Eddie Brock/Venom

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Pairing
Pairing: Eddie Brock/Venom
Alternative name(s): Symbrock, Veddie
Gender category: Non-binary, Interspecies
Fandom: Venom, Marvel Comics
Canonical?: Canonical in comics and films
Prevalence: Popular
Archives:
Other:
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Eddie Brock/Venom is the pairing of reporter Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote known as Venom.

Canon

Comics

Movies

In the Venom movies (2018, 2021), Eddie was portrayed by actor Tom Hardy who also voiced the symbiote. Their relationship in this movie and their first date is slightly different from the one presented in the comics, much in part to the agreements between Sony and Marvel about Spider-Man's appearance in the MCU movies.

Fannish Perspective

It should be noted that Eddie and Venom are often written as a couple in several different Venom comics runs dating back to the 1990s, including the recent Venom (2016) run written by Mike Costa[1], whose opening page states, "This is a love story." Another recent story-arc revolves around them protecting their baby.[2]

In the comics, Venom is most often referred to in gender neutral terms. This is largely consistent with the film, where Venom exclusively refers to themselves as “I” and “we.” In the film, Eddie refers to Venom as “he.” In the comics, Eddie refers to Venom most frequently as his other, darling, or love.[note 1]

Relationship with Eddie Brock

Kate Gardner of The Mary Sue wondered whether Venom had been "queer coded",[3] a term referring to character appearing queer without their sexuality being a part of the story.[4] Gardner soon noticed fan art depicting Brock and Venom as a couple appearing across social media sites, acknowledging that there were several moments throughout the film that implied such a relationship, including Venom turning against his species because of his time with Brock and deciding to french kiss Brock while transferring from Weying to him.[3] Many of the fans posting the art and discussing the characters' relationship online began using the name "Symbrock" to refer to them.[5] Amanda Brennan, lead of Tumblr's Fandometrics analysis team, said that

"Symbrock" fans existed before the film due to comics, but the increase in popularity was "undoubtedly" due to the film's portrayal of the characters which she said made Venom's dialogue more "casual" compared to how he speaks in comics, adding Brennan that dialogue such as "I am Venom and you are mine" was deemed to be particularly romantic by these fans, as was the idea that Venom be seen not as a parasite but as someone who "chose Eddie Brock and has a connection to Eddie Brock".[6]

When Sony began advertising the home media release of the film by presenting it as a romantic comedy focused on Brock and Venom's relationship,[7] io9's Charles Pulliam-Moore said it was the treatment the film deserved, attributing the change in strategy from the studio to the audience's response to the relationship. He added that it was rare for a film studio to "get on top of a so-so ad campaign" by adjusting towards the public's "reaction to a movie", believing it to have been successful.[8] Michael Walsh at Nerdist Industrie agreed with Pulliam-Moore, describing the move as "fully embracing 'Symbrock'" and calling it "brilliant". Walsh said that though the advertisement was clearly a parody, it also "feels like a far more accurate portrayal of what the movie was really like than the initial [marketing] hinted at", and further highlighted the kissing scene.[9]

Shipping

Eddie/Venom is the dominant ship in the Venom (film) and Venom (comics) fandoms, based on works on Ao3. In fanworks it is sometimes categorized as M/M, but sometimes not due to interpretation of the symbiote as non-male.

According to Fandometrics, Symbrock was the 14th most reblogged ship on Tumblr in 2018, following the movie's release in October of that year. It was the 32nd most reblogged ship on Tumblr in 2019.

