This arc is a prequel to "Shiver" and "Run".
This issue opens up as we see Vic and Frankie (well two of them anyway) watching the newly duplicated Venom symbiote through a glass window in the New Mexico lab. Things seem to be going very slowly as Venom 2.0 only comes out to gobble up a hapless victim in the cell. Vic (or is it Frankie?) theorizes that the creature was initially driven out of hiding due to hunger, but now at this point attacks whenever a potential host is present, preferring to kill rather than eat it's victims.
Frankie presses a button which fills the chamber "weaponized corrosive acid" that washes away any messy human remains, and yet leaves the symbiote unharmed. Can someone explain to me the point of "corrosive" acid? Isn't acid by definition corrosive? What kind of acid is there?
Vic explains that "this was a pretty hands-off case, and that the tongue she was given has a mind of it's own." She's talking about Venom's tongue from last issue, get your head out of the gutter. "This thing wanted to be born.. as quickly as possible. They grow up so fast..."
The symbiote peers out at the girls through the glass as Dr. Bob The Kingpin Mario II walks into the room. Bob suggests introducing the creature to two hosts at the same time, and he wants to watch. Must not be anything good on TV at the moment.
Potential victim number one is Eric Moody, a prisoner who killed six people and volunteered to take part of a drug-testing program in hopes of getting a shorter sentence, or maybe a good high. Potential host number two is Alfonse Polna, a senile old psyche ward inmate who Dr. Bob describes as "severe nervous disorder" coupled with debilitating paranoia." As opposed to non-debilitating paranoia?
The two are locked into the same room with Venom and the wackyness begins. Polna seems to have a heart-attack just at the site of the symbiote while Moody tries to fight off the creature with his bare hands. Yeah that'll work. Without warning the symbiote suddenly disappears.
"Izzat all you got fo' me?" Moody asks "I'm a strait killa yo! I done tougher fiths in--"
"The library" Polna says interrupting. Polna tells a heart-warming story of how Moody got his salad tossed in a prison library before getting revealing himself to be Venom 2.0's new host and then proceeding to finish the punk off. You realize for this scene to make a lick of sense, the cloned symbiote must have known this story ahead of time.
"It's ready," Dr. Bob says, flashing a mischievous grinch-like grin with his mustache.
Frankie insists that this is behavior is unexpected and that more research needs to be done, but Bob says that they have learned an incredible amount of information in a short amount of time. "Besides we want it to be hungry." Vick and Frankie debate the wisdom of this for a page, but ultimately decide that Bob must know what he's doing.
We cut back to Manhattan at Evil Co. where Bob I (the one in a business suit) is talking to Dr. Bob II over a video phone. Bob I informs Bob II that within an hour a team will be arriving within an hour to transport the specimen to the arctic lab. He also asks Dr. Bob to put on a suit. Bob the Kingpin Mario II opens his mouth wide open as if screaming and suddenly dozens of little nano-bots crawl out, causing his lab coat to change into a business suit. Daniel Way meanwhile holds up a Wile E. Coyote-esc sign that reads "foreshadowing" in the background.
Back at Four Freedoms Plaza Mr. Fantastic is studying some nano-bots of his own, which are now crawling all over the now-immobilized original Venom symbiote. Sue Storm points out that while Reed is in a scientific state of nirvana, she's become a rather lonely woman. You know if she went ahead and married Namor back in the silver age, that symbiote would be tossed in an undersea volcano finished off once and for all while those nano-bots would be marching to conquer the surface world.
Reed apologizes and just as Sue is pointing out that she understands this is important work, the conversation is cut short by an incoming voice message. "S.H.E.I.L.D is here to take Brock and the symbiote to the vault." Reed's jaw drops about six feet as sitcom style canned laughter cues up.
Nick Fury shows up, apologizing for interrupting this piece of conversation. As Reed leads him down the hallway, pointing out that Brock has a growth in the frontal lobe of his brain. "He's got cancer? Good." Nick Fury replies. See that's what I like about Fury, he's a jackbooted thug, but a compassionate jackbooted thug. Reed meanwhile isn't completely sure the growth is cancer, yet, but could explain his perpetually inconsistent characterization.
"I don't care-- that stuff's for shrinks an' doctors to worry about, not soldiers. There's nothing' wrong with Brock that a forty-five caliber injection to the back of the head won't fix." Fury says. I think there's nothing wrong with this book that a cancellation notice
"You have a very crass demeanor toward your fellow man fury." Sue Storm says. "Women too." Nick responds before turning to take notice of the symbiote in a glass tube. "But aliens? I just plain hate 'em." Please enjoy Mr. Fury's guest appearance ladies and gentlemen, it's the only amusing thing in this issue.
Reed explains as to how he's been using these nano-bots to conduct research on the symbiote. Fury asks him to take them out of the tube, and Sue storm obliges. He then asks if Reed made these critters, to which point Reed explains that they made themselves, after he found one attached to the hull of their space ship returning from an intergalactic mission, and that they have since multiplied. Fury pretends to give a hoot as his men prepare to transport the symbiote. Reed asks agent Hauser to keep a close eye on Brock. As the symbiote is loaded up onto a helicopter and flown away. We see that Fury has managed to sneak away a nano-bot, or perhaps the nano-bot itself decided sneak away with Fury.
We cut away to S.H.I.E.L.D's Research facility 409. I wonder if that's where they discovered Formula 409. One of the scientists there laments that they won't be able to study the creature in-depth, as they can only keep the thing in the lab for 48 hours before transferring it maximum security. The scientist also bemoans the lack of viable scientific information on the creature. Fury has a plan to change all that as he displays his little nano-bot friend. "Where did it come from?" The scientist asks. "From my pocket" Fury explains. "But... how do you know that it--" the scientist protests. "Because it told me." "How?" The scientist asks. "It called me." Reed says holding up his cell phone, possibly the future Deus ex Nokia.
Back in New Mexico, Bob II wearing his evil suit and tie explains to Vic and Frankie his evil plan to send the symbiote to the arctic base, and to immediately destroy all information on file about the symbiote, and then send the scientists up in the arctic a report which is both incomplete and riddled with disinformation. For no real reason other than nastiness. He then leaves to complete the next part of his scheme, which involves extracting an important component from a very protected environment. He then assures both Vic and Frankie that the next part of his plot doesn't involve them before meeting up with Perry, the weasely survivor of the massacre in issue one. "I am quite interested in what your findings will be..." Bob II says as we fade out to a Got Milk ad on our last page.
Anyone else have a hunch as to where this is heading?
Let's not confuse complexity with depth. One web.