Agent Venom (Origin) – Comic Basics

Agent Venom

Agent Venom

Real Name: Eugene “Flash” Thompson

First Appearance: As Flash Thompson – Amazing Fantasy #15 (August, 1962). As Agent Venom – Amazing Spider-Man #654 (April, 2011)

Powers: Trained marksman, proficient in hand-to-hand combat. With the Venom Symbiote Flash Thompson possesses superhuman strength, agility, reflexes, durability, and endurance. He also has limited camouflage abilities and shape shifting, is immune to Spider-Man’s Spider Sense, produces webbing, and can stick to most surfaces.

Affiliation: Thunderbolts, Guardians of the Galaxy, United States Army, New Warriors, S.H.I.E.L.D.

Did You Know? Flash Thompson, although he idolized Spider-Man, was the longtime bully and tormentor to Peter Parker.

A Little History

First appearing in Amazing Fantasy #15 back in 1962, Flash Thompson grew up idolizing Spider-Man and bullying Peter Parker. Flash idolized Spider-Man so much that when the wall-crawler was framed for theft, he publicly supported him. 

As the two grew up, Flash’s tormenting of Peter became stronger and stronger. In fact, at one point the two took to the ring in a boxing match. Although he looked physically superior to Peter, Flash, of course, couldn’t lay a hand on him. Because Peter was enhanced by his superpowers, he had no trouble avoiding Flash’s punches. Before the fight was over, Peter had knocked him down with a single punch. From this point forward, Flash’s bullying was nearly stopped, save for his occasional name-calling. This change in behavior continued throughout the rest of high school.

While in University, Flash joined the United States Army. At first, it was written that he had joined the army to fight in the Vietnam War. However, as with almost all Marvel stories this was retconned to state that he didn’t join any one particular war. Flash’s time in the army led him to disappear and reappear every few months of publication. The disappearing act was just enough to keep the audiences aware of his existence without him having to be in every book.

At the conclusion of whichever war he was serving in, Flash returned to New York a decorated War Hero. Along with his return, it was easy to see that his personality had also changed. Instead of being an immature bully, he was now a tormented military man. This new Flash, however, wasn’t able to cope with what he saw in the military. As a consequence, he sought out comfort in alcohol and remained that way for a while.

After the events of the much-maligned “One More Day”, Flash left his teaching job as a Physical Instructor and re-enlisted in the army. Now a member of the military, Flash was deployed to Iraq, where his platoon was ambushed by the enemy. Although he was shot in both legs, Flash continued to battle citing how much Spider-Man had sacrificed through the years. Remember, he idolized the hero. His courage was such that he rushed out to save his superior officer. Sadly, these actions left his legs furthered damaged. With no way to reverse or repair the damage, the doctors were left with nothing to do but amputate them.

In 2011, Flash Thompson agreed to an experiment that would bond him to the ever so dangerous Venom Symbiote. He did this because as dangerous as the Symbiote was, bonding with it allowed him to walk again. After a successful bond, the two, now called Agent Venom, began work as a military operative. Together, they were used as a countermeasure to the most dangerous enemies in the Marvel Universe. 

There was, however, a catch.

Flash cannot remain bonded with the alien for more than 48 hours or he risks the creature having complete control over him. This doesn’t mean that he hasn’t lost control. In one instance he lost control, and as a result, many innocent bystanders were either maimed or killed. After this, and a few other instances like it, precautions were put into place so that Flash didn’t lose control again.

Title Image © Marvel

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