The psychology of comic characters is a subject that I find fascinating. What makes superheroes want to save people? Why are supervillains hell bent on taking over the world? The motivations of superhumans are reflected by wider society. A character that represents the duality of a person is Venom. Laura Ferron explores the nature of Venom in relation to the Id, SuperEgo and Ego.
Venom is an extraterrestrial entity called a symbiote that seeks a host to take control over its body. Venom in the comic is a highly powerful “primitive” substance in search of a body that shapes it. Throughout the publications, the character changed, acquired language and some personality, but I always found the idea of the “the thing in itself” interesting, looking for representation in a body. It refers to the Freudian concept of the Id as the part of the psyche that relates to the instincts.
In a simplified way, psychoanalysis proposes that human personality is composed of three structures: the Ego, the SuperEgo, and the Id. The Ego is the central part of personality, in charge of dealing with reality and the inner world. The SuperEgo is the moral structure that commands social behavior. And the Id is the instinctual primitive part which is totally unconscious.
In the recent movie, we see Venom establishing a relationship with his host and at the end they end up caring for each other. What I would like to address here is whether its possible to talk with an internal parasite and settle negotiations with the invader. This is a great mental health issue.
Patients often perceive parts of themselves that make them act in ways they didn´t expect. The classic “I didn’t want to” (the Ego´s voice), “I shouldn´t have” (the SuperEgo´s judgment), “yet I did” (the Id acting) conflict is something everyone can relate to.
Venom and Eddie share a body. In the movie we see them talking to each other in a rather funny way which lead us to think if it would be possible to communicate with the parasite. Venom is the kind of destructive and voracious Id that inhabits all of us.