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Discover How an Alien Symbiote’s Venom Logo Came to Represent a Marvel Hero
The Marvel Universe is full of exciting creatures and characters that appear in various runs of its storylines. From mutants to gods from various pantheons, aliens, and more, these characters are often defined along the lines of heroes, villains, and antiheroes. And one of the more popular of these fringe characters is the alien symbiote Venom.
Now, Venom has been popular enough to have its cinematic debut all the way back in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 3. And with the recent cinematic additions to Sony’s Spiderman Universe in the form of Venom and Venom: Let there be Carnage, the Venom logo is now firmly established as a primary character symbol. However, for fans of the comics, especially Spiderman’s runs, they would be familiar with a number of other symbiotes, like Carnage, Sleeper, Riot, Hybrid, and who can forgot the extremely powerful All-Black the Necrosword.
But how is it that a relatively minor character from Marvel’s roster has managed to reach the heights of popularity that dictate having its own movies? When in fact there are far bigger and more important characters that are still waiting to make their cinematic debut?
Let’s dive in and take a look at the history of this interesting and convoluted Marvel character, who goes back and forth between heroics and villainy from storyline to storyline. We will also decipher the Venom symbol, and understand how a professional logo design company can incorporate those elements into their design.
Understanding the Origin of Venom and Symbiotes in General
Venom is creature that belongs to the race of symbiotes from the planet Klyntar. He and his fellow symbiotes were designed by their creator to devour and destroy worlds, thus causing unchecked and unstoppable death and destruction wherever they went. However, as these symbiotes took over noble and honorable people, the hive mind slowly became more inclined towards intergalactic peace. Thus they imprisoned their creator, the primordial entity Knull, on the planet Klyntar, and set out to assimilate warring worlds and try for peace.
However, just as they were influenced by the positives of their hosts, negatives such as evilness, sickness, and more could also affect it. As a symbiote, Venom was able to manipulate and influence the personality of his host by shining a bright light on their darkest secrets. He also boosted their physical and mental abilities, giving them superhuman traits and abilities.
In his earlier days, his brethren cast out Venom and imprisoned him on the Battleworld planet. That was because unlike his fellow symbiotes, he believed it better to work with his hosts rather than destroy them. This was before the hive-mind became more benevolent, and thus Venom did not benefit from it. However, unlike some of the latter symbiotes to emerge, such as Carnage, he was still more balanced and restrained.
Coming to Earth by way of Spiderman’s new costume in Secret Wars storyline, the symbiote Venom masqueraded as the new Spiderman costume, with self-healing capabilities and enhanced physical prowess. However, when Spiderman became aware of his cannibalistic nature, he decided to remove the symbiote from his body using a ringing great bell. Angry and betrayed, Venom searched around aimlessly, looking for another host and finally finding Eddie Brock, who held a massive grudge against Spiderman.
However, their time together as the crime-fighting hero meant that the Venom too now wanted his hosts to be good guys, and to help people. So inspired was he by this partnership, that he always simulated the design of Spiderman’s black costume when transforming, right down to its spider emblem.
Over various iterations, the character has managed to stop or help stop a various symbiotes and characters, even the strong and vicious Carnage. He even has become a member of the Dark Avengers and other superhero teams, helping keep peace.
Once after Venom had been captured, the government extracted five seeds from his body, which could be used to create new symbiotes, similar to how Carnage came to be. These five symbiote seeds were bound to five handpicked people, as a way of creating super powered soldiers for the government. However, these symbiotes were too juvenile to be much of a threat against more established and senior symbiotes, meaning that they would always be inferior to their progenitor.
Throughout various runs, the relationship between Spiderman and Venom has been a unique one. In many iteration, Venom is said to hate Spiderman, yet respect him at the same time. While in others he is said to be more ambivalent towards the wall crawler. In any case, even in storylines where Venom despises Spiderman, he has agreed to work with Spiderman for the greater good, such as to defeat other symbiote-powered villains like Norman Osborn.
Now, the reason Venom logo and character is so important is because it is significantly difficult to categorize it. If you think that Venom is a villain, then you will not be entirely wrong. However, due to his heroic tendencies and antics, however misguided they may be, most people associate it with antiheroes. In any case, in no storyline can the Venom symbol be considered a part of mainstream superhero logos.
The Connection Between Knull and the Symbiotes
Knull is a primordial entity that was created by the darkness ensuing from the destruction of the sixth cosmos. He formed and ruled over the Endless Void while slumbering. His sleep was disturbed when the Celestials emerged to form the seventh cosmos. He woke up and decided to confront the Celestials, who he believed were encroaching on his kingdom of darkness.
Creating the first symbiote from the darkness, he crafted it into a weapon called All-Black the Necrosword, which he used to kill and behead a Celestial. The other Celestials, foreseeing future conflicts with Knull, banished him and the severed Celestial head deep within the Void.
Knull, while biding his time, used the cosmic energy from the Celestial head to form more symbiotes, and used them to help him eliminate similar deities. However, after he crashes onto an unknown barren planet, he lost his sword, which was retrieved by a local outcast Gorr, who used it to become Gorr the God Butcher.
As the creator of the symbiotes, Knull had a telepathic connection with the symbiote hive-mind. This allowed him to send out sets of symbiotes to assimilate and destroy different planets, while easily monitoring and controlling those symbiotes from the Void, and later from Klyntar.
As a primordial entity, he was on the same level as the Norse and other pantheons in Marvel Universe. And his purpose of deicide was so strong that every subsequent wielder of his Necrosword would continue on the same journey.
