In just six months, one of Spider-Man’s most infamous villains gets his feature film debut, because Spider-Man 3 is best forgotten and Tom Hardy is going to be the one to wash the rancid taste out of everyone’s mouth. While normally a bad guy, Venom is going to be a gritty anti-hero, not unlike the recent depiction of Frank Castle in Netflix’s The Punisher. Why? Because if he was a straight up psychopath it would be difficult to be sympathetic towards his character in any way. And besides, we like Spider-Man alive.
Venom premiered in the ‘90s, the brainchild of Todd McFarlane, of Spawn fame. Venom was originally an alien symbiote that attached itself to a host, granting them its extraordinary extraterrestrial powers. Bonus points if they hated Spider-Man, because that only made the symbiote stronger. It tried to piggy back onto Spidey at one point, but he successfully rejected its advances. Spider-Man 3 showed the unfortunate downside of a Venom and Spider-Man bonding experience, wherein Tobey Maguire has an awkward emo phase and tries to be edgy. Will Tom Hollander’s Spider-Man make a cameo in Venom? Chances are slim we’ll have much Venom vs Spider-Man action, so here’s 20 memes to get your extremely long tongues wagging until October!
THE LUNCH THIEF
Is there really anything more preemptive of a homicidal rage than someone going into the communal fridge, in the employee lounge, and eating out of CLEARLY LABELED food containers? Like what kind of monster actually considers opening up food marked for someone *who is not them* and eating it without the concept that the action might ruin someone else’s day? Do they not know what happens when someone gets hungry, looks forward to what they’ve brought for lunch, and then comes to find it’s missing? This meme.
What’s particularly ironic about this picture is that the villain of the piece is in fact Spidey, who is in fact the lunch thief. Venom is the employee righteously lassoing him with some symbiote webbing, probably telling him that he’s about to be what’s for lunch. This version of Venom was brought to meh by Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3, which tried to fit so many villains into the movie that the Venom origins were rushed and confusing. It did do a fair job of explaining the alien Symbiote timeline of landing on Earth, hijacking Spider-Man, getting kicked out of Spider-Man, and bonding with Eddie Brock, but it failed to establish the character of Venom as any sort of terrifying threat. Having to make it sanely until dinner because your lunch got stolen is far scarier.
THE FACE YOUR GIRLFRIEND MAKES
It’s a truth almost universally acknowledged that if a guy asks his girlfriend if she wants anything when he’s about to get some takeout, she will say “No.” He will invariably return with said takeout and she will proceed to eat almost all of his food. Why does this phenomenon occur, you say? Because women often hide that they’re as ravenous as an alien symbiote on the hunt for a new Spider-Man hating host. They’re either going to start a diet, on a diet, or trying to impress the guy by pretending they aren’t hungry so he won’t think they’re going to unhinge their jaw at any moment and inhale all of his fries.
This Spider-Man looks like the recent incarnation of Spidey since recent films like Spider-Man: Homecoming, with a leaner build and the whole bobble-headed look in the mask. Compared to Venom, who looks positively brutal in size and hunger, this Spidey looks spider-bite sized by contrast. It makes sense, because even if a guy does order his girlfriend some takeout, she ends up eating hers as an appetizer on the way to his. The best defense? Order a couple extra of whatever just in case, or risk an extra long tongue sliding his way out of nowhere.
HEY INFINITY WAR, YOU JEALOUS?
Avengers: Infinity War has grossed hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and been hailed as a tour de force of superhero cinema. Boasting dozens of your favorite superheroes taking on Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet, it also features plenty of great moments with your favorite Avengers. One of those newly minted Avengers is Spider-Man, who made a cameo in Captain America: Civil War and got to chum it up with Iron Man/Tony Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
With the approach of Venom appropriately in October, every Marvel executive will be wondering how it’s numbers will do compared to the big boys. Its star, Tom Hardy, is fresh off of appearances in dramatic turns in Dunkirk and the television series Taboo, and he’s sure to bring his typical aggressive intensity to the role of Eddie Brock. Venom is purported to have a cameo by Tom Hollander aka Spider-Man, and it’s guaranteed to be more raw and exciting than anything previously in the MCU. Why? Because Venom is a villain, now made a dark anti-hero, and the storyline will be anything but camp. More than likely, it’ll be a dark noir, in the vain of the new Batfleck Batman solo flick. It’s enough to make Spider-Man do a double-take looking at that sweet, sweet Venom opening weekend.