Half of Venom fandom: “What if you had a sentient doggie who loved you and could talk?”
The other half of Venom fandom: “What if your id could eat your enemies and fuck your brains out?”[10]

In 2020, tumblr blogger Saffi posted:

Take me back to 2018 when Venom had just come out and previously respectable blogs were out there putting Tom Hardy getting fucked by a slime monster on my tl [11]

On July 27, 2020, oh-so-heavenly posted:

i’ve just watched Venom and i don’t know what i expected it to be but it was not a gay romance between a human mess and a parasite, not that i’m complaining tho [12]

Controversies

The 2019 Venom comics run was controversial. Venom was revealed to be manipulating Eddie, leading to a falling out between the two. Many fans saw this as a retconning of their previous relationship. The comics provided a canon Symbrock relationship, and many comics fans were Symbrock shippers who considered the two to be in a canonical relationship. So there was much discourse within the fandom during the run.

The fandom reacted strongly when the writer responded to criticism by disavowing the Symbrock relationship, calling it toxic.[13] Further tweets and comments by the writer were seen as been disrespectful towards Symbrock shippers, and some fans responded angrily.[14] The writers comments led some in the Comicsgate movement to think he was a supporter of theirs, but Cates was quick to deny any support for the group.

Common Tropes & Storylines

Edit of the Fanfic Trope Venn Diagram created by peppypear. Edited by Marvel-is-a-bisexual-disaster

A post by Tumblr user Marvel-is-a-bisexual-disaster, Why Tumblr loves Venom uses a venn diagram to illustrate how Symbrock encompasses almost every fanfic trope to become a ship that has something for everyone. As well as angst, crack, smut and fluff many of the tropes referenced in this post are also common in Symbrock works; including:

Other common tropes and story lines include:

  • Negotiation, specifically in relation to sharing a body, and issues of consent.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fanfiction

  • Brunch on Laguna by menocchio, Dan had thought the Brock Report was great and that Eddie Brock was the coolest man in San Francisco. He still, painfully, kind of thinks this.
  • intra-personal negotiation by Wildehack (tyleet), How fucked is that, that a compromise that ended with eating raw shark liver under the Golden Gate Bridge in the dead of night is probably the most interpersonally mature he’s ever been?
  • taking everyone for a ride by Nonymos, Things Eddie Brock flirts with on a regular basis: death, insanity, his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, and also the alien symbiote that lives inside his body. Not bad for a loser with no game, really.

Fanart

Fanvids

Meta

Other

  • Symbiosis, a Venom fanzine focusing on the Symbrock relationship. (2019)

Archives & Fannish Links

Notes and References

Notes

  1. ^ Section created by User:Monicawoe on the Venom page and migrated to this article in order to better understand the fans' view of the Symbrock relationship.

References

  1. ^ Venom(2016) #150 released May, 24, 2017
  2. ^ Venom First Host (2018)
  3. ^ a b Gardner, Kate (October 8, 2018). "The Internet Is Shipping Eddie Brock/Venom, And We're Feeling It Too". The Mary Sue. Archived from the original on October 8, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Ennis, Tricia (June 8, 2018). "The Strange, Difficult History of Queer Coding". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on June 13, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Freeman, Molly (October 13, 2018). "Venom's Real Romance: Symbrock Art Captures Eddie & Symbiote Kiss". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on October 13, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Busch, Caitlin (October 19, 2018). "How Venom's Unspoken Symbiote Love Story Beat Out the Internet's Most Popular Pairings". Syfy Wire. Archived from the original on October 19, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Ross, Dalton (November 27, 2018). "Watch Venom reimagined as a rom-com". Inverse. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Pulliam-Moore, Charles (November 28, 2018). "Sony Is Giving Venom the Romantic Comedy Treatment It Rightfully Deserves". io9. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Walsh, Michael (November 28, 2018). "Venom Becomes a Rom-Com in New Blu-Ray Trailer". Nerdist. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  10. ^ originally posted by petymology on Tumblr, Oct 2018.
  11. ^ Saffi on tumblr, April 4, 2020, Archived version
  12. ^ oh-so-heavenly on tumblr, July 27, 2020, Archived version
  13. ^ A recap of the Donald Crates diskhorse by deluxetrashqueen
  14. ^ Donny Cates comes out against Comicsgate over Venom Argument article on bleedingcool.com. Contains sample tweets of exchanges.

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