Last issue, Spider-Man tangled with Venom. But when Venom got the upper hand and Spidey asked to speak to Eddie Brock, Venom told Spidey that it was no longer joined to Brock...
We pick up where we left off last issue, with Spider-Man and Venom locked in combat in a subway tunnel. Spidey is just trying to escape Venom's clutches, but the symbiote stays right on him, clinging to him at every turn. But Spidey manages to drop Venom in front of a subway train, which takes care of the symbiote for now. Meanwhile in Greenwich Village, the police officer from last issue, Detective Garrett is investigating another attack by the "Vampire". Garrett's captain arrives on the scene and informs Garrett that all of victims of the "Vampire" are being treated for cancer, and Garrett tries to figure out why.
Spider-Man arrives home and briefly talks to a dog across the street, before sneaking past a slumbering Big John Anderson on the roof. He changes back to his Peter Parker clothes and heads down to his apartment, and on the way he tries to greet a neighbour who again slams the door in his face. Meanwhile at Eddie Brock's house, the Venom symbiote is again lurking.
The next day, Spider-Man makes short work of a guy robbing a convenience store, all the while mysteriously sensing someone else. That someone else is Eddie Brock, who also senses Spidey. Brock is once again possessed by the Venom symbiote, and standing on the edge of a rooftop, when the symbiote makes him through himself off. The fear of the fall makes Brock produce an adrenaline rush that the symbiote feeds off, and once the symbiote is strengthened, it envelops Brock completely, saving him from the fall, and Brock and the symbiote are joined again.
Over at St. Mark's Hospital, Liz Osborn talks to Aunt May as Liz wrestles with what to do about Flash Thompson's situation. Flash is severely brain-damaged, and Liz frets that she won't have the time to properly care for him, but Aunt May comes up with an idea.
A few nights later in Greenwich Village, Spider-Man tracks down Detective Garrett. Spidey and Garrett trade information: Spidey tells him that the "Vampire" is actually Venom, and Garrett reveals that Venom has been sucking adrenaline out of his victims. And from this, Spidey deduces that Eddie Brock is not involved and that the Venom symbiote is actually looking for a new host...
Was that Barker? Y'know, that dog that Spidey was talking to? I can't really think of any other dogs that Spidey would talk to... but on the other hand, that dog didn't look much like Barker. In fact, it looked downright mean, whereas Barker usually just looked vaguely irritated. So. until I receive confirmation, Barker Watch 2003 will continue.
Anyway, as for the rest of this issue, this one's almost as good as the first. Paul Jenkins' story is again quite good, particularly the creepy scene where Venom makes Brock jump off the building. It's also good to see that Jenkins continues to develop the Flash Thompson subplot. I was somewhat disappointed to see the mystery from last issue basically solved already, but the pay-off, with Venom as vampire, was quite effective. And the art, by Humberto Ramos and Wayne Faucher, is once again very nice in this issue.
Not quite as good as the first issue, but still pretty good. Three and a half webs.