Dec 5, 2014

Symbiotic Holiday Giveaway Winner Announcement

Happy December, fellow Venomaniacs! It's been a fun November this year as you all tested your knowledge of symbiotes for the chance to win a Marvel Legends Infinite Agent Venom action figure and a special gift courtesy of yours truly, Orion "OrionSTARB0Y" Petitclerc. We had a great turnout and plenty of contestants in the end, but only one winner may take home the prizes. So without further ado, I give you the winner of the 2014 Symbiotic Holiday Giveaway: Hughie S. of Massachusetts!

A big congratulations to Hughie, and well played to all of our truly fanatic contestants. So besides the action figure, what was the special gift, you ask? Well take a look below and behold!

An original artist's sketch card made by Orion "OrionSTARB0Y" Petitclerc.

Wondering how you fared in the symbiote trivia questionnaire? Wonder no more, for here are the correct answers to the trivia questions:

Q: In which comic book did the Venom symbiote first appear in publication history?

A: Amazing Spider-Man #252. Spider-Man may have first bonded with the Venom symbiote in the classic Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8, but Amazing Spider-Man #252—which followed the end of the first Secret Wars event's story—was published a whopping seven months ahead of Secret Wars #8, making it the first published appearance of the Venom symbiote—back then known only as Spider-Man's mysterious black suit!

Q: When the five Life Foundation symbiotes (Riot, Lasher, Agony, Scream, and Phage) were created, they were officially nameless. They were given names by fans associated to action figures from the "Planet of the Symbiotes" toy line released around the same time as their debut, and were officially named in Carnage U.S.A. (except for Scream, who was named in the comics years before). However, fans were divided with Phage's name, as it too closely resembled the symbiotes' only known natural predator, the Xenophage. Which alternative fan-made name was popular for the Phage symbiote?

A: Rampage. Both Phage and Rampage were originally fan-made names for the Phage symbiote. Hybrid and Mania are the names of other symbiotes in Marvel canon (the Phage symbiote is actually one-fourth of the Hybrid amalgam symbiote).

Q: Where was the Venom symbiote first discovered in the 1990s' Spider-Man: The Animated Series?

A: The Moon. In season 1, episode 8 ("The Alien Costume - Part 1"), J. Jonah Jameson's astronaut son, John Jameson, inadvertently brings back the symbiote in a lunar rock from a mission to the Moon.

Q: What was the name of the Venom host in between Mac Gargan and Flash Thompson?

A: Cal Henriksen. (Some of you may have noticed that I misspelled his last name at first as "Hendricks." I corrected this later on.) Cal was Project: Rebirth 2.0's first "Agent Venom," and mentioned by name only once in print back in Amazing Spider-Man #654's back-up story and Agent Venom's first appearance, "Rebirth." He has since remained in obscurity, though it was implied that the symbiote had taken control of him, causing the explosive failsafe secretly injected within the host to trigger and kill him while leaving the symbiote seemingly unharmed. Cullen Bunn, the last writer of the late Venom ongoing series starring Agent Venom, had revealed that he had planned to reintroduce Cal as the new Anti-Venom before the series was cancelled. Of the other names in the answer list, Brad Fury was improvised and Dan Slott is a real-life person—a major Spider-Man comic book writer for Marvel and the co-creator of the Agent Venom character.

Q: What is Carnage's original host's name?

A: Cletus Kasady. Cletus holds the record for the longest time being the only host who has retained his original bond to his symbiote since Carnage's first appearance. Unlike Eddie Brock, Cletus first appeared in comics before he became Carnage as Eddie's cellmate in prison. All of the other characters listed as answers at one point hosted the Carnage symbiote.

Q: Which symbiote did Eddie Brock first meet?

A: Krobaa. In Venom: Seed of Darkness, one of Eddie's earliest news stories as an employee of the Daily Globe (not the Daily Bugle, as the movies and cartoons would have you believe) prior to becoming Venom was of a grim wanderer of the cosmos who came to Earth, possessed a mad scientist, and rampaged through the city: Krobaa, the Living Darkness! (A symbiote for all intents and purposes, though never explicitly named such.)

Q: What chemical found in chocolate and human brains does the symbiote feed on?

A: Phenethylamine. It was revealed in the '90s limited series, Venom: The Hunger, that Venom's classic catchphrase, "I want to eat your brains," was rather literal when the symbiote—starved of phenethylamine after having drained Eddie—went mad and caused Eddie as Venom to rampage as a brain-eating monster. After briefly separating from the symbiote, Eddie learned about the chemical and its importance to the symbiote, and—once reunited as Venom—helped quell its hunger by feeding it chocolate, a humane substitute for brains.

Q: The Mania symbiote has its origins in an earlier Venom-related comic book series. In which series did it first appear?

A: Venom (Volume 1) by Daniel Way. In the second Venom series written by Bunn, Mephisto had revealed in a flashback a scene from Way's series in which Eddie's symbiote and its separated clone—which was the title character of the series that bonded to the protagonist, Patricia "Pat" Robertson—merged once more to become Venom. This implied that the symbiote that detached itself from Agent Venom and bonded with Andi to become Mania was the reabsorbed clone from Way's series. Additionally, Spectacular Spider-Man Volume 2: The Hunger may have been referring to the clone that would eventually become Mania when the Venom symbiote mentioned having another spawn.

Q: What are symbiotes' two main weaknesses?

A: Fire and sonics. Classically, fire and sonics were established as symbiotes' only weaknesses. Over time and in different continuities, all of the mentioned methods in the answer list have been added as well.

Q: Which creative team created Venom?

A: David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane. (No, Stan Lee is not a universal answer for all Marvel characters!) Every comic book creator listed in the answers save Stan Lee and Steve Ditko are major names in symbiote lore, but Michelinie and McFarlane are the definitive and credited creators of Venom. Venom made his comic book debut in May 1988's Amazing Spider-Man #300, written by David Michelinie and drawn by Todd McFarlane (though he made a cameo appearance at the end of issue #299 a month beforehand).

Thank you for participating in our first-ever Symbiotic Holiday Giveaway! Hopefully there is a next time so you can have a chance at winning some sweet symbiote loot if you didn't already. How did you fare in the trivia game? What kind of loot would you like to see in the prize list next year? Would you consider contributing to a donation pool to fund the next Symbiotic Holiday Giveaway? Let us know in the comments section below, and don't forget to follow A Dose of Venom every Friday for new content, as well as The Venom Site for all of your symbiote news, reviews, and point-of-views!

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