Venom is set to take over the Marvel Universe in March to celebrate the character’s 30th anniversary, and Marvel plans to highlight 20 key moments in the symbiote’s history with 20 variant covers.
One of the covers is by Iron Fist artist Mike Perkins, a homage to Incredible Hulk vs. Venom #1 from 1994, written by Peter David, with art and cover by Jim Craig.
We talked with Perkins to get beyond the gloss and the cardstock to get into the head of the artist.
MFR: What was the inspiration for your cover?
PERKINS: I was actually asked to illustrate a direct homage to a previous Hulk issue – that’s inspiring enough, right?! I’m always excited when I can fit a cover into my schedule. It’s a nice breather. A change, being as good as a rest.
MFR: The Venom suit has taken many forms over the past 30 years, why did you choose the early 90s version?
PERKINS: That’s the one on the original cover. I think there’s a whole bunch of Venom variant covers planned across the line of Marvel comics for that month so there’ll be different iterations of the character showcased. Besides, how could you refuse that really extended jawline?
MFR: Back in the day, what was your first impression of Venom?
PERKINS: I thought it was an interesting concept – the black costume coming to life…having a mind of its own…taking on another host. I must confess to being surprised myself as to its longevity! I guess it really DID take on a life of its own! Visually it’s stunning and can lead to great creativity in the hands of the artist – there’s definitely an allure to that.
MFR: Why do you think Venom has remained so popular?
PERKINS: I think the changes and developments of the character have kept him distinct and interesting. He’s not a one-note villain…and can even be somewhat of a hero if being controlled by a heroic host.
What do you think of the Venom Variants, do you have a favorite? Comment below.
Here is a list of all 20 Venom Variants:
1. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #33 by DUSTIN WEAVER
2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #798 by TERRY and RACHEL DODSON
3. AVENGERS #687 by JAMAL CAMPBELL
4. BLACK PANTHER #172 by GREG HORN
5. CAPTAIN AMERICA #700 by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
6. DAREDEVIL #601 by RAMON PEREZ
7. DOCTOR STRANGE #388 by CHRIS STEVENS
8. INFINITY COUNTDOWN #2 by RON LIM
9. INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #599 by AKCHO
10. MARVEL 2-IN-ONE #5 by DAVE JOHNSON
11. MIGHTY THOR #706 by MARK BAGLEY
12. NEW MUTANTS #2 by BENGAL
13. OLD MAN LOGAN #38 by GREG SMALLWOOD
14. PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #303 by ROB LIEFELD
15. THANOS #18 by MIKE PERKINS
16. VENOM #164 by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
17. WEAPON H #2 by MIKE MAYHEW
18. X-MEN: BLUE #25 by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
19. X-MEN: GOLD #25 by TODD NAUCK
20. X-MEN: RED #3 by INHYUK LEE
Mike Perkins is an illustrator for Marvel Comics having worked on Captain America, Thor, and The X-Men. After wrapping up the 31 issues adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand he transitioned into illustrating Astonishing X-Men and has now re-launched Deathlok, Carnage and Iron Fist. He has been nominated numerous times for Eisner and Harvey Awards and, as well as winning the Eagle Award, counts being on the New York Times Bestseller list and being exhibited in Munich, London, and Paris amongst his career achievements. Check out his website mikeperkinsart.com