Comics : Venom (Vol. 2) #6

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This story is part of an Arc: "Venom: Spider-Island"
     Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

This review was first published on: Oct 2011.

Background...

Last issue Mr. Thompson Senior was seemingly in his deathbed as Flash Thompson was inconveniently called to operation. Now with a heavy heart and many burdens to bear; Flash must suit up and prepare for the plague of Spider Island which kicked off officially in Amazing Spider-Man 666. It’s contagious.

In Detail...

"Spider-Island Part 1"
Venom (Vol. 2) #6
Oct 2011 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Venom meets Spider King
Arc: Part 1 of "Venom: Spider-Island"
Writer:  Rick Remender
Artist:  Tom Fowler
Cover Art:  John Rauch, Tony Moore
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  John Rauch
Executive Producer:  Alan Fine
Publisher:  Dan Buckley
Chief Creative Officer:  Joe Quesada
Editor In Chief:  Axel Alomso
Senior Editor:  Stephen Wacker
Associate Editor:  Tom Brennan
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Articles: Harrison Thompson

NYC, scene of mayhem. A giant monstrosity is marching towards the frontlines of the military border patrol for the city. Apparently lesser heroes(Is that Firestar in the background?) are being out matched by this Spider looking beast. Now, Gen Dodge wants to send in his top man (Flash) to apprehend this evil creature and bring him back to the lab/ for testing. Sound like a good plan? Well it soon proves to be a huge mistake. Flash takes on the beast in his Venom guise, while arguing with himself about almost missing out on his father’s death. He also admits that he wants to quit being Venom all together. Although the creature proves to be very formidable,He succeeds in knocking out the big ugly thing, with the help of a would be hero by the name of Gravity.

Back at the lab, ugly freak is being held in a containment capsule while the science tech puts in some guesswork. Here’s where the situation goes postal. The big spider monster spits out a ton of tiny spiders along with acid which dissolves the restraints and along with its’s own brute force, manages to burst through the glass container. Ironically,just before said incident, the science guy was proclaiming how nothing could ever break through the containment cell. ( I hope they got a warranty. ) So 8 legs is loose and out for blood, while the others search for safety. Meanwhile the symbiote ( removed from Flash) has been released and Flash regrets not being able to acquire it at the moment, due to the imminent danger. Oh no, looks like Sampson ( General Dodge’s dog ) is trapped by the creatures, that is until the symbiote draws near.

The situation becomes even more desperate, as gen. Dodge slips and knocks him self out. Flash comes up with a plan to sacrifice the building to contain the virus, but the mega monster breaks down their door. They bring out the shotguns and start unloading on it until, it knocks them down in one swiping motion. Flash is helpless at its feet, when suddenly Sampson ( remember the dog ? ) attacks the Man-Spider with it’s newly acquired symbiote powers. (Yes Venom dog makes his first uncanny appearance.) Venom dog gets thrown across the room. Flash takes advantage of the distraction and merges with the symbiote (completely off panel), delivering a fist to the face of the enemy. They wrestle with Flash gaining the advantage and about to make the kill when, Aaron ( the other guy in the room ) informs him that the creature is actually Steve Rogers aka Captain America.

Change of plans, as Flash decides to explode the wall and have it come crashing down on them, which it does causing a burst of flames. I don’t know why Flash makes it out ok and Captain Spider doesn’t, but in the next scene the creature is isolated and secured to the wall as Flash and his team plan their next move: infiltration.

Using Venom, Flash transforms himself into a visual representation of the creature and mentally prepares for further action, while setting aside any thoughts of his father. Back at the hospital, Betty hopes that Flash will show up.

In General...

The soap opera is put on hold so that Flash can battle a leading villain of the Spider Island saga, and supposedly one that holds the key to the origin of the virus. This feels like familiar ground, yet it has the framework of Spider Island to back it up.

I hate the idea that government actually wants to capture this creature and hold it for questioning. First of all, it doesn’t show any signs of intelligent communication it’s just repeating phrases. Secondly, why would anyone expect it to reveal some sort of intricate plan or critical information on the enemy? Lastly, if a creature is that hostile the reasonable thing to do is just put it down.

I also find it hard to believe that Flash’s football like moves do any real damage to the “Spider-King” ( not named in this issue but rather in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man ) I really like that Remender got better use out of the supporting cast this time, by including them in the danger. I was beginning to think they were just drones behind a terminal;.heck even the dog got some action this time.

Overall Rating...

At least better than last time. Admittedly I’m not a fan of this type story which is a mock horror / monster fest, but I do see the entertaining side to it; unfortunately the art doesn’t bring my imagination to life or inspire me with excitement. It’s choppy, high contrast and overly dark.

Granted the actions scenes are dynamic and it was fun seeing the symbiote merged with a dog, however it didn’t add much to the story. Likewise for the inclusion of Betty at the hospital with Mr. Thompson. It’s a plot thread that I was really hoping was finished, due to its lack of potential, but it is just being put on hold instead of having any sort of development; so it lingers like the smell of dead fish in the room. What’s the point of that?

What is this story really other than giant bug versus man with guns? This arc definitely raises the stakes but I can’t seem to get past the morbid nature, still I will stay in my seat for part 2 before I pass greater judgement.

Footnote...

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