Flash Thompson

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Flash Thompson
Flash Thompson.png
Artwork for the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #574 (December, 2008 Marvel Comics). Art by Barry Kitson.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance As Flash Thompson:
Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
As Agent Venom:
The Amazing Spider-Man #654 (April 2011)
As Anti-Venom:
Amazing Spider-Man/Venom: Venom Inc. Alpha #1 (December 2017)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Full name Eugene "Flash" Thompson
Team affiliations United States Army
Secret Avengers
Thunderbolts
Guardians of the Galaxy
New Warriors
S.H.I.E.L.D.
Supporting character of Spider-Man
Notable aliases Agent Venom
Venom
Agent Anti-Venom
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, he and Peter become close friends in college after Flash matures. 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 was bound to the Venom Symbiote as Agent Venom, a superhero and the first to control the organism. Eventually during an argument between him and Eddie Brock regarding inheriting the Venom symbiote at Alchemax, Flash became the new Anti-Venom.[1]

The character has appeared in several other media adaptations, usually in his earlier bullying incarnation. In film, he is portrayed by Joe Manganiello in Spider-Man, Chris Zylka in The Amazing Spider-Man, and Tony Revolori in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

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, causing 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. Spider-Man was framed by Mysterio and 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 couldn't 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 only willing to confront Peter when he (Flash) was surrounded 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 sliding time scale). Unlike many students of the time, Flash was never conscripted—instead, 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. Peter, blaming himself for what happened to Flash, makes a point of visiting his friend as often as he can.

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.[10] Flash eventually believes Peter is Spider-Man after witnessing him fight with Daniel Berkhart and Francis Klum. 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.[11]

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.[12] He later competes in a paraplegic sporting event at the local YMCA, managing to come in first place.[13]

Flash later accepts an offer to join Mayor Jameson's office of veteran's affairs. He attends the wedding of May Parker.[14] When the Chameleon (disguised as Peter) meets Flash at the subsequent press conference, he cruelly mocks him, calling him "puny Flash".[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18] 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 issue.

He cannot stay bonded to the Venom symbiote for more than 48 hours at a time, or the symbiote may gain complete control of 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.[19] While on a mission in the Savage Land, Flash finds himself being hunted by Kraven the Hunter who mistakes him for Spider-Man.[20]

During Spider-Island, 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.[21] 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.[22] Venom teams up with Red Hulk, X-23, Ghost Rider, and Johnny Blaze to fight Blackheart.[23]

He joins the Secret Avengers as Agent Venom.[24] As an Avenger, Flash apprehends the Human Fly,[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] While trying to protect Betty from Jack O'Lantern he reveals his identity to her.[28] Thunderbolt Ross recruits Venom to be part of his Thunderbolts team.[29]

Flash relocates to Philadelphia after fighting the U-Foes there.[30] 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.[31] While in Philadelphia, he also adopts a protege in the form of Mania, a teenager using an offshoot of the Venom symbiote.

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's 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.[32] 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.[33] 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.[34] 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".[35]

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.[36]

Seeking to maintain a connection with the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers placed Venom on said team as their new envoy.[37] 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.[38] The Symbiote breaks out on the ship and takes the ship to its planet of origin.[39] 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.[40]

Venom then becomes the new intergalactic ambassador of Earth and an Agent of the Cosmos.[41]

During the Civil War II storyline, Flash is called back to Earth along with the other Guardians, and faces-off against the new 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.[42] He decides to stay on Earth with Mania rather than return to space.

Venom is later shown to have been somehow separated from Flash and it finds a new host in Lee Price.[43] 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.[44][45]

Agent Anti-Venom and death[edit]

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

During the "Venom Inc." arc, Flash Thompson later talks to Mania through her crimefighting, before she is taken down by Lee Price and a gang of thugs. Turns out that Price is making good on his previous promises 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. So 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 interesting effects. As Flash attempts to find Brock and get the symbiote back himself (to help Mania and figure out what Price wants), 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 created by Alchemax, in the hopes that it will rid the world of Venom for good. Nothing could be that simple and instead, a new Anti-Venom arises from the accident: 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.[46]

When Norman Osborn returned as the Green Goblin, but with the Carnage symbiote (often worn by Cletus Kasady) bonded with him and he became the Red Goblin. He went on and attacked New York City and Spider-Man, Silk, Clash, Spider-Man, Human Torch and Agent Anti-Venom tried to stop him.[47] Flash uses his Anti-Venom to heal any of Peter's friends and family that were infected by the Carnage symbiote that Norman was prepared to kill 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.[48]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Venom symbiote grows a pair of legs for him while he has on the suit.[49] 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.[50]

Other versions[edit]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M: Iron Man series, Flash is a commentator for 'Sapien Deathmatch'. This is where 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.[51]

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[52] 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.

