Flash Thompson

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Flash Thompson
Flash Thompson.png
Artwork for Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1 (January 1999)
Art by John Romita Sr..
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceAs Flash Thompson:
Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
As Agent Venom:
The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (April 2011)
As Agent Anti-Venom:
Amazing Spider-Man/Venom: Venom Inc. Alpha #1 (December 2017)
Created byStan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full nameEugene "Flash" Thompson
Team affiliationsUnited States Army
Project Rebirth
Secret Avengers
Thunderbolts
Guardians of the Galaxy
New Warriors
S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agent of Cosmos
Supporting character ofSpider-Man
Eddie Brock
Notable aliasesAgent Venom
Agent Anti-Venom
Venom Space Knight
Abilities
  • Experienced hand to hand combatant
  • Trained marksman
  • Alien symbiote grants:
    • Superhuman strength, agility, reflexes and endurance
    • Organic webbing
    • Immunity to Spider Sense
    • Limited shapeshifting and camouflage
    • Ability to cling to most surfaces, can create armor by taking pieces from the armor of others and placing it in his venom, and form limbs that he could use

Eugene "Flash" Thompson is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a star high school football player who mercilessly bullies his high school classmate Peter Parker but greatly admires Spider-Man, an irony in which the superhero takes some gratification. In time, they become close friends in college after Flash matures and he later on discovers Peter is Spider-Man. After graduation, he joins the United States Army and is haunted by his combat experiences, leading to alcoholism. After losing both of his legs in the Iraq War, he turns into the superhero Agent Venom after being bound to the Venom symbiote which he controls via drugs. Eventually during an argument between him and Eddie Brock regarding the Venom symbiote, he is the new host of the Anti-Venom symbiote.[1]

The character has appeared in several other media adaptations (usually in his earlier bullying incarnation). In film, he was portrayed by Joe Manganiello in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3, Chris Zylka in The Amazing Spider-Man, and Tony Revolori in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Publication history[edit]

Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Flash Thompson first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), the same issue Spider-Man first appeared in. He was a regular character in The Amazing Spider-Man series for its first four years, leaving the cast in The Amazing Spider-Man #47 (April 1967) to serve in the Vietnam War. Though he reappeared in the comic a few times while on leave, he did not return to the regular cast until issue #105 (February 1972).[2]

Though the relationship between Flash Thompson and Spider-Man's alter ego Peter Parker gradually became more cordial over the years, the major turning point towards their becoming friends was in The Amazing Spider-Man #138 (November 1974), in which Thompson lets Parker room with him after all his other friends and acquaintances turned him away.[2]

Thompson's childhood is explored in The Spectacular Spider-Man #-1 (July 1997), titled "That Thompson Boy". Writer J. M. DeMatteis commented, "Despite our human tendency to want to fit people into convenient pigeonholes, no one is any one thing all the time. The main point of 'That Thompson Boy' was to show that there were other sides to Flash, to look behind the curtain and see the vulnerability, and depth, that was there. 'Flash' is a mask. Eugene is a complex, wounded human being. I think the character's history, even going back to Stan [Lee]'s stories, is a constant battle between the two, a seeking to find balance."[2]

The character made his first appearance as the new incarnation of Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (February 2011). A second volume of Venom started in May 2011 with Flash Thompson as the titular character. As Venom, he appeared as a regular character in the 2010-2013 Secret Avengers series, from issue #23 (April 2012) through its final issue, #37 (March 2013). As Venom, he appears in the 2012 Red Hulk's Thunderbolts series by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon.[3] After the Superior Spider-Man event, Agent Venom is seen in space in The Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 3) #14. He was eventually spun off into his own solo series, Venom: Space Knight, written by Robbie Thompson and drawn by Ariel Olivetti. It was canceled after 13 issues. In the premier issue of Venom Vol. 3 Flash Thompson is seen without the symbiote.

Fictional character biography[edit]

High school[edit]

Flash Thompson as he appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962). Art by Steve Ditko.

