Venom's still running around the streets of Voici, Canada enjoying a decadent, highly indulgent diet of hapless Canadians. Speaking of hapless, mysterious alien nano-bot "The Suit" continues his remarkably inefficient quest to destroy our antagonistic protagonist. Meanwhile two twins Vic and Frankie who possibly aliens or Shield agents, it's kind of hard to tell, are also looking to subdue the symbiote, but alas their "shoot everything in town but Venom" strategy has proven highly inefficient. None of this sits well with Wolverine, who has once again has found himself wandering into yet another dangerous situation/guest-starring role in a book with slumping sales. Speaking of wandering into danger, after being threatened by Venom on Multiple occasions, shocked by "The Suit," chased by mountain lions, tied to railroad tracks, and being sent over Niagara Falls in barrel Lt. Patricia Robertson finds herself being held at gunpoint Frankie. I can't verify this but the real star of this book, Dues Ex Nokia, The Suit's cellphone is due for it's own mini-series next year. If not, well then it should be.
Oh yeah for those wondering if this is going to explain how Venom got back to New York for the events in Spectacular Spider-Man, well it turns out that the particular symbiote in this book isn't even the Venom we know and love. Apparently the titular character in this book is in-fact a fragment spawn of the original symbiote. Thanks for clearing that up Spider-Man Encyclopedia.
Our last issue ended with The Suit flash-frying Wolverine with the mighty power of DeN before Venom could possess him.
Our issue opens with Robertson being held at gunpoint by Frankie. Luckily for our heroine, the agent is suddenly distracted by the site of a FZAKKT! from DeN in the distance.
FRANKIE: What the- I thought that thing shot lavender energy, not green.
Patricia Robertson suddenly and without warning manages to disable her attacker with a swift kick followed by a legsweep, followed by a boot to the head. The final blow knocking a wig off her head revealing the woman to be completely bald, we're talking Jean-Luc Picard bald here. Oh and she's got a freaky tub leaking green stuff coming out of the back of her jacket collar.
ROBERTSON: Oh $@#! I just beat up Moondragon?!
Robertson quickly reaches for Frankie's gun.
FRANKIE: You shouldn't have stopped to pick up the gun.
ROBERTSON: Oh yeah-- why?
FRANKIE: Because it's empty...
Cut to a splash page of Robertson running for the hills, right under the "Run" title logo making it look almost like a surreal sound-effect. I should note that Robertson's bosoms are far bigger than they have been since the start of the series.
Next Page we see Venom, The Suit, and Deus ex Nokia standing over the "FZAKKT'ed" body of James "Logan" Howlett aka Wolverine.
VENOM: I wanted him... and not just in the platonic sense...
SUIT: I am aware of the fact. That is why I rendered him useless Mr. Anderson... er... I mean Venom.
VENOM: Well gee, I guess I was thinking of possessing him while he was unconscious and helpless, but I guess I'll just stand here and to wait for him to heal.
On the next page The Suit raises up a fully charged, green glowing DeN to aim at Venom.
SUIT: It is all the time I need. Too many have died. Too Many have suffered. It's time to end this... I mean for crissake they just canceled Sentinel which every damned review site on the web was praising the hell out of, and this crap continues. To hell with this book.
OFF PANEL VOICE: Good Idea...
Suddenly and without warning a pink beam, or possibly a bullet with a pink leaving a trail behind strikes The Suit's hand, causing him to drop DeN.
MR. SOUND EFFECT: K-POW!
Next page we cut over to see Vic, holding a smoking gun... the Suit holding a smoking hand.
VIC: A lot of people have died... and a lot more are going to. But none have suffered more than me.
Vic removes her wig, revealing that she too is bald.
VENOM: Hey it's not that bad, your still really hot for a bald chick.
THE SUIT: She has been Cybernetically enhanced, her brain stem modified and independently controlled. If you join with her, she will be able to control you against your will. You will not be able to escape. She is in other words, a trap set specifically for you. Yep, I know that just by looking for her. Really I do...
VIC: He's bluffing. Come to me. I've been waiting for you my whole life. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find guy who's into bald women?
OLD GUY IN DINER FROM ISSUE 7: Well I guess seen' as how I'm the only expendable character, I better leave in that conveniently placed snowmobile over d'ere... just thought you'd like to know.
VENOM: Oh yeah... He'll do...
VIC: Oh #&*@!
On the next page Vic tries to shoot the old coot before Venom can jump a ride on him, but the symbiote manages to grab a-hold of the projectile using l33t Matrix Bulletime moves. Before tackling the old coot on the next page, knocking him through a door and possessing him. I just noticed that no-matter which person Venom possesses in this book, the end result winds up looking pretty much the same. One of the cool things about symbiote was that the creature's appearance varied depending on who it was latched onto leading to a range of different possibilities ranging from the classic black Spidey, to monstrous looking result of the connection to Eddie Brock, to even She-Venom. In this book it doesn't really matter who the symbiote's latched on, weather it's a chubby waitress or a scrawny little old man, the end result all looks the same. A definite step in the wrong direction, especially seeing as how Paco Medina's a talented enough artist to make the various forms of the creature stand out.
