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Spiderman: Space Goo

Yeah, I know I bark on about how screwed up comic book canon ends up when it’s translated to the screen and the thing is, I’m probably never going to stop, so you’d better just get used to it. I do however understand, particularly in the Marvel universe, that the interconnectedness of character origins and pivotal story lines combined with ridiculous licensing restrictions means that we’re unlikely to see the ‘real’ versions of these events shown on the big screen.

Luckily, we’re in for something of a treat when it comes to the upcoming Fantastic Four movie because in it we’re introduced to the Silver Surfer… Now, I would say “Arguably the greatest Super hero ever” but the fact is that there *IS* no argument because the Silver Surfer *IS* the greatest super hero ever: There are those of us who know and accept that fact and then there are those of you who are just sucking up our valuable oxygen! Anyway, my guess is that we’re being treated to this unusual true to comic canon version of the Silver Surfer’s origin (if indeed it is fully explained), in a Fantastic Four movie, because so much of the Surfer’s introduction to the Marvel universe happened within the pages of the Fantastic Four comics (18 issues no less)… Indeed the Surfer spent quite a bit of time trapped on earth after he turned against Galactus and joined forces with the Fantastic Four. Venom, on the other hand, isn’t receiving the same ‘true to canon’ introduction in the upcoming Spider-Man flick… and Here’s [my opinion on] why:

Venom’s introduction took place during a limited series called the Secret Wars. In the Secret Wars a being called the Beyonder gathered together a whole stack of Super heroes and Super Villains and set them against each other in a battle royal. Characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Hulk, Doctor Doom, The Thing, Iron Man (although it was Jim Rhodes and not Tony Stark in the IM suit), Captain America, Night Crawler, Doc Ock and even Galactus were involved in the Beyonder’s shenanigans.

During the Secret Wars series Spider-Man wandered off and discovered what appeared to be a new costume: One that has the ability to change it’s appearance, respond to his thoughts and comes with an unlimited supply of that gooy stuff that Spider-Man likes to shoot all over the place… Without going into too much detail (especially stuff that will probably be used in some shape or form in Spiderman3) things don’t work out as cool as Spidey would have liked for him and the new threads and, with the help of Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic) he parts company with the suit which, it turns out, is actually a living creature – A symbiote. This symbiote eventually becomes Venom (again, trying to avoid too many details here).

There are parallels between the Silver Surfer’s appearance in the Fantastic Four comics and that of Venom in the pages of Spider-Man, however, if they were to attempt to stay true to canon for the movie it would take far too great an explanation (the Secret Wars alone was a 12 part series) and involved too many characters and therefore too many licensing issues.

What then can we expect from this version of the Venom origin? I don’t know, but one thing that does give me some hope that the story we see will at least attempt to stay close to the original comic version (and not the dodgy Ultimate Spider-man “engineered protoplasmic” crap) is this comment made by Tobey Maguire in an interview with the LA times:

“He has the same kind of attributes that Spider-Man has, but he’s just stronger, faster and more vicious than Spider-Man. And it comes from this goo that comes from outer space, so first the goo comes and gets hold of me.”

While it’s slim, the fact that Venom is made of “goo” from “outer space” means that the door is open for much of the events which took place after the Secret Wars to play out essentially as they did in the comics. Of course, no matter what happens, Spider-Man will have to figure a few things out without the help of Mr Fantastic. [source]

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