Venom is one of Marvel Comics' most popular cult-favorite characters. The slimy symbiote anti-hero has a whole spin-off line of comics. He's headlined two films with a third on the way. And by the end of 2023, he'll add another entry to his growing line of video game appearances with a high profile role in Marvel's Spider-Man 2 on the Playstation 5.(opens in new tab)
Amidst all of that, his co-creator, writer David Micheline, is returning to the character he helped define for a new volume of his Venom: Lethal Protector limited series, which showcases Eddie Brock in the era that turned him from outright villain to anti-hero.
Along with artist Farid Karami and colorist Arif Prianto, who provided the brand new interior pages seen here with a new cover for Venom Lethal Protector 2 #4 by Paolo Siqueira, Micheline will take Venom all the way to Latveria for a confrontation with Doctor Doom and beyond. But before the story starts in March 29's Venom: Lethal Protector 2 #1, Newsarama spoke with Micheline about what to expect from the limited series, and how it feels seeing Venom succeed as a full-on Marvel leading man.
Newsarama: David, you're back on Venom and writing the character as he was in his classic heyday. What's it like going into a second Lethal Protector series knowing that fans have your back so strongly with your vision of the character you co-created?
David Micheline: It's equal parts humbling and satisfying. The character has gone through so many changes, so many versions, over the years, and its modern variations have been so popular that I wasn't sure if there would be interest in Venom as I originated it. To see that readers liked the first series enough to warrant a second is gratifying indeed.
Nrama: On that note, did you ever foresee what would become of Venom, with his own wing of the Marvel Universe full of spin-offs and side characters, back when you were helping put him on paper in the first place?
Micheline: Nope. I just thought the character would be fun to write, and fun to read. I'd created other characters in the past that had their followers, but I never foresaw Venom being such a big deal as it's become. That still kinda makes my jaw drop.
Nrama: Speaking of the current Lethal Protector series, we've seen the solicits for the first couple issues, and we know Doctor Doom is involved, among others. What can you tell us about what Eddie's getting himself into this time?
Micheline: The story basically deals with a two-pronged conflict. Initially there's a major threat to life on Earth which brings Eddie Brock and Silver Sable together. Those hostilities cross paths with Victor von Doom, who's on a quest to settle a classic struggle from his past. That eventually evolves into a more personal threat for Eddie, one that has him facing off against a foe he never imagined possible.(opens in new tab)
Nrama: You're working with Farid Karami on Lethal Protector II. What's it been like working with a rising Marvel star on a classic Marvel property?
Micheline: I really haven't seen a lot of Farid's work so far. What I have seen seems to be a good mingling of established visuals with a modern edge. I think the more important question would be what Farid thinks of working on a classic Marvel property in this modern era.
Nrama: Venom's popularity is growing outside of comics in media such as movies and games, with the next Spider-Man video game set to heavily feature him as a villain. How does it feel to see Venom blowing up to the point where he's now the star of a video game again?(opens in new tab)
Micheline: Venom has been in several video games in the past, as far back as the 1994 game Spider-Man And Venom: Maximum Carnage. But, yeah, it's pleasing to know that people enjoy the character so much that it ends up in movies and video games...and on T-shirts, beach towels, coffee mugs, etc., etc. It kind of makes me feel that maybe I did something right!
Nrama: Bottom line, what do you think it is about Venom, and specifically his 'Lethal Protector' era, that makes him so compelling to so many fans?
Micheline: I think there are several reasons. One is that I believe readers can identify with Eddie.
No, not because he's insane! But everyone has felt that they've been mistreated at some time in their lives, either in some petty way or even in a life-changing experience. And at Eddie Brock's core he feels Spider-Man destroyed his future, so he wants to protect other "innocents" from suffering like he's suffered. And I think many readers can relate to that.
On the other hand, he is bug-dung crazy, and that lends itself to a lot of black humor (one of my personal favorites) and over-the-top violence--both of which I think a lot of readers enjoy.
Eddie Brock is number one on the list of the best Venom hosts of all time.