Web of Venom: Ve’Nam is a spinoff of the current Venom comic, one that delves deeper into Venom’s newly expanded mythology. Recently, Eddie Brock learned that his symbiote wasn’t the first to arrive on Earth. The US military created an entire team of symbiote-powered super-soldiers during the Vietnam War. This issue sheds a bit more light on the history of this ill-fated team.
One of the big reveals in Ve’Nam #1 is that none other than S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury was responsible for creating this new super-soldier team. Fury and his team uncovered the Grendel (basically a giant symbiote dragon) frozen in the mountains of northern Europe and used samples taken from the monster to design these hybrid soldiers.
It wasn’t long before these super-soldiers were overtaken by their symbiotes and went AWOL in Vietnam. To help bring them in, Fury turned to Wolverine for assistance.
No sooner did Fury and Logan drop into the jungle than they encountered Rex Strickland, the lone member of the platoon who wasn’t overwhelmed by his symbiote (and the man who recently joined forces with Eddie Brock in the present). Logan and Rex learned some unsavory details about Fury’s Venom project, including that the symbiotes went rogue because they can still sense the pain being inflicted on the Grendel by SHIELD’s scientists.
Wolverine even momentarily bonded with one of the symbiotes during the struggle, meaning technically he became Venom decades before Eddie Brock or Peter Parker. Who knew?
In the end, Fury was revealed to be an LMD duplicate, and he detonated his body remotely to try and destroy the rogue symbiotes. Fortunately, both Rex and Logan survived (the former because he re-bonded with his symbiote and the latter because he’s Wolverine). This issue ends with the real Fury debriefing Rex and tasking him with tracking down his comrades, setting the stage for the character’s overarching mission in the decades to come.
It’s not a mission that will go completely to plan. As readers learned in Venom #5 last week, Rex died at some point after this ordeal, with the symbiote taking his form and pretending to be human as a tribute to its fallen partner.