Eugene "Flash" Thompson is the nephew of actress Lea Thompson[4] and a bully of high school classmate Peter Parker. Flash was physically abused by his alcoholic father Harrison Thompson, leading to Flash's own violent, bullying nature.[5] Thompson dubs Peter with the derogatory nickname "Puny Parker" and humiliates Parker daily at school. Not knowing that Parker is Spider-Man, he forms the first "Spider-Man Fan Club" and vocally supports his idol, even criticizing J. Jonah Jameson in person for the Daily Bugle's anti-Spider-Man editorials. When Spider-Man is seen committing robberies, Flash is one of the few to stand up for him claiming that he could still be innocent. When it is revealed that Spider-Man was framed by Mysterio, Flash boasts about how he is always right. Peter, who openly states that he would not "trust [Spider-Man] any further than I can throw him", takes some secret pleasure in that Flash supported his alter-ego.[6]

In a very early issue, Flash and Peter squared off for a boxing match in the school gym. Initially expecting an easy victory, Flash was astonished to discover that he simply could not lay a hand on Peter (due to his opponent's enhanced speed and reflexes), and a single tap from Parker's fist knocked him clear out of the ring.[7] After this episode, Flash's bullying was restricted mostly to verbal harassment. Over the next few years, as the two became rivals for Liz Allan's affections, Flash was willing to confront Peter only when backed up by his friends. Peter began to laugh off his threats with good-natured comebacks (much to Flash's annoyance as well as bewilderment). This subtle reversal of their positions was typical of Lee-Ditko character developments in the title.[8]

Towards the end of Ditko's run on the title, Flash was employed mainly as comic relief, more a local buffoon than a serious threat. Major changes in his personality took place subsequently to issue #39, when John Romita, Sr. took over as artist for The Amazing Spider-Man. Following Romita's take in place, Flash was made into a more sympathetic character and his clean-cut image was similarly emphasized to give him an "All-American" persona.

College and adulthood[edit]

Flash Thompson in Spider-Man: Blue #3 (September 2002). Art by Tim Sale.

After Flash Thompson entered Empire State University, his relationship with Peter Parker became progressively less hostile.[9] While the two still traded the occasional insult, Flash had grown to respect Peter's intelligence and was surprised by his popularity with women, particularly Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. Both Flash and Peter were friends with Harry Osborn. Harry's presence served to defuse the tension between the former rivals.

While in university, Flash joined the United States Army and serves in the Vietnam War (although this was later retconned to unspecified overseas conflict due to Marvel's floating timeline). Unlike many students of the time, Flash was never conscripted—instead, he volunteers for service of his own free will. Although Flash was absent from the strip for months at a time, his frequent stateside visits kept him familiar with the readers. He returned from the war a decorated hero. Flash's tour of duty profoundly changed him from a reckless and immature youth to a tormented and conflicted man. Finding no comfort in his military decorations, Flash turned to alcohol for years.

While in Vietnam, Flash's unit bombed an ancient temple whose acolytes had earlier sheltered Flash when he was wounded. Flash tried and failed to stop them. When he returned to America, he dropped his antagonism toward Peter. Peter, in turn, began to respect Flash's new found maturity and the two became close. However, Flash soon finds himself tailed by mysterious assassins, former acolytes of the temple who thought that Flash had betrayed them. Spider-Man held off the assassins long enough for Flash to explain his side of the story. Sha Shan, the leader of the assassins, forgave Flash and even dated him for a while, but left him when she found out he was cheating on her. When Sha Shan was attacked by the Hobgoblin, Flash made the mistake of insulting the villain on television. Hobgoblin took revenge by abducting Flash and framing him as Hobgoblin's true identity. Spider-Man was aghast that his old friend was a villain, but Flash was legally exonerated when Hobgoblin's true identity was revealed.

After a bout of severe depression, Flash went drunk-driving and was badly injured in a car crash. Soon afterward Norman Osborn offered him a job at Oscorp as his personal aide in order to annoy Peter. Not knowing the reasons behind this, Flash became loyal to Norman for giving him a second chance and turning his life around. During this time, Flash met the hero Prodigy, not realizing he was also Spider-Man in disguise. Later, as part of a plan of driving Spider-Man to murderous violence by attacking his family and friends, Osborn kidnapped Flash (under the pretense of picking him up from an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting), force-feeds him whiskey and has him crash a truck into Midtown High School, where Peter works. Flash survived, thanks to his excellent physical condition, but he suffered severe brain damage that left him in a coma. Liz Allan Osborn, although widowed and raising her son Normie all on her own, became Flash's caretaker, and hired a full-time nurse to care for him. May Parker had come up with the idea to have Flash moved into Peter's apartment building so he could be among friends in the hopes it would aid in his recovery. Peter, blaming himself for what happened to Flash, was eager to help and started spending his free time with him, lending emotional support and companionship.[10]

