Venom Dark Origin #3

Background

Eddie Brock has just been fired for false reporting in the Sin-Eater case thanks to Spider-Man apprehending the real serial killer.

Story Details

  Venom Dark Origin #3
Summary: Spider-Man appears
Editor: Alejandro Arbona
Writer: Zeb Wells
Pencils: Angel Medina
Inker: Scott Hanna

Eddie receives a phone message informing him of his impending divorce with Ann. He goes to a church, gun in hand, in order to commit suicide. He pleads with God, asking him to kill Spider-Man. Without warning black ooze falls from above engulfing Eddie's body. Eddie screams out in pain as the black ooze overtakes him. A priest wonders what all the commotion is and sees a writing Eddie half encased in the black ooze.

Eddie's mind sees the events from Secret Wars play out in which Spider-Man acquired the symbiote thinking it was just a harmless black costume. Eddie realizes the truth and again screams out in pain. He begins to bond with the symbiote over the mutual hatred of Spider-Man / Peter Parker. The symbiote feels that Spider-Man tried to kill it and imparts its feelings to Eddie.

Several policemen try to intervene against Eddie in the church. But Eddie has passed out from the intensity of the ordeal. When he comes to the policemen are shocked as black ooze bursts out of Eddie's mouth. The symbiote begins to transform Eddie's human features. Bullets are useless against the symbiote. The priest prays for all of their lives as the policemen flee in terror.

The symbiote turns its attention to the priest. Eddie asks for forgiveness because of all the lies he has told to everyone. A cop tries to save the priest and the symbiote promptly kills him. With that Eddie, together with the symbiote, leaves the bedraggled priest.

Soon thereafter, Eddie discovers the symbiote allows him any clothing he desires. He uses it to his advantage in front of Ann and her divorce lawyer. He blames Spider-Man for his ruined life and leaves a stunned Ann, finally divorced.

In his apartment Eddie commiserates with the symbiote. They decide on a common name together: Venom. Bonded together, Venom laughs hysterically.

General Comments

After last issue's debacle I was not expecting much from this next installment. Fortuneately, Zeb Wells managed to make this a better read, albeit not up to the standards of the initial issue of the mini-series. Wells manages to inject some pathos for Eddie's character. There's a nice exchange between Eddie's mental anguish and his literal physical transformation into Venom.

The same nagging problem exists that we already know what happens to Eddie in the end. It is not as if the story of Venom is an ancient story in need of a revamping. It still works. Some of the more interesting characters that coulds use extra panel time are largely forgotten. Ann has always been an underutilized character in Venom stories and here would have been a perfect opportunity to flesh out her character and motivations. For instance, why did she stay devoted to Eddie for so long? Other characters are haphazardly introduced in order to serve the plot such as the priest.

There is very little nuance to Venom. He's got a nice visual, sure, but what makes him interesting is the human element of Eddie. At this point in the mini-series, Wells has only gotten peripherally to that aspect.

Medina does a fine job once again. His art is even better with the material he is given here. Eddie's bonding with the symbiote is truly a sight to behold. There's also some effective use of color with the majority of the panels being dark.

Overall Rating

I remain unconvinced that this mini-series is needed but there was a slight improvement in the quality of this issue. In my opinion, Medina needs a gig on the Amazing Spider-Man book.