Flash Thomspon has been adventuring in space as Venom for some time as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but in Venom: Space Knight he’s becoming the latest character to take on a title with a long history at Marvel.
Of course, the original Space Knight, Rom, is now licensed by IDW. But Venom: Space Knight writer Robbie Thompson still plans to explore just what it means to hold that title in the “All-New, All-Different” Marvel Universe, where he and artist Ariel Olivetti will strike Flash out on his own throughout the galaxy.
With the series debuting November 25, Thompson revealed out where Flash’s travels will take him, what kind of threat he’s up against, and how his relationship with the Venom symbiote has evolved since he went to outer space.
Newsarama: Flash Thompson/Venom already fights in space as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, so Robbie, what is Flash going after or trying to protect in this solo series?
Robbie Thompson: Flash Thompson is after one thing: a second chance. And so is the Klyntar.
Nrama: That's the recently revealed name of the Venom symbiote, for those not reading Guardians of the Galaxy.
Thompson: Yes. And they both want to use that second chance to accomplish one thing: be a big old hero. In the “Planet of the Symbiotes” Guardians arc, the Klyntar was “cleansed,” allowing it and Flash to start over and wipe the slate clean. But what does it mean to be an Agent of the Cosmos? Are there other Agents? And how do they connect with the Space Knights? All of those questions will be answered in Venom: Space Knight!
Nrama: So who or what is Flash up against?
Thompson: Flash/Venom are on the hunt for a mysterious force that’s been collecting weapons throughout the galaxy. Flash’s first goal is to get those dangerous pieces off the board, and then figure out who is behind all this illicit activity – he’s got to get ahead of them before they go too far. The identity of this mysterious force will be revealed in #2, and it will be a familiar customer to long-time Marvel fans.
Nrama: And who is this Pik Rollo character mentioned for February’s #4?
Thompson: In #1, Flash puts a dent in the plans of this mysterious force that’s out there – and is rewarded with an enormous target on his back. Pik Rollo is a deadly menace that gets sent to kill Flash and tear the Klyntar off his body. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of fighting in #4 – and Ariel did an incredible job bringing that character to life.
Nrama: Venom is a Space Knight – where in space will he be going?
Thompson: All over – but initially he’ll be hitting outer planets, making a name for himself and learning his place in the Marvel galaxy.
Nrama: Venom and the whole symbiote concept got an upgrade thanks to Brian Michael Bendis in a recent arc of Guardians of the Galaxy as part of the Klyntar race. Can you tell us the framework of the Klyntar culture as it relates to this book?
Thompson: We’re going to be leaning pretty hard into what was established in that amazing arc, and exploring what it means to be “cleansed” and how it affects the Klyntar – and Flash. The suit has been defined and driven by so much anger – so what happens when that rage is removed? What’s underneath all that? This change will result in a much different relationship between host and symbiote in Venom, and we’re really excited to show new aspects of the Klyntar, as well as some fun new abilities.
Nrama: Venom isn’t the first Space Knight at Marvel; many remember Rom: Space Knight. Rom was a licensed character who’s now over at IDW; how will Venom: Space Knight dance around that fact and inability to use Rom?
Thompson: Well, this is the “All New, All Different” Marvel and Venom will be finding his place among the Space Knights as the series goes along – and you’ll be seeing All New All Different Space Knights soon!
Nrama: Is this related to the Space Knights from Rom and as seen in Infinity, or is the use of “Space Knight” more a general term now?
Thompson: I can say that “Space Knights” is definitely not just a general term – but what it means, and how it ties to Venom is something we’re going to get into as the book unfolds.
Nrama: Ariel Olivetti brings a very distinctive and deliberate style as artist of Venom: Space Knight. How does having him translating your scripts into comics enhance the story, from your perspective?
Thompson: I’m a longtime fan of Ariel’s work, so it’s been incredible to be teamed up with him. Every time I get an email with his pages, Editor Jacob Thomas and I immediately trade fanboy emails about how amazing Ariel’s art looks.
Ariel’s work has elevated the book in every single way – he’s building worlds and amazing creatures, but also creating wonderful personal moments as well as humor. I just think he’s the total package and I’m very lucky to be partnered with him on this book.
Nrama: Last question... Besides Venom, you’ve done a lot of work on Marvel’s Spider-Man books, most prominently Silk. Venom and Flash Thompson originated in Amazing Spider-Man, but do you still consider them part of the Spider-Family?
Thompson: I think Flash and Venom will always be tied to the Spider-Family. As you said, they were born there and those roots should never go away. When I think of Flash, I immediately think of Peter and all of their shared history.
Having said that, one of the things I’ve always loved about Flash as a character is that, over the years, he’s been allowed to grow. From bully, to veteran, to Guardian. And this is a new chapter in Flash’s story, a story that we’re hoping will allow him to continue to grow as a character.