STILL A BETTER STORY THAN TWILIGHT
While it’s a mystery about whether or not Spider-Man’s cameo in the upcoming Venom movie will be romantic in nature (ok, so it’s not Deadpool 2), there are dozens of memes that like to imply it. Whether they’re explicit or innocent in the implication, the memes are inspired by the fact that Venom’s hatred of Spider-Man is borderline obsessive stalker. That’s because whoever the host of the alien Symbiote is, the more they hate Spider-Man, the more powerful the Symbiote gets (and by “symbiosis”, so do they). The Symbiote ultimately wants to possess Spidey, so it stands to reason sticking a tongue down his throat is par for the course.
The “still a better story than Twilight” meme is a classic, because it can apply to things that aren’t even remotely romantic. It’s better if it doesn’t, actually, because there was next to no real romantic chemistry in Twilight. And Edward Cullen is basically obsessively stalking Bella Swan, so he and Venom actually have a lot in common. It makes you think what would happen if the Venom Symbiote ever possessed a vampire. What would happen if every time Edward went to kiss Bella, he unhinged his jaw to reveal a three foot tongue? A much better movie than Twilight.
HE DID WHAT WITH HIS TONGUE?
Venom is renowned for having a tongue to rival Gene Simmons, and in almost every image of him and Spider-Man to date, it’s on gruesome display in all its snaking, dripping, probing glory. While a lot of raunchy jokes are made at the tongue’s expense, this meme is modestly trite (but no less disturbing). This Venom resembles more closely the Venom from Spider-Man 3, and possibly the Venom as hosted by Nemesis in Resident Evil.
Recently the trailer for the upcoming Venom film inspired fans (and the curious public at large) to raise questions about Venom’s appearance. Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is seen to be fully possessed by the alien Venoymbiote, and in one notable scene audiences get to see his insane tongue. Todd McFarlane was the first person to draw Venom for the Amazing Spider-Man, followed by Image Comics co-founder and comic illustrator Erik Larsen. McFarlane’s version was the first to show Venom’s mouth agape with a tongue visible, but it was Larsen’s version of Venom that took it to new, exaggerated lengths. In The Amazing Spider-Man #347, Venom traps Spider-Man on a tropical island and plays a game of cat-and-mouse with him, transforming into anything and everything on the island to conceal himself. Many of his unique Symbiote abilities are on display, including his freakish tongue, which has since become the archetype on which all Venom depictions are based.
HOLD ON, LEMME TAKE A SELFIE
At some point you, the audience member, has to wonder how exactly Peter Parker is getting all those great shots of Spider-Man. Yes, ok, he IS Spider-Man, so he would have unprecedented press access, but how is he setting up those shots?! So he uses some webbing and puts a few cameras up around the city. Got it. And then he upgrades those cameras for motion-capture, so that they’re not just taking pictures of a curb (only saucy alley cats). But what about action shots during fights that tend to be more mobile?
The irony of Peter Parker getting paid to take pictures of himself ala Spider-Man is pretty great, especially since he gets paid to do it. However, J. Jonah Jameson often complains about the quality of Peter’s shots, and only pays him because he gets pictures other photographers can’t get (until a certain Eddie Brock messes all that up). In Spider-Man: The Animated Series we get to see Spidey setting up a motion-capture camera with webbing, and in the comics of the ‘70s and ‘80s, we got treated to a pretty impressive breakdown of his “camera belt” (it takes AA’s). Still not sure how he shoots a picture of himself from his navel…
GET IN LOSER
Venom and Mean Girls coming together in one symbiotic relationship of cringe-worthy humor with this glorious meme. This is a take on the classic scene from Mean Girls in which the convertible full of the A Team popular girls tells Lindsay Lohan’s rather-recently-popular character “Get in loser, we’re going shopping”. Pretty sure LindLo would have had more fun watching Venom get crazy and catcall Spider-Man while driving stick in a pink truck.