Flash awakens from his coma during "The Other" story arc. Flash takes a job as the physical education teacher at Midtown High School, where Peter teaches science. However, Flash suffers from severe memory gaps and again treats Peter like a nerd and picks on him, as he did in their high school days. Flash also flirts with Miss Arrow, unaware that she is a villain there to attack Peter. When Peter unmasks himself as Spider-Man, Flash dismisses it as a trick.[11] But after witnessing Peter fighting with Daniel Berkhart and Francis Klum, Flash's memories come back to him and he re-establishes his friendship with Peter. Flash briefly appeared at the beginning of the "Brand New Day" story arc, attending a welcome home party for Harry Osborn. Flash and the rest of the world's population no longer remembers that Peter is Spider-Man, due to the machinations of the demon Mephisto.[12]

Iraq War[edit]

After the events of "One More Day", Flash Thompson willingly leaves his place as a P.E. instructor to rejoin the Army and fight in the Iraq War out of patriotic zeal, inspired by the selfless life of his lifelong idol Spider-Man. He is still in a close friendship with Peter Parker, as he is seen, lying in his hospital camp bed, with a greeting card by his best friend, and an iPod loaded by Peter himself with "Christmas in Fallujah".

Flash's platoon is ambushed, and Flash suffers several bullet wounds in both legs but continues on in an attempt to save his superior officer from danger. He willingly endangers himself, reasoning that Spider-Man had often committed the same sacrifices for everyone else, and glad to have had the opportunity to imitate him. His actions further damage his legs. This results in the need for them to be amputated below the knees. Flash's sacrifice is enough to earn him a recommendation for the Medal of Honor.[5] He returns to New York, only to shock Peter with the loss of his legs. He reveals to Peter that Spider-Man was his inspiration in Iraq. Harry rents a condo just for Flash, in order to help him out.[13] He later competes in a paraplegic sporting event at the local YMCA, managing to come in first place.[14]

Flash later accepts an offer to join Mayor Jameson's office of veteran's affairs. He attends the wedding of May Parker.[15] When the Chameleon (disguised as Peter) meets Flash at the subsequent press conference, he cruelly mocks him, calling him "puny Flash".[16] Flash is seen going through the so-called "stages of grief" backwards, even so far as to use dangerous experimental procedures to regain his legs, but seems to come to terms with his condition, thanks to the support of his friends, family, and his new rehabilitation trainer Sha-Shan.[17]

Agent Venom[edit]

Flash Thompson as Agent Venom on the cover of Secret Avengers #23 (April 2012). Art by Arthur Adams.

In a January 2011 interview with Newsarama, Flash Thompson was revealed "by accident" as the new host of Venom.[18] Marvel confirmed Flash will have his own comic using a military style version of Venom. Despite previously seeming to come to terms with the loss of his legs, Flash jumps at the dangerous offer of being bonded to the Venom symbiote, as the alien will be able to replace his legs with its own bio-mass, allowing him to walk again. He will star as a hero working for the military, and he will encounter many heroes and villains of the Marvel Universe.[19] He made his premiere as Agent Venom in The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (February 2011), and continues in his own Agent Venom ongoing series following the special The Amazing Spider-Man #654.1.

He cannot stay bonded to the Venom symbiote for more than 48 hours at a time, or the symbiote may gain complete control over him. The consequences of this are first seen when the suit causes Flash to go berserk and brutally slaughter a group of enemy operatives during his second mission, and again during a brawl with the Jack O'Lantern, ending with the suit putting a grenade in Jack O'Lantern's mouth.[20] While on a mission in the Savage Land, Flash finds himself being hunted by Kraven the Hunter who mistakes him for Spider-Man.[21]

During the 2011 "Spider-Island" storyline, Agent Venom is sent in to capture a spider-like beast that is fighting Firestar and Gravity. Agent Venom manages to capture the Spider-King and discovers that he is an enslaved Captain America. Venom disguises himself as the Spider-King in order to track the infestation to its source.[22] The Queen and Jackal send him to kill Anti-Venom because he is curing people who have gained spider-powers, but his superiors order him to take him to Mr. Fantastic to help develop a cure. Flash and the Venom-symbiote fight each other because Flash wants to bring Anti-Venom to Mr. Fantastic and the symbiote wants to kill Anti-Venom for previously rejecting it. This leads to Venom and Anti-Venom fighting. Venom wins the fight and delivers Anti-Venom to Mr. Fantastic.[23] Venom teams up with Red Hulk, X-23, Ghost Rider, and Johnny Blaze to fight Blackheart.[24]

