The Ultimate Spider-Man show is up to its fourth episode outing. A very strong start, a mediocre middle, and here we have this. I have been anticipating this one for a long time, it’s the debut of my favorite Marvel villain Venom. Ol’ Venom has had two incarnations in the cartoons so far, in The Animated Series, and in Spectacular Spider-Man. The difference here is that he’s appearing very early on, that has never been done before. It took 10 episodes in The Animated Series, and in Spectacular he was saved for the season finale. Not here, here he’s being established early on, and it may just be the best incarnation to date.
The origin here is drastically different from any other Venom origin to date. Doctor Octopus manages to get ahold of Spider-Man’s DNA and creates a symbiote, amplified with all the evil from the DNA. A great scene is when Norman walks in, and the whole place is trashed. Osborn asks “What happened?!” Then Doc Ock simply replies “The specimen escaped.” Now that was some great, simple writing there. I was afraid for a moment that Venom would be Doc Ock’s lapdog in the show, thankfully that’s not the case.
The symbiote is taking a bunch of cues from its Ultimate comics counterpart. Unlike in the 616 universe, this one uses itself as a weapon, like what Carnage does. It always did make more sense that way. Another interesting thing is that there’s no set host (Yet.) It kept latching itself from person to person (Very clever to have it latch onto Flash Thomson first, nice work Marvel). The horrific look is there, and the hate for Spidey is well established. The best moment that I’m sure had us Venom fans geeking out was when it latched itself onto Spidey, followed by the ever classic “I’m Venom!!!!!” (Interesting that it’s I’m, not we’re.) Here we get what looks to be the definitive design for the show. It looks a bit like the Spectacular Spider-Man design, but tweaked to perfection. It has four tentacles coming out out of his back, really gives off the horrific look that we want to see. And the voice, perfection right there.
So was Venom done right in Spider-Man’s latest TV outing? I’d say so. As a huge fan of the 90′s incarnation, I approve. The design, the voice, it’s all there. With some more appearances in the show, this may just be the best Venom incarnation yet.