VENOM: Thanks for the ride...
And on the next page, Venom escapes via the front door. We see the fallen bodies of the poor saps that Vic and Frankie gunned down last issue. One of whom is being eaten by a rat.
VENOM: Ah Yes... Now for my next trick... I'm going to need a volunteer.
We cut back to the other side of the house, as it appears Venom's brilliant run out of the other side of the diner tactic has officially thrown both Suit and Vic of the trail. Vic is talking to Frankie via a headset walkie-talkie.
VIC: Frankie it's on the move again! Where are you?! And wasn't Wolverine guest-starring in this book?
Vic is suddenly grabbed by the throat, by the suit, with the same hand that she shot a few pages ago no-less.
SUIT: You will not interfere again.
Vic simply pulls out a gun, and fills "The Suit" with lead. Cripes he's been around for like 7 issues, and I have yet to see him win a fight.
FRANKIE (off panel): I'm right here, Vic. Duck and cover.
What follows is a splash page, in which the Suit is suddenly hit with a giant pink beam fired from Vic and Frankie's Spaceship/Hellicarrier/Whatever.
MR SOUND EFFECT: FWOOM!
Vic climbs aboard a ladder into the Spaceship/Hellicarrier/Whatever and is reunited with Frankie. Both of them looking now completely identical without their wigs.
VIC: What the heck was that, Frankie?! He knew all about us!! NOBODY knows about us! I don't know about us!
FRANKIE: Relax Vic...
VIC: Relax?! He knew about the collar and what it's for! And now *it* knows, too! And worse yet, now that everyone knows we're bald, we'll never pass off as sexy bad-girls and have a spin-off book like those twins from Resurrection Man!
FRANKIE: We'll buy new wigs. Then we'll come up with another plan. I'm contacting, *The Arc* to get a solution right now.
VIC: You're what? He'll kill us Frankie! He'll Kills us for failing!
FRANKIE: No... he won't. Nobody's supposed to know about us, Vic... but you' re saying that the guy in the suit did. That information alone is more than enough to keep us alive and in his good graces. We've uncovered a leak.
VIC: But we don't know anything about...
FRANKIE: No, we don't... but she does.
We cut over to see the unconscious, bound body of Patricia Robertson... who Frankie was apparently able to subdue her, drag her over to the spaceship/hellicarrier/whatever, and then chain her to a pipe all in the span of two minutes of plot off camera .
VIC: Nice. Grey Archive, here we come!
On the next page Wolverine *finally* wakes up from his previously FZAKKT'ed state. Slowly getting to his feat. He now looks about a hundred years older, which I suppose is a side-effect of having your skin grow back right after it being burned off by a Deus Ex Nokia blast.
LOGAN: All right punk... Round two.
Wolverine sees the unconscious body of the now "FWOOM'ed" suit, a few spidery little robots surrounding it.
LOGAN: Or maybe not...
Meanwhile on the next page we see the Baldy Doubles fiddling with what must obviously be a high-tech alien computer, far lightyears beyond my Compaq Presario with Windows M.E. which might not be saying much. We know this obviously some highly advanced technology because the computer has no noticeable operating system, no keyboard, and it's information pretty much consists of black text on a green screen. Oh and it makes "D-DEET!" sound effects.
COMPUTIE THE WONDER COMPUTER: Information Received. Very Disturbing. Will Investigate. Proceed With Interrogation. Awaiting Report!
VIC/FRANKIE/HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO TELL: Okay... but what about--
MR. SOUND EFFECTS: D-DEET!
COMPUTIE: Priority One: Climb to 42,000 feet. Initialize 'Plan B' Protocol. Await Authorization.
The Baldy Doubles flash evil "Gee Frankie are you pondering what I'm pondering" grins as their ship suddenly "FROOOOMM!"ing through the air. I swear if that's Senator Ward they're talking to AOL Instant Message I'll... I'll... I have no idea what they'll do.
Our next page returns us to James Howlett who is now starring curiously at the fallen body of Mr. Suit. Who is now covered in snowflakes, and spider-bots.
LOGAN: What the...? Just what kinda book am I guest starring in? I mean what 's with that Sam Keith cover... he makes me look like a Troll Doll.
Mr. Howlett leans in to examine The Suit's body. Letting one of the little spider-bots crawl onto his hand.
LOGAN: Waitaminute-- I've seen these before... what the heck are you up to, Reed? Aside from conquering Latveria just because Dr. Doom gave you a stupid' scar?
Mr. Howlett looks a bit puzzled as one of the spider-bots gives him a mini-FZZAKT . prompting Wolverine to stomp it, uttering various punctuation marks. He then looks up to see the Baldy Doubles ship.
MR. SOUND EFFECT: FWUMP! FWUMP!
Next page we cut back to Vic and Frankie in the cockpit. Their ship FWUMP! FWUMP!-ing through the sky at great velocity if the vast number of speedlines rushing through their lack of hair is any indication.
