Venom: Let There Be Carnage is all about relationships: Eddie and Venom, Venom and Carnage, brains and… chocolate?
It’s a Venom film from start to finish, which means strange and outlandish stakes are introduced to the titular couple’s struggles. Dinner dates are included!
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Venom: Let There Be Carnage.]
The eponymous Symbiote and its host, disgraced reporter (and lobster aficionado) Eddie Brock, fight and eventually break up over (among other things) dietary restrictions in Venom 2. Casual and veteran Venom fans alike will no doubt find a lot of silly heart in Venom 2’s storey. The Symbiote has had enough of brains and chocolate. Eddie is oblivious to the issue. It’s an age-old legend.
But, in the comics, does any of this happen? Is it possible that the nefarious spider eats some of the domes? Is he a chocoholic, as he claims? Yes, yes, To learn more, we only need to look at a couple of laughably obscure solo Venom comics from the 1990s.
Spider-Man #333, written by David Michelinie and illustrated by Erik Larsen, features Spider-Man fighting off a surprise Venom attack and is arguably the most famous example of Venom’s drastic dietetic desires. Venom lunges at Peter Parker, proudly proclaiming, “We want to eat your brain!” Venom, still firmly on the villain side of superhero alignments, lunges at Peter Parker, proudly proclaiming, “We want to eat your brain!” The Symbiote’s signature hungers are encapsulated in this line, which has been quoted on action figure packaging.
But it wasn’t until 1996’s Venom: The Hunger, a more absurd but aptly titled spinoff, that we learned the how and why behind the whole brain thing. The Venom symbiote, driven by its insatiable desire to eat brains and scorned by Eddie’s desire to uh…not do that, abandons Brock naked and alone in a desolate part of New York City to go get what it requires.
Following a breakup, the symbiote assumed the form of a Xenomorph-like snake and set out on its own to feast, leaving Brock confined to a hospital of horrors under the direction of cannibalistic monster Dr. Paine.
Paine, who enjoys a good brain from time to time, decided to investigate Eddie’s ailments and discovered that Brock was deficient in phenylethylamine, more commonly known as PEA, a real-life brain chemical. Venom needed more, whether it was because the symbiote had run out of food at Brock’s PEA or because Eddie had never produced enough to begin with. Other minds are, of course, the most likely source.
But what about the second most common phenylethylamine source? Naturally, there’s chocolate. Eddie Brock escaped Paine’s clutches and pursued the symbiote with a flamethrower, sonic weapons, and candy in tow determined to save their relationship or die trying. The two eventually reconciled in a loving, slimy embrace, and Eddie’s narration notes that when you’re in love, your brain produces a lot of PEA, an emotion regulator. Aww.
Eddie is ready to live with and love Venom again, sharing the PEA that the Symbiote desperately needs while keeping some chocolates on hand (cheekily tucked away in a Valentine’s Day heart-shaped box) for a sweet surprise now and then, mirroring the movie’s eventual reconciliation.
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA), blue-green algae that produce more PEA than both chocolate and human brains, is not mentioned in the comics or the plot of Let There Be Carnage, but perhaps they will in the sequel.