Venom: Lethal Protector
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|Venom: Lethal Protector|
|Publication date||February – July 1993|
|No. of issues||6|
|Main character(s)||Eddie Brock|
|Written by||David Michelinie|
|Penciller(s)||Mark Bagley (#1-3)|
Ron Lim (#4-6)
Sam DeLarosa (#4-6)
|Inker(s)||Sam DeLarosa (#1-3)|
Rick Parker (#3)
|Venom: Lethal Protector||ISBN 0-7851-0107-1|
Venom: Lethal Protector is a six-issue comic book limited series featuring the Eddie Brock Venom, published by Marvel Comics from February 1993 to July 1993. It was written by David Michelinie and illustrated mostly by Mark Bagley, although Ron Lim and series inker Sam de la Rosa pencilled the last three issues.
This marked the first time Eddie Brock received a series in which he was the main character, and showed Venom's progression from a villain to an antihero. Lethal Protector would serve as the first limited series to explore Eddie Brock's background before he became Venom.
Before the story begins, Venom makes an agreement with Spider-Man that they will leave each other alone, on the condition that Venom commits no crimes. Venom then moves from New York City to San Francisco, and takes up with a group of Californian mole people. Shortly thereafter, Orwell Taylor, the father of one of Venom's victims, seeks him out with a group of super-powered mercenaries to take revenge.
Spider-Man, seeing misleading coverage of Venom on television, heads to San Francisco to confront him and instead winds up fighting alongside Venom against five new offspring of the Venom Symbiote. Due to the symbiote's asexual reproduction abilities, the Life Foundation managed to extract "seeds" off Venom and accelerate them to become: Scream, Phage, Riot, Lasher, and Agony.
Run by Carlton Drake, the Life Foundation was an organization involved in illegal scientific studies bent on creating a futuristic utopian society that could withstand an apocalyptic event. Nearing the end of the Cold War, the foundation believed a nuclear holocaust would be the end result; destroying modern civilization. Their belief led to the creation of a large nuclear fallout shelter for their clients.
Life Foundation Symbiotes
Scream aka Donna Diego was hatched through an experimental procedure forcefully performed on Venom by the sinister Life Foundation. Before being chosen to host the symbiote, Donna Diego was a security guard for the Life Foundation ordered to protect the foundation's buildings and communities for a future utopia. To test her new abilities, she attacked a mall in Salinas, California. Spider-Man appeared and confronted Scream, but after a short battle, she fled and returned to the base in the Mojave Desert. Back at the base, Spider-Man battled Scream again and the other offsprings. Once Eddie Brock recovered his symbiote, he used a metabolic accelerator to speed up the symbiotes' age and turn them into dust. 
Riot aka Trevor Cole was a mercenary hired by the Life Foundation to defend the foundation's future utopia. He volunteered to be one of the five symbiotes forcefully extracted by Venom. Along with the four other symbiotes, Riot confronted Spider-Man and Venom. After their confrontation, Eddie Brock recovered his Venom symbiote and used the metabolic accelerator to defeat the five by turning them into dust. Worse than his siblings, Riot was extremely aggressive and lacked any sense of sympathy. The Riot symbiote made its live action debut in the 2018 film Venom. Serving as the main antagonist of the film.
Phage aka Carl March was a mercenary employed by the Life Foundation to serve as a "guardsmen" for the community the sinister company was preparing for. Proclaiming himself the leader of the five symbiotes, Phage and the rest of his "siblings" were forcefully extracted from a captured Venom. To test their new abilities, the offsprings battled Spider-Man while Venom was incapacitated. One unique attribute of Phage is his ability to throw projectiles from his symbiote and turn them into an acidic substance strong enough to melt through metal. Like his siblings, Phage met the same demise when Eddie Brock used the accelerator and defeated the offsprings. 
Lasher aka Ramón Hernandez was a mercenary for hire employed by the sinister Life Foundation. Along with the other symbiotes, Lasher confronted Spider-Man and Venom. Defeating Spider-Man and Venom would serve as the final test for the five and would prove how effective they are as "guardsmen". However, once Eddie Brock and Venom were re-bonded, Venom used the metabolic accelerator to obliterate them into dust. Unique to Lasher, he possesses the ability to produce multiple tendrils and lash at his opponents.
Agony aka Leslie Gesneria was chosen by the Life Foundation to host a symbiote and become a "guardsmen" for the organization. With the combined efforts of her counterparts, Agony attacked Spider-Man and Venom. Not enough to thwart the heroes, Venom used the metabolic accelerator and sped up the symbiotes' age leaving their remains in dust. Agony possesses the ability to use her metabolism to produce an acid she can spit at her opponents. The acidic liquid can burn through almost anything.
In July 1995, the series was collected in a trade paperback with new cover art by Simon Bisley (ISBN 0-7851-0107-1). In February 2011, the series was reprinted in a new second edition trade paperback, complete with a new cover (using the same cover art as issue #5 of the series) (ISBN 978-0-7851-5847-9). In February 2018, a new third edition trade paperback was released, now using the same cover art as issue #1 of the series as the book's cover (ISBN 978-1-3029-1176-8).
In other media
- The Lethal Protector storyline serves as one of the two stories for the basis for the plot of the 2018 film Venom alongside Planet of the Symbiotes as confirmed by director Ruben Fleischer and actor Tom Hardy. However, despite Lethal Protector serving as the one of the two storylines. The film will not include Spider-Man. As with the original comic, Venom is set in San Francisco, has the Life Foundation and Carlton Drake as antagonists, and includes the symbiotes Riot, Scream, and Mayhem.
- The storyline received a novelization in 2018 written by James R. Tuck, in compliments to the 2018 film.
- Phillips, Jevon (3 Oct 2018). "Venom through history: A look at the origins and past iterations of the Lethal Protector". Los Angeles Times (Online). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Anderson, J (21 Aug 2019). "Venom: 10 Things You Never Knew About the Klyntar". cbr. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Jasper, Gavin (22 July 2018). "Venom: Riot and the Life Foundation Symbiotes Explained". den of geek. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "Life Foundation (Earth-616)". Marvel Database. 9 Jan 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Uribe, Alan (6 April 2021). "Scream". flickr.
- "Scream (Donna Diego)". Marvel. 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "Scream (Klyntar) (Earth 616)". Marvel Database. 29 February 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
- Uribe, Alan (13 April 2021). "Life Foundation Symbiotes". flickr.
- "Trevor". Marvel. 18 May 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
- "Trevor Cole (Earth-616)". Marvel Database. 31 July 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Geisinger, Gabriella (9 Oct 2018). "Venom: Who is Riot? What is the symbiote in the Venom movie?". Express (Online). Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "Carl March (Earth-616)". Marvel Database. 18 May 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
- Jasper, Gavin (22 July 2018). "Venom: Riot and the Life Foundation Symbiotes Explained". Den of geek. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
- "Ramón Hernandez (Lasher) (Earth-616)". Marvel Database. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- "Leslie Gesneria (Earth-616)". Marvel Database. 28 Dec 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
- Chitwood, Adam (December 9, 2017). "The 'Venom' Movie Will Be Primarily Based on These Two Comic Runs". Collider. Archived from the original on December 10, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
- Chitwood, Adam (9 Dec 2017). "The 'Venom' Movie Will Be Primarily Based on These Two Comic Runs". Collider. Retrieved 19 May 2021.