Comics : Venom (Vol. 2) #10

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This story is part of an Arc: "Road Trip"
     Part 1

This review was first published on: Dec 2011.

Background...

On a mission to stop terrorism, agent Venom fought to defeat the criminal activities of a man know as Crime-Master and his evil henchman Jack O' Lantern. Their most recent encounter Venom vol. 2 4 ended rather abruptly and both sides were unsatisfied with the result. Now, Flash is about to be reminded that evil has a way of coming back to haunt you.

In Detail...

"A New Beginning"
Venom (Vol. 2) #10
Feb 2012 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Venom goes AWOL
Arc: Part 1 of "Road Trip"
Writer:  Rick Remender
Artist:  Angel Medina
Cover Art:  none, Tom Fowler
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: Jack O'Lantern VI

Flash Thompson is attending his father’s funeral when he gets a much unexpected visit from Jack O Lantern (wearing civilian clothes) who asks Flash for a favor. Along with Jack, Flash is escorted to the headquarters of the nefarious Crime-Master, who uses his knowledge of Flash’s secret identity (which he discovered in Venom vol. 2 2 as leverage to manipulate Flash into action. He gives Flash an ultimatum. Either he goes to Las Vegas to “take care of something” (vague & ambiguous), or...Crime-Master kills his family. Obviously Flash accepts and plans to get revenge later.

Meanwhile back at Project rebirth HQ, the building has been fully restored and is back in operation after it was incinerated back in Venom vol. 2 6 . Flash comments on how he still respects Captain America. When none other than the man in the red white and blue himself shows up at the base, the Cap has to deliver some bad news.

Unfortunately, project rebirth is being shutdown due to the potential danger of using the symbiote. Cap expects them all to cooperate yet, upon learning of this news, Flash runs off with the symbiote attached. Cap manages to track him down and alerts him to surrender, but of course Venom has a job to do and won’t let anyone stand in his way. Push comes to shove and both men end up brawling until a hard right hand from Venom sends Cap plunging backwards off a cliff. Realizing the severity of his action, Venom shoots a web line and swings from it to snag the Captain during his free fall. Venom tosses Cap back down ( from a much shorter falling distance ) and the next scene shows us the Captain walking to the base entrance, however once he gets inside, he is quickly informed that Venom has once again fled, this time riding off on Cap’s bike.

In General...

Blackmail is a powerful thing, not only does it make the victim feel helpless, but it can also ruin everything and everyone around them. Turning someone’s world upside down and making them into the bad guy is a truly evil and notorious act that is highly admirable from a villainous perspective. Only the most vile, resourceful, intelligent, and manipulative villains can pull this off, but when it’s accomplished, oh what devastation it brings.

Flash is really being used as pawn and a tool by Crime-Master and you can tell just how much it’s hurting his ego. Being put at odds with Captain America is nothing to sneeze at and I’m sure Cap doesn’t enjoy having to take down a fellow war veteran, an American soldier no less.

I like the level of conflict here, and I’m glad to see the plot getting back on track and growing wings so to say. Venom is now effectively a fugitive. This story has great potential.

Overall Rating...

Exciting stuff. I’m all for a good fight between two tough guys with conflicting motives. I find it a little unsettling that Venom gets the better of Cap so easily. In a way, Venom is fighting for the life of his girl and his family, so perhaps his punches would carry more conviction. It was a short but sweet confrontation.

I have to say, I don’t like how Captain America is disrespected by the scientist at the base. I find it hard to believe some one in the military can get away with being so sarcastic to the figure of American pride without getting the 2nd degree. Just read the way he brags about deleting all the important information and seemingly shoves the fact that Venom saved his life right in Cap’s face.

Another part I thought was a little absurd was how Betty takes kindly to Jack right away despite his shocking and repulsive appearance. She doesn’t seem to be effected by it in the least despite Jack not covering up his missing nose and scar tissue all around his eyes. All I can think of is that maybe Betty is used to seeing war scars, because there’s no way she can’t see that his nose is missing.

The art was just terrific, a nice change of scenery with the snow; although I still prefer the work of Caselli over Medina. So those are my only nit picks this time.

I’m anxious to see what trouble Venom will run into on the road, and what lies waiting for him in Vegas. This is going to be an interesting excursion, no doubt.

Footnote...

Just for reference info,Peter Parker and MJ make an insignificant and brief appearance together in this issue, at the funeral.

Also, be sure to catch Venom in the mini series Carnage USA # 4, coming soon.