After forming an uneasy truce with Spider-Man in Amazing Spider-Man #375, Venom headed out West to find his own city to protect. Winding up in San Francisco, Venom ends up getting tangled in the plight of a group of homeless people being forced out of their underground home by Roland Treece. Meanwhile, Spider-Man, uneasy about leaving Venom free, heads west to find and capture his old foe.
Upon seeing the homeless people enter the area, the Digger realizes they haven’t traveled into the past. But, it provided enough of a distraction for Venom to recover and renew his attack. The other Digger and the local militia arrive. When one of the militia is killed, Venom is thrown into a frenzy and kills both Diggers. The militia turns their sights on Venom when the people he rescued stop them. Ethan, the militia head, leaves Venom’s fate up to their council and has Elizabeth take him to freshen up. She explains to Venom that they live in a section of the city that sank in the earthquake of 1906, buried and built over until a vagrant discovered it. Now, they happily live in their isolated society in freedom.
Elsewhere, Spidey makes his way to the Herald building in order to get a line on Venom’s past, a trick that helped him track him before. He ends up discovering Eddie’s father, a local. Meanwhile, the council votes Venom out after a close vote. The next morning, Eddie decides to earn their good graces by stopping Treece.
Later, Peter attempts to visit Carl Brock, with a less than warm response. He returns as Spidey in order to try again. Meanwhile, Venom invades Treece International and discovers a model of the park over the sunken city. His investigation is interrupted by Treece’s security. Venom makes short work of them and departs. As he plots his next move against Treece, Venom is attacked by Orwell Taylor and his armored crew, The Jury.
Michelinie continues building up Venom the anti-hero by doing an admirable job of adding dimensions to Venom’s character. Usually portrayed as a bloodthirsty sociopath, Venom is given more of a human side here by desiring to find someplace he belongs. He’s genuinely hurt by being rejected by the homeless people, although his response is more in line with being a sociopath. Overall, the story continues to be a good read. The mystery deepens about the unseen villain, and the history of Brock’s father.
Four webs. The story and art continue to be good, and the Venom character is attempting to be given a long-overdue rounding out past his baser characterizations.
The white pads on Venom’s hand are flesh-colored in several panels.