This issue marks the first time that Venom has shown up since this series was canceled a little bit ago, so I’m really excited about. Let’s hop straight into the thick of things.
The story starts with Flash returning to New York after his run in the Venom comics had him in New Jersey and to the side of Betty Brant. For those who don’t know Flash Thompson is Agent Venom, a secret avenger wearing a Symbiote that allows him the use of his legs since they were amputated because he was a badass at war and saved an ally. The Symbiote is supposed to be docile through the use of drugs, but that was a lie considering that when he was marked as a possible Demon Lord it passed the mark onto his new side-kick, Mania. He’s a Spider-Man fanboy, pre-body-jacking, but had the misfortune of running across Spider-Man after an insane clown tried to kill his girlfriend and a fight ensued since the Symbiote treats seeing Spider-Man (when not doped up) like a jilted lover.
Now, Betty Brant was his girlfriend until her brother, Crime Master, had targeted her and Flash (who she broke up with because he was Venom and kept it a secret) and was killed for it by her. So, naturally, she isn’t pleased to see him but called him up first when someone with the name of her dead brother shows up . Thus, ass-kicking ensues.
On the other side of town, Otto is getting his company off the ground. It’s a busy day, what with his girlfriend, a vigilante he’s tangled with, and former employee of Horizon working for him as well as his biggest investors, Aunt May and her beau, visiting. He reveals he finally got those artificial limbs working so Aunt May could walk without a cane. At least the douche managed to keep his word on that, so it somewhat touches my heart.
Meanwhile, the police chief is investigating Carlie’s kidnapping last issue. She thinks Spider-Man is responsible for this since her place has been ransacked and he’s got those spider-bots everywhere. She’s wrong, but only because she has no reason to suspect that its due to the Goblin King, simply because no one good knows he’s around.
Back with Otto, after Aunt May leaves, he finds his girlfriend working with glowing marine-life and asks her to meet Peter’s parents. She thinks he’s moving too fast, but she likes that about him and, yes dammit, its sweet as hell. But since they have a free moment they decide to get busy before he’s called away for Spider-Man business…Naturally his luck, much like Peter’s, ends when his men spot Venom fighting and has him come along with bots in tow.
He gives the police there a call telling them to hold off so he can handle this. Mayor JJ agrees to it, but only because Otto has him by the balls. But he thinks of a way out of it involving his robots and thus we have more fodder for a future plot.
Meanwhile, Venom is cleaning up the trash, learning that the original Hobgoblin, Kingsley, has been selling super-villain identities. For the record he’s sold Mysterio and his own Hobgoblin identity as franchises. Flash gets pissed when he learns he’s fighting a wannabe and then Spider-Man shows up.
Now, as far as Otto knows, Venom is a villain, so he naturally unleashes hell using the Symbiote’s weakness: Fire and Sonics. He goes down quick, banking on the fact that Spider-Man knows him as Flash. He’s been out of town, so he doesn’t know that Spider-Man isn’t who he used to be and is about to be fried.
Okay, so great introduction issue for the arc, but for those who haven’t been following Venom since Spider-Island it will leave them confused as to what he’s doing or what he’s been up to. Nice to see some progress and there was a short, but explosive fight. The artwork was impressive as well, so my complaints are minimal in that some facts will only make sense as long as you have read the Venom comics.
Issue gets a 4 out of 5.