Venom Character Analysis

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Horrific, disgusting, monstrous, powerful, and incredibly dangerous. His name is Venom, and he is one of Spider-Man’s most fascinating enemies. Venom originally started out as a replacement costume idea for Spidey, but he soon developed into a living nightmare that would terrorized the web-slinger for decades.

Throughout the years, Venom has become a popular favorite among Spider-Man fanatics. And for good reason! The depth of this character is cavernous. He has everything that a great comic book villain needs: an awesome costume, incredible powers, and a really cool name. But he also has something more that I think sets him apart as an absolutely stunning character. Venom’s entire character is driven by a powerful yet hidden metaphor.

To me, Venom is the personification of addiction.

The story of Venom is the story of an addict succumbing to his darkest desires and then struggling against the evil that his addiction creates. Like a black ooze, addiction clings to its prey, slowly at first, until it completely consumes the victim. It is like a parasite that will not release its hold. Even if you do manage to struggle free from addiction, it will take a piece of who you are and who you could have been.

The parallels to Venom’s character are uncanny. He is the black ooze that clings to your flesh like a thick tar. And just like an addiction, he becomes your worst nightmare. Yourself, completely out of control.

It’s an interesting thought. Consider this, the villain that scares Spider-Man the most is an imprint of his former self. Venom doesn’t alert Spider-Man’s spider-sense. That fact alone is terrifying!  And the only explanation for this is Venom is a living part of Spider-Man, a dark part that serves as a constant memento to a time when Spider-Man was addicted to power.

With great power comes great responsibility. Venom is the result of Spider-Man’s addiction to great power.

 

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5 comments

  1. I absolutely love Venom, I even have a little Venom bobble head on my desk right beside me! *flicks bobblehead* I gotta say, I’ve never really picked up on this side of venom, but it totally makes sense when you describe it. Very cool. Personally I’ve always liked the borderline anti-hero take on Venom, back in the early days. How he would protect the “innocent” as he called them, and even teamed up with Spider-man a time or two. Crazy how the character originated from a fan suit idea!

  2. That’s why the new Venom, Flash Thompson, is the best interpretation of the character: you have a guy who idolizes Spider-Man, ends up losing his legs in the war doing something he would do, then get’s the opportunity to not only regain his legs, but become Spider-Man (more or less) in the process.

    The caveat being that in order to do so, he must bond with the Venom symbiote. This of course is even worse for Flash as he has a history with addiction stemming from his abusive relationship with his father.

    1. I think my favorite Venom would have to be Eddie Brock, mainly because of his rich history as the character. But Flash Thompson is a great version, too! It seems fitting that he bonded with the symbiote because he is a soldier addicted to war.

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