I should say, I would like to see the symbiote passed around with purpose. If the narrative really called for the costume, not the person within it, to become the focus of the title. Imagine if the symbiote was developed as a sentient character that changed and became the true star. Each time it swapped hosts, it simply learnt a new lesson and was better prepared for a future of independence, or a new host partnership that could be used to long-term effect.
Here are the ten people I think should get a run within the costume before it settles down with my last choice.
1 - Nick Fury
If any superspy is going to get his superspy on with this suit then it should be the original superspy of the Marvel U. Once Flash is out of the picture, something comes up that only Fury can handle. But he knows he can handle it just that bit better with a black symbiote wrapped around him. He doesn’t quite need it but he wants it. He’s going to streamline his mission, and he’s also going to teach the suit a thing or two. If anyone could put an alien blob into line it would be Fury.
This storyline wouldn’t have to go for long – probably just two issues would do it. Get Fury in, make with the awesome, and then move on. Fury doesn’t need a massive arc to get his point across. He shows the suit who is boss and he grooves on out. After some time with Flash it will be nice to have a short little stint with someone else. But this will all lead us up to another short run in the suit…
2 - Peter Parker
Imagine the scandal as former friend and foe are reunited together again for the first time, and for one time only. Make this a one shot or another two issue arc, but definitely keep it short. One mission, Parker doesn’t want to do it but he has to. There is no other choice. So he mans up and gets the job done. But he kind of likes it. It’s not as bad as it should be.
This can be the issue where the suit and the man make up. They won’t be bonding but they won’t be sworn enemies. This is the suit’s first step of true rehabilitation. The touching moments, the gushing emotion, the real back in black storyline. It’s all about growth. This storyline shows a mission statement, the suit is coming back.
3 - Agent Brand
The suit has spent plenty of time in the cities, we’ve seen it all before. It’s time to take things intergalactic. The suit is an alien, from outer space, so why wouldn’t it get back out there to mix it up? Agent Brand is the host and the chaperone. This is a real test of the suit to see if it can toe the company line.
Things get hairy but of course the suit pulls through. Maybe it even saves Brand at one stage…But ultimately this needs to be a tale of the suit in zero gravity like we have never seen before.
4 - Man-Thing
From outer space to the swamps of America, the suit can do anything. A true triple threat on the court, something is going down at the Nexus of All Realities and only a slick black substance strapped to the giant sized Man-Thing can solve this situation. Of course, being Thunderbolts property means Luke Cage is on hand to ensure all is going well but he doesn’t have to once step in to intervene. The suit is developing as a character. It’s showing heroic qualities and reports are given back to S.H.I.E.L.D. on the sly.
5 - Emma Frost
The suit would actually be given to an X-Man, someone like Pixie or Cannonball, but when they are injured severely in battle Frost has no choice but to pick the suit up and host it for a while. Why? Because this comic needs some true cheesecake so a scantily clad black suit would look good for a little while. Frost could belittle the suit, really make it appreciate how nice it is to have a friendly host. This isn’t so much about their mission as their relationship. The suit doesn’t like being treated the way Scott Summers so clearly does. But it sticks it out and gets the job done anyway.
6 - Norman Osborn
After the X-Men mission, the transport back to the Helicarrier goes awry and the jailbreak is orchestrated by none other than Spider-Man’s true nemesis, Norman Osborn. The former H.A.M.M.E.R. ruler is able to commandeer and dominate the suit and turn it into a Black Goblin rig of pure awesome. He spends a few issues making himself a general menace and then the suit eventually steps up and asserts control.
Not only does the suit show it is good but it shows it can fight to do the right thing, and it also captures and delivers one of the most wanted villains in the Marvel U.
7 - Spider-Woman
Consider being wrapped on Jessica Drew’s frame a reward for doing well. This pairing gives us a chance for a Dodson to come on board and make with the pretty but it also gives the suit a chance to realise that not all heroes are perfect. Drew is clearly and almost worryingly broken on the inside and the suit manages to bond with her through this. I won’t say a relationship begins but I will say these two understand each other.
It’s a touching few issues of what it’s like to be someone who was once on the other side.
8 - Wolverine
Like the fanlads aren’t waiting for this one? It has to be done, but why? Easy, S.H.I.E.L.D. are showing the suit that they have some heroes who are just as bad and deadly as him on the inside. Logan can serve as inspiration as well as a deterrent. If the suit gets out of line they have this person who can, and will, track the suit down and inflict pain and other terrible things upon it.
Plus, Venom-Wolvie. That’s just the sort of thing sales will need after two years.
9 - Doctor Doom
Doom comes through and steals the suit for some secret plan of his. He is successful and we get a tale of him posturing and loving his new suit and powers. His brain has been slipping so this will give him the edge he needs. It’s uncertain if he’s actually doing anything evil with the suit but it’s not worth the risk so S.H.I.E.L.D. send in one of their better new agents to retrieve the suit from the diplomatically sealed land of Latveria. Actions are shown throughout Doom’s story but this agent’s identity is not revealed until the triumphant moment at the end and we see…
10 - Eric O’Grady
Everyone’s favourite Irredeemable Ant-Man gets into the black suit and it’s a personality match made in heaven. O’Grady slinks away without actually defeating Doom and the man and the suit have a long weekend getting back to the good guys. They stop a few muggings, take dinner with some girls, and generally have the one thing the suit has been missing; fun. O’Grady shows the suit the perils and excitement of shower watching and they bond as equals.
Thus, the newest ongoing Venom becomes O’Grady, still with Ant-Man technology, as the newest hero everyone wants to read.
And let the money roll in.
At least, that’s the sort of thing I’d do with Venom if I got to write it. Where Rick Remender will go is anyone’s guess. I’m sure he’ll do something completely better than what I just wrote but I know I’d like to see him get some other people into the suit. These are my choices, what are yours?