VIC?: Do you think the Canadian Government is... really gonna let us do this?
FRANKIE: Heh... D'you really think they'd say no... to *him?* Besides this is the Canadian Government we're talking about.
COMPUTIE: Authorization Granted. Proceed!
The Baldy Doubles once again exchange evil grins before one them suddenly pushes THE BUTTON... YES, THE RED BUTTON... THE SHINY... CANDY-LIKE BUTTON!
On the next page we see bomb doors on Vic & Frankie's ship opening up, dropping a huge phallic weapon of massive painful destructivity. Sadly Slim Pickens is not riding it. Mr. Howlett can only watch in horror as the bomb drops towards him. This is followed by a huge splash page as Follicley Challenged Duo's ship flies above a huge mushroom cloud.
MR. SOUND EFFECT: KKKRROOOMMM!
We then cut inside of the ship/hellicarrier's cockpit.
VIC: C'mon Frankie-- keep it steady!
FRANKIE: I'm trying! Get the nav boards back up!
We cut back to see Patricia Robertson, who's not exactly receiving a smooth comfortable ride and is being dragged around like a rag doll as the ship continues to accelerate.
VIC: Twenty-eight thousand! We're speeding up!
FRANKIE: Two second! I've almost got it rebooted!
SOUND EFFECTS: BEEPEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP!!!
FRANKIE: Ignition! Ignition!
VIC: Pull, Frankie! Pull!
FRANKIE: All systems up and running-- we're good to go.
Vic: Nice job, Frankie...
Robertson manages to break free of her chain behind the two's back... a heavy-duty metal flashlight, a box of matches, a few coils of wire, and a monkey wrench all conveniently sitting on the floor next to her. All things you would really want in the immediate vicinity of a prisoner. Miss Scarlet, I mean Lt. Robertson takes the wrench and lies in wait. Gee I wonder what mischief she could be planning here.
Our next page brings us to the now thoroughly and completely obliterated Voici, the sky having taken on an eerie orange hue. Any residents that Venom hasn't effectively munched yet are now most assuredly dead.
VIC?: We'll wait fro the blast cloud to clear so we can get our bearings, then we'll put down and finish this thing.
FRANKIE?: Roger, that -- it should be relatively easy to trap and assume control of the creature at this point. Even if it does know that we're going trap it, it'll have to choose us as hosts simply to stay alive what other choice does it have?
Considering that this was a fricken' ATOM BOMB that was dropped, one would think that the Baldy Doubles wouldn't need anything more than a dust-buster to trap whatever's left of Venom at this point.
We cut over to see a very large smoldering crater where we see "The Suit" who's being rapidly reconstructed by spider-bots and Wolverine who looks no worse for wear other than being unconscious and shirtless. No burn marks or anything. The fricken' cellphone did more damage to Logan than a nuke. Also Suit's clothes aren't even damaged. WHAT KIND OF SISSY-BOY NUKE WAS THIS?! SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THIS DRAGON BALL Z OR SOMETHING WHERE CHARACTERS CAN JUST SHRUG A PLANET DESTROYING ATTACKS?!!!
The nano-bots reunite Suit with our beloved Deus Ex Nokia which is ringing. DeN is apparently totally unscratched in all this, but really... It's amazing how many powers this device has. The Suit answers talking to his mystery employer. (Reed?)
SUIT: I'm back online... and I have a plan involving the mutant humanoid. Do not attempt to contact me, as I have other plans for the communication device.
DEUS EX NOKIA: CHARGING MAX OUTPUT! PAYBACK TIME BABY!
About time DeN had some dialog. Our final page has The Suit standing over the wreckage over the orange skied town, the unconscious Wolverine.
SUIT: Here goes everything... including the readers.
You know... a number of people complain about the practice of "writing for tradepaperback" but well... over the years I've grown to prefer a more slow-paced manner of storytelling. Provided that the story is well done.
However one of serious problems here is the fact that Daniel Way, after a good build-up suddenly and without warning sends his story into truly oddball territory. I mean this issue not only provides us the absurd notion that Wolverine is somehow capable to survive an atomic blast at ground zero, but also suggests that Reed Richards is somehow responsible for the creation of the Suit and is the mysterious figure he's talking too. I mean seriously, next to Spider-Man no superhero knows Venom better that Reed Richards. If Richards really wanted to take out the Symbiote why not use one of those sonic-guns that he invented (and they seemed to sell at every Walmart in 90s) in his first encounter with the creature? Why not send Johnny Storm to mop the guy up, seeing as how his powers seem to be the ones most ideal at taking out the creature. (I've noticed every encounter between the two seems to side-step that fact.) Heck why not give Johnny a sonic gun while your at it? Heck I'm sure Reed could think of a thousand more effective ways of beating Venom in his sleep than sending an easily subdued robot with an omnipotent cellular phone that he can't effectively put to use.
In the short span of one issue Venom has gone from a dumb guilty pleasure, to being just plain guilty of being dumb.