Fury, the Goblin Queen (a/k/a Elan DeJunae), has returned. Normie Osborn has been possessed by the Venom Symbiote. Darkdevil lies critically injured from Venom's vicious attack. And we're only through part one.
Darkdevil is badly wounded, and only Spider-Girl can get him the help he needs. But where do you take someone who belches flame out of his chest when he's been impaled by Venom? The Avengers Mansion, of course. But even MC2's mightiest heroes are stymied, until Doc Magus arrives to examine "the patient." Spider-Girl leaves with the rest of the Avengers, who want an update on the Venom situation. Soon frustrated by the slow pace of the Avengers' planning, May storms out of the mansion, determined to take matters into her own hands. (Chief among them is making sure nobody puts stopping Venom at any cost ahead of saving Normie's life.)
A quick phone call to Peter and MJ gives May an idea of how she can keep the Avengers from shooting first and not bothering to ask questions later. She tracks down Phil Urich, who is so excited that he and the rest of the New Warriors have been called in to help the Avengers' operation that he almost doesn't notice that May has pulled her black costume out of storage. "Are you out of your ever-loving mind?" Phil finally asks. "What if someone mistakes you for... oh, nooo!" "I just want people to think before they shoot." Appalled that May would deliberately put herself in harm's way from friendly fire to protect Normie, the Green Goblin flies off into the night.
Changing into her black costume, May takes a minute to call Chris Jarkoer to check up on him. But as soon as Chris answers the phone, May's spider-sense goes off with a roar. Venom has found her. "[Normie and I] know everything about each other," Venom goads her, "including his friendship with Phil Urich."
At that moment, Green Goblin is ambushed by Fury, who is more than a little upset that a non-Osborn is wearing the mantle of the Green Goblin. "Your death will serve as a warning to others." Fury attacks him. Green Goblin, sensing that he is outmatched, launches a surprise attack, knocking the two of them off their gliders and through the skylight of a nearby warehouse. Unfortunately, Green Goblin is slower to recover from the fall than Fury, who has him at her mercy.
Back at the Avengers mansion, Doc Magus has been joined by the original Doctor Strange. The two of them are working to heal Darkdevil when Zarathos, the demon that has possessed him along with the spirit of Daredevil, emerges to claim the body for his own.
And at the warehouse, Venom and Spider-Girl continue to battle. Spider-Girl kills the lights to buy herself some cover, and Venom taunts her about her crush on Normie. Undaunted, Spider-Girl gets in a few good licks before Venom drops the symbiote from Normie's face. Spider-Girl hesitates long enough for Venom to land one on her jaw. Too stunned to move, she is helpless.
Dare I say, to be concluded?
Now this is some good stuff. Good story for the most part, nice characterization of May and the Avengers, not to mention plenty of good ol' fashioned can-kicking.
It's been a long time since I've read a good Venom story, although Mark Millar's take in "Spider-Man" has also been good. The character was so thoroughly ruined by the whole "lethal protector" nonsense that it has taken years to rehabilitate it. Mixing the symbiote with Normie Osborn is a good start, and although we've seen much of this before (the "eat your brains" line, Normie fighting for control, etc.) it does work.
Even better is Green Goblin versus Fury. I've never really liked Elan DeJunae's character and found the whole Goblin legacy bit a few issues back to be hackneyed, to say the least, but she is a powerful opponent. If Phil can beat her and finally earn a little Goblin self-respect, though, then more power to him. Here's a tip, Phil: go for the ears.
The explanation for May returning to her black costume was a little contrived, but forgivable. And I did like the contrast between May's impetuous behavior and the Avengers' plodding approach. No matter how mature she may be, May's still a teenager, and the word "patience" is not in her vocabulary!
Good second issue. I look forward to seeing how this one wraps up.
Four webs. This story's humming along and is setting up the conclusion nicely.