"Eyes. Lungs. Pancreas. So many snacks, so little time..."
(Venom, Columbia Pictures, 2018).
Spiderman's deadliest villain, Venom, comes to life in this remarkable statue sculpted by fabulous newcomer Eduardo Silva. This immediate sellout was limited to only 75 pieces. Those infinitely fortunate to have acquired one will undoubtedly treasure this exclusive wonder for many years to come.
Venom first appeared in the final panel of The Amazing Spider-Man #299 (Michelinie, McFarlane, May 1988). His impact on the webspinner's life is immeasurable as he quickly and deservedly joined the nefarious ranks of classic villains such as Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, and the Sandman. However, who or what is Venom? What makes him so compelling to comic fans? To answer this question, we need go back to Amazing Spiderman #252 (DeFalco, Stern, Frenz, May 1984).
In issue #252, Spider-Man had just returned from a strange, unknown planet located in the far reaches of space called Battleworld. Upon his return, he was wearing this never-seen-before black and white costume. For those who may not be familiar with the first Secret Wars saga (Shooter, Zeck, May 1984), Battleworld was created by a supreme being called the Beyonder who was curious to know what was ultimately stronger: good or evil. The Beyonder then abducted a plethora of heroes and villains from Earth and transported them millions of light years away to Battleworld, which would serve as a planet-sized, gladiator-like arena for good to battle evil to the death.
Following a violent skirmish with Earth's most fearsome villains, which left Spider-Man's traditional red and blue costume in tatters, he was directed back to a home-base facility where he was told he could find this incredible machine that could somehow read thoughts and fabricate any clothing of one's choosing. Thinking he had found the correct device, Spider-Man proceeds to imagine a costume based on Julia Carpenter's Spider-Woman costume. However, rather than replicate a costume made from actual fabric, the mysterious machine spits out this ball of black ooze which quickly spread all over his entire body. Although terrified at first, Spider-Man quickly learned that just by thinking it, the black ooze could mimic any type of clothing he wished. Not only that, it can also produce an inexhaustible supply of super strong webbing.
As Spider-Man grew more intrigued about the costume's bizarre and seemingly magical abilities, he asked Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four to analyze a sample of the costume, and much to Reed's amazement, he discovered that the costume was actually a sentient being, a symbiote in fact, and that it was actually trying to permanently bond itself to Peter Parker. Sensing the immediate threat the symbiote posed, it was forcibly contained by Mr. Fantastic for further study. However, the symbiote proved to be a shrewd adversary as it soon escaped the Baxter Building and tracked down Peter Parker and once again tried to forever bond itself to him, even if it would kill him in the process.
Upon learning that the symbiote was vulnerable to sound waves, Spider-Man was able to render it harmless, or so he thought. Consumed by hate and rejection, the symbiote became drawn to Eddie Brock, a discredited reporter, who shared the symbiote's hate for Peter Parker, who willingly gave himself to the symbiote to become Venom.
As Venom, Eddie Brock became aware of everything the symbiote knew about Spider-Man, including his secret identity, the names and locations of his loved ones, and perhaps most importantly, was immune to Spider-Man's spider sense. Venom quickly became Spider-Man's deadliest enemy.
Production Team and Specs:
The creative team behind the Venom statue are MAC (design and development) and Eduardo Silva (sculptor). The Venom statue stands an impressive 28 inches high, and approximately 17 inches wide and 17 inches deep. The statue weighs approximately 33 pounds. It was limited to only 75 pieces.
The Venom statue comes in 13 pieces: 1 body, 5 portraits, 2 pipe pieces, 2 water splash pieces, 2 tongue extensions, and 1 sewer base.
MAC – VENOM STATUE – Review
Sculpture: This is a beautiful work of art. Eduardo Silva, the sculptor, and the MAC design team present the Fan Art community with a monstrous interpretation of Spider-Man's deadliest nemesis. This piece exudes a tremendous presence and formidability.