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.[53]

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).[54]
  • 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.[55]
  • A version of Captain Spider appears in the spider-themed heroes recruited by Spider-UK to help combat the Inheritors.[56] He is killed by Morlun.[57]

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]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

Frederick "Flash" Thompson

The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of the character is Fredrick "Fred" Thompson,[58] a high school jock who bullies Peter Parker and is friends with fellow student Kenny "Kong" McFarlane.[59] 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 loyality 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.[60]

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.[61]

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.[62]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • The television show Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was Flash Thompson's first animated appearance, voiced by Frank Welker. He appears in several episodes, serving as the typical cartoon 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 him 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 is 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, voiced by Joshua LeBar. Just like his original portrayal in the comics, he is a star high school football player and a typical jock and bully who picks on Peter Parker yet greatly admires Spider-Man. However, this version also shows heroic and noble throughout the series. He continues to bully Peter, even after his nerdy classmate has already been bitten by the radioactive spider and Flash is always trying to outsmart Parker but usually fails. In season one, he dates Liz Allan until they break up, seemingly due to Liz developing a crush on Peter. Due to losing a bet to Peter, he had to be a cheerleader for Halloween but convinced the rest of the football team into also dressing as cheerleaders. He and Mary Jane Watson had also been voted the king and queen of the Fall Formal, which leads him to try asking out Mary Jane but Mary Jane denied him due to not wanting an actual relationship. After seeing Peter dressed as the web-slinger (which Peter claims was a Halloween costume to protect his own identity), he argued that Peter looked nothing like his idol and he himself should have dressed up like the wall-crawler. When Peter gets angrier and easily agitated from the Symbiote, it's Flash that snaps Peter back into reality by reminding Peter that his own friends only want to help. Flash later shows his more heroic side when he and his friends help save Gwen Stacy from falling to death at the Thanksgiving Day Parade because of Venom. In season two, Flash is shown to have an attraction to Sha Shan Nguyen. It is also revealed that he and Peter were best friends in Nursery School; It was Peter that gave Flash his trademark nickname because of his tendency to streak as a little boy. Although Sha Shan does not want anything to do with him at first, Sha Shan eventually went out with Flash after he reported Harry Osborn's Gobulin Green usage on the team, feeling that it's better that he earn trophies fair and square. Flash also auditioned for St. John Devereaux's school play. Although he botched his initial audition, Flash dressing as Spider-Man ultimately got him the role as the play's comic relief.
  • Flash Thompson appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced by Matt Lanter (Flash Thompson / Agent Venom),[63] and by Logan Miller (kid version briefly seen in "Beetle Mania").[64] This version, much like his original incarnation, is a typical bully who picks on Peter Parker yet idolizes Spider-Man. He also seems to harass Harry Osborn and Mary Jane Watson as well. Throughout season one, he is sometimes an accidental target for super-powered characters that Spider-Man encounters (possibly due to karma). In the episode "I Am Spider-Man", Flash is given moral support as Spider-Man by Peter during Mary Jane's school play. Despite their enmity and the Trapster mistaking Flash for the web-slinger, Flash shows signs of reforming his character. In season two, Flash's positive development continues. In the episode "The Rhino", his bullying motivated Alex O'Hirn's transformation into the Rhino to seek revenge on Flash but is saved by Spider-Man and Power Man. Realizing that his bullying towards others has consequences, Flash apologizes before Alex is taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Agent Venom makes his animated debut on Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors.[65] Wanting to emulate his idol Spider-Man, Agent Venom has all of the Venom symbiote's abilities (sans host control as Flash's own will overrides the symbiote's) and is even able to assimilate technology into himself. In his self-titled episode "Agent Venom", Flash tries to fight crime as the "Scarlet Spider" albeit without powers. During Spider-Man's hunt for the mass-produced Venom symbiote created for Loki, Flash tries to assists Spidey against a Venomized Scorpion. As the Venom samples were contained by Spider-Man, another sample latches itself onto Flash's foot. The next day when the Beetle attacks Midtown High to retrieve the symbiote, following Flash donning his football gear for impact protection, the organism covers its new host, pads and all. Realizing the consequences of being a hero, he attempts to remove the symbiote with vocal commands (i.e. 'Venom away') but fails and Spider-Man realizes that the parasite is stuck as Venom has chosen its permanent host. Although he is then locked up by S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man persuades Nick Fury into releasing him. Subsequent episodes depict Agent Venom as a member of the New Warriors alongside Amadeus Cho as Iron Spider, Squirrel Girl, Ka-Zar, Zabu and Cloak and Dagger. Agent Venom (and his teammates) assists Spider-Man in fighting a super-powered team and a several supervillains (respectively led by Taskmaster and the Green Goblin). He also assist Spider-Man, Iron Spider, Power Man and their S.H.I.E.L.D. teacher Whizzer in combating Arnim Zola's monsters. Agent Venom soon plays the role of the Rhino's release to join the New Warriors. However, Alex still thinks Flash is still the same bully before. With the Hulk's help, Agent Venom and Spider-Man are able to reform Rhino into joining the New Warriors. During the four-part "Contest of Champions" season finale where Agent Venom and Iron Spider are among the many 'chess pieces' between the Collector and the Grandmaster, Flash and Amadeus learn that Peter is Spider-Man. Agent Venom continues to serve as a supporting character in Ultimate Spider-Man vs The Sinister Six. Along with Spider-Man and Iron Spider, he welcomes Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly) and Kid Arachnid (Miles Morales) into the Web-Warriors group and S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. At one point, Doc Ock removes the Venom symbiote from its host, however, Flash later re-merges with the organism again with Agent Venom's redesign resembling his first costume appearance from the main Marvel universe. Agent Venom gets injured when Spider-Man and Iron Patriot go against Doc Ock and Anti-Venom. Flash uses an arsenal wheelchair as he recovers as well as to defend himself and May Parker. Having finally recovered from his injuries, Agent Venom helps Spider-Man (as well as the Patrioteer and Scarlet Spider) against an evolving symbiote and a renegade synthoid respectively. In the series finale, Agent Venom and Scarlet Spider become S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy teachers (even though he also annoys Scarlet Spider over which new alter-ego he should be referenced as a teacher).
  • Flash Thompson appears in the 2017 series Spider-Man voiced by Benjamin Diskin. He is a student at Midtown High School and tries to apply for Osborn Academy for Geniuses, but doesn't get in. In "Stark Expo", he enters the titular expo with a baking soda volcano. Ironically, he ends up winning as the Ghost destroyed all the other entries, leaving him the only one with an unscathed project. He later becomes the latest host of the Venom Symbiote in the episode "Venom". By the end, Flash was separated from the symbiote thanks to Spider-Man and the organism's remains were captured by Max Modell.

