A Symbiote Far From Home: Venom in the MCU?

by Blaise Tassone

carnage-vs-spidey-vs-venom-300x175 A Symbiote Far From Home: Venom in the MCU?

The internet is all abuzz over yet another rumor. After weeks of speculation about whether or not Deadpool would appear in the new Spider-man standalone film: ‘Far from Home’, now the rumor has shifted to suggestions that, perhaps, Venom will appear. Should we believe it?

Like the Deadpool news, I think this rumor is more wish-fulfillment than anything else. Although it makes for good click-bait (see here and here), I think the likelihood of Venom appearing is actually slim to none.

The precedent for the rumor goes all the way back to 2015. That was the year that Marvel and Sony originally struck a deal giving Marvel Studios/Disney the right to use the character of ‘Spider-man’ in upcoming MCU films.

Soon after this, in the spring of 2016, fans got a thrill out of seeing their favorite web-head in ‘Captain America: Civil War’.

Why did Sony have the film rights to Spider-Man to begin with?

Isn’t Spider-man, and the entire Spider-verse as a whole, a Marvel owned IP?

You can blame the transfer of the Spider-man (as well as X-Men and Fantastic Four) film rights to the great implosion that was the comic book market of the 1990s.

After a series of bad business decisions, with Marvel practically on the verge of bankruptcy, a deal was made between Marvel and Sony (as well as Fox pictures) to give away the rights of selected characters for future cinematic projects. Therefore, although Marvel retained the publishing rights, the Spider-man and Spider-man related films – up until 2015 – were strictly and exclusively under Sony’s control.

Since ‘Spider-man’ (2002) under the helm of Sam Rami managed to bag Sony a boatload of money, they weren’t about to give up those rights anytime soon. In fact it took an entire second trilogy and a half (the ill-conceived Andrew Garfield – less than ‘Amazing’ – re-boot, which mercifully lasted only two films), for Sony to reconsider their deal with Marvel.

That brings us to 2019. Currently Marvel Studios do have the right to use Spider-man, but the original deal was apparently for Spider-man to appear in 3 standalone pictures and 3 cameo appearances in other Marvel films. For those of us keeping count, Spidey has now appeared in ‘Captain America III,’ ‘Spider-man: Homecoming’, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. That’s four. ‘Far From Home’ will be five. Of course there’s nothing stopping Sony and Marvel from extending the deal, but the current conditions hinge on Marvel having complete creative control while Sony reaps the profits from all cinematic endeavors.

Marvel tolerates this because they still make quite a bit of money from merchandising deals.

And here’s where the business reality hits the fanboy desire square in the jaw. Marvel would have to negotiate for Venom to appear. As Kevin Fiege bluntly put it: he’d love to use Venom, but it’s all up to Sony (see here).

In the meantime, Venom and comics central to this villain/anti-hero are hot.

The most popular and actively traded modern Venom-related comic, as I type this, is:

171460_e1e49a430fd60272eb29e16a8e07f9530d5ea8b8-195x300 A Symbiote Far From Home: Venom in the MCU?

Amazing Spider-man #361 (April 1992) – First appearance of Carnage (spawn of Venom)

This comic has been sold 5, 682 times according to GoCollect.com data. With an astounding 12, 972 units currently listed on the CGC census, the fact that this modern book has any positive returns with so many copies floating around, is a testament to the appeal and pop culture power of Spider-man and Venom. Although this popularity is strong, the forces of supply and demand are still taking a toll. 12 week sales return mostly negative numbers except on 9.6 grades which are up +7.9% after 136 sales. For the rest, the numbers are:

9.8 = negative -8.8% after 100 sales since March 20
9.4 = negative -6.4% after 49 sales
9.2 = negative- 16.2% after 30 sales

Current FMV of SM #361 in 9.8 = $375.00. Last three eBay sales returned: 06/17/2019: $344.00; 06/16/2019: $359.99; and 06/14/2019: $330.00. Still wondering why there’s such hope for a Venom MCU appearance?

169123_94522eeacb8699bb21e4438c18ecd8fc5df95273-201x300 A Symbiote Far From Home: Venom in the MCU?

Secret Wars #8 (December 1984) – First Spider-Man symbiote/black costume

However, when we shift to the Bronze Age, we find the top comic is still Venom related. That would be Secret Wars #8. This comic is Venom’s chronological first appearance. With an impressive 4, 511 Sales recorded on GoCollect.com, this comic is also not hard to find. CGC submissions to date range in the 12, 972 total numbers; quite comparable to AMS #361. Now let’s look at returns. Over the last 12 weeks, the numbers are similarly trending in the red. Once again, all except 9.6 return negative. The positive returns on the 9.6 grade are also at the same range with +7.3% on this comic after, however, only 77 sales (only?). The rest of the picture on higher grades is as follows:

9.8 = negative -6.1% after 104 sales
9.4 = negative -0.2% after 45 sales
9.2 = negative -10% after 22 sales

Current FMV on a graded 9.8 = $240.00. Last three eBay sales: 06/17/2019: $222.50; 06/17/2019: $189.99; and 06/17/2019: $290.00.

Of course I could round off this list by looking at data on Amazing Spider-man #300 and Amazing Spider-man #352, but I think you get the picture.

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4 comments

Tavis June 21, 2019 - 12:01 am

Marvel originally sold the Spider-Man rights in 1985.

Reply
Blaise Tassone June 21, 2019 - 10:07 am

Hi Tavis, good point and thanks for reading. From what I know of all this, the 1985 sale of Spider-man film rights was made to Cannon Films for very little money. Probably because super-hero films were NOT popular in the 1980s. Then Canon made an effort to produce an, apparently terrible, ‘Spider-man’ film that was either never finished or -if completed- never released due to Canon’s bankruptcy (however a weird promo trailer for this film does exist on the internet, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqiooE53PAw).

Marvel then bought the rights back and it wasn’t until the late nineties that they sold them again, this time, for much more money, to SONY.

Reply
Ed June 22, 2019 - 5:44 pm

Hey Blaise,

Thanks for the analysis but I’m a bit confused. Does this mean it is not a good long term investment because of the low chances of an MCU appearance?

Reply
Blaise Tassone June 23, 2019 - 10:44 am

Hi Ed, Sorry for the confusion. I think Spidey and all keys Spider-man related are generally good long term investments. Venom is a mixed bag. His Spider-man related books are generally good investments, his solo titles – not so much. An MCU appearance might happen and that will certainly push up value on Venom books, the point of the article was that currently Venom books are dipping so people seem to be hoping for an immediate Venom MCU appearance. I don’t think it will happen right away. Of course it’s harder to say when looking at the long term prospects. Really, it looks like it’s more up to SONY than Marvel Studios. How much faith do you have in SONY’s management of the representation of these characters?

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