Comics : Venom (Vol. 2) #8

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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: Nov 2011.

Background...

The horror of Spider-Island has obligated special agent Venom to bring safety to an otherwise chaotic city. Upon securing an anti venom, Flash returned just in time to hear his father’s final words, but will it be motivation enough to carry him through a deadly battle with the Queen ?

In Detail...

"Spider-Island Part 3"
Venom (Vol. 2) #8
Dec 2011 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Venom Battles Queen
Arc: Part 3 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: Queen

Back at the lab where a mutated Captain America is being detained, orders come through from Mr. Fantastic to administer the cure and restore the Captain to his true form, but there are still doubts it won’t kill him.

Over at a Manhattan hospital, Flash receives a letter from Betty, written by his father, but before he has a chance to read it, assassination orders come though. The mission is simple; eliminate the Queen, yet explaining things to Betty takes some creativity. Flash tells her that he has to go and find an evacuation route, yet he leaves her with a handgun for protection.

Deep below central park, the one woman responsible for the spider pandemic anticipates her opposition. The Queen demonstrates her authority by tormenting 1 of her last remaining spider underlings; meanwhile Venom sneaks up behind her and fires his gun. Using her telekinetic power, the Queen stops the bullet in mid air. The Queen pulls the gun from Venom’s grasp and uses it to off her poor servant, then immediately grabs Venom by the throat and tosses him into a flaming junk pile, then proceeds to kick his ass, all the while telling him her back-story. Her sonic scream rips the symbiote off Flash’s body, as she lifts him off the ground holding him by the throat and describes her master plan to eradicate all governments.

Subtext from Mr. Thompson’s letter to Flash is over layed on these panels, describing how proud he was of his son. Sadly, Flash never got to read this letter as it falls into a flaming pile of debris.

Flash manages to escape from her clutches only to be attacked by a ferocious mutant spider. Catching her off guard, Flash webs the Queen’s mouth and follows up with a massive symbiotic formed claw that knocks the Queen to the ground. However the Queen soon retaliates and Venom finds himself on his back being pulverized. Just when it looks like all hope is lost and Venom will see his final moments, the good ol’ captain saves the day. Captain America delivers a shield bash to the face of the queen and she counters with a barrage of giant rocks being flung his direction. They proceed to go blow for blow truly laying the smackdown on each other until the queen gains the upper hand. Venom takes the perfect opportunity and shoves Cap’s shield directly into the Queens spine sending her toppling over. Before Cap and Venom have a chance to get acquainted, the Queen sprouts into a humongous mutant spider monstrosity.

In General...

All hail the Queen. I have to say I am impressed with her level of power and killer instinct. It’s really cool to have such a female character that really wants to kick everyone’s ass and actually do it herself. She beats the holy hell out of both Venom and Captain America. I quite like all the action and violence in this issue, I feel like it was really needed to close out the epic of Spider Island.

Overall Rating...

Everything else falls by the way side. I like that Venom was actually the 1st person to get his hands on the Queen. I also liked seeing Cap and Venom save each other. The Queen certainly has a sense of sex appeal about her. The final page with the queen in all her nude, full bodied glory was eye catching and probably not what you’re thinking unless you’ve actually seen it. Still it makes me wish the artist was more talented. This story was very straightforward and hard hitting, that’s what I liked about it so much.

So there you have it, in my opinion the best Venom issue so far, and Peter Parker was nowhere to bee seen. So it just goes to show that Venom can be more than a spin off villain or a supporting character. It will be very interesting to see where the series goes from here, there is a lot of potential with rumors of Venom becoming part of the Avengers, other symbiote’s floating around in the marvel universe, and most importantly, settling the score with Jack O Lantern and his boss. The least of which is the melodramatic relationship with Betty. Will Betty show any more signs of dementia regarding her dead mom? I’m surprised she hasn’t mentioned it yet. Perhaps the author isn’t familiar with her episodes of insanity.

So to recap; great action, no major plot holes, good pacing, nice characterization, and decent art make this well worth it.