VENOMM

Real Name: Horatio Walters

Identity/Class: Human warrior

Occupation: Poet

Group Membership: Department of Occult Armaments;
formerly Killmonger's legions

Affiliations: Matilda (pet), Taku (close friend), Black Panther (T'Challa--uneasy alliance), Nick Collins;
formerly Erik Killmonger and his legions (
Baron Macabre, Death Regiments, Kazibe, King Cadaver, Salamander K'Ruel, Lord Karnaj, Malice, Sombre, Tanzika, Tayete--and presumably Madam Slay,)

Enemies: CIA (Clifford Scott), Iron Fist (Danny Rand), Jabari tribe, King Kadaver, Man-Ape, Bruce Morgan, W'Kabi;
formerly the Black Panther

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Horatio Venomm

Base of Operations: Royal Palace, Wakanda; formerly N'Jadaka Village, Wakanda

First Appearance: (cameo) Jungle Action#6 (September, 1973), (full appearance) Jungle Action#7 (November, 1973)

 

Powers/Abilities: Venomm is extremely skilled in the art of snake charming. He can control virtually any snake, from the venomous to the constrictors. He keeps a large number of both types of snakes as pets, and can use them against others at will.
Venomm has exceptional reflexes and speed, and he has been known to carry a bullwhip, with which he is proficient.

Appearance: Venomm's face was hideously scarred by acid, and he has a pale, almost corpse-like appearance.

Height: 6'
Weight: 191 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blonde, mostly burned away

 

History:
(JungAct#8(fb)) - Horatio Walters grew up a loner. He did not fit in well in Junior High, and as a cruel prank, another student, Bruce Morgan, threw a beaker full of potent acid into his face. Horatio survived, but became even more of a recluse due to the psychic trauma and physical deformity. He developed empathy for snakes, which were shunned, much like himself. He studied and worked with them, learning just about everything about them, while at the same time building up an immunity to all but the most fatally poisonous serpents.

As he grew older, Horatio took some night courses in Biology. A group of other students assaulted him due to his freakish appearance, but he was saved by N'Jadaka, who fought up the group and then befriended him. N'Jadaka recruited him to his group of allies, with which he planned to overthrow the Black Panther and take over Wakanda.

(Jungle Action#16(fb)) - As the Black Panther arranged transport for N'Jadaka back to Wakanda, Venomm, as planned, sneaked into the back compartment and stowed away to Wakanda.

(Jungle Action#7) - N'Jadaka, now known as Killmonger, sent Venomm to the Wakandan Vibranium mines to intercept the Black Panther. Venomm ambushed T'Challa, catching him with his whip and almost knocking him off a cliff. However, the Panther managed to flip himself back on top of the cliff and beat Venomm into submission.

(Jungle Action#8) - Within the Wakandan prison, Taku attempted to establish friendship with Venomm. Horatio told Taku a portion of his history, distracting him so that Malice could ambush him and free Venomm. However, the Black Panther returned and drove off Malice, while W'Kabi savagely attacked Venomm. T'Challa had to stop W'Kabi from choking Venomm. Horatio was reimprisoned.

(Jungle Action#14) - Taku continued to try to reach Venomm, who warned him that he would escape, and that he didn't want to have to kill him, but that he would if he had to.

(Jungle Action#16) - Taku continued his philosophical discussions with Venomm. W'Kabi attempted to interrogate Venomm to learn how he got into Wakanda, but Horatio volunteered the information willingly. However, as he finished his story, Venomm moved suddenly, taking Taku hostage with his own knife and then forcing W'Kabi to drop his own weapon. Venomm then clocked each of them with the butt of his newfound revolver (giving W'Kabi a concussion and a broken jaw in the process) and escaped.
Venomm returned to his snakepit in N'Jadaka village, knowing that the Black Panther would follow him there. The Panther managed to overpower the constrictor with which Venomm ambushed him, but then Venomm sent a legion of constrictors and venomous snakes at him. However, Taku followed the Panther and prepared to join him in the futile struggle against the army of serpents. Venomm was unable to allow his snakes to harm Taku, who had treated him so well, and so he called off his attack, allowing T'Challa and Taku to return him to custody.

 

(Jungle Action#17) - During Killmonger's final assault on Central Wakanda, the walls to the prison were shattered, and Venomm and several other agents of Killmonger escaped. Venomm, however, had grown disenchanted with the insurrection, and he stopped King Kadaver's psychic assault on Taku. He lashed Kadaver with his bullwhip, hurling him into the path of one of Killmonger's dinosaurs, which squished him but good.

(Jungle Action#18) - In the aftermath of the battle, Venomm willingly returned to his prison under the watch of Taku. However, based on the recommendation of Taku, Venomm was pardoned of his crimes and released from his chains.

(Black Panther: Panther's Prey#2, 4) - Venomm maintained a peaceful existence in the Wakandan Palace, alongside Taku, although both T'Challa and W'Kabi continued to remain suspicious of him. He even completed his first book of poetry.
Unbeknownst to Venomm, CIA agent Clifford Scott had a transmitter embedded under the skin of Venomm's giant pet python Matilda. When T'Challa learned there was a spy in their midst, he initially thought to blame Venomm. However, he quickly realized what was really going on, and he tore Matilda from Venomm and cut the transmitter out of her head--over the vehement protests of Venomm.

