VENOM Moves to the City of Brotherly Love in December

Venom #28

Maybe a new zip code and some cheese steak will do him good.

The AP is reporting Monday that Venom, the alien symbiote anti-hero currently in control of wounded Iraq war veteran and old Peter Parker nemesis-then-friend Flash Thompson, is leaving New York City to set up shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The move will happen in December’s Venom #28.

Venom-Thompson, who works as a super-soldier and spy for the U.S. government and with the Secret Avengers, has been dealing with alcoholism and a habit of lying to his teammates.

"Now, he's trying to do the right thing,” series writer Cullen Bunn told the AP. “He's reassessing what it means to be a hero. And he's looking for a fresh start. This means a lot of things for Flash. He's surrounding himself with new people — such as tabloid journalist Katy Kiernan and his new love interest, the Asgardian Valkyrie. He's changing his approach to being a superhero. And he's looking for a change of scenery."

Series editor Tom Brennan, a graduate of Philly's Drexel University, said it's time Philly had a hero of its own, putting it in the same league as L.A. and New York, among other real-life cities that populate the Marvel Universe.

"All the while that I lived there, I wanted a superhero for the city of Philadelphia, a town full of heart, hustle and hope — and I don't care what anyone says — some of the nicest people I've ever met," Brennan said. "Sure, they don't suffer fools, and you've got to be mindful if you cross against the light, but I found the City of Brotherly Love to be a character in and of itself that I thought more fiction should explore."

Bunn said the city will be part of Venom's growth, expanding as he does, too.

"I've always liked that Marvel superheroes are adventuring in the 'real' world. Certainly, there will be some fictional elements popping up in stories, but I'll try to keep it as grounded in the actual city as possible," he said. "It's time Philly gets a little Marvel Universe face-time. Local landmarks, neighborhoods, legends, and history will play a role in the book.

"We're not just moving Venom to Philly in hopes of getting free hoagies, though we'll take them. Flash Thompson has been on an emotional roller coaster. His superhero career almost cost him everything," concluded Brennan. "This is a good man with a troubled past who needed a fresh start, and thought the City of Brotherly Love was the perfect place for him to take his next steps in becoming the hero he was born to be."

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