The image itself is from an episode of the ‘90s-era Spider-Man: The Animated Series. Venom is trying to catch Spider-Man, who’s on top of an Amtrak train. If this was the ‘60s animated series, some groovy jazz would be playing, maybe with a cowbell. Cut to a truck yard nearby, where Venom takes over a semi-truck driver’s body and pursues the train. When he pulls up alongside it in view of Spider-Man, he actually honks the horn and shakes his fist. ‘90s Venom, not unlike the ‘90s itself: both goofy and horrifying. Venom is probably the only villain capable of making driving a pink truck look cool, especially since actually expecting to catch Spidey on a train at full speed is already laughable. PLOT TWIST: Venom is actually driving Optimus Prime, who becomes his next host.
WHEN YOU GOTTA GO, YOU GOTTA GO
The first dilemma when Thor puts Mjolnir on the toilet seat, is that only Thor can remove it. The second, is the same problem that faces every person who’s ever worn a jumpsuit; the entire thing has to come off to use the bathroom. That means that in every bathroom there’s a superhero that has to get naked to whiz. It also means public restrooms aren’t happening. Seriously, this is a point that’s never discussed. One would assume the smart guys like Tony Stark have built some toilet tech into their suits because when you gotta go, you gotta go.
Mjolnir isn’t just super heavy — it can only be wielded by a chosen one. Though there are several stories that entail its origins, it is always made of “Uru”, a powerful alloy found in the Dwarven mining shafts of Asgard. Originally, Thor’s hammer came about as part of a bet made by Loki, who maintained that the dwarf Eitri, couldn’t possibly make finer treasures for Odin than his peers. He forges Mjolnir with expert craftsmanship, no thanks to Loki turning into a mayfly and biting him while he was at the forge, ensuring he made the handle too short. Nevertheless, Odin nevertheless decreed it the finest weapon in Asgard, and it was inscribed with the words “Whosoever holds the hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Looks like Spidey better get worthy real quick before something other than his spidey sense is tingling.
CHILL OUT EAT A SNICKERS
Spider-Man 3 saw the big screen debut of Venom, Spider-Man’s arch nemesis. Spider-Man 3 also saw the debut of Sandman, and the return of Green Goblin. There were a lot of villains to go around, and Venom’s story got a little sidelined. The alien Symbiote fell to Earth, tried to attach itself to Spider-Man and, when it was finally booted out because Tobey Maguire needed to salvage something of his career, it possessed Eddie Brock. At the time, Eddie Brock was played by Topher Grace, and Venom was anything but terrifying.
Here we have Topher Venom screeching pathetically, and being told to eat a Snickers bar. Get it, like in the commercials with all the celebrities? It seems Venom is just not himself when he’s hungry. He eats the Snickers. Voila! He is transformed into the Venom we’ll be seeing in October, as played by Tom Hardy. Topher’s Venom had a rounder head, rounder eyes, and rounder teeth. All around, a much cuter, cuddlier version of Spider-Man’s dark side. He actually resembles Shamoo. Hardy’s Venom is devilish looking, with rows of sharp, jagged teeth, and he actually looks like he’s smiling profusely, which makes it all the creepier. Maybe he doesn’t need anymore Snickers…
There exists a great meme with one Kermit The Frog, who is casually sipping a cup of Lipton tea and throwing some subtle shade at various life events he observes. Spider-Man has taken up the mantle, dispensing his passive aggressive justice with ironic poignancy. Here, we have everyone’s “friendly” neighborhood Spider-Man brutally undercutting Captain America for his lost shield with an air of superiority far beyond his young years. But of course, that’s none of his business, because Spider-Man is in fact above the drama.