He joins the Secret Avengers as Agent Venom.[25] As an Avenger, Flash apprehends the Human Fly,[26] but the Human Fly escapes via a prisoner transport to the Raft when the new Hobgoblin attacks the transport trying to kill the Human Fly for stealing money from the Kingpin.[27] Flash tries to assassinate the third Crime Master for threatening his family, but Eddie Brock attacks him as he is about to fire. This causes the Crime Master to have his new Savage Six attack Flash and Betty Brant.[28] While trying to protect Betty from Jack O'Lantern he reveals his identity to her.[29] Thunderbolt Ross recruits Venom to be part of his Thunderbolts team.[30]

Flash relocates to Philadelphia after fighting the U-Foes there.[31] While trying to capture a serial killer infected with some of the alien technology the U-Foes were trying to sell, so Beast could try to cure the man, he is attacked by Toxin.[32] While in Philadelphia, he adoptes a protege in his teenage neighbor Andrea "Andi" Benton, who upon bonding to a duplicate of the symbiote becomes the antiheroine Mania

Flash returns to New York when Betty Brant contacts him with information that the Crime Master has resurfaced. Flash infiltrates and attacks Crime Master and his men until the Superior Spider-Man (Otto Octavius' mind in Spider-Man's body) and his Spiderlings intervene. Crime Master then reveals himself to be a small-time hood who had purchased the name and mask from Hobgoblin and turns himself in. Superior Spider-Man then turns his attention to Agent Venom with the intent on destroying him.[33] Flash escapes in a puff of smoke and hides in a hospital before going to Peter's apartment. Seizing opportunity, "Peter Parker" invites Flash to his company to give Flash prosthetic legs. After doing so, Superior Spider-Man detains the symbiote in a cage from which it soon breaks free and bonds to Superior Spider-Man, becoming the Superior Venom.[34] The symbiote tries to flee back to Flash, but Superior Spider-Man keeps it for himself, even going as far as to injure Cardiac when Cardiac tries to separate them.[35] Iron Man arrives to Parker Industries to assist both Cardiac and Flash in order to take him to the battle-zone and reunite him with the symbiote. The Avengers are starting to fall against the power of Superior Venom who boasts about his superiority until Iron Man arrives to distract him allowing Flash (wearing Iron Man's armor) attack from behind and attempt to retake the symbiote. With the unexpected assistance from Spider-Man's conscience, the Venom symbiote finally leaves Superior Spider-Man's body and reunites with Flash, bonding together again. The Avengers are still in disbelief about Superior Spider-Man's argument until they ask Flash to check his mind-link with the symbiote to see anything wrong about Superior Spider-Man's motives. Flash replies that he sees "two different radio stations playing in the same frequency".[36]

Following the conclusion of The Superior Spider-Man and the return of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, he learns that his friend Flash is Venom and became angry at the Avengers that they did not tell him. The Avengers confess that because Flash was a good soldier and the secret identities in the Avengers' rules goes both ways.[37]

Seeking to maintain a connection with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers placed Venom on said team as their new envoy.[38] At a point the Symbiote began to act strangely considering anyone as an enemy as something was tapping into its mind signalling it. Flash became extremely worried and, since he was left behind when the other Guardians were captured, he began to try to find a way back to Earth which the Symbiote encouraged. However, in its fear it killed people if they refused. Eventually Gamora found them but they attacked her thinking her as an enemy. Star-Lord manages to subdue the Symbiote but Flash goes into a coma.[39] The Symbiote breaks out on the ship and takes the ship to its planet of origin.[40] The planet of Symbiotes explains to the Guardians their origins of the Klyntar. However, Flash and the Venom Symbiote have created the perfect savior the Symbiotes want. This heals the Symbiote and allows Flash to tap into the full potential of the Symbiote.[41]

Flash Thompson's debut as Agent Anti-Venom on Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha#1 (October 2017). Art by Ryan Stegman.

