Venom: Finale #3

Background

The Overreach committee holds Venom, suffering from amnesia after their last knockdown drag-out with Spider-Man, prisoner.

Story 'What Counts in the End'

  Venom: Finale #3
Summary: Spider-Man vs. Venom
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Larry Hama
Pencils: Mark Pajarillo
Inker: Robert Jones
Articles: Venom

Spider-Man lures Venom out of the sewer and into agent Smith's sonic trap. Venom destroys the sound system's generators then confronts Spider-Man. Agent Smith gets orders from the overreach committee to let Spider-Man handle Venom and assume blame for all collateral damage. Spider-Man manages to get a blow through the symbiote into Eddie, causing a very selective recovery of "Eddie Brock scorned" memories. Enraged, Venom follows Spider-Man up a building then starts pounding him furiously. Using his wits, Spider-Man forces Venom off the roof then at the last second flips on top of Venom as they slam back first into the street. Agent Smith steps-up then "kills" the stunned Venom with an intentional overdose of Dopamine inhibitor.

General Comments

Boo.

Thank goodness this mess is finally over. I know that sounds strange coming from a Venom fan but you and I both know this is how it was meant to me. Oh, by the way, the last sentence in "part three" above is purposely vague. I can only go so far with the spoilage considering this is another defining moment in the Marvel universe.

That might explain why I'm not really happy right now.

The plot, scripted by Larry Hama, has more filler than a COBOL program. About seventy percent of the three "Finale" books could be hacked out then placed in a birdcage without affecting the plot. As with most (all) three part stories by Hama, the first part is interesting, the second part is terrible, then the third part makes a partial recovery coaxing the reader out of their comatose state. I would have much rather seen the fate of the Venom character sealed inside a Spider book, like "Spider-Man - the Venom Agenda" for example. Instead, the story drags for three months (fifteen or fifty if you factor in when Marvel made the decision to pull the title) and then ends suddenly, leaving the reader with a sense of sudden confusion as to why they decided to end it this way. Me no like, bad medicine.

The only saving grace of this final installment is Mark Pajarillo and to some extent Robert Jones and Tom Smith. Pajarillo does a fantastic job rendering Venom and Spider-Man, and the members of the overreach committee, and the news crew. Heck, even Mary Jane is drawn like the female lead in Witchblade (Sarah, I think?) that every teenage boy goes cheesecake and whipped-cream over. Characters are detailed and in almost every scene you can tell what emotional state they are in. Venom is drawn like the frothing, psychotic, fang-jawed linebacker for hell's football team he should be. Of course, pencils are not worth spit if the inker (Jones) and colorist (Smith) don't to their jobs. The inks are on target (sparse but good) and the coloring, although very normal considering technology available, is good.

Overall Rating

Only points come from the defense, err, the art team, especially Mark Pajarillo. The only offense (i.e. insult) comes from the editors who handled the whole limited series "so well" in its latter existence.

Venom fans deserved better.

Oh well, more money to spend each month on beer and art supplies.