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Venom 2 Needs To Embrace The 'Symbrock' Romance

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Venom 2 needs to fully embrace the romantic relationship between Eddie Brock and Venom like its fans have. Rule 34 is an unofficial internet law that dictates a simple truth: if it exists, there will be porn of it. The topic is inconsequential because the internet can make anything, everything and everyone sexy. Rule 34 is a big part of fandom and fan fiction, often to the point of absurdity, but it demonstrates of fans can find the subtext in undiscovered ways for creative potential. There will always be fandom trends and favorite relationships that become the stuff of fanfiction fuel for years to come. Now, the big trend on Tumblr, a home of sorts to fandom activity, is centered on Venom.

Sony's latest attempt to craft an expanded superhero universe based on the world of Spider-Man opened to tepid reviews but has become a commercial success, all but cementing the development of a sequel. While Venom's mid-credits scene offers Woody Harrelson's Carnage as the main hook for a second film, the true appeal of future installments lies with Eddie Brock and his relationship with the Symbiote that he is bound to.

Related: Venom Was A Massive Box Office Success

Fans may call it Symbrock and jokes may be made about their romance, but this dynamic is and always has been the most fascinating thing in the Venom narrative. Eddie and Venom’s mind-bending and often deeply co-dependent relationship is frequently compared to a romance in the comics, and recently, the pair even had a baby Symbiote together. It’s no wonder fans are happy to lean into the sexual subtext between the two, but it would also be worthwhile for director Reuben Fleischer and Tom Hardy to wholeheartedly embrace that in Venom 2, especially since they seemed happy to play around with the dynamic in the first movie.

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Eddie and Venom's Dynamic Was the Highlight of Venom

Venom was advertised as an origin story in the vein of its comic book movie contemporaries but it best succeeds on its own terms, primarily as a bizarre buddy comedy that happens to have a sci-fi action slant. All of the best scenes in the film center on Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy with absolute gusto) and Venom (also voiced by Hardy) as they try to come to terms with one another. Their pseudo-slapstick dynamic melds together well with their blossoming friendship and by the end of the film, Venom is halfway between being Eddie’s life coach and his significant other. It’s primarily played for laughs – and Venom is much more intentionally funny than it’s given credit for – but it’s also a psychological quandary that proves fertile ground for storytellers and fans alike.

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The Eddie/Venom dynamic of the comics tends to skew darker in tone, delving into the mental impact and co-dependent forces that keep them together, even when it’s bad for both of them. Venom goes goofier than that, in part because a PG-13 film intended for wide audiences probably wouldn’t be able to penetrate those layers of emotional strife. Instead, the film plays around with the inherent silliness of its concept and the limb-flailing slapstick that would occur if you found yourself taken over by a bossy alien parasite with a point to prove. It’s in these moments, including the now-infamous lobster tank dive, where Tom Hardy is clearly having the most fun with the story and the character(s). He has genuine chemistry with the CGI blob voiced by himself and the interpretation of Eddie and Venom both being losers who find each other and become two halves of the same whole is endlessly fun to watch.

Eddie And Venom's 'Romance' Is Canon In The Comics

While Venom has had other hosts during his long run in the comics, the bond formed with Eddie Brock has stood as one of the Spider-Man universe’s most enduring and fascinating relationships. The Symbiote originally bonded with Peter Parker, but he found the power that came with Venom to be a poisonous force that he rejected. For Eddie, the power was more intoxicating, in part fuelled by the pair’s mutual hatred towards Peter (Brock’s story starts in the comics when he loses his job as a reporter at the Daily Globe when he messed up a major story, which he blamed on Spider-Man). While Venom would later find other hosts – including Flash Thompson – he always seems to return to Eddie.

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Related: Venom Erases Spider-Man To Avoid Marvel Mistakes

The most recent run of Venom stories in the comics leaned much harder on the relationship dynamic. Eddie frequently refers to Venom as his “love” and Venom is openly determined to defend Eddie against the world. Eddie calls their situation a relationship multiple times, and the mental strain their connection causes effects them both. As already noted, they even have a child together.

Page 2: How Venom 2 Can Do Symbrock Justice

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