Venom then becomes the new intergalactic ambassador of Earth and an Agent of the Cosmos.[42]

During the 2016 "Civil War II" storyline, Flash is called back to Earth along with the other Guardians, during which he comes into conflict with Spider-Man, and repeatedly subdues him for not being the Spider-Man he knows. Prompting Miles to electrocute him with the Venom Blast, which blasted him into the open.[43] Andrea, who is host to the Mania symbiote, becomes more ruthless in her actions to the point of killing everyone she encountered. Venom manages to separate the symbiote from Mania, and absorb it into the Venom symbiote, though Andrea is corrupted by a demonic sigil called the Hell-Mark. Flash resolves to remain on Earth to care for Andi until he can find a way to remove the Hell-Mark permanently.[volume & issue needed]

Venom is later shown to have been somehow separated from Flash and it finds a new host in Lee Price.[44] It is eventually revealed that Flash was separated from Venom during a fight with an FBI agent outfitted with high-tech battle suit. The agent used a special weapon that agitated the Symbiote and sent it into a crazed state, which led to it fleeing into the city, where it eventually encountered Price, then reunites with Eddie Brock.[45][46]

Agent Anti-Venom and death[edit]

During the "Venom Inc." arc, Flash talks to Mania through her crimefighting, before she is taken down by Lee Price and a gang of thugs. Price is making good on his promise to re-take the Venom symbiote as he forcibly separates Mania from her symbiote and takes it himself. Meanwhile, Brock struggles to cope with the symbiote which has become increasingly violent and difficult to control. He turns to Alchemax to make a serum to help him out, but the medicine being created there is still experimental and may have some side effects. As Flash attempts to find Brock and get the symbiote back, Spider-Man is attempting to get rid of the symbiote once and for all, bringing the three together in a fantastic showdown as both Brock and Flash attempt to convince the symbiote to bond to them. As they struggle, Spider-Man chooses to douse them both with a vat of the Anti-Venom Serum. Instead of destroying the symbiotes, a new Anti-Venom arises: Flash Thompson. After Flash, Mania, Spider-Man, Black Cat, and Venom defeat Price, Flash entrusts the Venom symbiote to Eddie and goes back to heroics as Agent Anti-Venom.[47]

In the Go Down Swinging storyline, Norman Osborn returns with the Carnage symbiote bonded to him, making him the Red Goblin. He attacks New York City, and Silk, Clash, Spider-Man, Human Torch and Agent Anti-Venom tried to stop him.[48] Flash uses his Anti-Venom to heal any of Peter's friends and family that were infected by the Carnage symbiote, and discovers Spider-Man's secret identity in the process. Norman critically wounds Flash, who can no longer heal due to using the Anti-Venom to save the others. Peter offers to use the Venom symbiote to heal him, but Flash refuses, worrying that it would die with him and knows Peter needs an edge over Norman's new powers. He dies in Peter's arms and is honored by Peter and his friends at his funeral.[49]

The Maker later obtains a piece of the symbiote taken from Flash's time as Agent Venom, which contains a copy of his consciousness. The sample is dubbed as a codex by the Maker. The brain dead symbiote absorbs the sample during Venom's escape from Project Oversight, and with Eddie Brock's permission the copy takes control and transforms into Agent Venom. Flash's consciousness burns out shortly after.[50]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Venom symbiote grows a pair of legs for him while he has on the suit.[51] Due to his military training and former boxing career, Flash is an experienced hand-to-hand fighter and a trained marksman. After later gaining the power of the Anti-Venom symbiote, Flash inherits the healing abilities of this suit as well, along with the ability to heal others' physical injuries, and the original Anti-Venom's cleansing powers.[52]

Other versions[edit]

"House of M"[edit]

During the 2005 "House of M" storyline, Flash is a commentator for the program Sapien Deathmatch in which sentient beings fight violent battles for the entertainment of the mutant ruling class. In his first noted performance, Flash narrates a battle between a robotic Sentinel and the human Tony Stark.[53]

MC2[edit]

In the MC2 continuity (the alternate future of Spider-Girl), Flash Thompson is now on the faculty of his old high school. He is the coach of the girls' basketball team. He married Felicia Hardy, but they later divorced after they had two children (Felicity[54] and Eugene Jr.). He still is unaware of the fact that Peter Parker was Spider-Man, and is similarly unaware that Peter's daughter is Spider-Girl. Felicity, on the other hand, is aware of all of this and briefly assumed the Scarlet Spider identity in attempt to partner with Spider-Girl.[volume & issue needed]