(Deathlok II#23-25) - Venomm maintained a position of trust within the Wakandan Palace, and was allowed to move about freely and without escort. He befriended Nick Collins, the son of Michael Collins, aka Deathlok.

(Black Panther III#49) -When--upon the command of their liege, King T'Challa--all of Wakanda marched onto the land of the Jabari to punish M'Baku the Man-ape for his crime of murdering the comatose future doppleganger Black ("Happy Pants") Panther, Venomm was found at the front lines in midst of the army and tribal warriors. He was last seen battling Jabari tribesman during the conflict that broke out. He is apparantly still a respected ally to T'Challa and his kingdom.

(Fear Itself: The Fearless#8) - Venomm joined the DOA under Sin's leadership.

(Fear Itself: The Fearless#11) - Venomm joined the DOA's battle against the Avengers and others heroes at the DOA's HQ in South Carolina. He was knocked unconscious by Iron Fist.

Comments: Created by Don McGregor and Rich Buckler.

Update/Black Panther III#49 summary courtesy of Bob Almond, who inked the story, as well as the previous three years worth of beautiful stories:
"Also, Sal and I read in the script that on the 2 page spread to this issue on pages 5&6 all the different tribes of Wakanda(thousands of men) were to be depicted storming the Crystal Forest by order of T'Challa and to also include a Wakandan national flag  and tribal banners, prowlers, N'yami battle cruisers, Talon jet fighters, warriors on air sleds, etc.  I told Sal that even though Priest was allowing us to go out with a bang <issue#49 marked the finale of Bob Almond and Sal Velluto's wonderful three year run on the Black Panther> that we should, insanely, even ADD to the list of characters! He agreed.  We proceeded to together design the Wakandan national banner, (for the first time in 36 years of BP's existance!) something I BTW had actually lobbied Sal to do months earlier but he never found a good spot to do it. Sal agreed with my request to add Okoye in her battle garb, seen from the early Texeira issues, since she wasn't in the script and I knew she would've been a part of this civil war action. Same thing with Zuri. He wasn't in the tale so we added him (holding the banner). And then I strongly asked Sal to add Horatio in all his glory, snakes, whips and all, because it would make sense judging by his last appearances. I even asked Sal to contemplate sticking Malice I into a panel somewhere, but he didn't. While this would've confirmed her present status to that of 'living' and not 'dead' as was strangely reported, it felt like a stretch that she would have such nationalistic pride so as to jump into battle with her tribe after all her previous crimes against the king and nation. So we were content to draw a line with that. Venomm lives! I hope Priest won't freak...:-)"
Congratulations on a great run Bob and Sal!!!!!

It may be that Venomm's control of snakes is actually a superhuman, telepathic ability, enhanced by the Resurrection Altar (like most other agents of Killmonger), but there's no evidence that it is not just a highly developed skill.

-Alternate future versions of many of Killmonger's former allies, including Venomm, were seen in the "Once and Future King" timeline (Earth-11236),
@ Black Panther III#36 and 37.

Several times in the Panther's Prey limited series (it's a good one, go get it!), he is referred to as Horatio Venomm.

According to an interview with Don McGregor (referring to his book "A Remembrance of Threatening Green") in Back Issue #26 (February, 2008), it is stated that Venomm and Taku "suffered the love that dared not speak its name" -that is, homosexuality.
--William West

As per Marvel's Indexes, the flashback from Jungle Action#16, in which Venomm stows away on the Wakandan Sonar Glider takes place between Captain America I#114 and Avengers I#68.

Venomm received an entry in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#2.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connections to:

Deathlok (Michael Collins)


Appearances:
Jungle Action#6 (September, 1973) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action#7 (November, 1973) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action#8 (January, 1974) - Don McGregor (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Jungle Action#14 (March, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Jungle Action#16-17 (July-September, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (artist), Len Wein (editor)
Jungle Action#18 (November, 1975) - Don McGregor (writer), Billy Graham (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Black Panther: Panther's Prey#2, #4 (1991) - Don McGregor (writer), Dwayne Turner (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Deathlok II#23 (May, 1993) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Walter McDaniel (pencils), Brad Vancata (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Deathlok II#24 (June, 1993) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Grant Miehm (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Deathlok II#25 (July, 1993) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Chris Wozniak & Pete Garcia (pencils), Brad Vancata, Al Vey & Greg Adams (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther III#36-37 (December, 2001 - January, 2002) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Black Panther III#49 (November, 2002) - Christopher Priest (writer), Sal Velluto (pencils), Bob Almond (inks), Mike Marts (editor)
Fear Itself: The Fearless#8 (April, 2012) - Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction & Chris Yost (writers), Paul Pelletier & Mark Bagley (pencils), Danny Miki & Andy Lanning (inks), Axejandro Arbona (editor)
Fear Itself: The Fearless#11 (May, 2012) - Cullen Bunn, Matt Fraction & Chris Yost (writers), Paul Pelletier & Mark Bagley (pencils), Danny Miki & Andy Lanning (inks), Axejandro Arbona (editor)


Last updated: 03/21/13

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