We're still riding high on the Insomniac Games' Spider-Man 2 trailer from the September PlayStation Showcase, but after repeated viewing, it has us thinking about the post-credits scenes from the original Spider-Man and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and how the franchise could be setting up quite the shock.
(No, it's not the Shocker).
Insomniac appears to be setting up a character who has never been host to a symbiote in comic books to become Venom in Spider-Man 2. The Klyntar symbiote has has some great hosts over the years including, most notably Eddie Brock and Flash Thompson. But in the continuity of Insomniac's games, Venom could be someone else entirely: Harry Osborn.
The Spider-Man post-credits scene
In the original Spider-Man game, there are several post-credits scenes that are viewable after completing the story. The very final stinger has Norman Osborn visiting a secret lab where it's revealed that Harry Osborn isn't in Europe receiving treatment for Oshtoran Syndrome as we were told throughout the game; he's in a coma somewhere in the New York area being treated for the rare disease, with his father now checking in on him.
Harry's revealed to be in a green chamber, wrapped up in inky black tendrils that look just like the way the Venom symbiote is depicted in comics and other media.
So obviously it's a symbiote like Venom, but don't forget that hue to the chamber - green. Remember, in comics (and elsewhere), Norman Osborn often becomes the Green Goblin, and his son Harry has sometimes followed in those footsteps.
The Spider-Man: Miles Morales post-credits scene
Although Harry doesn't appear in this game at all, he once again shows up in another post-credits scene. This time, he wakes up from his stasis, stuck inside that green chamber and still covered in the seemingly symbiotic substance.
Norman walks in and calls out to a character in the background to release his son. In the subtitles, it's revealed to be Doctor Curt Connors (who becomes the Lizard in comics), making his debut in the Insomniac Marvel games.
Connors warns that if he is released there could be "potential danger." Neither character says the words "symbiote" or "Venom," but our proverbial Spider-sense definitely tingles when we watch the scene unfold.
The Spider-Man 2 trailer
The Spider-Man 2 trailer from the September PlayStation Showcase didn't show its hand in terms of who Venom's host is when the villain is shown down that dark alley, but Venom's use of the pronoun "We" indicates there has to be someone inside the symbiote suit.
Veteran horror actor Tony Todd is confirmed to be voicing Venom for Insomniac's Spider-Man 2, but that doesn't preclude his human host from being Harry Osborn, who has been voiced by Scott Porter. Venom, the symbiote, has often been depicted as having its own voice, separate from its host's in other media.
Although Harry Osborn has never been a host to Venom itself in comics, the pairing does bring up two storylines from Marvel's past which could be roads Insomniac could travel.
Harry Osborn as Venom in Ultimate Spider-Man
The first is Harry Osborn from the fondly-remembered Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. In that cartoon, Harry comes into contact with the Venom symbiote and over time becomes Venom himself. The symbiote feeds on Harry's dark side, and goes on a tear multiple times.
Eventually, Harry is able to break free from the Venom host, but years later he's invested by an Anti-Venom symbiote, becoming, in essence, a mirror opposite of Venom with powers geared toward fighting symbiotes.
Harry Osborn's connection to another symbiote, the Red Goblin
In comics, Harry Osborn hasn't bonded with a symbiote - but others in his family have.
Harry's father Norman Osborn, who is famous for his time as the Green Goblin, once doubled down on his evil intentions and bonded with the Carnage symbiote to become the Red Goblin. The mixture of Norman's Goblin serum and the Carnage symbiote proves to be potent, eliminating some of the symbiote's weaknesses and allowing for more of a team-up between the symbiote and host instead of a total takeover by Carnage.
Harry Osborn comes to clean up the family name during this time, but things take a turn for the worse when Norman Osborn-as-Red Goblin infects Harry's son Normie with the symbiote, transforming his grandson into the Goblin Childe.
This storyline was written by the most prolific Spider-Man comics writer to date, Dan Slott, who not-so-coincidentally helped with the writing of Insomniac's original Spider-Man game.
While not an exact one-to-one match with how Insomniac's Spider-Man saga has unfolded for Harry, these storylines offer up some potential avenues for the games to follow.
What could this mean for Spider-Man 2?
Unless Insomniac is prepping for a surprise left turn, the past two Spider-Man games have been building up to Venom's appearance in Spider-Man 2 - and with Harry Osborn being the man under the symbiote.
Insomniac has curiously held back on having the Osborns - Harry or Norman - step up and become the super-villains comic book fans know them to be. Between the obvious symbiote attached to Harry in these post-credits scenes and the green hue to the chamber he's inside of, he may be the video game heir to not just one Spider-villain legacy (Green Goblin) but two (with Venom).
Insomniac Games and Marvel could be waiting for the right moment, and Spider-Man 2 could prove to be it.
Get ready for the new game with our guide to Spider-Man 2.