9 Venom Easter eggs and nods to Marvel's comics
Tom Hardy’s Venom has arrived, and although it isn’t part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a load of connections to its comic-book source material.
Here are all the Easter eggs and references we spotted in the movie.
1. John Jameson
The movie opens with a spaceship crashing to Earth. Only one of the astronauts survives, presumably thanks to his possession by one of the alien symbiotes.
That astronaut is called ‘Jameson’, a clear reference to John Jameson – the son of Spider-Man’s boss at the Daily Bugle, J Jonah Jameson. John is an astronaut, and in the ’90s animated series was even responsible for bring Venom to Earth during one of his missions for NASA.
Fun fact: in the comics he was also a werewolf.
2. Carlton Drake and the Life Foundation
Carlton Drake was also head of the Life Foundation in the comics, although the organisation and his motives were altered to make him a wealthy, respected and morally compromised scientist.
In the comics, the Life Foundation was a shady survivalist group that sought to ensure its members would survive doomsday by using symbiotes. Drake oversaw the extraction of five symbiotes from Venom that became the beings Scream, Lasher, Phage, Agony and Riot.
However, Drake was never the host for Riot, although he did later transform himself into a spider-like monster instead.
3. Daily Globe incident
Eddie Brock’s sometime fiancée Anne Weying (Michelle Williams) mentions that they left New York for San Francisco after Eddie fell out with his employers, the Daily Globe.
The Daily Globe played a key role in Venom’s comic-book origin. Eddie was a reporter for the newspaper, but was fired in disgrace after misidentifying the perpetrator of the ‘Sin-Eater murders’. This led to his hatred of Spider-Man, and eventually his encountering the symbiote and becoming Venom.
Presumably, the movie version of Eddie had a slightly less catastrophic falling out with the Daily Globe.
When Eddie is separated from the symbiote, Anne becomes its temporary host (you can tell it’s her because Venom felt the need to mould two huge breasts on the front of her chest to avoid any confusion).
There is precedent for this in the comics, where Anne (Eddie’s ex-wife in this version) was shot and the symbiote bonded with her to save her life. She went by the name ‘She-Venom’, because of course she did.
With over 30 years of history, you can bet that fluffy little dog wasn’t the first canine to be possessed by the symbiote.
Although the German Shepherd Samson made for a much scarier Venom.
6. Ron Lim Herbal
One of the shop signs that can be glimpsed on a San Francisco street is for ‘Ron Lim Herbal’.
This is a nod to artist Ron Lim, who worked on the miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector. That comic was a key inspiration for the movie, and was an early chapter in Venom’s transformation from villain to anti-hero (a transformation that has been reversed in both directions countless times).
7. Stan Lee
What kind of Marvel movie would Venom be without a cameo from Stan Lee? So don’t worry, he’s here.
The Spider-Man co-creator makes an appearance towards the end of the film as ‘Dapper Dog Walker’, and gives Eddie encouragement in trying to win Anne back. “Don’t give up on her,” he tells Hardy’s character.
8. Prison Break
In the mid-credits scene, Eddie pays a visit to San Quentin Prison to speak to one of its most infamous inmates.
Fittingly, the guard who shows him to the prisoner’s cell is Wade Williams, who played sometime Fox River State Penitentiary employee Brad Bellick in Prison Break.
As for the prisoner Eddie is visiting, he’s the serial killer Cletus Kasady, played by Woody Harrelson.
Comics fans will instantly recognise him as the host of the symbiote Carnage. Carnage is the offspring of Venom, and becomes an even more dangerous threat to Spider-Man and the world than his parent.
Venom is out now in the UK and will be released in the US on October 5. Book tickets here.
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