As the newest member of the Avengers besides Ant-Man, Spider-Man has had a lot to prove to the team. He has the endorsement of Tony Stark, but Tony also feels like he’s just a kid playing dress up. The team tends to feel protective of him, despite how many times he proves himself. It’s fair that a punk teenager might occasionally get in a few pot shots at his elders’ expense, especially since Cap is super old and super self righteous. In the comics, Cap loses his shield over the Atlantic Ocean. Following the blowout fight with Iron Man in Captain America: Civil War he relinquished his shield, and all allegiance to the government and the Avengers.
A LESSON IN MANNERS
Unfortunately, when most people think of Venom taking over Spider-Man, they recall a certain painful scene in Spider-Man 3 when a straight-faced Tobey Maguire dramatically brushes his bangs forward and shifts them over one eye, dons an all-black ensemble, and dance-struts down a New York street, giving all the ladies finger guns. This was Spidey “getting down with his bad self”. It appeared all acquiring the alien symbiote had done was make him more irritating. Now what if possessing Spider-Man made Venom the friendly neighborhood Venom?
In the great spirit of motivational poster memes, this little gem is a lesson in manners. If Venom, a homicidal alien symbiote can be nice to the lady, well gosh darn it, so can you. Granted, in the panel not visible, he unhinges his jaw and does his crazy Gene Simmons tongue thing causing her to scream piteously, BUT he did hand her back her purse. Here’s hoping there’s a segment of campy humor in the upcoming Venom film, if only to juxtapose the darkness. Tom Hardy is known for playing intense characters of the slightly unhinged variety, so no doubt a stab at comedic irony is in his wheelhouse. Plus listening to Hardy talk like Gollum just popped a pill would be beyond delightful.
To be honest, when the title was revealed for the latest Spider-Man attempt to be Spider-Man: Homecoming, it didn’t bode well for the webslinger. Andrew Garfield had fared slightly better than Tobey Maguire at establishing Spider-Man as an actual teenager (a time period Sony and the MCU seems unwilling to depart from), and the films he starred in washed away the bad taste in everyone’s mouth from Spider-Man 3. Were audiences ready for a new Spider-Man story, and a new actor, or were they simply tired of watching Marvel reinvent the wheel?
Marvel execs smartly fashioned Spider-Man:Homecoming like an ‘80s coming-of-age teenage dramedy that happened to come in an action movie package. The Breakfast Club meets The Last Starfighter. The teenagers acted like teenagers, they got the original Batman to play the bad guy (shout out to Michael Keaton!), and where once audiences were prepared to ridicule it, they ended up actually liking it. It had a cheeky humor about it that wasn’t cringey, and it managed to capture the energy that Spider-Man always seemed to emanate. And that kids, is why no amount of images of Tom Hollander dressed up like the homecoming queen will ever sour anyone’s opinion of the film.
THE WORLD’S IN DANGER
Can-can you imagine a world where Spider-Man is sandwiched between Carnage and Venom turning out an elaborate dance number? No doubt the photo comes, as most glorious photos of this kind do, from the shenanigans at a Big City convention (this looks to be New York). Sometimes friends come together cosplaying their favorite heroes, and sometimes heroes meet strangers dressed as villains and they all decide to collaborate on once-in-a-lifetime historical documentation.
Look at all the web-slingers getting along! Venom is a notorious nemesis to Spider-Man, and Carnage is an enemy of both of them, despite being created from the offspring of Venom’s symbiote. Carnage first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #360 with their appropriate name, previously appearing in #344 as “Kasady”, after their human host Cletus Kasady. Like Venom, his signature look was rendered by co-creator Erik Larsen of Image Comics, and Mark Bagley. Originally intended as a continuation of Venom once Eddie Brock was killed off, Marvel wouldn’t allow it due to his popularity, so Carnage was created to be a complete psychopath devoid of morality (with his human host based off of The Joker). One of the only known cases of Spider-Man and Venom working together was to capture Carnage. Presumably it all ended in this show-stopping dance number.
