Venom (Vol. 2) #27

Background

Venom and Scarlet Spider’s journey in the Microverse continues to spiral further into chaos. After being attacked by Marquis Radu’s forces, Flash lost control of the symbiote before ultimately being captured by the Marquis’ forces. At the same time, Scarlet Spider and Carnage had another scrap, but SS was distracted when the Redeemer was put in danger. The Marquis’ forces arrived and took Carnage and Katy Kiernan. The Marquis’ ultimate goal? To use the symbiotes to destroy the Enigma Force, the Microverses mysterious god, thus allowing the Marquis to control the Microverse. But doing so will destroy both the Microverse and the Macroverse (our universe)! And to make things worse, the Marquis has already begun creating an army of symbiote troops!

Story 'Family Bondage'

  Venom (Vol. 2) #27
Summary: Venom, Scarlet Spider, and Enigma Force vs. Carnage and symbiote army
Arc: Part 5 of 'Minimum Carnage' (1-2-3-4-5-6)
Executive Producer: Alan Fne
Publisher: Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief: Axel Alonso
Senior Editor: Stephen Wacker
Editor: Tom Brennan
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Cover Art: Marte Garcia, Patrick Zircher
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Lee Loughridge

The story begins with Flash having a sort of “cellular memory” of the symbiote invasion of the Microverse which took place thousands of years ago. In that time, the symbiotes would use entire planets as host and the process of driving them out nearly destroyed the Microverse. Meanwhile, the cloned symbiotes are destroying the people created in the Body Banks. And since everything in the Microverse is connected, the symbiotes are causing the machiney and such around to corrode…which also allows the Venom symbiote to corrode the bonds holding him! But Carnage is also freed, as well as an entire army of symbiote soldiers! The symbiotes are actually cloned hybrids of Venom and Carnage, thus giving Carnage control over them, as they are “extensions” of the symbiote (ok!). Carnage, of course, uses them to attack Venom.

In the holding cells, Bug of the Enigma Force tells Katy that the Marquis’ plan is to have them cooperate or execute them. And if they are executed, he’ll just clone them until he can create a version who will comply. Luckily, Katy stole a key from the guards, allowing them freedom.

Meanwhile, Venom continues to fight, but unlike Carnage, he has no control over the cloned symbiotes. Seems that Carnage’s “lack of humanity” coupled with the scientific tampering that helps keep the Venom symbiote in check prevent Flash from connecting with the clones. Flash decides his only chance of victory is to think like Carnage and creates a blade with symbiote, beheading Carnage! Surprisingly, this does little to slow him down, as the head forms another body and the body…well it has a head again it seems. And the symbiote wants to go after it’s “father”, a trait that is often mentioned whenever Carnage and Venom fight.

It’s at this time that Scarlet Spider and the Redeemer arrive. The Redeemer mentions that the symbiotes are feeding off the essence of the Microverse, before the scene switches to the Enigma Force holding off a symbiote army of their own. Katy, Bug, and Marionette to find the source of the army and instead find the Marquis. They attempt to stop him, but he teleports away, leaving them with another cluster of symbiote clones to fight. Back in the main fray, Scarlet Spider and Venom continue to struggle against overwhelming odds.

Flash decides that the only way to win is to get the symbiote to truly be Venom, but has difficulty doing so. The Redeemer tells him how he was brought there to save both worlds and purge the corruptors. Flash uses the pain of his abusive father, his lost legs, and the horror of being unable to force out the more primal side of Venom and control the hybrids. Doing so destroys the army, saving Scarlet Spider, Katy, and the Enigma Force, but causes Carnage to sink into the floor and escape. The Redeemer can no longer sense Carnage, leaving the question of where he went.

Back in Houston, in what appears to be a shopping center, several bodies are strewn about. And on one of the corpses, a red patch is appearing. A close-up of the patch reveals an army of mini-Carnages!

General Comments

Honestly, I’m not sure what to say about this one really. Nothing too unexpected or out of the ordinary here: There’s an army of symbiote clones, the heroes fight them, Carnage escapes. I suppose with the inclusion of the Microverse and so many characters in that realm, I expected a bit more there.

I know the Venom symbiote is supposed to be tampered with and all, yet it seems odd to say that it can’t access it’s full potential when twice in this story Flash loses control and has to reign it in.

Also, how did Carnage survive getting his head chopped off? Sure he was ripped in half before, but I mean…he had a fake head or something? I guess Kasady’s head wasn’t in there, or it just got a lot better real quick.

I liked the bit about Flash using his past pains and fears to help him turn the tide and access the symbiote’s primal nature, but other than that, there’s not a lot here worth commenting on. Again, there’s nothing new added to the story and there’s nothing that happens here that hasn’t already been established previously (the symbiotes decay the Microverse, Marquis Radu is kind of a jerk, the fairy hates Venom, etc.).

Overall Rating

The end sets up for an interesting conclusion, but also leaves a lot unfinished if Carnage is already back home. I think here, it is Carnage’s interaction with such broken heroes that really makes for the interesting dynamic. The set-up for it however was a bit lacking and poorly executed. Maybe next time…