With the (relatively) surprising addition of Spider-Man (Symbiote) to Marvel Strike Force (MSF) in early 2020, the synergies the character possessed with the symbiote-based existing characters in Venom and Carnage, and the general trend of character additions to MSF being focused on the creation and completion of “meta teams,” one of the ongoing questions among MSF players was always whether the folks at Foxnext/Scopely would add characters to “complete” the Symbiote team.
Well, if some of the top content creators for MSF are to be believed, then it appears the answer to said question is (finally) a “yes,” as the latest round of rumors indicate MSF players will see the addition of the two final members of the Symbiote team:
In a newish wrinkle to the Marvel/Spider-Man cannon, Anti-Venom is actually the name of a symbiotic entity merged with Eddie Brock — yes, the same Eddie Brock who was originally Venom.
In an updated storyline, Brock is unknowingly cured of a Cancer diagnosis by the abilities of Mister Negative. Later, Brock is attacked by Mac Gargan — the character we most often associate with Sinister 6 member “Scorpion,” though Gargan is now the host for Venom in this new storyline. In the attack, the Venom symbiote tries to re-bond with Brock, but the “treatment” levied by Mister Negative causes a mutation of the Venom symbiote, from which Anti-Venom is born.
Think of Scream as one of the symbiotes we never ended up meeting in the 2018 Venom film.
In the comics, Scream is the name of the Venom-spawned symbiote who bonded with Donna Diego, a volunteer for the Life Foundation — the same company run by Carlton Drake, whom Riz Ahmed portrayed in said Venom film (and who became the main villain and fellow symbiote “Riot”). As you might’ve guessed, and as the Venom film alludes to, Scream is “born” of Drake’s experimentations with bonding the symbiotes to human hosts.
Given the backstory of the two characters, the question becomes: what elements will they add, from an abilities and “kit” perspective, to the Symbiote team?
Currently, Symbiote Spider-Man and Carnage are both brawlers, while Venom is a controller. That would potentially leave the door open for one of the two new symbiotes to be a Support character (with the focus being on providing a healing element to the team) and the other to be a Protector character (with the focus being on providing a “tank” element to the team).
While recent speculation has stated the opposite, my current guess is that Anti-Venom will actually be the healer, and Scream will be the tank. That guess is based on the fact that Anti-Venom’s ability descriptions include “can produce antibodies that can “cure” a person afflicted by things like radioactivity, parasites, diseases, and drugs” — or, in the case of MSF, someone who can “cure” debuffs thrown at the Symbiotes, and provide them with health again.
By comparison, Scream is more of your classical ass-kicker. I do think it would be a bit redundant to add her as a 3rd brawler to the team (even though that’s really what her powers/abilities best align to), but given her own superhuman strength, it would make sense that she could be a character who can absorb punishment for her teammates, and allow them to unleash their ruthless offensive capabilities.
The bigger-picture implications of this new, fully-rounded-out Symbiotes team are certainly noteworthy.
For one, this could be a lethal quintet for the purposes of Alliance Wars (the Symbiotes are already a premier ‘War Offense’ team) and Raids (especially since so many of the Greek Raids require City and/or Spiderverse characters). But taken one step further: if and when these symbiotes become farmable, could they be viable for the hellacious City nodes of Dark Dimension 3 (DD3)? When you add in the fact that many players already take Symbiote Spider-Man, Carnage, and Venom into DD3, it would logically follow that these two would be worthwhile additions as well.
The other domino to fall, if and when these two symbiotes are added, is: on which team will Spider-Man and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) belong?
Obviously, the intention is for Morales to be moved to the burgeoning “Young Avengers” team, alongside Ms. Marvel, America Chavez, and Squirrel Girl — especially if the other rumor ends up being true: that She-Hulk is slated to arrive (very soon) as the 5th member of that Young Avengers team.
If that really is the case, then Peter Parker will be totally “homeless.” While he’ll be a worthy stand-in on that Young Avengers team until most players have powered up She-Hulk, once they’ve done so, Parker doesn’t have a chair to sit on in the “meta-team” musical chairs.
Then again, it wouldn’t be very surprising to see She-Hulk added to the Young Avengers, and perhaps someone like Kate Bishop (Clint Barton’s daughter and the successor to his “Hawkeye” mantle) and/or Cassie Lang (Scott Lang’s daughter and successor to his “Ant-Man” mantle) be added as the 5th member of that Young Avengers team.
In which case, Parker and Morales would be the foundation of a new “Spider-Verse Heroes” team, perhaps alongside the highly-coveted addition of Spider-Gwen. Of course, that’s just a whispered rumor… at least as of today. ■
As a huge fan of Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in turn, an avid player of Marvel Strike Force (the turn-based role-playing mobile game available on the iOS and Android platforms), Rajan Nanavati provides his thoughts on the latest news, rumors, trends, and tips for fellow ‘MSF’ players in this ongoing, semi-weekly column.