As reported earlier, the new Venom film by Sony is bringing the black, drooling symbiote to the forefront with his first titular film, and he’s bringing some friends along with him. Besides Venom, the film will feature at least five other symbiotes, and although the characters come from the comicbooks, the film adaptation has already made some changes to the characters, as seen in the trailers so far.
The inclusion of the group of five symbiotes in itself is a direct adaptation from the Venom comicbook arc, Venom: Lethal Protector, which debuted in 1993. In the original story, the Life Foundation (also present in the film) sought to create “children” of Venom by forcibly acquiring seeds from the original and thus creating the five new symbiotes, Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony.
So far, it seems like the origin story itself is a bit altered, in that the five other symbiotes all came to Earth at the same time as Venom, so the margin for the film’s difference from the comics is widening.
Changes to the film are not necessarily a bad thing. However, it does pose the question as to how extensive these changes may be…
The most obvious changes to the five symbiotes are the physical traits and abilities. The trailer briefly showed some of these, and some quick-eyed Venom fans may notice that the abilities of each child of Venom are switched around. For instance, Riot is seen turning his arms to axes and setting them against the Life Foundation labs. The use of blades as a weapon is usually done by Phage rather than Riot, who prefers to use blunt weapons instead.
Speaking of weapons, Scream is shown to grow spikes on her back and project them out at the humans. This choice of defense is normally enacted by Lasher instead. It is possible that the comic’s theme of each character having a specific ability. Perhaps the film is simply giving the symbiotes multiple means of destruction at their disposal rather than one per. Riot, on the other hand, exhibited the ability to jump quickly from human host to host, which is a direct pull from his comic counterpart.
Besides distinct abilities, the aliens also have distinct looks to differentiate themselves from one another, as was done in the comicbook series. This difference between comicbook and film is very easy to tell, of course, since you see them all in the trailer. For example, Riot is clearly blue in the comicbooks, while he remains black with red veins in the film. Instead of a full color change, it looks like the film is going for a more subtle route with vein colors instead of full skins. So far, the trailer does show a difference in colors from symbiote to symbiote, just not as vibrant as the original source material.