In Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow, Eddie Brock has just gained a very familiar set of powers that belong to a very different member of the Sinister Six.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow #3 by Chip Zdarsky, Pasqual Ferry, Matt Hollingsworth and VC’s Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Peter Parker has gone through some incredible transformations over his as Spider-Man, but few have ever been as horrifying as what has become of him in the pages of Spider-Man: Spider’s Shadow. By simply having never shed the Venom symbiote in this What If? timeline, Peter has irreparably altered the course of history, and those changes have affected far more lives than his and his victims.
While the Sinister Six are preparing to strike back against the wall-crawler before he can hunt them to extinction, Eddie Brock has just joined in their fight with a brand new name and arms of the recently deceased Doctor Octopus.
The Sinister Six have all gathered at a farmhouse outside of the city in preparation for their final confrontation with Spider-Man. Since their nemesis has embraced his darker half, he has been on a bloody campaign of violence, targeting his various rogues and bringing their lives to gruesome ends. Things being what they are, the remaining villains have no choice but to set a trap for the wall-crawler far enough away that any other heroes won’t interfere once the chaos begins. Even J. Jonah Jameson has joined them to bring Spider-Man down once and for all, but he isn’t the only surprising new member of the group. Shortly after Jameson arrives, Eddie Brock introduces himself and his new mechanical arms courtesy of Doctor Octopus.
Unlike the primary Marvel timeline wherein Eddie Brock bonded to the Venom symbiote, he simply never got that opportunity in the world of Spider’s Shadow, though that doesn’t mean that he no longer carries his hatred for the hero. Eddie Brock may not have his symbiote in this timeline, but that only made him get creative in his efforts to get close to Spider-Man. Specifically, Eddie found his way into Doctor Octopus’ side as one of his henchmen, putting him in the perfect position to murder Doc Ock and take his mechanical limbs for himself. Though he isn’t as fearsome as he has long been in his Venom form, Eddie still presents himself as a credible threat no matter how much Jonah questions his reason for wanting revenge.
As far as Jameson is concerned, Eddie running a bad headline was what ended his career in journalism — not Spider-Man catching the real Sin-Eater. No matter who had brought the villain to justice, Eddie’s time as a journalist would have ended once the truth came out. That hardly seems to matter much to Brock Ock himself, and it certainly didn’t matter to Spider-Man when the former hero showed up to face the Sinister Six for the very last time.
These changes highlight just how dedicated Eddie was to bringing Spider-Man down all those years ago. They also call into question what drove him to that point in general, much like Jameson has. If it wasn’t the Venom symbiote that spurned Eddie towards such incredible violence, then he was already living a much darker life than most readers may have suspected. That penchant for brutality won’t save him from this version of Spider-Man, though, meaning this might just be the last we see of Brock Ock if he isn’t very, very careful.
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