If you want to be all in on that Venom movie with Tom Hardy coming next year, there are two specific books you should track down. At this year’s Comic-Con Experience in Sao Paulo, Brazil over the weekend, Venom director Ruben Fleischer revealed the source material for his upcoming anti-superhero film that isn’t related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

During Sony’s presentation at CCXP, Brazilian fans were greeted by Fleischer and Tom Hardy, both of whom appeared via satellite. Fleischer announced that next year’s Venom is based on the 1993 six-issue miniseries Venom: Lethal Protector, as well as an Amazing Spider-Man arc titled “Planet of the Symbiotes” released in in 1995. However, while both books feature Spider-Man in some capacity, there’s no indication that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will be in Venom.

In Venom: Lethal Protector, the very first Venom series and written by David Michelinie, Venom and Spider-Man agree to leave each other alone so long as Venom doesn’t cause any more trouble. To that end, Eddie Brock — then the host of the symbiote — heads off to San Francisco, where he takes on the role of a vigilante on a path to redemption. However, a bunch of “new Venoms” appear, forcing the real Venom to take them down one by one (with, eventually, the help of Spider-Man).

Venom Lethal Protector
Cover of 'Venom: Lethal Protector' #2, from 1993.

In “Planet of the Symbiotes,” which ran in The Amazing Spider-Man and was also penned by Michelinie, Venom teams up with both Spider-Man and the Scarlet Spider to fend off an invading army of symbiotes.

At CCXP, Fleischer said these two books are the biggest influences for 2018’s Venom. However, the extent to which that influence runs remains to be seen. For starters, it’s seeming very, very likely that Spider-Man — any movie Spider-Man — will not appear in Venom, let alone the side-character Scarlet Spider. But Venom is confirmed to take place in San Francisco, and it’s entirely plausible the Bay Area serves as ground zero for a symbiote invasion, because why not.

If you’re looking to do your homework, Venom: Lethal Protector was collected in trade paperback in 2011 and is available to buy on Amazon. Meanwhile, you’ll have to pick up all five issues of “Planet of the Symbiotes” on eBay or in the back issues section of your local comic book store. Or, if you’re tech savvy enough, you can just get them digitally on Comixology.

In addition to Hardy, Venom will star Riz Ahmed (Rogue One), Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World), Jenny Slate, Reid Scott (Veep), and Scott Haze (Midnight Special).


Venom will be released on October 5, 2018.

Photos via Marvel Comics