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Marvel Artist Explains the Origin of Venom's Weirdly Long Tongue

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Comic book creator and Image Comics co-founder Erik Larsen has revealed that Venom's trademark long and versatile tongue was actually a bit of an accident. The toothy symbiote is getting his own solo movie later this year, with Tom Hardy playing his unfortunate host Eddie Brock, and the latest trailer showed Eddie transforming into Venom and showing off that long, creepy tongue.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Venom is the first in planned series of movies featuring Spider-Man adjacent characters, but not Spider-Man himself, since Peter Parker is currently committed to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The lack of a Spider-Man is a bit of a challenge for Venom, since the two characters are so deeply intertwined, but based on the latest trailer it seems the symbiote will be captured by the sinister Life Foundation, and then attach itself to Eddie when he tries to investigate the organization.

Related: Why Venom (Probably) Won’t Wear the Spider Symbol

In the wake of the trailer, a lot of people were talking about that big reveal of Venom and his tongue (there were many bawdy jokes being thrown around), so Larsen took to his Facebook page to explain exactly how the tongue came into existence. It turns out that for years he didn't even realize that he'd invented it wholecloth, but thought he'd simply elaborated upon Todd McFarlane's original depiction of the character.

Larsen includes several images of Venom in the post, including one of the first appearances of Larsen's new take on Venom: The Amazing Spider-Man #347. In this comic, Venom traps Spider-Man on an island and plays a twisted game of cat-and-mouse that shows off some of the symbiote's stranger abilities (it can emulate the appearance of just about any material - including water and tree bark - so that Venom is able to camouflage himself). While this wasn't the first comic in which Larsen drew Venom, it was the issue that really locked in the design that became the blueprint for virtually all future depictions of the character.

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A notable exception was the portrayal of Venom in Spider-Man 3, in which the character more closely resembled MacFarlane's early illustrations and had a relatively normal tongue. So, Fleischer's movie will mark the first time that we get to see that long, creepy tongue on the big screen in all its glory. Something to look forward to?

More: Venom Movie: Every Update You Need To Know

Source: Erik Larsen (via ComicBook)

Key Release Dates
  • Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
  • Silver and Black (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019
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