Comics : Venom (Vol. 2) #11

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This story is part of an Arc: "Roadtrip"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: Jan 2012.

Background...

When last we left our hero, Flash was being blackmailed into working a mission for his enemy that would put him into conflict with his own military alignment. Choosing not to risk the lives of the only family members he has left; Flash takes the Venom symbiote against orders, and steals none other than Captain America’s motorbike, setting out to take care of business. With no explanation to backup his actions, he is now a wanted man, and continues to risk everything he has, to cut ties with his begrudged employer. What obstacles await him on his road trip and how long will it take before the law eventually catches him?

In Detail...

"Hotel Callous-For-Ya"
Venom (Vol. 2) #11
Feb 2012 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Jack and Flash join up
Arc: Part 2 of "Roadtrip"
Writer:  Rick Remender
Artist:  Angel Medina
Cover Art:  none, Tom Fowler
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
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Review
Articles: Jack O'Lantern VI

Gearing up for his own mission, is a man that many should remember as the savior of NY. : a mission to hunt and destroy the evil that once infected himself. Operating out of a failsafe armory, Mr. Eddie Brock is determined to eliminate the symbiotes, and his first target…take a wild guess.

Elsewhere, at a roadside motel, Flash makes a call to check in with Betty. Flash never allows Betty to know that he’s in any real trouble. Just another job, for all she knows. Flash reflects on his dire situation. He wants to quit his job with Veteran’s Affairs. He’s been wearing the symbiote for “days”. Flash re-accounts his plan to just finish the job and get revenge later. He isn’t exactly in the mood for company when he returns to his motel room to see his arch enemy Jack-O-Lantern (minus the costume), cozy'd up in his bed watching cartoons. Flash immediately transforms into Venom but Jack downplays the encounter, explaining that he’s been sent to aide the mission. Jack tries to get chummy and offers him a drink but, Venom lashes out in anger over a comment about his drunk of a dad.

Some place else, Captain America is giving a briefing on Venom’s AWOL status and having been a military man himself, Rulk is glad to comply. “Take down Venom”

Much later, on the open road, Jack is running his mouth and singing his own praises while criticizing Flash from the passenger seat. Taking a break from the chitter chatter, Flash listens in on the radio to a report of a cave mining accident nearby. Flash then takes a hasty U-turn and drives toward the scene of the accident, with the intention to save the workers stuck inside.

Just as the cave is about to completely collapse and bury a group of trapped workers; Venom clears a path and holds up the ceiling as best he can. One man refuses to leave his injured friend behind, so Jack quickly takes it upon himself to solve the problem by shooting the disabled man in the head. Jack escorts the other man safely out of the cave, but Venom is pissed.

Back on the road, Jack considers himself a hero much to Flash’s dismay. The tension is building. They pull over at the nearest restaurant. Flash asks Jack about his childhood in order to prevent Jack from continuing to harass the waitress. Jack tells his very dark and disturbing story from his care free, whimsical perspective, about how he was kidnapped and raised by the Crime-Master. It is a sick tale of murder and psychosis. Flash starts having second thoughts and considers turning himself in to the good guys, but realizes he’s in too deep. As they leave the diner, Jack tells Flash he took the liberty of clearing the bill. The next panel shows the corpses inside the diner, lit up just like pumpkins on Halloween.

In General...

Now this is a fun character piece. The focus is definitely on the villain. You can tell from the writing that Rick Remender gets a kick out of writing dialog for Jack and takes as many liberties as he pleases. Jack is the prefect example of a man with no restrictions or restraints no moral compass and that always means danger but, he also shows that Jack has a booming personality and an ego to boot. Based on Jack self centered, self pleasing life, one could easily see how Jack has built himself up to be this great guy in his own mind and is completely able to see how rude, arrogant, and socially damaging he is to others. This really ticks off Flash who strives so hard to do what’s right.

I think it’s nice that Rick is fleshing out the character probably leading up to a final battle but, I don’t think he needed to devout an entire issue to it. As interesting as Jack is, a little goes a long way, and perhaps in the future less is more. It is no doubt that Jack’s character was designed to both provide comic relief but also act as nails on a chalkboard, so in that respect I believe Rick has done a good job of giving the readers motivation to see Venom dish him out some well deserved punishment.

I like how Brock is being included, and also Rulk is now going to be hunting for Venom, it really seems like everyone is out to get him. Yes sir, Rick is really setting the table and stacking the odds for a big pay off.

Overall Rating...

This issue is kind of a detour but a fun detour none the less. A lot of background and detail going on. Most people enjoy a good road story, and I am definitely among them. Great use of locations. Very realistic scenery. Although not enough Venom action, I believe that the following issues will be chock full of that. Every great hero needs an equally great villain, or at least a memorable one. It’s not often enough we get a full flashback on a villains origin, so this is a nice compliment to the series.

Jack is one F’ed up dude. He and Flash don’t exactly have the best chemistry, more like Jack is there to push Flash’s buttons and the limit of his tolerance, and I believe it’s all going to come to an explosive end very soon. In Vegas baby!

Footnote...

Everyone wish our favorite symbiotic alien life form a happy 24th birthday!

Also check out all the cool Venom special variant issues of various issues of Marvel Comics on sale this month. My Personal favorite is ASM #678 B, whats yours?

and as always, please email me any comment, question, thought, or anything else you'd like to share.