The second installment of the Venom universe recently hit theaters with the release of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage,” laying down the groundwork for Sony’s attempt at a cinematic universe. A Spider-Man universe starring Spider-Man’s most famous villain is risky, creative, polarizing and rewarding for Sony. While both movies performed well at the box office, they were met with mixed reviews among fans. However, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” was certainly a step in the right direction. With a much better audience reaction, the movie became proof that Venom can be a standalone character and still garner the same interest and love as other superheroes. Sony appears to be committed to this character, which means more will come for the developing universe. The flood gates opened with the post-credits scene revealing Venom’s transcendence into the Marvel Universe, and many are wondering what’s next for this iconic character.
Firstly, a little history about Venom. His first appearance in the 1988 comic book “The Amazing Spider-Man #299” marked his emergence as another exciting figure in Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery. He’s most commonly depicted as a parasitic substance from an alien world that attaches himself to human hosts and slowly takes control. Venom is most closely associated with his primary human host, Eddie Brock, but he did inhabit other humans such as Peter Parker himself, Harry Osborne, Flash Thompson and even characters like The Hulk and Wolverine.
While Venom was initially depicted as a pure force of evil, his character became quite multi-dimensional over the years. In many comics, he’s also seen as a semi-force of good as he mainly targets evil people to feast upon. Agent Venom, an alternate take on the character where the military uses him to take down bad guys, is another heroic form in which people see the character. Currently, he’s depicted as a quintessential anti-hero. However, Venom’s first movie appearance was in the 2007 “Spider-Man 3” film, which received poor reactions from fans of the character. Many know him purely from this adaptation, yet in the newest Sony films, he’s more accurately shown as the classic anti-hero from the comics, animated shows and video games.
Sony attempted a Spider-Man universe many times before. Whether it be the Sam Raimi films from the early 2000s or “The Amazing Spider-Man” series that fell short of opening the doors for new stories, they did not experience the success they hoped for. While the films all garnered individual praise and performed tremendously at the box office, they never broadened the horizon enough to establish spinoffs about other characters like the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Now, it looks like Sony will finally get its wish. With the rumored returns of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield reprising their roles as past Spider-Mans in the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home” film, the multiverse may help to expand Sony’s separate Spider-Man universe. The new Venom films hardly mention any other outside characters, but the post-credits scene of “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” featured Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. This is the catalyst behind the upcoming story: What could the Venom universe lead to?
The primary criticism of the new Venom universe is the lack of rogues to choose from to fight Venom himself. Nearly every one of Venom’s “villains” are just different colored versions of himself, as seen in the first two installments featuring Riot and Carnage respectively. Audiences hope they’ll dig a bit deeper to find Venom’s next adversary, but it seems as if they still need to set him up with a Venom versus Spider-Man fight. This has been a long time coming, and Sony will not settle for any less than their two biggest characters duking it out on the big screen. It’s safe to assume Venom will appear in some form in the next Spider-Man movie — probably in the post-credits scenes. After all, he’s in the MCU now, and Venom isn’t the type to just sit back and relax.
Will Spider-Man come to his universe? Will he stay in the MCU? Or perhaps, a Spider-Man already exists in his universe. Either way, Venom’s isn’t complete without Peter Parker falling victim to it. At some point, the symbiote will be separated from Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and become one with one of the Peter Parkers. As Tobey Maguire’s Parker already encountered the Venom symbiote, it seems as if Andrew Garfield and/or Tom Holland’s Spider-Men will be next. The audience will surely see a darker Spider-Man as he battles with the power and influence of the symbiote. Not only will the audience be treated to a battle between Spider-Man and Venom, but they will also witness a fight between Spider-Man and Peter Parker as he battles the addiction to the symbiote.
It’s obvious that the next step for this franchise is the battle (or perhaps even team-up) with a Spider-Man in some universe. But what lies beyond that? Sony has other Spider-Man-related projects in the works that will likely play a role in this story. The upcoming film “Morbius” starring Jared Leto as the vampire and the rumored Madame Webb film will surely contribute to the newly established multiverse and what’s left to come.
Perhaps the future will show Venom’s more villainous side as he battles heroes and villains across multiple universes. The absolute coolest possible thing they could do with Venom is make him bond with one of our favorite heroes. A Venom-infused Hulk is a scary thought, and it could very well happen now. The success of the first two movies allowed for unlimited opportunities for the characters, and hopefully we can see him be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Expect Venom to be in the headlines throughout the next few years. As the speculation continues for what’ll come next, just know that there is something to come next. With a character as deeply historic as Venom, who knows what that may be!
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