Venom has come a long way over the years, and in Venom #14, all of that development culminates in a heartbreaking twist.
Warning: contains spoilers for Venom #14!
Venom has come a long way as a character over the past few years, and a heartbreaking turn proves it. In Venom #14, Eddie Brock is pulled back to Earth to serve at the beck and call of Goblin Queen Madeleine Pryor. Pryor uses her new servant, Chasm, to deprive Venom of the last ten years of her life, hitting a giant "reset" button and erasing years of character development, and showing just how far Venom has progressed.
This issue was written by Al Ewing, illustrated by Bryan Hitch, inked by Andrew Currie, colored by Alex Sinclair, and lettered by Clayton Cowles, Darknet Partners. Madyelene Pryor enlists the help of Ben Reilly, who now calls himself Chasm thanks to Beyond Corporation's experiments. The duo sought revenge against the X-Men and Spider-Man. Unable to attack Krakoan territory, Pryor brings the formerly time-traveling Eddie Brock back to Earth; Pryor plans to use Venom to breach the X-Men's treehouse in New York. Venom demanded to know what happened, but Rift swiftly attacked him, consuming his memories - including those of his beloved son Dylan. After Chasm is complete, Venom has no memory of Dylan, the King In black or literally anything that happened to him in the past decade. Stripped of the qualities that had defined him of late, Venom morphed back into a brain-eating hate- and vengeance-driven monster. After being dealt with by Synch, Venom becomes confused and even angry, turning Venom into a powerful and terrifying red symbiote.
Over the past decade, Venom has undergone a dramatic transformation, transforming from a revenge-driven monster to a hero who refuses a place in the Avengers. In writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman's epic take on the character, they reinvent him for this new era, not only introducing his long-lost Son Dylan, also introduces the dreaded Man in Black King Knur. As the symbiote's dark god, Knull launched an all-out invasion of Earth, which Venom helped repel. After Knull's defeat, Eddie Brock ascended to the position of Lord in Black, and his son Dylan formed a bond with Eddie's Venom symbiote. As the new King in Black, Eddie left Earth in an attempt to steer the symbiote in a better direction, but he ended up meeting future Kings in Black, including Meridius.
Venom Has Come a Long Way
But now Eddie is back on Earth and has no memory of this Epic development; he's turned into a brain-eating, drooling mess - a far cry from the man Venom fans have come to know and love in recent years. Venom was created to give Spider-Man a truly formidable foe, someone who could be considered his dark opposite; their first conflict is the stuff of Marvel lore. However, the creators came to understand that Venom had the potential to be a hero, and throughout the '90s and 2000s, Venom took small steps in that direction. Under the tutelage of Cates and Stegman, Venom flourishes and fulfills his potential; thanks in no small part to the introduction of his son Dylan, which gives Eddie a truly higher purpose to strive for.
The Real Venom Will Return
And now, with the dark web taking hold, all those developments have come to naught. It's shocking to see Venom once again reduced to a brain-eating, rage-filled monster. The question makes it clear that what Chasm did can be undone, meaning Venom will have his memory restored; he will remember Dylan again and why he fought. In a heartbreaking development, Marvel showed what Venom can accomplish as a hero.
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