Warning: Very mild spoilers regarding Eddie Brock’s backstory are in the article.
After years of development, Sony has finally made a Venom movie, and despite mixed to negative reviews, it could end up being the highest-grossing October debut for a film. Being a superhero movie, there are a few of the customary easter eggs for comic book fans to spot. One possible reference has to do with why Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is living in San Francisco and not New York City. It’s a reference to a more controversial storyline involving a character named Sin-Eater, but it really comes down to fans as to whether it is or not, according to the director, who told CinemaBlend in a recent interview:
In the film, Eddie is living in San Francisco because he’s one of those classic bad boy journalists who pokes the bear and publishes stuff that gets him into trouble. This is not a great attitude to have for a professional environment, and there’s a reason that Eddie Brock is living in San Francisco. He used to work for the Daily Globe in New York, but due to his tendency to push the wrong buttons, he was fired and blacklisted from every paper in the city. Thus, the move to San Francisco.
This is vaguely similar to what happens to Eddie Brock in the comics, and our own Sean O’Connell learned in an interview at the Venom press day that fans could interpret this as a reference to the Sin-Eater storyline from the comics. Director Ruben Fleischer name-dropped the storyline even said that it was up to fans to decide if they wanted it to be a direct reference or not.
The Sin-Eater is a psychopathic serial killer who sets out to murder people that he thinks have been “sinful.” This story is more popularly known as “The Death of Jean DeWolff,” which began with the death of Spider-Man supporting character and NYPD captain Jean DeWolff. Spider-Man and Daredevil teamed up to find and stop Sin-Eater, but it also resulted in the origin of Eddie Brock. Brock, a journalist, wrote an expose about a man who said he was Sin-Eater and then later turned out only to be a copycat. Brock was fired and his wife left him, making him hate Spider-Man and leaving himself ripe for the pickings by a certain symbiote. The story was well-regarded when it came out, but it’s pretty dark for a Spider-Man story and doesn’t play as well when reading in the light of modern times.