Sometimes, necessity is the mother of invention. Case in point, famous comic artist turned toy guru (and the person still drawing Spawn every month) Todd McFarlane just told the secret origin of Venom. Turns out, the reason is a little less dramatic than we thought.
Check out the Instagram video below, with a transcript following that:
A post shared by Todd McFarlane (@toddmcfarlane) on Mar 10, 2019 at 4:36pm PDT
“I came into the Spider-Man office after doing the Hulk and they wanted me to do Spider-Man, but he was in this black costume. I didn’t wanna draw this black costume. It meant nothing to me. I wanted to draw the red and blue… So, they said, ‘Todd, if you just come on at #298 we promise that maybe we can get rid of it.’ And I go, ‘Well let’s just get rid of it fast!”
“So, I did a character… I ripped the costume off him… I did this character called Venom, handed it to David Michelinie, the writer, and they said, ‘Just hold on, hold on, hold on,'” he continued. “So, then, all of a sudden I do #298, he’s still in the black, #299, he’s still in the black, finally #300, look I even said here on the cover sketch, ‘Can we do one in the black and the red? Come on, I want to do the black and the red.’ And they said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, fine.'”
“So, essentially, #300 is the origin of Venom,” said McFarlane. “But to me, it’s ‘How the hell do we get this goddamn black costume off Peter Parker?’ issue.”
Amazing Spider-Man #300 is when Peter Parker gets rid of the symbiote black suit costume, which somehow finds its way to Eddie Brock who soon becomes Venom.
While Todd certainly wanted to make a badass character, it seems he also just wanted to draw something different. Venom turned out to be the way for him to make those wishes come true, while also creating an iconic villain turned anti-hero that Marvel readers would come to love for many decades.