Venom (Vol. 2) #30

Background

So...Demonic Venom and Valkyrie vs. the U-Foes to save Katy Kiernan! Nuff' said!

Story 'The Unwanted'

  Venom (Vol. 2) #30
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
Pencils: Roger Robinson, Thony Silas
Inker: Nelson DeCastro
Cover Art: Morry Hollowell, Shane Davis
Lettering: Joe Caramagna
Colorist: Andres Mossa, Antonio Fabela

In a warehouse in Philadelphia, PA, the possessed Venom is tearing up the U-Foes’ goons. While this is occurring, Flash is reflecting after the event about how he doesn't remember how he defeated the U-Foes because a monster took over when he was knocked out. "I bet it was a sight to behold," he imagines. After Venom slays four goons in one attack, Vector, leader of the U-Foes, orders the team to kill him.

Flash asks himself which monster took control of his body: the demon or the symbiote? Or both? This drives him to ask himself how frequently they take control when his guard is down or if they get along together. While Venom’s body is wreaking havoc on the U-Foes’ base, Flash asks himself if the demon and symbiote would be released if he died.

The Venom monster, using symbiotic tendrils, takes control of the goons and directs them to fire at the U-Foes, snarling, “Thompson, you wasted so much potential.” When Valkyrie regains consciousness, Venom says something disturbing that I wouldn’t prefer to quote which creeps Valk out. She finds Katy Kiernan, who is fixed staring at the memory sphere that the U-Foes tested on her. Quickly, the Asgardian discovers that the sphere “traps the mind of those who look into it” and breaks it, releasing Katy.

Meanwhile, the possessed Venom is dominating the U-Foes, revealing he can see into the goon’s minds and some were already planning on betraying their masters anyways. Valk releases Katy Kiernan from her restraints and they continue to free the other civilians that were being experimented on. Valk opens a portal to teleport the victims away and calls for her horse, Aragorn. They are about to leave but Katy asks about Venom.

The possessed body of Venom is having a tough time against the U-Foes. X-Ray zaps him and Ironclad grips him by the neck. Luckily, Venom’s mind-controlled goons activate a device that teleports the villains away.

Soon, Katy and Valk stand outside the warehouse with the rescued civilians, waiting for Flash to show up. Venom teleports to them using Valk’s portal and tells them that the U-Foes were defeated; he just doesn’t know how.

Later, Flash stands atop a building, looking at the buildings of Philly. Behind him, Valk and Katy tell him that the people of Philly needed Venom today and he saved them. He is sorrowful over the people who were killed and Katy tells him that he will get there sooner next time. The U-Foes’ technology is still on the streets of Philly and they need him. Flash asks, “But…if I do this…I’ll be doing it alone, won’t I?” After all, Katy and Valk left earlier and all this time he has been talking to symbiote puppets of them. The puppets dissipate and he decides that he will move for a fresh start. Sooner or later though, he’s going to have a talk with the symbiote and demon.

In Brooklyn, NY, a squad of police prepares to rush into a building. The squad captain informs her force that their target is very dangerous and they are taking no chances. When the squad enters the dark building, they find a pile of dead Crime Master Goons who have been torn apart. When the captain of the squad looks up, she finds Eddie Brock surrounded by red, symbiotic tendrils. Eddie tells the captain that he’s calling himself Toxin now and kills the police.

General Comments

While I absolutely hated the first two parts of this arc, I didn’t loathe this final issue quite as much. I mean, it wasn’t that great but there were elements of it I enjoyed. Firstly, I appreciated the fact that Flash was in character in this part. Of course, he wasn’t featured in about half of it because of his possession, but the segments with him and his dialogue was in-character. Flash cared about the people who died because of the U-Foes and had an interesting character moment when he was deciding if he should move to Philly.

The other part that I enjoyed was the demon/symbiote possession of Flash. Before, I wasn’t particularly too interested in the fact that Venom is possessed by a demon, but this issue shows how the situation has many fascinating possibilities. Flash’s narration explores the potential of the situation by asking question such as “Is it the demon or the symbiote? Or both?” and “Who knows how long the two of them have been running around like this when I let my guard down?” At the end, he decides that the three of them will need to have a talk someday, and I’m frankly interested in it.

I must admit, my favorite part of this issue is the three page cliff-hanger at the end. The part is wonderfully creepy and it’s great to see Brock’s returning. Venom’s been facing sucky F-lister villains lately (except for Carnage, which doesn’t count because that was a team-up crossover) and it’s good to see that he’ll finally be facing a formidable foe. It’s also nice to see that Eddie is in control of the Toxin symbiote and retains his twisted sense of justice and vengeance by killing Crime Master’s goons.

Sadly, as a conclusion, this issue was quite anticlimactic. Venom defeats the U-Foes very easily and insipidly by simply teleporting them away. Not only that, but the battle leading up to it was very one-sided with the symbiote/demon on top. Of course, the lopsided clash would have been exceptional if the art was dynamic and energetic. Sadly, the art was terrible and I’ll clarify why soon. Also, in the beginning, Flash even explains that he won when he’s reflecting even before we read the climax.

This issue, like the first two issues in this arc, left me unimpressed at how Philly is explored. Philly isn’t depicted any different from NYC and, frankly, its whole introduction in this arc has been very poor. Flash decides to stay in the City of Brotherly Love for, as we read in Venom (Vol. 2) 27.1, a fresh start and to protect the people from the U-Foes’ weapons. But…that’s it. Flash is simply moving there for business purposes; he has no personal desire to even be there. I want to know what the vibe is in Philly. I want to know how the people are different that those in NYC. I want to see how Flash responds to the new environment. This doesn’t accomplish that.

Finally, and obviously least, the art is terrible. Bunn’s script calls for action and drama: Silas depicts the action and Robinson depicts the drama. Silas’ art, as one would expect, is painfully awful during Venom’s battle with the U-Foes. He uses recycled poses from past issues and the panels are all unconcentrated and dull. Silas’ work also suffers from too many inkers and colorists. Robinson’s art, while it isn’t as bad as Silas’ drawing, isn’t particularly my favorite. The drama could have been better.

Overall Rating

I would love to give this more webs. Flash's character is portrayed well, the demon/symbiote thing is interesting and Eddie's return is great. But, sadly, this issue is anticlimactic, explores Philly poorly, and has awful art. I don't want to give it two webs because it was better than the last two issue but it isn't good enough for an average. So, I split it down the middle.