Spider-Man: Life Story[edit]

Spider-Man: Life Story features an alternate continuity where the characters naturally age after Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man in 1962. In 1966, Flash volunteers to serve as a soldier in the Vietnam War. When Peter asks him why he'd be willing to go after the effects the previous war had on his father, Flash says that he believes it's what Spider-Man would do. Flash is later killed in action in 1974, leading Peter to question if he could have saved Flash by volunteering as well.[55]

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane[edit]

In Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Flash is the star football quarterback at Midtown High. Flash bullies Peter and refers to him as Puny Parker. Flash recently started dating Liz Allan again; this ended after she dumped him at homecoming for declaring his love to Mary Jane in front of the whole school.[56]

Spider-Verse[edit]

  • Flash's version is named Gene and is in a relationship with Sarah Jane (the universe's Mary Jane's). Like his counterpart, he bullies Patton Parnell (the Peter Parker of the Universe).[57]
  • Earth-11 version of Flash Thompson is far more friendly to Penelope Parker (Earth-11's Peter Parker), even before the spider bites her or after she became Spider-Girl unlike most of his other counterparts (notably Mainstream, Ultimate, Indian, and mostly TV series/Movie trilogy universes) who start as bullies at first towards Peter Parker and his counterparts, then reform of being admired by the Spiders' heroism afterwards.[58]
  • A version of Captain Spider appears in the spider-themed heroes recruited by Spider-UK to help combat the Inheritors.[59] He is killed by Morlun.[60]

Spider-Island[edit]

Flash Thompson (as Agent Venom) is the main protagonist in this Secret Wars Warzone version of Spider Island. He leads the resistance after most of the heroes and citizens have been mutated into spider monsters by the Spider Queen. Inspired by the sacrifice of Spider-Man, he leads the resistance (consisting of Werewolf by Night, Jessica Drew, and Vision) into stopping the Queen. His plans to release some heroes from the Spider Queen's control by mutating them into other monsters (such as Curt Connors' Lizard formula and Morbius' vampire formula) succeed and he is able to get monstrous versions of Captain America, Captain Marvel, the Hulk, and Iron Man on his side. When they go get Stegron to help in the cause, they discover Spider-Man's alive and Flash finds out he's Peter Parker. They rescue both to help in their cause. Flash eventually leads the rebellion to successfully stop the Spider Queen, but at the cost of his own life (due to requiring the symbiote to possess the Spider Queen to take her down). Peter becomes the new baron of the place and plans to honor Flash's memory.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Adventures[edit]

In the Marvel Adventures continuity, Jack Russel's family home is in Queens, New York. This brings Werewolf into conflict with Spider-Man after he reluctantly turns the somewhat innocent Flash Thompson into a werewolf. Fortunately Dr. Strange's knowledge of Romanian lycanthropy saves Flash.[61]

Venomverse[edit]

In Venomverse a version of Agent Venom is part of the Venoms army gathered by a Venomized Doctor Strange to fight the Poisons. He tries to calm down both Eddie (from the main universe) and Spider-Man (from a universe who didn't get rid of the symbiote), but they're attacked by the Poisons and he himself is killed by a Poison Hulk.[62]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Frederick "Flash" Thompson

The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of the character is Fredrick "Fred" Thompson,[63] a high school jock who bullies Peter Parker and is friends with fellow student Kenny "Kong" McFarlane.[64] Unlike most versions, he does not idolize Spider-Man (something that Kenny does instead). When Flash challenges Peter to a fight, Peter merely blocks a punch from Flash and manages to break his hand. When Peter joins the basketball team, Flash's attitude changes, on account of his tendency towards loyalty to his teammates. When Flash suddenly wants to talk to Peter alone for a moment on at least two occasions, Peter turns him down rather furiously, believing he just wanted to bully in private. After Gwen Stacy's death, it is revealed that Flash had a crush on Gwen and was actually trying to ask Peter for help in approaching Gwen for a date. During Silver Sable's hunt of Spider-Man, Flash is kidnapped after being mistaken by the Wild Pack for Spider-Man, having only moments before disappeared into an alley Flash happened to be standing in. After realizing their mistake, the group considers killing him but Flash is able to escape. This experience gives Flash a new level of popularity within the school, especially after a TV movie is made about his ordeal. After Peter's apparent death as Spider-Man, Flash realizes that he is the only one who did not know that his former bullying victim and the young hero are the same person.[volume & issue needed]

