This week Kalie guest lectured for my MARVELous Justice course, my class which uses comic books and comic book movies to examine social justice issues and the Sisters of Mercy’s Critical Concerns in particular. Kalie is getting her PhD in literary criticism, with her focus on the mad monster. I’ve asked her to come in a few times to give my students an introduction to Monster Theory so they can add it to the avenues of analysis we use for the comics and films we explore. As part of her presentation, Kalie always asks my class what their favorite childhood monster was and why they liked it. The first time I heard her ask this question, I found myself lost in thought. What was my favorite monster as a kid? Did I even have one? I never liked being scared, that’s for sure. The answer hit in a bolt of clarity! What an easy question! It’s no contest! My favorite monster was Venom. As soon as Eddie Brock bonded with the symbiote, I was hooked. I love Venom! I adore Venom! Looking at my relationship with this monster as I followed along with Kalie’s lesson taught me a lot about myself, too.
The Amazing Spider-Man #300 and the Rise of Venom
Since starting this blog I’ve written a lot about my return to the world of comic collecting and all the amazing experiences I’ve found on the racks of Books Galore, my local comic shop, each week. But I’ve also (naturally) been thinking more and more about allllllll the comics I read back when I was a kid. I’d been contemplating revisiting some of those storylines and writing about them in some context for this blog. The other night it hit me. The answer was right in front of me! Our culture has given birth to the wonderfully nostalgic idea of a Throwback Thursday. So, with it being Thursday and all, I figured I’d look back at one of my most vivid comic book memories as a kid, 1988’s The Amazing Spider-Man #300 and the VERY FIRST APPEARANCE OF VENOM! Continue reading