Taika Waititi’s latest ‘Thor: Love And Thunder‘ is raging thunder at the box office. The movie follows Gorr, the God Butcher’s evil plan of “All Gods must die”, while Thor and his superhero buddies try to stop him.
The movie, however, has a very subtle nod to Spiderman’s character Venom. Or does it? Let us see.
At the movie’s beginning, Gorr (played brilliantly by Christian Bale) is holding his dying daughter, Love. When she dies, Gorr is called by a mysterious voice and he reluctantly arrives at an Oasis where he finds Rapu, the sun god. But Rapu cruelly mocks Gorr’s plight and attempts to strangle him. Gorr hears the ‘mysterious voice’ again. The voice seemed to come from a sword, whose previous owner (an all-black deity) lay dead there. The sword-called as Necrosword offers itself to Gorr. Gorr then kills Rapu and vows to kill all gods.
However, in the comics, the tale plays a bit differently. Gorr’s belief in gods is shattered after the death of his mother and his pregnant wife. One day while roaming in a desert, he witnessed a pair of gods – a dark elder god called Knull and a gold-armored purple-skinned god – fighting each other. The dark god’s sword transformed into an amorphous mass and bonded to him. Gorr used his new weapon, All-Black the Necrosword, to kill the gold-armored god; then vowed to seek vengeance against all gods for never answering his prayers, and set out to kill them all.
The sword wielded by Gorr is called a Necrosword (aka Annihilablade or Planet Clever). It has a very rich and powerful history in comics. As mentioned above, the Necrosword in the comics originally belongs to Knull. Knull is the eldritch god of darkness and the creator of the Symbiotes. The Knull was born from the primordial void that existed between the sixth and seventh cosmos. He is regarded as the God of Symbiotes. Apart from Gorr, beings like Malekith and Conan the Barbarians have also manifested these swords from symbiotes they had encountered, in the past. Malekith had manifested it from none other than the Venom symbiote during the War of the Realms storyline.
The Necrosword is now one of the most powerful weapons in the Marvel universe. Those who possess it can slay gods, become nearly invulnerable, and can live for eons. It holds near limitless power and bestows upon its user godlike abilities, enough to destroy planets, and kill Celestials. It has no real weakness.
Though it is still unclear whether all symbiotes can take the form of and/or manifest Necroswords, they are particularly potent against divine opponents. The gods fear this sword with their life.
Notably, there is an instant in Thor: Ragnarok, where Hela also called her sword – the Necrosword. But this discrepancy was never clarified by the movie or any of the studio executives.
As was shown in Thor: Love and Thunder, the Necrosword also has a will of its own. It grants its wielder dark powers. The wielder gains access to the Shadow Realm and attains the ability to summon and control Shadow Monsters. When Thor asks Zeus for his help, Zeus was reluctant because he knew that Gorr possessed the Necrosword.
In January 2020, Marvel Studios announced that Christian Bale will play Gorr, the god butcher in the movie. Immediately, fans connected the dots of Gorr, Necrosword, and Venom with the movie. It was believed that somehow Marvel will acknowledge the presence of Venom or Symbiotes in its universe.
Venom and Symbiotes are Spiderman characters, and their exclusive rights still lie with Sony. With Sony Picture Studios building its own Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC), Marvel could not use them exclusively in their movie without crediting them. But the Cleverheads at Marvel had other plans.
In the movie, the creature who lay dead with the sword is not Knull but another creature called Kaa. Kaa is the Warlord and the leader of the Shadow Realm. With his death, the Necrosword attempts to control Gorr. By taking this route, Marvel not only avoided any controversy with Sony but also subtly introduced Shadow Monsters and Shadow Realm to its viewers.
Although Marvel has avoided this conflict as of today. However, with the introduction of Multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there are many other alternate doors that the studio could have taken. Hopefully, in the future, we will see Venom and other symbiotes in the MCU. As they say, Only Time Will Tell.