Summer Game Fest gave us our first look at Venom in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, along with the shocking news that it won’t be Eddie Brock under the symbiote’s gooey grin. Brock’s been synonymous with the character of Venom since his debut in the later ’80s, so this is quite a departure from the established Spider-Man lore.
Usually, I’d be worried about this kind of lore-bending, but let’s be honest, Insomniac wasn’t strictly faithful to Stan Lee’s text in its first Spider-Man game, and look how that turned out. Basically, what I’m saying is that I trust the revered studio to stick the landing (pun intended) and create one of the best PS5 games yet. Still, the question remains, if Brock’s not Venom in this slice of the Spider-Verse, then who is?
Well, don’t you worry, dear reader. I’m something of a Spider-Man expert, and I’ve taken a break from obsessively counting down the days to the Spider-Man 2 release date to name five potential suspects who’d love to slip into Peter’s black and white hand-me-downs once he inevitably realizes the malign influence the suit’s having on his personality. So let’s meet the suspects.
Five Spider-Man characters who could be Venom in Spider-Man 2:
- Mac Gargan
- Norman Osborn
- Harry Osborn
Mac Gargan, better known as The Scorpion, made a rather memorable appearance in the first Spider-Man game where he drugged Peter, forcing you to swing through New York City while trippin’ balls. What you might not know, however, is that in the comics, Mac spent several years wearing the Venom symbiote.
Could he return then in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 with a sinister symbiotic upgrade? It’s a possibility, and Insomniac’s rather monstrous-looking Venom definitely resembles Mac when he was wearing the alien costume. Of course, Insomniac claims it’s doing something new with Spidey’s monochromatic nemesis, so Mac may be too obvious a choice.
If Insomniac wanted to stay true to its word and do something no Spider-Man movie or comic book has ever done, they could make Ganke into Venom. To my knowledge, Ganke’s never worn a symbiote, so it would be a really out-of-left-field choice. But why would Ganke ever turn against Miles and Peter?
Well, Ganke’s clearly enamored with the idea of superheroes; maybe he’s tempted by the symbiote’s power after Peter abandons it, and it turns him to the dark side by preying on Ganke’s sense of inadequacy. It’s a Mister Fantastic-sized stretch for sure, but you can never say never when it comes to Insomniac.
Everyone expects Norman to eventually become the Green Goblin in Insomniac’s Spider-Man games. Perhaps then Insomniac will completely pull the rug from under us by making him Venom instead. It may sound silly when you first read it, but it makes (spider) sense. Other than Peter, Norman’s the character who’s come closest to the symbiote, having seemingly created it to treat Harry, and he’s definitely the type of weak-willed person the contemptuous costume could easily manipulate into becoming Venom.
Norman’s also had some experience with the living costume. In Dan Slott’s final Amazing Spider-Man story ‘Go Down Swingin’, Norman willingly bonded with the Carnage symbiote to give himself an edge over his wisecracking nemesis. Perhaps Insomniac will draw inspiration from this story but give it a Venomy-flavored twist? Incidentally, if you’re wondering what a Venomy-flavored twist tastes like, it’s licorice.
Harry’s definitely being set up by Insomniac to be the number one Venom suspect. In the first game, we saw him floating in a tank of Venom goo, and it’s implied that the symbiote was designed to cure whatever degenerative condition Harry’s living with. So the symbiote and Harry already share a connection, albeit a slightly tenuous one.
There’s some precedent in the expanded world of Spidey media as well. In the frankly dreadful Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon Harry was the first Venom (that show had the symbiote-hopping hosts more than an expert hopper hops on World Hopping Day), so Insomniac could be pulling some inspiration from that show. Still, honestly, we just don’t see it. In the footage we’ve seen, Peter seems to be doing everything he can to save Harry, so why would Harry turn against his best friend?
It’s possible the suit warps Harry’s mind, but that’s a bit dull. Venom’s always been far more interesting as a character when both host and symbiote hate Spider-Man; their rage fuels them and strengthens them. Hell, it’s why Eddie and the symbiote chose the name ‘Venom’ because of the bilious fury they feel towards the Wallcrawler. For this reason, we believe the malevolent mucus will choose another host.
Honestly, Insomniac wants us to believe that Harry’s going to become Venom so much that I’m 99.99% certain that it’s going to end up being Kraven. I can see the arrogant hunter being utterly humiliated by Peter and the power of the symbiote, forcing him to slink away with his tail between his legs. Then when Peter realizes the symbiote’s turning him crazy town banana pants, he abandons it, and the embittered creature, seeking vengeance, slimes its way over to the beaten hunter, becoming Venom.
This may sound a bit random to people who haven’t spent the last 61 years reading comics, but Kraven and the black suit have a history. The hunter briefly wore a cloth version of the costume during his most famous storyline, ‘Kraven’s Last Hunt,’ and then in Chip Zdarsky’s recent story Spider-Man: Life Stories, he became Venom.
We can see Insomniac going down this path, especially as it leaves both Harry and Norman on the table for a potential Marvel’s Spider-Man 3, but what happens in that game is another story.
Maybe Insomniac still has a surprise up its sleeve that could swoop in as an unexpected Venom, but right now, these sound like the five most-likely candidates. Regardless of who takes on the mantle, what’s guaranteed are some awesome appearances and scenes from the Spider-Man 2 characters.
Meanwhile, The Loadout’s movie-obsessed sister site, The Digital Fix, also writes an awful lot about New York’s friendliest superhero. They’ve ranked all the Spider-Man villains, all the Spider-Man actors, and all the Spider-Man movies (talk about amazing dedication). If that’s not enough, they also have a guide breaking down everything you need to know about the Spider-Man 4 release date for Peter’s next adventure on the big screen.