Spider-Man Gets Set To Enter The VENOMVERSE At C2E2

This summer, Marvel’s Spider-Man line is set to dive into the Venomverse for the aptly named “Summer of Symbiotes.”

What does that mean? On hand at C2E2 to explain more were Marvel Editor-In-Chief C.B. Cebulski, Editor Devin Lewis, and writers Zeb Wells (Amazing Spider-Man), Alex Paknadel (Red Goblin, Carnage), David Pepose (Extreme Venomverse), and Sabir Pirzada (Dark Web: Ms. Marvel, Cult of Carnage: Misery).

Spider-Man Gets Set To Enter The VENOMVERSE At C2E2

Zeb Wells initially entered the panel on his own and took a seat, asking everyone to “cut the chatter.”

“I’m just kidding,” he said seconds later. “I don’t think the panel’s starting yet.”

A fan yelled out, “What did Peter do?”

Peter did a lot, Wells responded amid laughter, “and you can read all about it — for a fair price.”

Another fan called out, “Why was Ben Reilly turned evil?”

“For your entertainment, young man. To make you happy,” Wells said.

At this point, Cebulski walked in, flanked by the other panelists. Wells told them all he’s already got everyone in the palm of his hands.

Cebulski apologized for being a little bit late, welcomed everyone to the panel, and thanked everyone for their support for Spider-Man and Venom.

Amazing Spider-Man was the first topic of discussion.

Wells said it’s taken a year to get around to answering the question posed in the first issue of his run: “What did Peter do?”

The arc is a 6-issue story, and the last two issues are oversized 30 page books. As for the resolution, Wells said that Spidey Office Editor Nick Lowe suggested that he maybe not do conventions for a few months and also avoid social media once those issues are all released.

Some preview art is shown, and it’s stated that what Peter did has led even the Fantastic Four to distance themselves. Conversely, Cebulski added, Reed Richards has his own similar dilemma going on in the current Fantastic Four book, so it’s an interesting parallel.

The cover for ASM #25 is shown, and MJ doesn’t look too happy. But, Wells said, she looks healthy — “for now.”
Cebulski hyped Amazing Spider-Man #26 as the most shocking issue of Amazing Spider-Man in 50 years, referencing arguably the most devastating event in Peter’s life after the death of Uncle Ben — his failure to prevent Gwen Stacy’s death at the hands of the Green Goblin.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks,” Wells said.

Following the current arc, Ed McGuinness returns to draw a Doc Ock story in issues 27-30. This year is also the 10-year anniversary of Superior Spider-Man. It’s suggested that there could be a connection.

After that, Amazing Spider-Man #31 is a giant-sized wedding issue — likely marking the marriage of Randy Robertson to Janice Lincoln, the female Beetle — that sees the return of Tombstone. Wells said it sets up the next big event, which happens at the end of the year.

Lewis is up next to discuss the “Summer of Symbiotes.” Promo art is shown that dips into some classic X-Men nostalgia and features symbiotic versions of a lot of familiar faces. “See if you can guess who they are,” Lewis said

The tagline for the event is “Sun’s out, tongues out.”

With Carnage #12, Paknadel takes over as writer — and Cletus Kasady is back.

So far in the book, Ram V has told the story of the Carnage symbiote traveling space and various dimensions, powering up by absorbing the powers of characters including Hydro-Man, the Spot, and Malekith. Meanwhile, Cletus has been biding his time as the host of the “Extrembiote” that was frankensteined together from a symbiote dragon and the Extremis virus by Tony Stark during the events of King In Black.

The Carnage series will now follow Cletus’ “gore-drenched” return to the stage, which will bring him into confrontation with the Carnage symbiote.

Speaking of the Carnage symbiote, as fans are getting reacquainted with Cletus, Web of Carnage, written by Ram V and Christos Gage, will continue to follow the alien parasite’s quest for power. It’s hinted that Morlun might be involved, suggesting a connection to the Web of Life and Destiny from Spider-Verse.

Meanwhile, Red Goblin #3 sees Normie Osborn hosting his own “blank slate” of a symbiote. “It’s a little kid with a really super dangerous dog that will eat your head,” Paknadel said of the book.

