Symbiotes Are a Key Part of SHIELD's History
This twist is guaranteed to confuse Marvel enthusiasts who haven't kept up to date on Venom lore, but the widely known, original story of the symbiotes' "discovery" and first contact with Earth is far from the truth. Eddie Brock only recently learned the real version of history in the new 2018 Venom series, when an aging soldier fools his symbiote enough to take them prisoner. Held captive, the mystery soldier reveals himself to be the last living member of a unit of Symbiote Soldiers. That's right, the U.S. military knew about alien symbiotes back in the days of the Vietnam War, and just didn't tell anyone. And considering how shady S.H.I.E.L.D. has shown itself to be already, the same could easily be believed in the Avengers universe.
We'll save the details of the story for the fans who want to seek it out in Venom #1, and say only that the army's first tests were run using samples of the ancient symbiote dragon-god frozen in ice on Earth (it's... a pretty wild story). A group of soldiers were hand-picked to be merged with the symbiotes, the lone survivor of which has sought Eddie out to tell him the truth. The latest attempt to create a symbiote super soldier with Flash Thompson's Agent Venom? It was just the most recent iteration. The first Symbiote Soldier Program was run by S.H.I.E.L.D., with the expressed purpose of improving on the science behind Captain America.
Venom is The Soldier SHIELD Wanted To Make
The details of the Symbiote Soldier Program are explored further in the one-off special Web of Venon: Ve'Nam, with Nick Fury describing his own role in its inception. As Carlton Drake and The Life Foundation scientists would learn in the Venom movie, finding perfect symbiosis between alien and human is more luck than logic. Naturally, all but the group's leader are consumed by their symbiotes in another failure for S.H.I.E.L.D.. But that only means they would have a perfect reason to take extreme interest in Eddie Brock - the perfect example of the Symbiote Super Soldier they wanted to fill in when Captain America first went missing.
It may seem almost too easy for Venom to be recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. to rub shoulders with The Avengers. On paper, he would have the heart of Captain America, but the Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of the Hulk, which could be a problem. That being said, fans don't actually know if Hulk will return in Avengers 4 either, since he's apparently done fighting Bruce Banker's battles - NOT because he was afraid of Thanos. So it's possible that Venom could help fill two semi-vacant Avenger spots, not just one.
It's still all speculation until Marvel decides whether or not they want Venom beside Spider-Man in their Marvel movie universe. Or, after the success of the film, whether or not Sony wants to let go of Venom at all. But if Marvel Studios wants to make it happen, then this approach - bringing Venom and the symbiotes into MCU history through S.H.I.E.L.D., instead of Spider-Man - seems the best and most unexpected solution.
Is this theory created just to get Eddie Brock and Agent Phil Coulson share the screen? Not exclusively... but we doubt any fan would vote against it.
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019