Film[edit]

Sam Raimi Trilogy[edit]

  • Flash Thompson appeared in the 2002 film Spider-Man, played by Joe Manganiello. In this version, he is depicted as Mary Jane Watson's boyfriend at the start of the film and is a bully who torments Peter Parker, although the sport he plays is not indicated. 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 from this revelation afterwards. 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 she rejected his marriage proposal.
  • Joe Manganiello reprises his role in a silent cameo at the end of the 2007 film Spider-Man 3. He is seen attending Harry Osborn's funeral following his sacrifice to help stop Venom and is visibly saddened by his former classmate's death.

The Amazing Spider-Man[edit]

  • Chris Zylka portrays Flash Thompson in the 2012 reboot film The Amazing Spider-Man.[66] In the film, Flash retains his personality as a jock and bully, as evidenced by picking on Peter Parker, even beating up Peter at lunch in front of everyone. The sport he plays is basketball instead of football. Once Peter receives his spider powers, he humiliates Flash during a basketball practice session as retribution. Flash later acts nicer to Peter and sympathizes with Parker after his Uncle Ben's death. By the end of the film, Flash is implied to be Peter's friend and expresses admiration for Spider-Man.
  • Chris Zylka reprises his role in the 2014 sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Initially cut from the final film, one of the deleted scenes titled "Flash Forward" in the Blu-ray bonus features shows that Peter Parker and he have become friends.

Marvel Cinematic Universe[edit]

  • Tony Revolori portrays Eugene "Flash" Thompson in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).[67] This interpretation is multi-racial (due to his actor's ethnicity), a year above Peter Parker[68] and does not bully him physically, but rather verbally. He is also portrayed as a rival of Peter who is a "smug, rich kid".[69] Flash mockingly refers to Peter as "Penis Parker" and disbelieves Peter's various claims to be a Stark Industries intern. He also is shown to be a practicing DJ on the side when he attends Liz Allan's party. When Spider-Man rushes to face the Vulture, Spider-Man commandeers Flash's car which is actually his father's car which gets damaged in the process. Due to Revolori's portrayal, the actor has been receiving hate mail and death threats.[70]
  • Revolori will reprise his role in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Video games[edit]

Stage[edit]

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]