What If?[edit]

In "What if the Radioactive Spider Had Bitten Someone Else?", Flash is one of three characters - along with Betty Leeds and John Jameson - who is bitten by the radioactive spider which gave Spider-Man his powers, instead of Peter. After inadvertently killing the wrestler Crusher Hogan in the ring due to his underestimating his new strength, Flash begins to fight crime under the name "Captain Spider", but his career comes to a brutal stop when he fights the Vulture, is knocked out of the sky and - without any webshooters to save him - falls to his death. Only Peter bears witness to his demise.[65]

In "What if Peter Parker Had to Destroy Spider-Man?" a darker twist to the "Captain Spider" story is depicted, with Flash still possessing his aggressive, selfish bully attitude from his early appearances. As Peter witnessed the spider-bite, he becomes Flash's confidant, and Flash strong-arms him into making a costume and weapons. Not wanting Flash to harm anyone permanently, Peter devises the web-shooters, but Flash uses his powers to become a super-criminal called "The Spider". A pep talk from Aunt May and Uncle Ben inspires Peter to do something, using his scientific genius to create a robotic exo-skeleton (similar to Doctor Octopus' tentacles) and other methods which let him counter Flash's powers and incapacitate him. Later, Mister Fantastic removes Flash's powers and remarks that Peter has a bright future ahead of him.[66]

In "What if J. Jonah Jameson Adopted Spider-Man?", JJJ adopts Peter after Chameleon's attempt to hijack a NASA shuttle resulted in the deaths of Aunt May, John Jameson, and Chameleon himself. Jameson hires Flash to be Peter's bodyguard, writing off their antagonism as youthful energy. Because Jameson remains convinced that Spider-Man is to blame for the shuttle accident, he hires Spencer Smythe to create the Spider-Slayers, only for Peter to sabotage them in secret. At the demonstration, Flash notices that Smythe has also created the Scorpion suit and takes it for himself, hoping to protect Spidey and possibly become a hero in his own right. However, the serum affects Flash's mind, causing him to go berserk, and Peter (now maskless) goes to try to bring him down. Blinded by rage and addled by the serum, Flash refuses to believe that "Puny Parker" could be Spider-Man and attacks, nearly killing Peter until Jameson intervenes using a remote-controlled Spider-Slayer robot and shoots Flash with an antidote dart.[67]

In What if Flash Thompson became Spider-Man?, the Unseen depicts another example of a timeline where Flash Thompson became Spider-Man. In this timeline, just as Peter did, Flash starts out in wrestling before taking on a 'heroic' role when he stops the burglar who would have killed Ben Parker, with J. Jonah Jameson finding solace in praising Spider-Man as a hero after the existing system fails to save his son from the shuttle accident that Peter would have saved him from in canon. Flash eventually drops out of school to act full-time as Spider-Man, living in a trailer park with no apparent official income. Peter still becomes Spider-Man's photographer through more conventional methods, but when May Parker suffers serious complications and requires a rare drug to treat her disease, Peter tracks down Flash to ask for his help, only for Flash to accidentally kill Peter when he throws him into the wall of his trailer in a rage in the blind belief that Peter was making him look bad out of jealousy due to their past history. Forced to face the fact that he is actually a brutal criminal rather than his perceived role as a hero after seeing the error of his ways, Flash takes action to confront Doctor Octopus and acquire the medicine for May, but subsequently turns himself in for Peter's manslaughter.[68]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Flash Thompson appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends voiced by Frank Welker. He appeared in several episodes, serving as the typical bully who receives a comeuppance by the end of each story.[2]
  • Flash Thompson appeared in the 1994 Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Patrick Labyorteaux. This version tries to have a relationship with Felicia Hardy, which did not work out and he later found a new, more comfortable, relationship with the brainy Debra Whitman. Flash does not physically bully Peter Parker but insults on various occasions. He is also a fan of Spider-Man as he did not believe J. Jonah Jameson's news when the Insidious Six were on the rampage when the web slinger was framed by the Chameleon. Although Peter and Flash continue their rivalry, he's invited to Peter's wedding where he meets Felicia again. Flash tries to get along with other beautiful girls but always fails, sometimes being pushed back by Debra.
  • Flash Thompson appeared in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, voiced by Devon Sawa. This incarnation's dislike for Peter Parker that is actually pushed to a new extreme; the episode "Flash Memory" shows Flash's insults up front and is shown to be even willing to endanger Peter's life.
  • Flash Thompson appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Joshua LeBar.
  • Flash Thompson appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced primarily by Matt Lanter (Flash Thompson / Agent Venom),[69] and briefly by Logan Miller (kid version in "Beetle Mania").[70][71]
  • Flash Thompson appears in the 2017 Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Benjamin Diskin.

