I am not suggesting this as a No-Prize but kind of something
which might be a nice explanation for something which has often been criticized
in Spider-Man’s history.
See in the first two Venom stories Venom himself was a pretty
sadistic kind of guy.
Whilst this didn’t entirely disappear after these two
initial stories from his third appearance (the first time Erik Larsen handled
the character) onwards we began a transitioning to the infamous ‘Lethal
Protector’ version of Venom.
Venom began to have legitimate displays of heroism, notably
rescuing a baby from danger and later in Amazing Spider-Man #375 he even saved Peter’s parents and his own ex-wife.
This was accompanied by Venom claiming he had a great sense of honour such as him swearing he’d never harm Aunt May despite both threatening and seemingly attempting to do that in the earlier Venom stories such as the one above.
That last panel is also important because it represents another shift in the narrative wherein Peter was at times used as a mouthpiece to play up the idea that Venom wasn’t all that bad. In the third Venom story Spider-Man
even outright says Brock has a strong if twisted sense of honour and later
claims that he cannot allow Brock to die because deep down he is just a screwed
Granted you could argue Spider-Man might not have been displaying outright sympathy for Brock here so much as his usual tendency to try and avoid people dying. He has after all attempted to save even Doc Ock’s life on a few occasions. that being said I think it is highly likely that the authorial intention was to paint Brock in a more sympathetic light. This perhaps reached its zenith in the original Carnage storyline where Venom teams up with Spidey in order to save innocent people from Carnage, who’s character made Brock’s look much nicer by comparison.
Further evidence of this shift was provided in back up stories depicting flashback tales in which Venom is played as an outright heroic, or at least
heroic but willing to commit violence to reach his goals. One such story happens in between ASM #315 and #316 where the Brock was travelling to New York and at a truck stop encountered a group of thugs.
We also saw Spider-Man act far more fearful of Venom than he
had been in Venoms first two stories. He seemed more prone to trying to run away from venom rather than confront him.
In ASM #362 he even outright states he left Venom on a deserted island specifically because he was afraid of him.
Spider-Man’s fear, his greater tolerance for Venom and Venom’s
more heroic side have been the subject of much criticism since their inception.
Whilst I could probably come up with in-universe
explanations for how and why those changes make sense, I want to throw out what
you could call a theory but what I call an idea I’d implement if I had creative
control of the franchise.
Essentially in the second Venom story Peter beat Eddie Brock
by tricking the symbiote into attempting to abandon the latter to bond with
Peter. The shock and strain of this attempted separation caused Brock to be
As you can see from the above the strain of the symbiote attempting
to separate from Brock and bond with Peter causes pain to both men.
Specifically Peter is clutching his head and when the symbiote slithers off of
him we can see it has covered part of his head, mostly his mouth.
The symbiote through being in contact with Peter and Brock
simultaneously created a mental link between the two of them.
Through this mental link Peter got blasted with some of the
symbiote and Brock’s thoughts and feelings, mostly about how they hate him and
want to kill him. On the flipside Brock got blasted with some of Peter’s
thoughts and feelings.
Since Brock was the true host of the symbiote at the time and
was more strongly attached to it the process hit him harder. We sort of see
evidence of this in the fact that it is Brock who is rendered unconscious by
the bonding whilst Peter recovers more quickly.
Because of this process Brock and the symbiote held some of
Peter’s heroic and altruistic traits within their subconscious. The symbiote in
particular would’ve gotten a double dose of this because of course it had already
bonded with Peter and it was from him that it first learned rudimentary human
emotions. Peter’s altruism and heroism and instinct to help others in the
twisted mind of Brock/the symbiote/Venom manifested itself in Venom’s gradually
increasing heroic streak from that point onwards. It was the fact that Brock’s
mind had, however briefly or indirectly, touched Spider-Man’s that caused him
to rescue that baby, to eventually strive to protect innocents regularly.
However because Venom’s mind was so twisted and his desire to kill Spider-Man
so strong he still prioritized that and still went about trying to help others
through violent methods. On some level Peter was kind of in his head urging him
to do good so he did, but his mind was still his own.
For Peter’s part touching the mind of Brock and the symbiote
wouldn’t have affected him on a fundamental level but would cause him to act
differently whenever they encountered one another.
His greater sympathy for Brock would be because on some
level he felt the same feelings Brock and the symbiote felt about themselves
and how they saw themselves. Without realizing it he’d begun sympathizing more
with Brock because he’d subconsciously remembered what it was like being Eddie
Brock, even though Brock had a warped perception of reality.
On the flipside though by senseing their visceral hatred and
violent inclinations towards him Peter’s already not unsubstantiated fear of
Venom would increase. Whilst he previously knew
Venom despised him and wanted him dead now he subconsciously was recalling
exactly what they wanted to do him and the strong urges they had to harm him.
Which then manifested in a fight or flight series of behaviours wherein he was more
fearful of Venom than he had been before.
There is even kind of a little precedence for this in the mostly
crappy Paul Jenkins Venom story ‘The Hunger’ from Spectacular Spider-Man volume
From what I hear, scripting for graphic novels is very similar to scripting for movies. Being more of a reader than a writer of graphic novels, I’d have to turn you toward some of the masters of your craft. Here are a few books published by the most well-known names in the industry:
“Words for Pictures,” Brian Michael Bendis (X-Men, Spider-Man, Powers, Daredevil, Avengers)
“Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics” which has advice from Stan Lee (Daredevil, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer), as well as Marvel greats like Jack Kirby (Captain America, Thor, Fantastic Four) and Steve Ditko (The Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, Hawk and Dove)