There’s a particular phrase that’s been making its way around the internet the past few years; “adulting”. It entails everyday tasks likevdoing laundry, doing the dishes, fitting in exercise, and paying bills. That sort of thing. Just because these tasks seem like banal drudgery that everyone has to suffer through, doesn’t make them any easier. They are all part and parcel of being “an adult”, but if most adults had their way, they’d be eating ice-cream for dinner, racking up exorbitant bills downloading video games and movies, and never show up for work ever again. It’s the reason Dave and Busters still exists.
To get through the day, sometimes you just have to call on your inner Spidey. You have to suit up and go out and take care of business because it’s the right thing to do. It won’t be easy; your “adult responsibilities” may very well resemble the Venom symbiote bonding with The Rock. You’ll probably get kicked in the arachnads a lot, and you may even end up feeling like you want to die. But before you know it, by putting in the work one punch at a time, the day is done and your to-do list is vanquished. Spider-Man isn’t the biggest superhero in the room, he doesn’t have the most powerful abilities, and he doesn’t have the latest tech. He has an unending well of optimism, and he’ll always be in the fight. Be like Spidey.
DRAW ME LIKE ONE OF YOUR FRENCH GIRLS
Usually it’s ‘60s Spider-Man bringing the sass to the meme game, but here we have Spidey from the ‘90s animated series tied suggestively to some train tracks (note they’re not even tied to either actual track). Spider-Man is nonchalantly posing in a coquettish fashion that evokes a modern Deadpool. Ironic, since recent Deadpool incarnations have had him obsessively lovestruck with Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but Spidey hasn’t been keen to play along (maybe Wolverine can give him a few pointers). There’s about a million memes about them, in case that’s your thing.
This meme is based in part on a scene from the 1997 film Titanic, in which the young first class passenger Rose Dewitt Bukater asks a young steerage passenger Jack Dawson to draw her “like one of your French girls”. Apparently a teenage boy could be paid big bucks to draw lady dancers in Paris, and that impresses other teenagers who are being societally gang-pressed into child-bride situations with much older men. Cue Spider-Man mimicking Rose’s pose, and an innocent question about expecting him to be someone else. Yea, it’s weird and oddly suggestive, but we just roll with it in the name of cheap bawdy thrills. Like Leo and his French girls.
THEY TOLD ME I COULD BE ANYTHING
The aspirational altruism associated with the “they told me I could be anything meme” is perfectly juxtaposed against the visual accompaniment of Tom Hardy midway through being possessed by the Venom symbiote. The artist has perfectly captured the “wtf” moment with the simplicity of the violent transformation.
The meme began as a mockery of children getting their heads filled with well-meaning by morally irresponsible notions that they could grow up and “be anything”. While an admirable and even reassuring statement, it failed to prepare the youngsters two things; for the moment when becoming “anything they wanted to be” might actually truly be the worst thing in the world, or for when they become nothing close to what they wanted to be and fade into mediocrity instead. This meme is regularly used with Batman, wherein becoming Batman renders the subject of the meme a laughing stock. Because really, what grown sane person dresses up like a giant flying rodent. Other than wanting to be Spider-Man, being the embodiment of pure evil who hates Spider-Man is a little bit like being the embodiment of a sore loser. It will be interesting to see if hating Spider-Man even has anything to do with Eddie Brock becoming Venom in the new film.
With this punny meme, there is an immediate desire to order a web series that chronicles a day in the life of Venom and Spider-Man, web designers. Would Spider-Man be tasked with creating the landing pages? But for what sort of website? In a daring twist, would Venom be responsible for creating the anti-virus software packages that they distribute to the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D.? Venom would also be tasked with making it go viral, because obviously.
