In Amazing Spider-Man #654, Marvel revealed that the new host to the Venom symbiote is none other than Peter Parker’s boyhood nemesis, Flash Thompson. Thompson was a bully who made Parker’s life miserable ever since the debut of Spider-Man in 1962. Thompson will be the third notable host to the symbiote; the original was struggling journalist and sadist Eddie Brock, followed by Mac Gargan (the original Scorpion).

Thompson recently turned over a new leaf in his life and decided to join the military. However, he lost his legs fighting overseas in Iraq and was left wheelchair bound. But with the help of the Venom symbiote, Thompson will now serve as an operative of the United States government instead of as a foe to Spider-Man. This new version of the classic Spider-Man villain will sport a sleak new outfit and have access to firearms and advanced military training. The symbiote will also grant him artificial legs while it is attached to him.

This isn’t the first time that Venom will be portrayed as a hero. 1993’s Venom: Lethal Protector was the beginning of a trend of making Venom more of an anti-hero similar to Wolverine or the Punisher instead of just a brain-eating villain.

This new Venom will also be heavily featured in next week’s Amazing Spider-Man #654.1. That issue will lead directly into his own series starting with Venom #1 on sale in March written by Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) with art by Tony Moore (The Walking Dead.)

And speaking of Venom #1, here is a page of preview art from the book featuring a re-imagined version of the longtime Marvel villain, Jack O'Lantern.

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