Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #9

Background

These two issues signal the return of one of the all-time classic Spider-man villains, Venom. In case you forgot, Spider-man and special agent Smith defeated Venom in Venom: Finale after fighting in Spider-Man: The Venom Agenda. The conclusion of "Finale" left the symbiote dead on the street in a steaming puddle, Eddie Brock in military custody with selective amnesia (not knowing Spider-man's identity), and Spider-man thankful the whole thing was "finally" over. Unfortunately for Spider-Man, things are not over because of Eddie's escape last issue in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #8.

Story 'Shadows of the Past'

  Peter Parker: Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #9
Summary: Venom Returns
Arc: Part 1 of 'Venom is Back' (1-2)
Editor: Ralph Macchio
Writer: Howard Mackie
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Cover Art: John Romita, Jr.
Articles: Aunt May Parker, Venom

The issue opens with a symbiote (b-b-but the Venom symbiote is dead right?) attaching itself to a bowery bum momentarily looking for Brock and Parker, looking to live. Switch to Pete's pad where he and Aunt May discuss the harassing phone calls Mary Jane and they have been receiving. As Spider-man, Peter figures it must be the recently escaped Eddie Brock then decides to go on a flashback filled interrogation trip (with the symbiote secretly following him) through New York's not-so-finest before ending up at the home of Investigator Arthur Stacy. Arthur states that he will find Brock if he is in New York. Spider-man returns home, the symbiote still following him.

A short time later back at the Parker place, the symbiote enters the bedroom where Peter is slumbering. Peter is awakened by a phone call from an operator who explains that all phone lines to the tropics (where Mary Jane is staying) are out due to a storm. Aunt May enters asking if it was M.J. calling. Peter, noticing the symbiote, coaches Aunt May out of the room then faces the symbiote. The symbiote fails to connect with Peter then leaves to find Brock. Peter wishes to follow, but Jill Stacy ringing the doorbell screws that idea. Peter learns from Jill that her father has info for Spider-man (the location of Brock).

Later at a hotel, a regretful, praying Eddie Brock is confronted by Spider-Man. Seems Eddie still blames Spider-man for everything and wants him dead - but doesn't know anything about the phone calls. Enter the symbiote (following all along) wanting to bond with a very apprehensive Eddie who jumps out a window into the river below to escape the symbiote. Spider-man tries to stop the symbiote but ends up losing both in the river. Hours later, guess who appears from the water ...

Overall Rating

Two webs. This is pretty trite, formula stuff.