doctor Strange), Issac C. Singleton Jr. (Thanos), and the ever popular Fred Tatasciore (Hulk).

The biggest cheer of the panel was the announcement of “Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors.” Fans were so excited, cosplayers already appeared on the show floor with fully detailed costumes, with little to no information to go on. The six four-minute digital shorts will be accompanied by a feature length animated film to be released later this year.

The content features an all-star lineup of voice talent, Dove Cameron (Ghost Spider), Chloe Bennet (Quake), Tyler Posey (Inferno), Booboo Stewart (Exile), Kathreen Kavari (Ms. Marvel), Milana Vanytrub (Squirrel Girl), Cierra Ramirez (America Chavez), Kamil McFadden (Patriot), Skai Jackson (Gloria), Kim Raver (Captain Marvel), Ming-na Wen (Hala), Steven Weber (Captain George Stacy), and Dee Bradley Baker who takes on the voices of Lockjaw & Tippy Toe.

Lane emphasized the inclusivity of Marvel, “It’s meant for all kids but we’re particularly excited to bring together these new and very exciting characters that have already sort of garnered big fan attention for years.”

“There are so many strong, interesting, and diverse female characters—body types, great personalities, individual strengths, so we’re so excited about that,” said Lane enthusiastically.

For all the Marvel Animation updates, keep it on Marvel.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Marvel HQ on YouTube for full episodes and more: www.youtube.com/MarvelHQ

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Cullen Bunn kicks off the newest Venom crossover!

The crossover between X-MEN: BLUE and VENOM starts here!

Spinning out of the aftermath of VENOMVERSE, a new threat looms over all that the mutant’s hold dear. In response, Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel must team up with an unlikely ally—Venom! On January 24, Eddie Brock teams up with the Children of the Atom in writer Cullen Bunn and artist Edgar Salazar‘s X-MEN: BLUE ANNUAL #1!

We spoke with Bunn about what to expect from this show-stopping story.

Marvel.com: Where does this Annual fall in the timeline of the current X-MEN: BLUE series?

Cullen Bunn: The “Poison-X” story takes place some time after Thanos discovers our universe in VENOMVERSE. The Poisons have been working quietly, but quickly, making some dastardly preparations. Of course, the X-Men know nothing of this. They are drawn into this adventure because of the Starjammers. Cyclops learns that his father (Corsair) and the rest of the Starjammers have gotten themselves into hot water involving alien symbiotes. That lures the X-Men into space, and that gets them to bring Venom with them as a kind of subject matter expert.

All this, of course, couldn’t come at a worse time. The X-Men have just returned from their home timeline and are reeling from the repercussions of that trip, and they are right in the middle of investigating the Mothervine conspiracy.

Marvel.com: Who are the Poisons and what do they want?

Cullen Bunn: Imagine a weak, fragile creature…a being with no real power whatsoever, a creature at the bottom of the food chain because it’s not that smart and not that strong. Then, it discovers it can be extremely powerful with no real effort! This creature takes that power and uses it to gain more power. All the while, it has this complex because it knows it was always weak and ineffectual, and now it’s angry it ever felt that way in the first place and wants to vent that rage on the rest of the world.

Poisons have discovered that they are the perfect hosts for alien symbiotes. They have also learned that if they take a symbiote that is bonded with a super-powered individual, they gain all those powers as well. Now they’ve been combing time and space, using these symbiotes as weapons to help them gain even more power. They’re bullies and conquerors, but deep down they are terrified of losing what strength they have. That makes them very dangerous.

Marvel.com: And what can you tell us about Mothervine?

Cullen Bunn: Mothervine is already appearing in the pages of X-MEN: BLUE. It is a formula that Miss Sinister discovered in the DNA of mutants from the Ultimate Universe, and it appears to be granting secondary mutations to those exposed to it. There also seem to be some pretty severe side effects. But Miss Sinister—along with Bastion, Havok, and the White Queen—appear to have a plan for Mothervine. We don’t know exactly what they’re doing, but Magneto wants to know in a major way…

Marvel.com: How does Eddie Brock interact with the Blue team—and what problems does this team-up present?

Cullen Bunn: Venom wants nothing to do with the X-Men and their adventures through space. The X-Men, of course, won’t take no for an answer so they do what X-Men do in situations like this: they try to kidnap him.

You could say that Eddie and the X-Men get off on the wrong foot, but over the course of this story, they start to develop an understanding and even a friendship. I feel like Venom and Cyclops will be friends for a long while after this.

Marvel.com: How do the nuances of Edgar Salazar’s style bring this story to life?

