Comics

Venom: The Best and Worst of Eddie Brock

Sometimes the better angels of Brock win out, sometimes they don’t...

Eddie Brock and symbiote

Eddie Brock’s story pulses with tragedy. Smart, in excellent shape, great job… the world is set to be his oyster. And yet, he cannot help but derail the whole thing.

Then he has a one-in-a-million encounter with an alien being from another world, a being that can grant him power on an incredible level. Nearly anything Eddie desires, Venom could help him achieve it. Instead, he wastes the incredible chance trying -- and failing -- to achieve petty revenge for something he largely did to himself.

So it goes with Eddie Brock and Venom. Much like thermonuclear law, almost every good thing Brock does, he seems destined to follow with a thing as bad as the first one had been good.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at these examples.

The Best of Brock

Despite the early death of his mother and a father who effectively freezes him out, Eddie becomes an excellent athlete and scholar.

Eddie Brock weightlifting

The Worst of Eddie

He derives no satisfaction from his accomplishments as he only wants to impress his cruel father, who is not worth the effort. Brock tries repeatedly to find the thing that will unlock his father’s love, and his talents and intelligence are squandered rather than ushering him to a new more fulfilling life.

The Best of Brock

Inspired by Woodward and Bernstein and their experiences breaking the Watergate story, Eddie changes his major in college to journalism. In his first job with the Daily Globe, he quickly stakes out a reputation for being an excellent reporter.

The Worst of Eddie

However, excellence just does not feel like enough to Brock. Feeling pressure from all sides, he gets sloppy. Rather than follow through on his due diligence, he files a story that he purports to be an exclusive confessional interview with the Sin-Eater serial killer. However, the real killer is soon brought to justice by Spider-Man while the one Eddie presented to the world turns out to be a false confessor. Not only does the mistake devastate Brock’s career, he ends up losing his job and his marriage to his wife Anne Weying in the fallout.

The Best of Brock

The already athletic Eddie turns to body building as a healthy coping skill to deal with the stress of his life post-firing and divorce.

The Worst of Eddie

However, he soon adds “bonding with alien symbiote and tormenting Spider-Man in and out of costume including by terrifying the Wall-Crawler’s wife” to his collection of coping skills as Brock becomes Venom.

After being incarcerated for his crimes as Venom, Brock allows the alien to break him out of jail. The break leaves behind a symbiote spawn that merges with Brock’s cellmate. Together the terrifying spree killer Cletus Kasady and the alien become Carnage.

Eddie Brock and Spider-Man

The Best of Brock

Hearing Spider-Man out, Eddie (as Venom) agrees to return to civilization to stop the murder spree of Carnage. Together, the enemies prove successful at stopping the dangerous upstart.

The Worst of Eddie

Venom, however, cannot let grudges go and immediately tries to make it a two-for-one and take out Spidey as an encore. Instead, Brock ends up on the receiving end of a sonic blast from the Fantastic Four.

Hearing that Peter Parker’s parents had apparently survived and had finally returned to their son’s life, Venom immediately kidnaps them in another plot to ruin Parker’s life and, by extension, that of his web-slinging alter ego.

The Best of Brock

However, in the midst of the battle, Eddie’s action almost cost his ex-wife Anne her life. If not for the timely intervention of Spider-Man, she would have been crushed by debris. Thankful for Parker’s help, Venom decides to call a truce and stop his campaign to destroy and kill ol’ Webhead.

Now moving beyond the grudge that defined his life for years, Venom tries to become a hero as well. After several acts of heroism -- albeit very violent heroism -- Eddie commits what he perceives as his greatest deed yet, saving his ex’s life after she’s shot.

Eddie saves Anne with symbiote

The Worst of Eddie

But Brock utilizes the symbiote to do that, leading to Anne’s brief turn as She-Venom. Unable to control the alien, she kills two muggers. After Venom reabsorbs the symbiote fully, Ann feels horrible for her actions and terrified of her ex-husband’s “friend,” creating even more distance between the former spouses.

The Best of Brock

Eddie later chooses to separate himself from the symbiote so he can die of the cancer that the alien has been just barely holding off.

The Worst of Eddie

His means of separation, though, involves an auction for the alien. As a result, two more people, both with less morality that Brock, become Venom and use the power to commit brazen crimes.

The Best of Brock

After Matt Murdock convinces the court that Eddie cannot be held responsible for his actions while Venom, the former villain decides to dedicate his life to service by working at a soup kitchen. There he encounters Martin Li, the powerful and kind philanthropist. Li has powers he uses to cure Brock of cancer and awaken something inside Eddie that allows him to become Anti-Venom.

Anti-Venom

The Worst of Eddie

Anti-Venom almost immediately tries to help Spider-Man by “curing” him of his connection to the Venom symbiote, a move that nearly robs Spider-Man of his super powers.

The Best of Brock

After learning that Li’s goodness acts as a front to the reality of his criminal activities as Mr. Negative, Eddie teams up with Spider-Man and the Wraith to take him down.

The Worst of Eddie

As an encore, Brock joins Wonder Man’s Revenger team and attempts to take down the Avengers -- unsuccessfully.

The Best of Brock

With Spider-Island gripping the population of New York City in a mutation plague, Eddie sacrifices the Anti-Venom symbiote to create enough antidote to cure the population.

Anti-Venom sacrifices himself

The Worst of Eddie

Unable to stay away from symbiotes, Brock sets out to destroy all the remaining ones. The outgunned Brock ends up defeated, kidnapped, and forcibly bonded to the Toxin symbiote as a tool of the Crime Master. Under the symbiote’s sway, Brock violently attacks Agent Venom (Flash Thompson) before finally regaining control of his own mind.

Most recently, Eddie helped Spider-Man defeat Norman Osborn in the former Green Goblin’s newest Super Villain alter ego, the Carnage symbiote-bonded Red Goblin. Unfortunately, that good would suggest that, inevitably, Brock will balance it out with something very bad. Sooner or later.

Don't forget to get your copy of VENOM: FIRST HOST #1, written by Mike Costa with art by Mark Bagley, now on sale online and at your local comic shop!

 

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