Net zoals bij het ontstaan van Spider-Mans zwarte kostuum, is het verhaal achter de schermen over de creatie van Venom erg interessant. In Comics Creators on Spider-Man vertelt David Michelinie, de bedenker van Venom, hoe het is gegaan.
‘Interestingly enough, he was a character I started to introduce in Web of Spider-Man, and he was actually supposed to be a she. I began with the alien costume that had come back with Spider-Man from Secret Wars, and had been used throughout [Tom DeFalco’s] run. It was basically in limbo at the time, having already been rejected by Spider-Man. I was intrigued with the idea that there was this thing that did not trigger Spidey’s spider-sense. Most people forget that the spider-sense is a very unique power, and that Spider-Man really depends on it.
I actually started Venom’s story in two issues of Web [of Spider-Man]. In Web #18, Peter Parker is waiting for a subway train. A hand comes from the crowd and pushes him in front of the train. He leaps to safety, but he’s spooked because someone was able to sneap up on him and his spider-sense didn’t react. I set up another scene in Web #24 where he’s stuck to the side of a building. Someone suddenly reaches out of a window, yanks him by the ankle and sends him falling. Peter starts to really freak out because someone is getting past his defences.
I originally wanted the character to be a woman. She was pregnant and about to give birth. Her husband is rushing to get her to a hospital. He runs into the road to flag down a cab, but the cabbie is looking up at Spider-Man who is fighting someone – I think it might even have been the Living Monolith from my graphic novel. The cabbie doesn’t see the husband and accidentally hits and kills the guy. The woman sees her husband splattered in front of her just as she goes into labour. She loses the child and her mind at the same time, and is institutionalised. Though she eventually gets her mind back, she blames Spider-Man for the death of her husband and her child. The alien costume, which has also been hurt by Peter Parker, is drawn to the woman because her intense hatred of Spider-Man. The costume then bonds with her to try to kill Peter.
When I was switched to Amazing, Jim Salicrup told me that he wanted to do something special in issue #300, and he suggested I introduce a new character. I hit him with the idea of using the alien costume. Though he liked it, he wasn’t sure the readers would see a woman as a physical threat to Spider-Man, even a woman enhanced by the alien costume. At that point I came up with the Eddie Brock angle and tied it in with the Peter David Sin-Eater/ ‘Death of Jean DeWolff’ story that had appeared in Spectacular Spider-Man #107-110. That became the basis of Venom’s origin in Amazing #300, and we had ourselves a new villain.
Een interessant detail in dit verhaal is natuurlijk dat Salicrup, de redacteur van de Spider-Man titels, Venom als vrouw niet geloofwaardig vond. Gezien Marvels recente focus op heldinnen, was Venom waarschijnlijk wel een vrouw geweest als het personage nu bedacht zou zijn. De kans is in ieder geval groot. Tegenwoordig lopen er sowieso vrouwelijke afgeleiden van Venom en Carnage, de eerste schurk na Brock die zich verbond met het nageslacht van de oorspronkelijke Symbiont, in het Marvel Universum rond, zoals Scream.
Een ander grappig detail dat ik je nog kan vertellen is dat Todd McFarlane geen fan was van het zwarte kostuum. Toen hij begon met Amazing Spider-Man te tekenen gaf hij aan dat hij liever het klassieke kostuum tekende. Hij stelde dat overigens niet als voorwaarde om de tekenklus aan te nemen.
Dat is ook de reden waarom Mary Jane dat zwarte kostuum niet meer kan zien nadat ze thuis is overvallen door Venom. Het was Michelinies manier om ervoor te zorgen dat Spider-Man weer zijn oude vertrouwde pak zou aantrekken.