Venom #18

Background

It's the Venom final issue extravaganza! I have to say, there's a small part of me that's going to miss reviewing this series. Not because I like it, that is physically impossible. But there really is something to say about a creative team that manages to make the Terry Kavanagh Spider-Man / Punisher / Sabretooth one-shot look like sheer brilliance in comparison. God help us if this series leads into another, though...

Story Details

  Venom #18
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 5 of 'Twist' (1-2-3-4-5)
Editor: John Miesegaes
Writer: Daniel Way
Pencils: Skottie Young
Inker: Rick Ketcham
Articles: Venom

Our heroine, Lt. Robertson, is held in a Fantastic Four containment suit awaiting help - as Venom has broken into the laboratory to attack the Foursome. They run away dramatically, sealing Eddie-Venom in the building with the capsule-thing containing Robertson. Spider-Man attempts to leap in after Venom, but Susan stops him.

Bob watches as Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic fly away from the Baxter Building, with something in tow. Bob says that he and (yet another) set of clones should follow them and set a trap where they are going.

Susan tells Spider-Man that the FF have set a trap for Venom - Spidey worries that they are going to kill Eddie (The FF are, of course, widely renowned for their murderous operations, or so Way thinks). Spidey, thinking quickly, throws Thing off the invisible platform, causing Sue to chase after him and allowing Spider-Man into the building to fight Eddie again. In the dark (the power was cut last issue, remember?), Spidey staggers around, and Venom stalks him into a corner. Eddie crushes Spider-Man into a corner, where he lays semi- conscious. Then Eddie turns his attention to a capsule, where Robertson is supposed to be.

Of course, she isn't there, she's in a different storage facility - where she wakes up, and the Suit is there to help her - she already knows why. Suit says that he can no longer protect Robertson from the FF (those murderous wretches), and tells her that she now has full control of the symbiote, and needs to use it. According to Morpheus / Suit, she already knows why. Suit tells her to get back to the Baxter building for reasons that she already understands (and of course, people usually ask "why" when they already know the answer).

Then, after Robertson is gone, it is revealed that this "Suit" is Bob, and he has imprisoned Johnny and Reed. They are trapped in a sea of those little nano- robots that Bob is made of.

Eddie opens his container, hoping for some sweet Venom-lovin', but finds the "real" Suit (maybe), who walks onto the scene with the immortal line "Papa now possesses an entirely brand-new bag." WOW. I sure hope Way has more of these little chestnuts. Oh, and then Suit pretends to laugh. Sort of. Spider- Man wakes up and steals the ultra-powerful cell phone from Suit, but Suit then reveals that the phone isn't the weapon - he is. Put that in perspective with the "Run" arc - where he scrambles to build a second phone to implant into Wolverine.

Thing and Sue look onward, as Spider-Man is in Suit's line of fire - so as Spider-Man is in danger, and as his life can't be sacrificed for that of the planet (or so we believe), Sue aborts the whole plan, freeing Venom.and stopping Suit's explosion.

Venom mocks them, but then Robertson-Venom shows up to fight! Two Venoms in the same book? Wow, put me down for 10 copies!!! Anyway, Bob takes Robertson's cyborg-stuff offline, leaving her unable to control the symbiote. Instead, Eddie and Robertson merge. They become one. Huge. Freaking. Symbiote. The new Giant-Venom busts through another wall, as Susan, Thing, and Spider-Man watch in horror.

Above, Bob and the new clones of Frankie and Vic look on as Venom swings into the night. Bob says "Now... we wait."

The.. end?

General Comments

Stuff that was never resolved: 1. What happened to Mr. Fantastic and Human Torch? 2. Is Robertson dead, or a part of Venom? 3. Are Suit and Bob the same, or are there two different beings of the same species? 4. Who is the employer of the "Ararat Corporation?" They played the hell out of that idea.

So... there are alien machines out there who count the United States government as subordinates, there are bald cybernetic clones everywhere, and the best these people can come up with in their desperate bid to eradicate human life is to unleash Venom on society. My head hurts. To top it all off, the story is ended on a cliffhanger. Not that I really care, mind you - this book sucks. I guess this has to take place before Spectacular Spider-Man #1, considering in that issue Venom had only power to bond once more for eternity, and in this one, he bonds with another symbiote... ugh. Bloody horrible. The only thing worse is that at some point, this story is going to have to be tied up. Unless it becomes out of continuity, in which case I'm going to ask for a refund of $76.50 from Marvel for the series.

Overall Rating

I had considered giving this issue an extra 0.5 webs just on the basis that they never will publish any more of this crap again. However, since Marvel did not return my e-mail at press time, I revoke that privilege. The House of Ideas hit rock bottom with this series, from start to finish. The story didn't even get concluded. I really can't complain about this enough. It's horrible. It managed to convince me to avoid the Bullseye series like the plague - I just don't even want to give Way another shot. Sadly, Sabretooth is already on my subscription list.

And hey - a no-prize to whoever can e-mail me with the best explanation for what Venom is going to do next! Will he attempt to eradicate humanity as he is supposed to, or will this whole escapade be forgotten? Get creative, and drop me a line.

I don't want to talk about this anymore. Go read Amazing Spider-Man #512 - you'll get a kick out of that!