Cullen Bunn: Edgar has to balance mystery and horror and symbiotes and science fiction in this Annual. We’re in a full-blown science fiction space opera here, and he does a tremendous job of setting us up! I always loved Cosmic X-Men stories as a reader, so I love seeing what Edgar is doing with that kind of tale.

Marvel.com: What’s it been like to write Venom again?

Cullen Bunn: Writing Venom is always a lot of fun. This time around is a little different for me, though, because we’re getting into the symbiote’s head a lot more than I’ve done before. We have internal symbiote monologue and symbiote dialogue, so that’s interesting for me. And having Eddie interact with characters like the X-Men shows a different side of his personality.

Marvel.com: X-MEN: BLUE and VENOM have very different tones—was it difficult to combine those two worlds for this crossover?

Cullen Bunn: To some degree, yes. There were challenges in making this story true to both Venom and the X-Men. In the end, though, every creative team brings their own tone to these characters. I think I’ve struck the right balance of VENOM story and X-MEN story, but I’m also creating a different tone that works with these characters as a whole.

Marvel.com: Can you give us any hints about what the implications of this storyline will be moving forward?

Cullen Bunn: Wow. I don’t know. Well, VENOMIZED has already been announced, so we now know that the Poisons are coming to Earth. Venom and the X-Men will be involved in that story, so Poison-X serves as a prologue of sorts.

I’ll also say this: this story has some bleak moments and hits the X-Men right where it hurts the worst.

On January 24, go cosmic with Cullen Bunn and artist Edgar Salazar’s X-MEN: BLUE ANNUAL #1!

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Celebrate the alien symbiote’s 30th anniversary!

For nearly three decades, the toxic alien symbiote known as Venom has wreaked inky black havoc across the Marvel Universe.

And since the seminal VENOM #150, in which the corrupting force reunited with its favorite host, Eddie Brock, something has been simmering ahead of the creature’s 30th anniversary this May.

On January 31, kick off a year of Venom surprises, announcements, and all-new adventures with WEB OF VENOM, a 20 x 13 laminated poster featuring artwork from superstar artist Clayton Crain! Track the history—and get a few hints at the future—of the Marvel Universe’s most infamous alien symbiote with this map, designed to show how the seeds for the milestone anniversary have been planted for the past year in stories such as EDGE OF VENOMVERSE, VENOMVERSE, VENOM INC, the upcoming POISON X, and more!

And then, on April 4, writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello heat the simmer to a boil with VENOMIZED #1! In the culmination of the VENOMVERSE story, the ravenous Poisons—not satisfied with their war against the super powered symbiotes—look to consume every hero in the Marvel Universe! This five-part limited series will be released every week in April, leading to Venom’s 30th anniversary in May!

Start the year of the symbiote off right by picking up Marvel’s WEB OF VENOM map on January 31! And celebrate the 30th anniversary of Venom with writer Cullen Bunn and artist Iban Coello’s VENOMIZED, beginning on April 4!

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Look back on the history of Venom ahead of the new crossover event!

On December 6, Spider-Man, Eddie Brock, and Flash Thompson reunite with the one foe (or friend?) they all share in common: the Venom symbiote!

In VENOM INC. ALPHA #1, writers Dan Slott and Mike Costa join artist Ryan Stegman for a tale of multiple Venoms! The crossover event kicks off here before clinging onto AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and VENOM!

But before the symbiote dance party starts, take a retrospective look at some other stories starring the mighty ectoparasites and the hosts they bonded with.

Brand New Threads

The first—and perhaps most famous—symbiote debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #252, when Spider-Man came back from the first Secret Wars sporting a new black costume. And readers soon learned that the suit represented Parker’s bond with an alien creature. Their relationship turned sour as it changed Spidey’s personality and became a bit clingy, so with the help of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man managed to ditch the suit…though not for long.

Birth of Venom

Rejected by Parker, the symbiote went on to find a new host—Eddie Brock. The former journalist, who begrudged Spider-Man for debunking a story he once wrote, became corrupted by the alien being. The ill-will he felt for the Wall-Crawler combined with his newfound superhuman abilities, giving Spider-Man a major new villain—with an immunity to his spider-sense!

Carnage!

While Venom proved to be a thorn in Spidey’s side, Brock maintained some semblance of morality, unlike the second major symbiotic player: Carnage. When the symbiote asexually reproduced in Brock’s jail cell, its “child” bonded with his cellmate, Cletus Kasady, creating the remorseless villain. Unlike Brock, Carnage had zero interest in being a hero, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake and wreaking havoc on both Spider-Man and Venom.