  1. ^ Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha #1
  2. ^ a b c d Hempel, Darrell (September 2016). "Flash Thompson: Friend or Foe?". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (91): 42–47. 
  3. ^ James, Adam (12 September 2012). "Way and Dillon Confirmed For Marvel NOW! "Thunderbolts"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Sava, Oliver (2016-07-21). "Lea Thompson needs Howard The Duck's help in this exclusive preview". AV Club. Retrieved 2018-03-04. 
  5. ^ a b The Amazing Spider-Man #574
  6. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #13 (June 1964)
  7. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #8 (January 1964)
  8. ^ As noted by Daniels in Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics (p.130) Ditko's plotting emphasized the more subtle aspects of human relationships, stressing (for example) Aunt May's quiet strength over Flash's macho posturing.
  9. ^ Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City. New York City: Pocket Books. pp. 30–33. ISBN 1-4165-3141-6. 
  10. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #533
  11. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Nov. 2007)
  12. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Extra #3
  13. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #591
  14. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #600
  15. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #603
  16. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #622
  17. ^ Ching, Albert (January 28, 2011). "Marvel 'Next Big Thing' - Rick Remender on VENOM - LIVE!". Newsarama. 
  18. ^ "The Next Big Thing: Venom". Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  19. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #654.1
  20. ^ Venom vol. 2 #2
  21. ^ Venom vol. 2 #6
  22. ^ Venom vol. 2 #7
  23. ^ Venom vol. 2 #13, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3, 13.4, 14
  24. ^ "Remender, Hardman add Venom, Captain Britain to "Secret Avengers"". Comic Book Resources. November 10, 2011. 
  25. ^ Venom vol. 2 #15
  26. ^ Venom vol. 2 #16
  27. ^ Venom vol. 2 #17
  28. ^ Venom vol. 2 #18
  29. ^ Thunderbolts vol. 2 #1
  30. ^ Venom vol. 2 #28-31
  31. ^ Venom vol. 2 #33
  32. ^ Superior Spider-Man #22
  33. ^ Superior Spider-Man#23
  34. ^ Superior Spider-Man #24
  35. ^ Superior Spider-Man #25
  36. ^ Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #2
  37. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol.3 #14
  38. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 21
  39. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 22
  40. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3 23
  41. ^ Venom: Space Knight Vol. 1 Issues 1-13
  42. ^ Civil War II #5
  43. ^ Venom Vol. 3 #1
  44. ^ Venom #150
  45. ^ Venom Vol. 3 #6
  46. ^ Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha
  47. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #799
  48. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #800
  49. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #654
  50. ^ Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Omega #1
  51. ^ "House of M: Iron Man" #1 (Sept. 2005)
  52. ^ "Spider-Girl" #45 (May 1, 2002)
  53. ^ Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (December 2005 – July 2007)
  54. ^ Edge of Spider-Verse #4
  55. ^ Spider-Verse vol. 1 #1
  56. ^ Dan Slott (w), Olivier Coipel (p), Olivier Coipel (i). "Spider-Verse Part One: The Gathering" The Amazing Spider-Man v3, #9 (5 November 2014), United States: Marvel Comics
  57. ^ Dan Slott (w), Olivier Coipel (p), Wade von Grawbadger, Olivier Coipel, John Livesay, Victor Olazaba, Mark Morales (i). "Spider-Verse Part Three: Higher Ground" The Amazing Spider-Man v3, #11 (10 December 2014), United States: Marvel Comics
  58. ^ Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Bagley, Mark (p). Ultimate Spider-Man #65. Marvel Comics.
  59. ^ Bendis, Brian Michael (w), Bagley, Mark (p). Ultimate Spider-Man #65 (October 2000). Marvel Comics
  60. ^ What If? vol. 1 #7. Marvel Comics.
  61. ^ What If? vol. 2 #76. Marvel Comics.
  62. ^ What If? vol.2 #82. Marvel Comics.
  63. ^ "Great Power". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 1. Episode 1. April 1, 2012. Disney XD. 
  64. ^ "Beetle Mania". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 1. Episode 16. July 29, 2012. Disney XD. 
  65. ^ Arrant, Chris (July 20, 2013). "DisneyXD's ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Renewed For 3rd Season, HULK-S.M.A.S.H. Clip". Newsarama.
  66. ^ "Christ Zylka as Flash Thompson". movieweb.com. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  67. ^ Truitt, Brian (July 24, 2016). "Comic-Con: 'Captain Marvel,' 'Black Panther' boost Marvel diversity". USA Today. Retrieved July 24, 2016. 
  68. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (June 29, 2017). "Spider-Man: Homecoming's Flash Thompson is a Social Media Bully". CBR. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 
  69. ^ Holmes, Adam. "The Main Change Spider-Man: Homecoming Made To Flash Thompson". Cinema Blend. Retrieved June 5, 2017. 
  70. ^ "Spider-Man: Homecoming's Flash Thompson Actor Received Death Threats". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 29 June 2017. 
  71. ^ "Team-Up with Agent Venom!". MarvelHeroes.com. Gazillion Entertainment. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  72. ^ https://news.marvel.com/games/54785/piecing-together-marvel-puzzle-quest-agent-venom/

External links[edit]