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Is Venom Marvel's darkest superhero yet?

He may be one of Spider-Man’s all-time greatest foes, but don’t expect Venom to get the “homecoming” treatment when he hits the big screen in his very own feature film, starring Tom Hardy.

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios teamed up to give us a brand new look at one of the most recognizable comic book characters in last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, a hit blockbuster that brought the iconic hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside the likes of the Avengers, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Now Sony is venturing off on its own, giving one of Spidey’s nastiest nemeses a turn in the spotlight. Venom stars Hardy as Eddie Brock, a hard-nosed journalist whose dogged investigation of the secretive Life Corporation and it’s enigmatic leader Carlton Drake (Emmy Award winner Riz Ahmed) exposes Brock to an alien symbiote – a creature that gives him extraordinary superpowers and a hunger to use them for vengeance.

At first glance, Brock’s transformation into Venom seems like a turn straight out of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as Brock loses control and lets the monstrous side take over. But there’s a lot of nuance to the character of Venom: Hardy portrays the constant push and pull between the unwilling human host and the powerful symbiote. That might explain why Venom has been one of Marvel Comics’ most popular and enduring anti-heroes for the past 30 years.

The film sees our anti-hero, the Brock-symbiote hybrid, take down an entire police SWAT team with its tentacle-like protrusions, threaten cannibalism after demolishing a gang of bad guys, and cause significant property damage during a high speed motorcycle chase: leading us to question: how far will this film push the envelope? Are viewers in for Marvel’s darkest lead yet?

While the past few years have seen the R-rated Deadpool and graphic violence of X-Men star Wolverine in the critically acclaimed Logan, Venom may be the darkest, most unbridled “superhero” we’ve seen yet, blurring the lines between justice and brutal violence. The film appears to take the character to a far more extreme place than its original big screen appearance, back in director Sam Raimi’s 2007 film Spider-Man 3, when Topher Grace played Brock in a story more closely aligned to his comic book origins.

Fans can expect a tense thrill ride of a film, and we can’t wait to see if Venom will end up adding “hero” to his already “super” status.

See Venom with your best Marvel-loving friend.

Anyone who loves Marvel will enjoy this darkly comedic take on the classic Spider-Man anti-hero. Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock offers us something both familiar and refreshing at the same time, and any die-hard comic-book fan should experience Venom on the big screen.

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