The Life Foundation

The Life Foundation, a group that believed the Cold War would end in total mutual destruction, created a fallout shelter for the wealthy to live on in the event of nuclear war. Policing the shelter were five Venom clones: Agony, Lasher, Riot, Phage, and Scream. Venom and Spider-Man teamed-up to stop them as Brock became a “Lethal Protector” of the homeless population of San Francisco. Eventually, Scream killed the other four, whose remnants joined with a vault guard named Scott Washington to create a new symbiote hero called Hybrid.

Maximum Carnage

Venom and Spider-Man joined forces again as Kasady returned to unleash Carnage on New York City. This 14-part series featured a slew of heroes and villains, including Black Cat, Captain America, Morbius, Cloak and Dagger, Iron Fist, Firestar, Doppelganger, Carrion, and the debuting Shriek!

Agent Venom

While Brock and the symbiote’s on again, off again relationship led to further villainy and anti-hero shenanigans—and the creation of characters like She-Venom, Toxin, and Anti-Venom—a new host with a longtime connection to Peter Parker took the entity to new heights. Project Rebirth connected Flash Thompson with the symbiote after the former high school bully lost his legs while serving in Iraq. Flash went on to battle the likes of the U-Foes, Kraven, and Jack O’Lantern, and even joined the Secret Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Venom: Space Knight

During his tenure with the Guardians, Flash went into a coma, causing the symbiote to return to its home planet. Three decades after the debut of the black costume, readers finally learned of the true origin and purpose of the symbiotes—an alien race called the Klyntar sought to bond with worthy, noble warriors. Unworthy hosts, like almost everyone they ever found on Earth, have the ability to corrupt them. With this newfound knowledge, Thompson and his Klyntar partner evolved into VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT!

The Price isn’t Right

After returning to Earth, Flash and his symbiote got separated, leading the alien to bond with a new host, a member of the Scorpion’s gang, Lee Price. The new Venom continued his villainous ways when he bonded with the creature, eventually running afoul of Eddie Brock and Spider-Man, who managed to separate the two. Price got sent to jail, but quietly vowed revenge.

Bond with VENOM INC. ALPHA #1, by Dan Slott, Mike Costa, and Ryan Stegman, on December 6!

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Symbiote and Spirit of Vengeance mix as Ghost Rider goes Venom!

Simon Spurrier and Tigh Walker just might tip the scales in favor of the symbiotes in the pages of EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3. The July 26-dropping issue brings a new Venomized character into the fold: Ghost Rider! With the Spirit of Vengeance, otherwise known as Robbie Reyes, on the side of the symbiotes, it may seem impossible for the good guys to pull out a win—but we’ve got faith in them.

While we wait on the big event, we talk with Walker about bringing these two deadly designs together, working towards a monumental story, and working with Spurrier!

Marvel.com: When creating the look of this symbiote-possessed Ghost Rider, what were the key elements of each individual icon that had to come through in the finished product?

Tigh Walker: One thing that I really hoped to carry over from both characters was that slick black oiliness against those clean, crisp white designs. From Venom, the spider, and from Ghost Rider, those bold blocky lines. So I tried to combine those two iconic shapes into something new but familiar for the Host Rider.

More specifically, I really wanted to include Venom’s tangle of teeth, tentacle-y tongue and scraggy eye shape.

Then, I was also looking to borrow Ghost Rider’s skeletal schnoz, cheek bar thing—I don’t know what it is but I dig it!—and that fountain of forehead flames.

I really wanted to make him something you might actually be scared of if you met him in real life. I mean, I’m sure if you met him in real life he’d be totally disarming. His name would be Stu or something, and he’d be a dentist or an accountant and he’d have two corgis, a favorite movie, and a song that made him cry every time he heard it; he’d be a lovely guy. But because it’s not real life and both Venom and Ghost Rider are a tad horrifying on their own, it was important that that quality be mirrored in the Host Rider.

Marvel.com: How was the actual design process for this combined character? Was there a lot of back and forth about getting him to look just right?

Tigh Walker: My first impulse was to go out, grab a Ghost Rider and a Venom costume, put them on at the same time, stand in front of the mirror, take some pics and send them to [editors] Devin [Lewis and] Allison [Stock] for feedback. But the sales clerk thought I was saying denim, not Venom, and basically I got some sweet jean shorts that I didn’t want instead.

I’m just kidding. I totally wanted the jean shorts. They’re amazing and do wonders for my calves.

