While Spider-Man 3: The New Goblin told the story of the movie from Harry's point of view, this book tells the tale from Eddie Brock's angle. However it's not a chapter book like the New Goblin, this is a 24-page full-color picture book, 8" x 8" soft cover format.
The pages are edge-to-edge artwork, cartoon style, drawn specially for this book. The text is simple, with 10-30 words per page, e.g. "One night, I saw Sandman robbing a bank. I knew Spider-Man was sure to be close behind."
Photographer Eddie Brock takes Spidey photos to the Bugle. Peter turns up and says he deserves the job Eddie was just offered. Jonah challenges them to get a picture of Spider-Man stealing. Eddie takes photos of Gwen. Gwen kisses Spider-Man. Eddie is sure to get the photo. Eddie sees Sandman. Eddie sees Spidey in a Black Suit. Black Suit Spidey smashes Eddie's camera. Eddie gives Jonah a fake photo. Peter turns up. Peter proves the photo fake. Gwen turns down Eddie. Eddie goes to "a quiet place" (the word church is carefully avoided). Black Goop drops down (two-page spread). The goo is coming off Peter, who is secretly Spider-Man. Eddie becomes Venom. Eddie's powers are growing. Now Eddie is Venom. Venom wants revenge!
There ya have it, the story in all it's gory. Details that is.
Actually, this isn't a bad story at all. The art has been created from scratch, and is consistent and well-finished. It does a good job of taking the characters from the film and "cartoonizing" them to give a softer more kid-friendly look while still retaining the essential underlying appearance of Maguire and Co.
The "Venom" side of the story is neatly extracted, and in fact becomes clearer in the process. All of the little things that combined to make Eddie so angry are clearly identified here, and they make more sense this way than perhaps in the movie - where they were a little lost among all the other goings-on of the film.
Of course, the underlying story of a young man being consumed with hatred and transforming into a revengeful monster is, perhaps, not quite suitable for the target reading age group which I'd put at around 5-8. But hey, kids have a surprisingly high appetite for that sort of thing, and the story is so well told that I'm prepared to stretch the point.
Visually appealing, clearly presented, surprisingly good. I'm amazing myself here by giving it such a high rating. Four webs.