The MAC Venom statue comes equipped with 5 distinct portraits. Each portrait offers a different aspect of the Venom's character. The first portrait is expertly based on fan favorite Venom artist Mark Bagley's work. The second portrait is based on Erik Larsen's design and comes with two different tongue extensions. The second tongue extension which drips and oozes saliva is particularly impressive as it personifies Venom terrifying nature. The third squinty-eyes portrait, which appears to be based on Gabriele Dell'Otto's design, is another interesting option, though perhaps not as familiar to fans. The fourth portrait is based on the original Todd McFarlane design. This is actually how he first appeared to comic fans back in 1988. It's the calssic portrait. Lastly, the fifth portrait features the chilling transformation from Eddie Brock to Venom. I imagine collectors will have a hard time deciding which portrait to choose as these are all quite compelling. Personally, I prefer the Bagley and Larsen portraits. However, I can easily see myself occasionally displaying the McFarlane and transformation portraits as well.
Venom stands atop a grimy, decaying, rusting sewer maintenance construct. Two sewer mains are bursting at the seams, likely as a result of an impending battle with Spider-Man. His teeth and long fingernails appear frighteningly razor sharp. His mouth is gaping wide open, which further adds to the bloodcurdling moment. His intimidating, pulse-pounding musculature presents Venom as this fierce and unstoppable foe ready to close in for the kill.
This statue comes with an alternate sewer main display option. If you wish, you may display the piece without the erupting sewage pieces and replace it with decaying piping. Either display option fits the piece well.
This is a definitive interpretation of this remarkable character. It really is hard to find something to criticize on the design of the sculpture itself. It's a beautiful work of art and should easily rank among the best Venom pieces ever designed.
Paint/Mixed media: Overall, this is a well-painted sculpture. The razor sharp teeth are as close to perfection as can be, as are the protruding tongue extensions. The sewer main construct also presents solid paint applications as evidenced by the various choice of shadings, metal degrading, and fractured concrete. There are a couple splotchy areas on the chest area but they're liveable. From this perspective, this was a well-overseen product from start to finish.
However, there may be some differences of opinion or issues taken with the designer's choice to employ this light blue tinge throughout the costume design, which I personally find distracting and off-putting. While I imagine the intention was to make Venom look as close to what he looks like in the comics, I do not think that's always the best way to go. For example, we often see Batman in blue in the comics but he generally looks better all-black on statues, at least I think so. All this to say that while I respect the designer's choice to employ the light-blue highlights the costume, I would have taken a different route, i.e., either all-black or darker blue highlights.
Production and Build quality: This is a solid piece of craftsmanship. It has a fabulous size and shape to it. Every piece seems to fit so well. However, it will take up space on your display shelf. The magnets and pegs worked really well too. There’s no tilting or imbalance to the statue or cause to be concerned about long term leaning issues. The statue weighs approximately 33 pounds so one needs to be extra careful picking it up. It's also best to be sure the display spot can handle the weight.
The main issue with the production quality is with the visible seams on the portraits. While these seams are really only visible from behind, one can't help but wonder if the issue could have been addressed and resolved during an earlier stage of the production. It almost looks like he is wearing a jacket in that area.
Design: This spectacular design captures the essence that is Venom. Overall, this is a fabulous choice of design. As noted earlier, I cannot see anything wrong with the file used to print this sculpture. Eduardo Silva did a magnificent job and I look forward to seeing more of his work. I think many Venom fans will be thrilled with this particular offering.
Final thoughts: Statue collectors often ask if Fan Art productions are as good as official releases. Me included. The answer to this question is a resounding "absolutely". The MAC Venom could have easily been an official release. While no statue can ever be considered perfect, this Fan Art is certainly deserving of accolades, especially for its artistic and creative merit. It is a beautiful done piece and well worth acquiring.
Overall rating: 8.8/10