Film[edit]

Sam Raimi trilogy[edit]

Flash Thompson appears in the 2002 film Spider-Man, played by Joe Manganiello. In this version, he is depicted as Mary Jane Watson's boyfriend at the film's start and is a bully who torments Peter Parker. After Peter accidentally uses a web to splash Flash with a tray of food, a fight between them breaks out in the school's hallway which Peter wins due to newly acquired superpowers. Though Peter runs off immediately following the confrontation, Mary Jane later tells Peter that Flash was grateful that Peter didn't give him a black eye for graduation. At graduation, Flash and Mary Jane break up after Mary Jane rejected his marriage proposal. Manganiello reprises his role in a silent cameo appearance in the 2007 film Spider-Man 3, in which he attends Harry Osborn's funeral following his death aiding in the defeat of Venom.

The Amazing Spider-Man[edit]

Chris Zylka portrays Flash Thompson in the 2012 reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man.[72] In the film, Thompson is a basketball player and a bully who torments Peter Parker. When Parker gains super powers, he humiliates Thompson during a basketball practice session. Thompson later sympathizes with Parker after Ben Parker's death and expresses admiration for Spider-Man. Zylka reprises his role in the 2014 sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2. A deleted scene titled "Flash Forward" shows that Thompson and Parker are now friends.

Marvel Cinematic Universe[edit]

Tony Revolori portrays Eugene "Flash" Thompson in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).[73] This interpretation is a "smug, rich kid" and a year above Peter Parker,[74][75] who he verbally bullies. Due to Revolori's portrayal, the actor has been receiving hate mail and death threats.[76] Despite not appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Flash was confirmed to have been one of Thanos' victims during the Blip until he was brought back to life by the Hulk. Revolori reprised the role in the 2019 film Spider-Man: Far From Home where he is shown to be a minor social media star with followers, whom he dubs the "Flash Mob", and continuously boasts his wealth. He still picks on Peter, while ironically praising Spider-Man, but near the end is implied to be solemnly distant from his mother who sends his chauffeur to pick him up rather than come herself.

Video games[edit]

Stage[edit]

Flash Thompson was originally portrayed by Matt Caplan in the 2010 Broadway production Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.[79]

Collected editions[edit]

Title Material collected Release date ISBN
Venom by Rick Remender vol. 1 Venom vol. 2 #1-5 October 2011 0-7851-5811-1
Spider-Island Venom vol. 2 #6-9, along with other material January 2012 0-7851-5104-4
Venom: Circle of Four Venom vol. 2 #10-14, 13.1-13.4 June 2012 0-7851-6450-2
Venom: The Savage Six Venom vol. 2 #15-22 October 2012 0-7851-5812-X
Venom: Devil's Pack Venom vol. 2 #23-25, 28-30 April 2013 978-0785161240
Minimum Carnage Minimum Carnage: Alpha; Venom vol. 2 #26-27; Scarlet Spider vol. 2 #10-11, 12.1; Minimum Carnage: Omega January 2013 0-7851-6726-9
Venom: Toxin With a Vengeance! Venom vol. 2 #31-35 September 2013 978-0785166924
Venom: The Land Where Killers Dwell Venom vol. 2 #36-42, 27.1 January 2014 978-0785166931
Venom: Space Knight Vol. 1: Agent of the Cosmos Venom: Space Knight #1-6 July 12, 2016 978-0785196549
Venom: Space Knight Vol. 2: Enemies And Allies Venom: Space Knight #7-13 December 13, 2016 978-0785196556

References[edit]

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External links[edit]