Venom and Carnage - two characters that represent everything about 1990s Marvel - loads of awesome potential, but failed storylines piled on one another as a result of quick cash-ins just ruined them. Put them together, and obviously you have a quick sell - but more often than not, it'll suck. However, future legend Peter Milligan did an excellent job in issue #1... can he keep it rolling? So far, we have the return of Venom and Carnage, with Venom harassing a young couple to teach him about love, and Carnage implanting his baby into an Irish beat-cop.
This is clearly the "intermission" issue of the series. Patrick Mulligan, the cop whom Carnage impregnated with symbiotic spawn, rolls around at night, freaking out about what's happened, as he's basically stared into the face of death.
Meanwhile, Black Cat returns the painting she stole in #1 to the artist who painted it, revealing that the artist was swindled for a far less sum than he deserved. However, Cat runs into Patrick, and he attempts to arrest her. Cat tries to fight her way out of it, but Paddy is too fast now, blocking her kicks and grabbing her before she can get away. She decides to talk to him, and finds him completely distraught over his experience. She seems to not understand what Carnage is... a strange, strange ocurrence. She should really know this by now, having participated in most of the major symbiote crossovers.
Carnage attacks, and Paddy gets in the way to defend Cat. Felicia shrieks for him to get out of the way, as he would appear to be cannon fodder. But things are not as they seem, as Paddy becomes a red and blue symbiotic monster known as Toxin - intent on stopping Carnage from hurting anyone else.
It sure looks like "irony" is the key word to be used in describing this series - we have a symbiotic hero?! I think it's ingenious, even though it is a little obvious. Milligan is doing a good job of keeping things light-hearted instead of giving us a big senseless symbiotic smackdown. Venom and Carnage are more like goofy stooges here, and it is a fun read. One could argue where it is supposed to fit in continuity with Black Cat's actions being a little... confusing, but it's nothing major, and therefore doesn't offend me too badly.
4 webs again! I do believe that is the longest a Venom-related story has ever gone without turning into garbage. It would have been 4.5, but Cat's actions puzzle me. I hope the next 2 issues are just as good, and that Clayton Crain gets another project before long.