100% real oral history of the creation of Venom.
I don't think a comic book super villain has influenced comic books more than Venom, except for the many other super villains that were more, but Venom is certainly one of them. With the new movie coming out, we decided to really look into the symbiote's history, and interview a few of the people that were responsible for its creation.
Of course, all true comic book fans know that the idea originated from a plucky young fan, Randy Schueller.
This is what the editor-in-chief at the time had to say Jim Shooter: "Oh yeah, I remember that one where we got this note in from this guy and he was like, 'You know, you know it would be cool if like, there was an upgrade to our greatest Spider-Man's costume using the same material that The Fantastic Four's costumes were made from,' and everybody was like, 'That's a cool, sweet idea,' and then this dude sent in like, this black Spider-Man costume. I remember saying to John, John Byrne, that, "You know what this reminds me of?" And John Byrne of course knew exactly what this reminded us of."
John Byrne, "Oh yes, yes, I know exactly what them was talking about. It had become rather popular in the Marvel writing community, and generally the comic book creating community at large, to roll in black goo. No one's exactly sure where this started or why it was such a popular thing at Marvel. We remember once hearing that Jack Kirby drank a scotch one time, and we suspect it kind of just snowballed from that, but no definitive answer could be totally certain, but what we do know is that we were super into rolling in black goo. I was like, 'You know what we should do? We should go and get a sandwich and go get a sandwich,' because I really couldn't think of the whole idea. The only thing I had written down on the drawing that the young Mr. Schueller sent me was how sweet is it to roll in black goo, and really, Tom DeFalco was the one who ran with it. Tom DeFalco and Roy Fritz were the ones who ran with that idea."
Tom DeFalco, "Man, I got to say, I got to say, I got to say, I got to say, I got to say, and got to say. I don't remember any of it. Man, I don't remember any of that. I vaguely remember Roger Stern asking me something about that, but then again, Roger Stern periodically disappears into the mountains of Tibet. Roger Stern has like 1000 ideas. I just remember, I was in a fugue state for like three years at Marvel and I just wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote. I don't remember much of anything. I think I was a bird at one point, and that was pretty much it."
Roger Stern, "Really? That's crazy. Tom really said those things? I guess, yes. Byrne had this idea and I was like, 'That was cool for Iron Fist,' and I was like, 'Can I use that?' And he was like, 'Sure.' Sorry it's not more interesting. No, what? no, I've never been to Tibet. Are you sure this is the Tom DeFalco that worked for Marvel and not a random Tom DeFalco that you just found by looking in the phone book, because it doesn't sound like Tom. What about Ron? Have you talked to Ron?"
Ron Frenz here, "Ron Frenz remembers exactly how Venom came to be. Venom spoke to Ron Frenz in a dream. He could hear his chirping like a bird. That's how Ron Frenz remembers creating Venom."
With that, we pretty much established, and that's all we could really get out of these people. I could've sworn that Todd MacFarlane was involved in some way, but when I tried to call him, he said he was sitting in a room and he was sitting in a room, and when, he was like, "Remember to turn off the light," and I was like, "Oh yeah, I like that animated Spawn series." That's the oral history of the creation of Venom, 100% true.