Is Marvel's Venom trading New York City for Philadelphia?
This comic book image released by Marvel Comics shows the Marvel anti-hero Venom. (AP Photo/Marvel Comics)
Published Monday, September 3, 2012 7:51AM EDT
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia's getting a new anti-hero -- in the pages of Marvel Comics.
Marvel Entertainment LLC says that Venom, a brute with big teeth and an elongated tongue who's made a habit of sparring with Spider-Man, is leaving New York City to start fresh, and maybe learn to be a hero on the streets of Philadelphia.
Writer Cullen Bunn and Editor Tom Brennan, an alum of Philadelphia's Drexel University, said it's time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as Los Angeles and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the fictional world of Marvel.
But is Venom -- an alien symbiote bonded to Peter Parker's one-time high school rival Eugene "Flash" Thompson -- the hero that Philly wants or needs?
It depends, said Bunn.
Flash, who lost his legs in Iraq, has taken control of Venom to be able to walk again and work as a super-powered soldier and spy for the U.S. government. But his alcoholism and habit of lying to his teammates has him at the bottom of a deep hole.
"Now, he's trying to do the right thing. He's reassessing what it means to be a hero. And he's looking for a fresh start," said Bunn. "This means a lot of things for Flash. He's surrounding himself with new people -- such as tabloid journalist Katy Kiernan and his new love interest, the Asgardian Valkyrie. He's changing his approach to being a superhero. And he's looking for a change of scenery."
That's where Philly comes in, said Brennan.
"I wanted a superhero for the city of Philadelphia, a town full of heart, hustle and hope," he said. "I found the City of Brotherly Love to be a character in and of itself that I thought more fiction should explore."