For the design, Devin/Allison initially sent me a few really nice covers that had been done previously, so I had those as a reference to begin with. Then after reading the script, I had a fairly solid idea of what I thought this [fiery]/goopy/toothy guy should look like.

For the Host Rider himself there wasn’t too much back and forth, but there was a bit for his mount/vehicle, just to get that sweet puppy looking right.

There were a lot of designs for this issue and every one of them was insanely fun to work on. So much so that I’ve started Venomizing random things at home. Toothbrush? Venomized. Grape soda? Venomized. My fish, Fin Diesel? Venomized. It’s pretty fun, you should totally try it. Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you, do what you like.

Marvel.com: With a Venomized Ghost Rider you’ve got two very different kinetic elements at play between the symbiote and the latter’s fire. How was it playing with those two from panel to panel?

Tigh Walker: It was interesting to find a balance for sure. Both of those elements can get pretty busy visually just on their own, so it was fun to marry them and find ways to have them co-exist.

I found that the fire really helped show large sweeping movement because you can have it trailing off of the Host Rider in fun ways. There were also cues from Simon about which element should be favored and when, which really helped.

For his weapons, the Host Rider uses a sort of fiery flail type thingy sometimes, but he can also shoot chains—like webbing—that are covered in that slick, black symbiote goopy stuff. So there are opportunities to showcase it all.

Marvel.com: Both Venom and Ghost Rider are pretty powerful on their own, but combined they sound almost unstoppable. Is it fun playing with that level of ability on the page?

Tigh Walker: Look TJ, by now I feel like we’re friends, so I’m not going to sit here and lie to you: it really is. It’s super fun. It was a challenge to try and convey that amount of energy on the pages, but I tried to fit as much in as possible. Oddly, as I was drawing this issue, every now and again I caught myself smiling giddily for no other reason than the page was just crazy fun to be drawing. And I don’t normally smile, like, ever. Not even for pictures.

Marvel.com: How has it been working with Simon and editorial on this important lead up to a big event?

Tigh Walker: Working with Simon/Devin/Allison has been sincerely fantastic.

I can’t really say enough about Simon’s script for this issue. Immediately after reading it for the first time I stood up, screamed “Are you kidding me right now?!?” at some random cat that just happened to be in my living room, ran down three flights of stairs and whipped an egg salad sandwich at a parked car. So basically, Simon owes me an egg salad sandwich. That’s how good his script is. It’s egg salad all over a car good.

Devin and Allison are super great to work with and I’m very honored and excited to be a part of the lead up and to see where the story takes us. I’ll tell you what though, if I ever get a chance to meet them—they’re both getting hugs. And I’m not even a hugger, like at all, so it’s sure to be extra awkward for all of us.

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #3 by Simon Spurrier and Tigh Walker roars into stores on July 26.

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Roland Boschi straps Wolverine to a symbiote in exclusive sketches!

Eddie Brock returned to his symbiote roots this week in VENOM #150. That reunion will also lead to an immense Venom-ization of various characters across the Marvel Universe.

EDGE OF VENOMVERSE launches in June. Each issue focuses on a Venom-ized character with a different creative team. The first issue, by Matthew Rosenberg and Roland Boschi, will showcase X-23—aka the All-New Wolverine—and her struggles as she deals with not only escaping the Facility, but also the symbiote trying to take over her mind and body.

We talked with Boschi about combining Laura’s sharpness with the fluidity of the symbiotes, plus his experience working with Rosenberg on helping to set up this major event.

Marvel.com: This project is unique in that it’s using each issue to introduce a new character for the Venomverse story by a different creative team. How does that experience differ than some of your other work?

Roland Boschi: At first I previewed a sample of the amazing Venomverse covers when Marvel hired me on X-23. Then you realize that you’re part of a big crossover. It’s totally thrilling!

Marvel.com: The Venom version of X-23 looks like just about the most dangerous character of all time! How was it coming up with that look?

Roland Boschi: I truly enjoyed the character of Laura in the movie “Logan” recently, how versatile she can be, from the silent young girl to the savage killer. Mix that with Venom’s symbiote and there is indeed a scary character! I try to show [Laura’s] face through the dark tendrils as much as I can, especially when her humanity speaks before she unleashes the symbiote!

Marvel.com: What are the key elements of X-23’s character that will remain even given her Venom-induced transformation?

Roland Boschi: She is constantly fighting the hunger of the symbiote and it looks like she finally almost handles it. The claws, high velocity, and healing factor of X-23 remain, plus the vicious Venom skills!

Marvel.com: Symbiotes have always been very striking visually as they seem like they’re always moving. Is that something you try to convey on the page?

