Comics : Toxin #4

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This story is part of an Arc: "6"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

This review was first published on: 2005.

Background...

Pat Mulligan, an ex-police officer, who is the host of the new alien symbiote, Toxin, is trying his hand at crime fighting. After taking on and defeating King Cobra, he hunts down a new villain by the name of Razor-fist, a guy, appropriately enough, who is equipped with large swords for hands. After Razor-fist escapes from their first meeting together, Pat seeks out The Answer to learn what he must do to control Toxin's violent tendencies. The only advice that the Answer can give is for Pat to throw himself in front of a train.

In Detail...

"Walking Man"
Toxin #4
Sep 2005 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Wrecking Crew
Arc: Part 4 of "6"
Editor:  Jennifer Lee
Writer:  Peter Milligan
Pencils:  Darick Robertson
Inker:  Rodney Ramos
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Review
Articles: Toxin

We left last issue with Pat jumping in front of a subway train to end his life after having heard, from the villain "the Answer", that the solution to his problems dealing with Toxin, the alien symbiote attached to him, was suicide. Just before the train hits, Toxin takes control of Pat's body and jumps to safety, explaining that it felt deep down that Pat didn't wish to die, plus there was still Razor-fist to deal with. Pat learns, or thinks he has found Toxin's weakness, that Toxin needs Pat to stay alive. He starts writing on his computer in a "Toxin Diary" to help him organize his thoughts on the alien plus he finds that the writing lulls the alien to sleep, leaving him with some peace from it.

Meanwhile the Wrecker and the Piledriver, two members of the Wrecking Crew, break into the Museum of Modern Art to recover the Wrecker's substitute crowbar, which is safely buried in the foundation. While the fuse that the Wrecker lit is running down we jump to Jim, Pat's father, asking Meadows, Pat's old partner, to tell him where he can find his son, if not for him, then for Pat's wife and child who he has abandoned. Before Meadows can leave, there is a broadcast on the police radio informing him of the explosion at the museum.

Jim manages to get Pat's address out of Meadows and makes his way to confront his son, who is writing in his "Toxin Diary" about how he misses his family and that soon he'll write to them and explain why he had to leave. Jim breaks in the door after Pat tells him to go away so that he can see his son. Pat quickly realizes that it must have been Meadows who told Jim where he could find him.

Pat goes to yell at Meadows where he finds him at the Museum of Modern Art where the explosion has happened. The police had already told the Wrecker and the Piledriver to surrender but the Wrecker hurls his crowbar into a helicopter causing it to crash into the ruble, sending parts of a painting, Picasso's Les Demoiselles D'Avigon, into Sergeant Falk, killing him.

Meadows tells Pat he needs to get his priorities straight and notice the destruction and death the Wrecker and Piledriver have caused. Pat changes into Toxin and asks Meadows to give him some room to deal with the Wrecking Crew, but before jumping headfirst into the action, Pat must convince the alien symbiote to help him take them down, not for him, but for the police force and the good of the community. Pat takes on the two Wrecking Crew members with the help of Toxin and admits to himself that he does enjoy inflicting pain on these criminals. After making short work of them Pat is thrilled by the applause he receives from the police waiting outside.

We end with Pat writing on his computer again explaining how he has realized that he can use his symbiote to see Gina and Edward without them knowing its him only if he promises to stop trying to kill himself. By changing into the mild-mannered Larry, one of Toxin's other disguises, he can watch his family hanging out in the park. Now that Toxin knows that Pat needs him to be able to see his family, the alien asks Pat for a favor, which Pat realizes that he can't say no to.

In General...

The story was all over the place with first Toxin stopping Pat from killing himself to the Wrecking Crew blowing up the Museum Of Modern Art. After Pat's father confronts him does he immediately run out to yell at Meadows, leaving Jim to just patiently wait for him back at the apartment? And how does Pat know even know where to find Meadows in the first place? The different scenes just do not transition into one another very well.

There were a few things that really annoyed me in this issue. Once Pat arrives at the Museum to confront Meadows, it's like he doesn't even see the carnage the Wrecking Crew has caused, he just yells at Meadows for telling Pat's father his address. Even a young super hero wouldn't be that self-involved to not notice that a bomb has gone off and that there are police everywhere. Plus the whole Sergeant Falk being killed by a painting and a bystander saying something about how it's a travesty that the painting was ruined is just foolish.

How is it that it took the entire New Avengers to take down The Wrecker in the New Avenger #7, but Toxin, who is brand new at this takes on the Wrecker and the Piledriver and barely breaks a sweat? I'm sorry but if the Wrecker can hand out a can of whoop-@$$ on the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America combined, he should easily defeat the likes of Toxin even with his crowbar tied behind his back.

There were parts of this story that just do not fit into the overall 6 issue series, like where is Razor-fist during all this? At the end of issue #1 it looked like Razor-fist was going to be the main villain Toxin was going to have to face. Besides the one mention of his name, he wasn't in this issue at all, making it feel like this is just an intermission in the main story.

Overall Rating...

I feel really let down by this issue. Issue #1, #2 and #3 tied together nicely and it looked like it was going to culminate with a nice confrontation between Toxin and this new enemy, Razor-fist (and it still might) but after reading this issue I have no idea where the story is going. This issue had two different bad guys who barely put up a fight with Toxin and now it ends and I have no idea what's to come in the next issue. With all the weak points in the story plus the lack of a connection between the first three issues in the series makes me give this issue a measly one and a half spiders, and that is on the merits of the Covers, which are the best part of the series so far.