EXCLUSIVE – Venom: Savage Six with Rick Remender & Cullen Bunn

Venom #17 Cover By Mike DelMundo

As we’re right in the middle of Venom month at Marvel, with the 5 week, month long event Circle of Four in full blast, we thought now would be a good time to check in with Marvel and see what’s coming down the road for Venom?

Savage Six is coming and it features a team up we didn’t see coming. Venom writer Rick Remender will be teaming up with popular writer Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun) to co-write the upcoming 5 issue arc of Venom titled Savage Six! We had the exclusive opportunity to chat with both Remender and Bunn to hear what’s in store for Flash Thompson.

Remender and Bunn explained that this story arc is not only the culmination of Remender’s work on Venom up to this point but is also a showcase for the rogues gallery that’s been established during this run on Venom so far. Bunn explains that the Savage Six will be”Introducing a band of really nasty villains who are really going to make life miserable for Flash.”

Leading the pack is Crime Master, the mastermind of the Savage Six and this arc will show why he’s a real threat.  Remender adds, “To set him apart from the previous incarnations of Venom, it seemed really necessary to build him his own rogue’s gallery for Flash Thompson as Venom. At the same time to try and dust off characters like Crime Master and Jack O’Lantern, and the Human Fly and some of the other characters that I played a little bit with in The Punisher.”   Remender stressed the importance of a rogues gallery, “You want to spell it out tht this is Venom’s rogues gallery or else he’ll always fall back into that “When is he going to attack Spider-Man again?” and that was really important to me that that not be the case.”

We were curious about the team up between Remender and Bunn on writing this arc, and Remender shared, “Because my schedule is shifted, I was glad Cullen to come in and help. To have someone I trust and think is a great writer is obviously the way you want to be when you’re doing your best to bring together so many loose threads in a story. It needs to give payoff to all of that. Cullen and I have worked really hard with editor Tom Brennan to ensure that’s what this is. That this is a big giant payoff for all of the storylines that have happened in this series.”  Bunn added that working with Remender has been intimidating but for the right reasons, “Rick is this big idea guy. He has huge ideas. Coming into this arc is me messing around with his baby. Everything from the first issue he wrote builds into this. It’s scary but it’s been a lot of fun so far. He’s a great collaborator.”

On the first issue of the arc, Venom #17, art will be handled by Kev Walker, an artist both writers are excited to work with.  “I love what he and Parker have been doing [in Thunderbolts], so it’s nice to get a chance to corrupt him with my idiocy.”  said Remender. With Walker onboard, Bunn is the new guy on the book, so we were curious what his take on Venom is, “It’s been very difficult for me to get past Flash Thompson, the bully. But Rick’s made him much more accessible and more human and definitely more flawed. Flash has a whole closet full of problems. That plays into this arc from the get-go. This is Flash trying to make amends for all the mistakes that he’s made. The question will be, Is this just another bad decision on Flash’s part.”

Another aspect of the story and the establishment of the rogues gallery for Venom will be Eddie Brock, the former Venom and Anti-Venom. Remender reveals some the aspects of the dynamic between Venom and Eddie Brock, “The Venom symbiote clearly wanted to kill the Toxin symbiote when they came into contact. There’s definitely something going on in Symbiote Town.”   Since Eddie Brock is no longer Anti-Venom, Remender explains that he is still is someone who sees the evil of the symbiotes, “We’ll see more of Eddie in the background doing his best to hunt and eradicate the symbiotes which will lead to his inclusion in the storyline.”

Bunn stressed that while this story arc has many villains and guest stars, this is very much Venom’s story. And being Venom’s story and the culmination of Remender’s work on the title to date, both writers made it clear that this story arc will be accessible to new readers as well as loyal readers of Venom.  Remender explains, “The way we open the story, and Cullen and I  went back and forth on this 5 or 6 times, will be a perfect introduction to everything. And if you have been reading, it’s a lot of nice payoffs. If you haven’t, I think it’s set up in a way that you can enter into the story and you can hit the ground running.”

Here’s the fill solicit info for Venom #17 and Venom #18, on sale in May, 2012:

VENOM #17 & 18
Issue #17 Kev Walker (a) Mike DelMundo (cover)
Issue #18 Lan Medina (a) Tony Moore (cover)

• Venom faces a gauntlet of doom as the Crime-Master unites Jack O’Lantern, The Human Fly, Toxin and more to destroy Flash Thompson!
• The Crime-Master’s plan is so diabolical, so vile, that it forces Eddie Brock to become a symbiote’s host once more – and takes the war to Flash Thompson’s Family, Betty Brant and even Peter Parker!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99 (EACH)


  1. Excellent.

  2. Thats an amazing cover.

  3. Kev Walker will be fun.

    I’m a little bummed Remender can’t finish out his story, but if anyone has to come in and save it, I’m happy it’s Cullen Bunn.

    Is he being groomed to take over the title after Remender’s tale wraps up? I’d be cool with that.

    I wonder if this is Secret Avengers taking up Remender’s time or if more announcements are coming down the pipe.

  4. Awesome!! I was kind of afraid this series might’ve boiled down to “when is venom gonna attack spider-man again?” so it’s really nice to see they plan to develop him on his own. This sounds like a festival of symbiotes. So exciting.

  5. Eddie Brock’s going to be a symbiote again??? Also it sounds a lot like Remender might be leaving the title.

    • Not at all, I got the impression that this is simply the culmination of the first two years of the book Remender always said he had planned out since the very beginning, much the same way he had the first 18 issues of Uncanny X-Force mapped out. I think he’s gonna be on Venom for the long haul.

    • I think Eddie is just going to be a symbiote hunter for the time being

  6. Very excited. Big fan of everyone involved.

    Mike Del Mundo has been doing some amazing covers lately. Really nice.

  7. Not only am I excited for this because I’ve been enjoying Remender’s Venom so far, but also because I think it’s awesome that Remender has gotten to the point where he can help spotlight the the next wave of outstanding indie writers, the way that Fraction helped spotlight him.

  8. As a Brock loyalist, I was reluctant to read the story of Flash, but it’s really good. My favourite ever Venom arc, “The Hunger” told the story of Brock hunting down the Venom symbiote with the intention of destroying it for the greater good and I hope this story is consistent with that portrayal.