Normie comes into conflict with former Hobgoblin Phil Urich — previously “killed” by Norman Osborn, but possessing enough goblin serum in his veins to be somewhere between living and dead. “I’ve been calling him ‘Gobzombie,’” Lewis said.

Urich is also still involved with the Goblin Nation, Norman Osborn’s former gang. So little Normie is basically confronting his grandfather’s sins and punching them repeatedly, Lewis said.

Speaking of Norman, Red Goblin #4 brings Normie into conflict with dear old grandpa, who is currently the heroic Gold Goblin.

Red Goblin #6 will begin a new arc, “Nature vs. Nurture.” Normie looks a little more monstrous on the preview cover shown. The title is potentially a clue to the trajectory of the character, Paknadel said.

Paknadel is also penning Carnage Reigns with current Miles Morales: Spider-Man writer Cody Ziglar. Lewis detailed how the story, a crossover between Carnage and Miles Morales: Spider-Man, essentially throws Miles Morales and Carnage into a pit for the first time to see what happens.

Paknadel said the story pits a classic psychopath against a Spider-Man who is “by no means green, but is ludicrously out of his depth.”

When Peter gets into the arena with Cletus, he’s going to be as scared as he realistically should be, Paknadel said. But Miles doesn’t have that experience yet and is very keen to prove himself.

“He’s about to run into a hailstorm of razors, and you’re going to love it,” Paknadel said.

Lewis added that this story is as much a love letter to Spider-Man as it is to symbiotes and all the ultra violence and tongues and everything else.

Cult of Carnage: Misery sees Liz Allan become a symbiote character called Misery. Pirzada said the story finds her at a very interesting time in her life, where Harry is dead and Normie has his own stuff going on, and her family’s last name is Osborn — so nothing is ever easy.

Liz’s company Alchemax has its hands in a lot of symbiote business, and that hasn’t changed, Lewis said. Preview art shows there are chimpanzees undergoing symbiote experiments at Alchemax, as well.

Cult of Carnage: Misery #6 will introduce an all-new symbiote villain called Madness. It looks like an amalgam of the Life Foundation symbiotes.

In Venom, Eddie Brock is going to finally succeed in getting back to the Marvel Universe after dislodging himself from time as the King In Black. As Al Ewing and Ram V continue their story, a new villain character named Flexo will debut in Venom #19.

Venom is headed in some awesome and scary places, “and you’re not going to want to miss it,” Lewis said. (Venom also has FOUR ARMS on the cover for issue 21.)

There’s also still time travel going on, with Venom and Flexo shown fighting into the World War II period. And Eddie’s son, Dylan, is still around as the current host of the Venom symbiote and will come into conflict with Toxin.

Extreme Venomverse, an anthology series, is also on the way with stories by the likes of Ryan North, Mirka Andolfo, Leonardo Romero, Paulo Siqueira, Al Ewing, David Pepose, etc.

Pepose’s story focuses on a “Life-Model Venom,” inspired by the Cyborg Spider-Man from the ‘90s. The story features a “blast from the past,” but Pepose doesn’t want to spoil the story too much! The symbiote essentially bonds with a SHIELD life-model decoy that was built to cage symbiotes, but things don’t work out as planned.

Future issues also have a Venomized Jeff the Land Shark and a Godzilla-like kaiju, as well as “Major League Venom” — a baseball playing Venom. Peach Momoko has also created a Venom character in Extreme Venomverse 4.

Edge of Venomverse Unlimited by Clay McLeod Chapman and Phillip Sevy will also come to Marvel Unlimited this summer.

And then in August, Cullen Bunn returns to write Death of the Venomverse with artist Gerardo Sandoval! All five issues come out in one month.

It’s a “knock-down, dragout brawl” featuring the Carnage symbiote after its journey for power, and it sets up the next year of Carnage stuff, said Lewis.

But that wasn’t the end of the teases: During the Q&A period at the end of the panel, one fan asked if Peter’s long absent clone Kaine will return anytime soon. Cebulski advised fans to keep an eye on issue #6 or #7 of Dan Slott’s current Spider-Man ongoing series.

Roger Riddell
Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.