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It should come as no surprise by now that Ruben Fleischer’s Venom makes significant changes to the character’s origin story, removing journalist Eddie Brock’s connection to Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Comic book movies have a long history of changing the origins of characters in the process of adaptation, sometimes to the point where characters have little in common with their source material. This was perhaps the central concern hanging over the heads of comic-book savvy audiences going into Venom, though not enough of a concern to slow down its box office domination this weekend.

Can Venom/Eddie Brock still be the character that has captivated fans over the past three decades without an origins story expressly tied to Spider-Man? Absolutely, that is if we accept the fact that Venom is more than another name in Spidey’s sizeable rogues’ gallery. Despite whatever comic canon we hold dear in our hearts, the truth of the matter is that Venom doesn’t need Spider-Man. In fact, he may be more interesting without him.

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