Understanding the Venom Logo and Its Various Forms
Now that we have taken a look at the Venom symbiote, its origin and background, as well as its place within the moral alignment, the next thing is to take a look at various iterations of the Venom logo. Over the years, there have a few alternatives used for the character’s symbol, with the most popular being the wordmark.
That is because as far as logos go, the symbol emblazoned across Venom’s torso is a mix of Knull and Spiderman’s symbol. In fact, when Venom first achieved symbiosis with Spiderman, Peter was thinking about Spider Woman’s costume at that time. Venom saw the image in Peter’s mind, and fashioned a uniform similar to the black one she wore, with the spider design on it a mix of Knull’s symbol, and the spider design of Spider Woman.
With so many different designs of spiders and costumes featured by the Spider family, fans needed other ways to identify the character. So let’s take a look at various logos that are used to depict the Venom character in the Marvel Universe.
The Spider Logo
The first, and most popular of the Venom logos, is the spiky spider logo. This design was inspired by the symbol across Knull’s chest plate, and the spider logo used by Spider Woman. It featured an aggressive-looking spider, with a long body, four-sectioned legs, designed to cover the entire chest and reach under the armpits. Unlike the Spiderman logo, which has a much more delicate design, this logo was designed to showcase a more-aggressive character, who was more dangerous and vicious.
The design was done in a similar style as Spiderman’s black suite, with the spider done in white over a black background. This was an effective design, despite its heavier visual weight. That is because unlike Spiderman, who has a slim and lithe build, Venom offers far greater bulk to his hosts. This means that instead of a heavy logo dominating the front of a small character; it is the picture of perfect balance in design on Venom’s chest.
The Crazy Face
This version of the logo, which features a fang-filled open mouth of Venom, is often used as a supplement to the wordmark, as it features the iconic Venom smile. Contrary to the theme used by the Punisher logo, the symbol takes the alternative spot to the wordmark here. Unlike Spiderman, on whom Venom models itself, and who does not have a mouth opening in his mask, Venom can manifest a mouth that open extremely wide, full of sharp fangs.
Considering that the symbiotes are carnivores, and even the cinematic version of Venom is one with cannibalistic tendencies, it’s no surprise that it would have a mouth. In various runs of Venom comics, we see Venom or other symbiotes, especially Carnage, using their mouths to eat and swallow their victims.
Now, the reason this symbol is rarely used on its own is because if only change the color of the head from black to red, it could as easily the psychotic Carnage. And although Carnage is Venom’s offspring, its initial symbiosis is psychopathic murdered Cletus turned him into a dangerous and unhinged symbiote, something you wouldn’t want to associate with Venom.
The Cinematic Wordmark
Finally, we get to the wordmark of the Venom logo. At an initial glance, it doesn’t look like anything special. The font has barely perceptible serifs, the letters use a simple typography, and there is nothing that visually pops off of the design, similar to the X-Men logo. However, there is a subtle reason for that.
If you look at the design of the letters carefully, they have a silvery design that looks somewhat like liquid mercury. And there is a specific reason for that. The symbiotes are designed to amorphous, adaptable, but with enough cohesion to hold their shape. And mercury does exactly that. Loose mercury forms globules that skim across the surface freely, are hard to handle, and droplets of it merge together in an uncanny way.
As a symbiotic creature, Venom too can do exactly that. And that why this style was chosen for the Venom wordmark. The letters look like they have a rounded surface, as if made from a free-flowing metal. It even looks like all the letters are barely held together by surface tension and a light nudge would displace them into a big puddle of shapeless mercury.
Now, on its own, you might say that the logo doesn’t have the sinister overtones that could effectively portray the character itself. However when accompanied by the crazy smiling symbol, the duo can have a rightly unsettling impact on the viewers. That is why this version of the Venom logo has been for the cinematic depictions of the character, for 2018’s Venom and 2022’s Venom: Let there be Carnage.
If you look at the poster above, you will see that when accompanied with other branding elements, the logo perfectly fits the aesthetic, adding the perfect amount of meaning without taking from the logo.
|What does the spider on the Venom logo represent?
The vicious-looking spider sported by Venom as his logo is a twisted design that reflects the mixed feelings of Venom and his host (Eddie Brock). Eddie despises the Spiderman, especially after his ex-fiancée committed suicide for fear of Venom, and Venom’s mixed feelings regarding Spiderman and his fight for justice.
|How did Venom come up with his spider symbol?
Venom combined the design style of Spider Woman’s design aesthetic, the style of Spiderman’s suit, and the visual style of Knull’s spider-dragon hybrid symbol displayed on his symbiote armor’s chest plate.
Summing up the topic, the Venom logo represents a character who is an extremely complicated entity. So difficult is it to classify that years after its inception, people still debate whether Venom is a villain or an antihero.
Whatever it may be, the character has a somewhat subtle symbol, which is somewhat common with many a Marvel logo. that is because unlike DC, Marvel prefers to focus on the representation of the character, with the symbol coming secondary. But that doesn’t mean that one depiction is better than the other. Both represent the different approaches to creating memorable characters taken by the competing comic book brands.
There are numerous examples of even major characters in Marvel with less memorable logos, such as with the Iron Man logo, which is forgettable at best. On the other hand, fellow Avengers member Captain America has a symbol that is greater and more memorable than the character itself. So it all comes down to the nature of the character for Marvel. Is it their position that holds influence, or their personality? That is the question when it comes to Marvel creating logos for its characters.
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