Venom and Spider-Man have in fact worked together, somewhat less mundanely, when they teamed up to take on Carnage. Carnage came about because Cletus Kasady was put in jail for going on a homicidal killing spree, his cellmate being none other than Eddie Brock. When the Venom symbiote took hold of Eddie and aided him in breaking out of jail, the symbiote left behind an offspring. The symbiote didn’t give a deuce about it’s baby, and so never informed Eddie a piece of it was left behind. That piece attached itself to Kasady, and thus Carnage was born. Without a moral conscience of any sort, he was far deadlier and more psychotic than Venom ever was. Not a good prospective hire for the web design team.
At one point, Budweiser commercials were responsible for manifesting some of the most catchy and creative earworms around. There was the Budweiser frog, and there was also the “Wazzuup!” commercial that got spoofed many times over. It had a guy lounging on a couch, calling another nonchalant friend on a couch, both asking each other what they’re doing. To put it simply, they’re “watching the game, having a Bud.” Soon a bunch of mutual friends join the conversation, everyone chorusing with a rowdy “wazzuup” over and over again, before the scene devolves back to the two original dudes wondering what each other is doing. Pure nonsensical marketing genius.
Here we have one of the spoofs to that commercial, as depicted in a scene from Scary Movie. This time, it’s the Scream Face calling a dude chilling on the couch, but he’s smoking “a Bud” rather than drinking one, and the “waazuups” they scream are joined by a scream from Venom himself. The scene featuring your friendly neighborhood alien symbiote is from the upcoming self-titled film, and one of the only moments in the trailer where audiences get to see Venom fully loaded. It was a perfect moment for Venom’s tongue to make an appearance, and lend itself so perfectly to this meme.
For all those that mistook this cute ball of fluff for the embodiment of pure evil erupting from a tennis ball, it is in fact something similar. It is a black capped chickadee. Its non-existent neck, non-existent bill, and nearly-non-existent eyes combined with its large head give it its spherical shape. The chubby white cheeks, juxtaposed against the black cap and bib, give this otherwise cuddly little bugger a distinctly villainous appearance. It, and other species in the genus, are called tits.
This little guy is all puffed out for winter, or possibly mating, or possibly just constipated from eating too much birdseed. Thanks to specialized leg muscles, these little tennis balls can feed acrobatically. Upside down, hanging by one foot, whatever. Got a berry at the end of a twig that looks like Spider-Man’s face? Venom Chickadee is all over that. Female chickadees can also have two broods in a single year. How does this happen? Because when there’s more Spider-Man shaped berries to feed on, chickadees try for more broods the longer the food holds out, aka Venom Chickadee can multiple even faster than other birds. And, when it’s cold outside, they puff out like a tennis ball and reduce their body temperature, going into nocturnal hypothermia.
COMIN’ TA GETCHA!
Facebook feeds are full of a meme depicting Henry Cavill attending a Justice League premier event, with Jason Momoa running up behind him. Henry is standing there unflappable and majestic, seemingly unaware that he’s been spotted by his hulking co-star. With all the vapid reporters turning their attention to Cavill, Momoa has his moment. With Superman in sight he crouches down, sprinting over to (eventually) wrap him in a giant surprise bear hug. Video of the moment shows Superman trying not to super pee his pants.
The image of the innocently unaware Cavill and the sadistically smiling Momoa has been taken and had every label slapped over the pair, from the way people feel when they see their favorite food, person, or pet, to seeing their own bed again after a long day. The giddy hunger in Momoa is unmistakable and shall not be abated. In this case, Cavill is standing in for the Spider-Man Homecoming opening weekend sales, while Momoa represents Venom’s opening weekend sales. Venom is clearly gunning to usurp it, with all the aggressive agility of Jason Momoa wanting to get his man-hug-athon on. Since Venom represents a darker, edgier film about Spider-Man’s nemesis presented instead as a moody anti-hero (played by Tom Hardy), it’s expected to do well, though it is said to be removed from the greater MCU.
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