Comics : Venom (Vol. 2) #7

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This story is part of an Arc: "Venom: Spider-Island"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: Oct 2011.

Background...

Spider- Island is in full swing and agent Venom has been assigned to infiltrate the Queen’s lair, disguised as her “Spider King”, the rest of the city desperately hopes for a cure. Additionally, Flash’s father is in critical condition at the hospital ( not from the spider virus), where Betty waits. Determined to discover the Queen’s intentions, Venom follows her orders to eliminate a very special target: Eddie Brock aka Anti-Venom ; the very man who may be the key to clearing the disease.

In Detail...

"Spider-Island Part 2"
Venom (Vol. 2) #7 (Story 1)
Nov 2011 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Venom Meets Anti-Venom
Arc: Part 2 of "Venom: Spider-Island"
Writer:  Rick Remender
Artist:  Tom Fowler
Cover Art:  John Rauch, Tony Moore
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  John Rauch
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alomso
Senior Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Associate Editor:  Tom Brennan
Staff Only
Issue
Review
Articles: Harrison Thompson, Queen

A news report on the infestation describes a man offering a cure to the infected. The report inspires one man to bring his mutated spider freak of a daughter to “Our Lady of Saints Church”, where Eddie Brock is busy consoling a group of hopefuls. Brock is more than willing to reverse the mutation, which he does using his Anti- Venom power. A strange witness ( who turns out to be a clone of Miles Warren) from the gathering at the church, brings a report to the Queen of Brock’s ability. This infuriates the Queen and she has Venom ( Flash disguised as the Spider King ) volunteer to eradicate Brock. Venom sets out, and reports the news of his assignment to base. Reed Richards, while working on a cure, receives word of this, and demands that Brock be brought to his lab for testing. Venom is the man to do that but first he must put aside his worries about his father’s health. While in transit, Flash tells Betty that he is being held up by a military cordon, and is having trouble getting to the hospital to see his Dad.

Venom arrives at the church and his strategy becomes, shoot Brock full of tranquilizers and drag him to Horizon Labs, but his plan inevitably spoils when Brock sees him pointing a gun directly towards him ( genius move ), so he gets face palmed for his effort. Anti-Venom attacks Flash, and they exchange words , with Brock preaching about the evils of the symbiote. Brock seems to have quite the advantage, and uses his finger extension to stab and “cure” the Venom symbiote, that is until the symbiote aggressively lunges itself at Brock knocking him sky high. The fight continues with Anti-Venom evading all of Flash’s offense, and scolding him for submitting to the alien suit. Brock has him pinned and it looks like he is about to deliver the final blow, when all of a sudden, the symbiote bursts out and smothers Brock causing him to writhe and scream in terror. Becoming weak from using so much of his antibodies, Brock fails to save him self from being absorbed by the symbiote and so, once again, he becomes Venom. Feeling proud and restored, Brock stands over his weaker opponent. Flash does the only thing he can and begs for the symbiote to take him back. The creature responds to Flash’s pleas and removes itself from Brock, and remerges with Flash, leaving Brock a helpless pile on the floor.

Back at the Lab, Dr Stretch aka Reed Richards, is having a hissy fit over “molecular rhythms” of all things, when he is introduced to Brock inside of a web cocoon. Brock breaks free and informs the Dr. that not only was he already willing to help, but his captor (Flash) isn’t the quite hero he’s cracked up to be.

Flash finally makes it to the hospital in time to tell his dad he loves him and together they have a special moment of great appreciation for each other, holding hands, just before Mr. Thompson closes his eyes perhaps for the very last time.

In General...

Well now that was interesting. Good to see Eddie Brock in the spotlight. Being the original , my favorite, and perhaps the most superior Venom, Eddie deserves this feature, and he was really put to good use, being addressed as a savior and a protector. However I don’t appreciate all the religious mumbo jumbo he iterates, although it fits his strange obsessive personality. The conflict between Brock and Flash was overdue, but thankfully none too brief. Brock is surprisingly more agile than Venom, or maybe he’s just able to predict his movements somehow, either way Brock holds his own very well.

Good action, but as for everything else, there’s not much to admire. I thought it strange that Gen. Dodge had no say during any of this. Flash’s father’s last words seemed like a desperate man trying to rectify a life of sins with one or 2 heart felt sentences and Flash spilling his heart out at the last moment came out of nowhere. How about Betty almost completely disappearing into the background?

Overall Rating...

Guess it’s too much to ask to get some better art work. The main complaint I have is the color. Still, Anti-Venom was drawn very cartoony, with elongated arms and such, just a little awkward looking. I also thought it was strange seeing what appears to be fumes coming off of him. ( does he just fumigate naturally or what ? )

The writing fits into the Spider Island epic by including Mr Fantastic into the plot, except for the off bits about Flash’s dead beat dad, who is now literally a dead beat, or so it seems. How is it that Flash’s dad never contracted the virus or even Betty for that matter?

I think from the moment Anti-Venom was created people have been wondering 2 things; how he would fare against any other Venom, and if he would ever get his suit back. Well, this gave you a little bit of both, but the jury is still out concerning the superior specimen. This book even gives us a little hope that Brock will return ( perhaps in Carnage USA ) and that he and Flash will be at it once more. I for 1 can’t wait.

Brock’s warnings and criticism of the symbiote was insightful as well as entertaining, but I don’t think any of it really had or will have an impact on Flash, as he already wishes he could get rid of the suit and quit his job. For some odd reason the suit prefers Flash over Brock, im guessing it has to do with old vs new, but it was wonderful seeing Brock back in his old skin, if only for a few panels.

With 1 more part of Spider Island saga left to go things have reached the peak and next time should prove to be a battle for the ages. Maybe even Flash will personally take down the queen and secure the city? Now that Flash has final forgiven his father perhaps he can move on and live life more abundantly, without feeling bitter or reserved. We shall see.

Footnote...

Notice the Cloak & Dagger Billboard in the BG in the panel where Venom is swinging through the cty...its probably the same 1 Cloak was introducing in Spider Island Cloak & Dagger # 1; which by the way I’m reviewing on Spidermanreviews.com in case you enjoy my editorials, and I hope you do.