During Friday's Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends panel at Emerald City Comic con, Venom writer Donny Cates told the crowd that there's plenty more undiscovered territory to explore with both the symbiote and its host Eddie Brock. Cates described himself as a lifelong fan of the character, and said that one of his primary goals has been to move Venom out of the shadow of Spider-Man, and give him his own little corner of the Marvel Universe.
"And so, because I'm a big Goth kid, that area is crazy Cthulhu horror stuff," said Cates. He went into detail on the creation of a symbiote mythos, of the symbiote god Knull, its origins in the MU, and how it has come to affect Eddie Brock.
Cates said that the second arc of his run, titled The Abyss, focuses on Eddie's backstory. "That's really the heart of it, is getting to know the man instead of the monster," he said. "You know, Peter Parker, you guys have heard of him, he has this very clearly defined moral code that has a like a single point of entry, which is Uncle Ben's death, right? That's where he learned all his morals, and that staunch moral code that he lives by. Eddie, we never see Eddie's 'Uncle Ben' moment."
After he got the symbiote and was a bad guy, he went on to being a kind of lethal protector that was always kind of hung up on protecting the innocent. "But growing up I was like 'why?'" said Cates. "'You're a reporter, where is this coming from?' And so in The Abyss we're showing his Uncle Ben moment, and why he did what he does, and where that all comes from."
With the introduction of a son, Venom now has something that can potentially be lost and to make him more sympathetic, said Cates. This will be especially key to a character who struggles every day to not give in to the darkness. "I always thought Venom is best when it's a metaphor for addiction. And that is addiction. It's when you live every day and try not to endorse the bad thing inside you, to not give into the darkness which is Venom."
Hinting at what's to come, Cates said that the symbiote of the dragon from the first arc has eventually made its way to the corpse of Cletus Kasady, AKA Carnage. "So Cletus Kasady is now wearing the Grendel symbiote, and is Dark Carnage," he explained. "I'm not gonna leave Venom without doing some wild 90s Carnage stuff, guys."
With Kasady now wearing the Knull symbiote, he has to repair it to bring it back to full strength. To do this, Cates said, all imprints, or codexes, from former symbiote hosts have to be gathered/collected and brought together. "There's like an easy and safe way to do it," Cates said, referring to the codex collection process, "Carnage is just gonna rip out people's spines and take it out. So now Carnage is going to be gunning for literally every single character who's ever worn a symbiote."