Venom’s New Costume Is Eddie Brock’s Best Upgrade In Years

Warning: contains spoilers for Venom #21!As part of his haphazard trip to godhood as the King in Black, Venom has finally received a stunning new form. Venom #21 pits the titular symbiote against his feral other self, Bedlam. While the classic suit will always be his best, Eddie Brock’s newest symbiote look is truly an incredible upgrade.

Following his rise as the King of Black, Eddie has seen the many paths his life can go down, and the future selves he will become. One of those selves is Bedlam – a version of Venom stripped of his memories and overcome by rage, particularly at himself. Venom #21 has the creative team of Al Ewing, Cafu, Pere Perez, Frank D’Armata, and Clayton Cowles. This issue contains his fight against Bedlam, which awards him with his newest appearance once he has defeated and absorbed his other self.

Venom’s New Red Symbiote Form Is a Huge Change

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The new suit not only turns Venom into a red symbiote, but gives him a new logo design and two extra arms. This is incredibly different since Venom has traditionally been seen in black, while his homicidal offspring – Carnage – has been the best-known red symbiote. However, there has been a recent shift in Marvel Comics, as many more symbiotes are being added to the universe, and several include red in their color schemes. Originally, the Life Foundation symbiotes (Venom’s Klyntar children) were all different colors, allowing readers to readily tell them apart based on that element alone. The only symbiote besides Carnage to have any red was Scream due to a color accent within her hair.

Recently, several symbiotes have used the red color scheme, including Bedlam, Liz Allan’s iteration of Misery, Toxin, and Scream. Even the former King in Black, Knull, incorporated red into his suit. Venom is the latest symbiote to pick up on the trend, but he’s doing so in style as he absorbs his alternate selves. After he defeats himself in Bedlam’s mind, he seems to gain the Venom symbiote back – which he had relinquished to his son, Dylan Brock. Yet he doesn’t have the same appearance as his former iteration.

Venom Is Evolving… But Into What?

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The debut of the suit at the issue’s end shows a version of Venom devoid of the recognizable sharp-toothed smile that these aliens have become known for. Instead, the mask reads more like a traditional Spider-Man one, sans web patterning. It is completely smooth and is much more rounded around the eyes and throughout the overall design – a more directly heroic look for an Eddie who is taking responsibility for his deeds. At present, it is not shown with tendril aspects, the way symbiote suits often are, though that is likely to come later on. In a series that’s deeply invested in metaphor and imagery, it’s interesting that the King in Black is no longer wearing black, and that the ‘spider’ symbol on Bedlam’s chest is disconnected from its legs.

Eddie Brock’s final destination is to defeat or become Meridius, the final King in Black. To do that, he’s conquering the future versions of himself who lead to that conclusion. It therefore makes perfect sense that conquering Bedlam has changed Venom on such a fundamental level, since Eddie himself is going through essential changes that will dicate not just his future, but that of the Marvel Universe.

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