Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #374

Background

Spider-Man's parents are allegedly back from the dead. Eddie Brock isn't happy about that. And when Eddie Brock isn't happy, the Venom Symbiote gets upset, and when the Venom Symbiote gets upset, people die!

Story 'Murder on Parade'

  Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #374
Arc: Part 1 of 'Venom Captures Peter's Parents' (1-2)
Editor: Danny Fingeroth
Writer: David Michelinie
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inker: Randy Emberlin
Cover Art: Mark Bagley

Eddie Brock stands in a storage bunker beneath the abandoned grounds of the Thrill World amusement park. He is talking to his alien symbiote about how he needs to be in top condition for his mission. He tries to lift an enormously heavy piece of metal, but cannot. Then his symbiote's strength flows into his and he throws it across the room, shouting that he will kill Spider-Man. Eddie, now in the guise of Venom looks at a newspaper article about how Peter Parker had been reunited with his parents and said to himself that their reunion must not be able to continue.

Meanwhile, in Central Park, Peter Parker is ice-skating with his parents and wife. His parents are impressed with his uncanny balance and Peter, fearing they begin to suspect he's Spider-Man falls down on purpose. Mary Jane whispers to Peter that he doesn't have to try so hard. She says that just looking into his parents eyes she can tell that they love him. Richard says that he has had enough and that prison life hasn't done wonders for his stamina. They all go and talk to Aunt May, asking her if she wants to try skating. She calmly says that she is too old, and Peter then has to leave to drop by the Daily Bugle. He says goodbye to his family and changes into Spider-Man so he can get to his destination fast enough. As Mary Jane watches her husband swing off as Spider- Man, she takes out a cigarette to relieve stress. Mary Parker tells Mary Jane that smoking is bad for her and Mary Jane says that she'll quit soon.

Not long after, Peter Parker arrives at the Daily Bugle, but they don't have any assignments for him. Then he hears that Venom had escaped prison, and darted out of the room. As he leaves, J. Jonah Jameson decides that this could be a huge scoop and calls Silver Sable to have her wild pack track Venom so he could get the exclusive.

Peter Parker reaches the roof of the building and changes into Spider-Man, afraid that perhaps Venom would want to hurt his family. Spider-Man fears that maybe Venom would think of Spidey's parents as "evil" just for bringing him into the world.

Unfortunately, at that moment, Eddie Brock finds Mary Jane, and Peter's parents. He approaches the Parkers and asks if they are the parents of Peter Parker. They say that they are and ask if he is a friend of Peter's to which he responds, "well... not exactly." At that point, Spider-Man arrived on the scene, and Eddie Brock quickly changed into Venom, telling the parents of Peter Parker not to worry, and that he would save them. Venom tackles Spider-Man, saying, "Eyes! Lungs! Pancreas! So many snacks, so little time!" Venom grabs Spider-Man's arm and throws him into a wall, then punches him across the street and into a car, right in the middle of an annual parade. Spider-Man decides that he had better take Venom down fast before someone gets hurt, and hits Venom. Venom shrugs it off and hits back, sending Spidey flying.

They battle on until a cop happens upon them and shoots Venom with his gun. Venom responds by webbing up the policeman's face so that he cannot breathe. Spidey quickly knocks Venom out of his way and rips the webbing off the policeman, but then is knocked through a window and into a mall by Venom. Spider-Man hides in order to try and make sure that innocent bystanders aren't hurt by their fighting. A clown begs Venom not to hurt the children. Venom says he would never hurt such innocent little angels and moves closer to the children. The clown gets scared and sprays mace at Venom, who goes on to knock the clown out. Spider-Man sees this and thinks that Venom was threatening a little girl as well, and moves in closer, landing two unanswered punches on Venom. Venom then catches Spidey's third punch, and punches Spider-Man in the face three times, knocking him unconscious.

Spider-Man is awakened by a witness to the scene. He tells Spider-Man that Venom had left after saying something about hurting Spider-Man even more. Spider-Man rushes back to where his parents were, only to find his wife with the police. She tells Spider-Man that Venom had taken her husband's parents.

Overall Rating

I always liked Bagley as the Spider-Man artist, and I love Venom as a character in the early nineties (before the insane over exposure). I loved Spider-Man, but for some reason, I love seeing Venom beat him up. That said, I liked the fight, and since the fight was most of the issue, I liked the issue.