Comics : Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath

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This review was first published on: 2004.

Background...

New York Under Siege! Venom is loose on the streets of New York, and only the amazing Spider-Man can stop his latest rampage!

In Detail...

Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath
Oct 1998 : SM Title
Writer:  Jose R. Nieto, Keith R.A. DeCandido
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Review

When lawyer Ann Weying (Venom's ex-wife) is snatched from her apartment by a group of radical terrorists, Spider-Man knows it's only a matter of time before Venom becomes involved in the city-wide search. But if Venom finds the kidnappers first, he's likely to eviscerate the kidnappers and cause his ex-wife to be executed at the same time!

Spider-Man must find out why Ann and Daily Bugle editor-in-chief Joe Robertson have been kidnapped... and what the real motives of the terrorists might be.

Racing against time, Spider-Man must keep New York from becoming the victim of Venom's Wrath.

In General...

I was impressed with this novel. Not only does it contain all the attraction of seeing long time foes Spidey and Venom face off in action packed fight scenes, but it offers a glimpse at what the ordinary folks of New York think and feel about the web spinner. The book further develops the characters first seen in the short story An Evening in the Bronx with Venom, contained within The Ultimate Spider-Man anthology, police Captain Frank Esteban, Detective Vance 'Hawk' Hawkins and others.

There is a particularly well-written piece wherein Spider-Man has visited the Police precinct to work with the police on the kidnapping and he and Hawk get into a deep and meaningful conversation. They cover such topics as Spider-Man's costume, how hard it is for the average person to communicate when the can't read Spidey's body language, even down to people placing wagers on what nationality Spidey is! It's great from the perspective that this is all the stuff people would think about Spidey if he actually turned up right in their city!

There is more to the plotline than is usual in a story based on comic book characters, and I felt like I had been privy to plenty of 'behind the scenes' info on what an average day as Spider-Man is like for Peter Parker! I must also praise the detail of the web-swinging scenes, of which there are plenty. Some of the most enjoyable facets of Spider-Man as a character are his Spider like abilities, so I was delighted to discover this book abounds with scenes where he 'does his thing'. The colourful descriptions of Spidey adhering to all manner of surfaces, then swinging wildly along the concrete canyons of Manhattan really hits home to me exactly what it would be like if I could perform those amazing stunts! Top stuff, and the reason most people enjoy Spider-Man in the first place.

This, coupled with the sort of extremely detailed descriptions of the myriad of locations and the capturing of the 'way of life' that can only come from the pen of people who actually live in the greatest city on earth, made this book an extremely enjoyable couple of evenings for me.

Overall Rating...

If you feel that the comics need to come alive for you, if you love the aerobatics and the whole 'normal guy with amazing powers' schtick that is Spidey, if you want to see Spidey go 3 rounds with Venom, if you love international politics and despot terrorist groups with enough high tech weaponry to take out an aircraft carrier, then you need to read Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath!