After getting to grips with Insomniac's Spider-Man and wrapping the PS4-exclusive's 20-hour main campaign, just where does the story go next? Art Director Jacinda Chew made good on her promise that Venom wouldn't appear in Spider-Man, meaning players were tasked with taking on the Sinister Six and a roster of villains that included the likes of Vulture, Shocker, and Doctor Octopus. That being said, just because Venom and the symbiotes weren't officially named, it doesn't mean Insomniac didn't hide them in plain sight for fans to uncover.
Although characters like Jefferson Davis, J. Jonah Jameson, and Tombstone all had minor roles in Spider-Man, the appearance (or lack) of Harry Osborn has the most potential moving forward. Those who stuck around for the open-world adventure's post-credits scene can guess what developers are planning for a Spider-Man sequel. Away from the arrival of the Green Goblin, a Taskmaster/Thunderbolts team-up, and the return of Silver Sable, it's possible Harry Osborn can be the next big bad of Insomniac's franchise by becoming Venom in Spider-Man 2.
Every good villain needs a tragic backstory and Spider-Man's version of Harry was no different. Norman Osborn became a well-rounded bad guy of the piece as he once again ran for Mayor of New York and put a mysterious plan into action. Harry's father took center stage among the rest of the big players while Harry was resigned to the sidelines for the occasional audio tape. One of Spider-Man's many side quests saw Peter Parker swing across the city rooftops and unlock the Oscorp research bases. With Harry off in "Europe," he set Peter Parker a series of tasks like catching pigeons and shooting clogged vents off walls. Not quite as thrilling as the main storyline, the research tasks still led to Harry's overarching story.
Norman conveniently explained Harry's absence in a throwaway comment about his travels and might have fooled some fans into thinking this was the case. The big twist was that Harry had been in New York all along and was being watched closely by his father. Although there wasn't much else to learn about Harry in the first game, it was clear that he is still one of Peter's closest friends in Insomniac's world. In classic comic book style, a turn to the dark side after being Spidey's best friend would be even more dramatic in Spider-Man 2.
Spider-Man's Post-Credits Scene
The big hint that Harry will come slithering out of the shadows as Venom comes courtesy of Spider-Man's post-credits scene. As well as teasing Miles Morales for an expanded role in the sequel, fans also saw the Osborns well on their way to becoming the big bads of Spider-Man 2. With Harry having contracted the same debilitating illness that had cost his mother her life, he was revealed to be safely tucked away in a bacta tank and under the care of his father.
Norman's villainy took a more sympathetic turn when his master plan was revealed to be painstaking work with hopes of restoring his son's health. Norman's words of "we were so close" means that Harry isn't back to normal just yet. Expecting that Norman will continue his work and it will be just like the Devil's Breath fiasco, rest assured that things won't end well for Harry and his father's "cure." Whatever happens to Harry, transformation into one of Spider-Man's notorious rogues is pretty likely.
A green glow around the tank might've alluded to Harry becoming the Green Goblin, but the network of black tendrils surrounding Harry conjures images of a symbiote storyline. Some black gloop wouldn't be enough to confirm Harry as Venom, but notice that as Norman stepped up to the glass, the webbing reacted to noise - just like symbiotes are known to do.
Harry Osborn adopting the mantle of Venom isn't as much of an out-there departure from the history of Spider-Man as it first seems. In fact, Harry becoming Venom is pulled directly from the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Just like the rest of those who slipped into the black suit, Harry's various appearances in Ultimate Spider-Man showed that he'd lost control of the symbiote and become more Venom than a Spider-Man ally.
The story doesn't have to paint Harry completely as a villain, and Spider-Man 2 could show a slow descent into the world of symbiotes like the animated version of Osborn did. Before succumbing to the unhinged side of Venom, Harry used the symbiote suit to take on the moniker of Black Suit Spider-Man and become the city's new favorite hero. Norman is clearly going to keep trying to cure Harry, and if he is successful, a "normal" version of the character could return in the sequel before going full Venom.
Ultimate Spider-Man's Harry also had ties to Taskmaster - who already had a mysterious role in Spider-Man - and played a big part in the various storylines from the show. Insomniac doesn't have to follow Ultimate Spider-Man exactly, but merging Harry's Venom transformation and parts of the character from Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would be a nod to Harry's past.
Eddie Brock and the Symbiotes
Although Insomniac Games creative director Bryan Intihar recently hinted that Venom and the symbiotes could appear in a Spider-Man sequel, he stopped short of saying who would be underneath the suit. There is another option apart from Harry. With Eddie Brock being the most notable Spider-Man character who donned the alias of Venom, it would seem a little strange to not include him somewhere in the story.
Interestingly, a Venom arc could span two games and make Spider-Man a trilogy similar to Rocksteady's Arkham games. Even if Harry becomes Venom in Spider-Man 2, his eventual defeat could set up Brock taking over next. Ruben Fleischer's upcoming Venom movie has already teased multiple symbiotes, and with Norman Osborn's lab filled with radioactive arachnids and potential outer space samples, Harry doesn't have to be the only character to embrace his darker side.
If Brock underwent his Venom transformation, the storyline could also tie into the arrival of fan-favorite Carnage. Pulling directly from the comics and seeing Brock locked away to share a cell with Cletus Kasady would be an amazing cliffhanger to rollover into Spider-Man 3. Intihar has said how he wants to tell the story of Spider-Man's Symbiote Suit in an Insomniac way, meaning the origins of Venom will surely be retooled from comic book, movie, and cartoon lore.
Whichever way the story goes, it looks increasingly likely that Insomniac will get to work on a sequel and that Venom will appear in some form. Whether it be either Harry Osborn, Eddie Brock, or someone completely unexpected - Flash Thompson, anyone? - developers are sure to come up with their own twist on how to introduce the savage symbiotes to the wide world of Spider-Man.