Space can change a man -- even a symbiote man.
In Wednesday's Guardians of the Galaxy #23, the newly recruited Agent Venom - aka Flash Thompson and the original Venom symbiote - got some new duds. It comes about as a result of the ending of the "Planet of the Symbiotes" storyarc of that series, and while we won't spoil to you how it happens, we have to talk about the former Spider-Man villain's all-new look.
In an interview with Marvel, artist Valerio Schiti says that the impetus to redesign Venom came from series writer Brian Michael Bendis.
"I suppose that the main reason for this change is the new readers—at least that’s what Brian Bendis said!" says Schiti. "The new generations of readers have a totally different idea of Venom; most of them don’t even know that once he was a bad guy. In this moment nobody perceives him like a monster, everybody knows that he’s a hero, a good guy with a super cool costume that can do amazing things so why don’t we concentrate on them? Brian noticed that new way of thinking about the character and imagined this totally different version."
According to Schiti, Bendis pointed the artist to the Venom of the recent game Disney Infinity as a starting point for the redesign.
"They wanted a modern version of the character: he should be strong and sleek and powerful; a perfect version of the character, with a new set of super powers."
Schiti said that while he used this new rendition as a starting point, he also made it a point to refer back to the original Venom design by Mike Zeck and Todd McFarlane. The artist also brought in infliuence from Ghost In The Shell and Tron for the goal of having what Schiti calls a "space Venom" more in line with the cosmic Guardians of the Galaxy teams.