Roland Boschi: Absolutely; make tendrils in motion and spread them all around the page as much as possible!

Marvel.com: How was it working with Matthew on this kick-off to a big event?

Roland Boschi: I haven’t had the chance to meet Matthew so far, but it’s a true honor to be working with him. The first reading of his script was immediately exciting with the action sequences and X-23 infected by the symbiote, but I enjoyed even more the second part, focused on teenagers, living their wild life and meeting Laura.

X-23 struggles with her symbiote in the pages of EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1, out June 28 by Matthew Rosenberg and Roland Boschi!

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Before it gets a new host in Mary Jane, review the symbiote selections!

On June 14, the Venom symbiote gets a brand new, untarnished host in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #8 written by Gerry Conway with art by Ryan Stegman. That’s right, responsible mom, loving wife, and trend setting fashion blogger and boutique owner Mary Jane Watson-Parker tackles a new challenge: showing that alien space suit who’s boss.

To see just where the bar is set let’s take a look back on past hosts…

Spider-Man: While fighting alongside his fellow heroes on Battleworld, Spidey went looking for a suit to replace his damaged one and instead accidently found the Venom symbiote. Peter Parker definitely remains the host that Venom loves to hate. The oldest pairing of the bunch, they have a bad relationship that just won’t end. After rejecting the alien entity, Spider-Man frequently finds himself either the target of Venom’s rage, or the eye of a desperate attempt to reclaim him. Hell hath no fury like a weird alien death suit scorned?

Deadpool: Fun fact for all you thinking it’s Spider-Man or nothing at all, Deadpool actually became the first human to bond with the symbiote. He also came across the alien while searching for a way to repair his outfit on Battleworld. However, in a somewhat ironic twist of fate, he immediately detached himself thinking he would corrupt the suit. Oh Wade, if only you knew… But after Spider-Man abandoned the little guy it sought out Deadpool once more and thus began Wade and Venom’s moral rollercoaster ride.

Eddie Brock: A Spider-Man-resenting news reporter who just so happens to come across our poor rejected alien symbiote after Deadpool sends it packing. Sensing his fixation on the Wall-Crawler, Venom merges with Eddie because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Eventually Eddie sells the symbiote to Angelo Fortunato’s father, Don.

Angelo Fortunato: With this host, for the first time we see the symbiote setting some standards for itself instead of getting kicked to the curb. After only a brief period bonded to Angelo, Venom finds him cowardly and unworthy and abandons him while jumping between buildings. Yes, that does mean he fell to his death. And yes, that’s probably a bit of an overreaction.

Mac Gargan: Venom choose to bond with the villain known as Scorpion and somewhere between the Sinister Twelve and a Thunderbolts team we find out that Mac had special implants to help control the symbiote. They evidently did not work considering by the end of his time with the suit he had some pretty strong “let me eat you” vibes going on, forcing the government to split the two.

Flash Thompson: The U.S. military’s brilliant attempt to weaponize the creature, known as Project Rebirth. Flash took a novel approach to controlling the suit: basically, this entailed getting it addicted to drugs so it couldn’t leave him and wouldn’t make him eat people. But over the course of their team-up Venom began to like the hero lifestyle so that’s still a win, right?

Ann Weying: Eddie Brock’s ex wife briefly bonded with the symbiote, becoming She-Venom on two occasions; once on Eddie’s request to save her from dying from a gunshot wound, and the second as a way to escape police custody. Poor little symbiote just wanted to be helpful but ended up turning her into a real man-eater causing a guilt ridden Anne to commit suicide after killing a couple thugs.

Otto Octavius (Peter Parker): Otto tricked our poor defenseless symbiote into bonding with him, thinking it a true return to his favorite host, Peter Parker; he of course became overwhelmingly violent until Mary Jane asked the Avengers for help. Flash Thompson coaxed his little buddy back to him and the symbiote ended up alerting him to something being off with the so-called “Superior” Spider-Man.

There have been many other brief hosts of Venom including: Patricia Robertson, Lee Price, Carol Danvers, Red Hulk, Gorilla, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Drax, Mercurio, and Otto Octavius. As well as a few “What If?” story lines with The Punisher, Wolverine, Thor, Galactus, Black Bolt, and Captain America.

So with all the hosts before her there’s quite a bit of wiggle room for MJ. Even if she’s not in perfect control she really just has to avoid randomly killing or eating people and as far as history is concerned she’s right in that sweet spot.

Be sure to catch all the potential limb devouring in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: RENEW YOUR VOWS #8, out June 14!

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