Toxin #6

 Title: Toxin
 Posted: 2005


Toxin has already dealt with King Cobra, the Wrecker and the Piledriver and now he has to set his sights on Razor Fist, a sick, sword-for-hands nut-case who is using New York's children to insight fear and panic in the community. Razor Fist is holding the city for ransom saying that if he doesn't get an undisclosed amount of money then he will turn one Saturday into a 'Slasherday', massacring as many as he possibly can. Before pulling off his Saturday slash-fest, Razor Fist, learning of Pat Mulligan's address, goes there to wait in ambush for him, only to discover Pat's father Jimmy instead.

Story 'The Razor's Edge'

  Toxin #6
Summary: Razor-Fist (Spider-Man Appears)
Arc: Part 6 of '6' (1-2-3-4-5-6)
Editor: Jennifer Lee
Writer: Peter Milligan
Pencils: Darick Robertson
Inker: Rodney Ramos
Articles: Toxin

Pat makes his way back to his apartment only to find Razor Fist roughing up his father, who did try hard to fight back. Toxin springs into action knocking Razor Fist out the window and falls on top of him, smashing him into a parked car. Apparently, this doesn't even phase Razor Fist and he picks himself up and runs away. Toxin wants to follow him but Pat makes them go back inside to check on his father, only to find he's too late.

At the funeral Pat hides back in the shadows afraid to show his own face but Gina recognizes him and confronts him, yelling and then spitting in his face. Instead of explaining why he left, or disguising himself in the first place, Pat runs away crying without so much as a glance back at his wife. With his father dead, finally Razor Fist has given Pat reason enough to finally go after him.

Later that night we find Razor Fist on some rooftops making another video to send into the media. The New York public doesn't really scare that easily and only pays a grand total of $35.10 to the 'Slasherday' fund, enraging Razor Fist. Meanwhile Pat makes his way to the hospital where they are treating Officer Meadows, who is cut up pretty badly. Meadows confesses that it was him who told Razor Fist where he could find Pat.

Toxin is now infuriated and wants to violently dispatch Razor Fist, but Pat tries to calm it down, saying that they must be above the criminals. Later Pat meets up with Spider-Man on the roof and apologizes for letting Razor Fist get away. Spider replies that in the same situation he would have checked on his loved ones as well. Pat admits to Spidey that he is afraid that when he meets up with Razor Fist that he won't be able to hold himself back, and if he should cross that line then he wants Spider-Man to throw him in Ryker's.

Razor Fist and crew are busy making their video to send to the authorities but it appears that the 'film-maker' and Razor Fist do not see eye-to-eye. The 'film-maker' believe that they don't need to kill everyone, that she can make it appear on film that they do, whereas Razor Fist doesn't really believe in letting anyone go. Just as Razor Fist is about to slash into her, Toxin, from out of the shadows, grabs his raised hand, um, sword and stops him.

After a pretty quick battle with Toxin merely removing the attached swords form Razor Fist, leaving him without his weapons, Razor Fist falls on his knees in front of Toxin, beaten with his arms ending at his wrists. Toxin reveals part of Razor Fist's origin that he learned from one of Razor Fists old members, that Razor Fist lost his hands in some kind of accident and was fitted with prosthetic arms only to have them removed so that he could attach these swords instead.

Not feeling like he was strong enough for Ryker's, Razor Fist taunts Toxin trying to get him to finish the job, where we see Spider-Man hiding in the shadows ready to stop Toxin if he should go too far. Spidey really isn't needed because Pat gets a hold of his emotions and doesn't kill him.

Wrapping up the story, Spider-Man meets up with Pat where they affirm that Razor Fist is safely in custody with new prosthetic hands and most of the children who made up his gang are back at home or are being taken care of. The very last page we find Pat has met up with Gina in a restaurant where he finally reveals to her why it is that he left. Her response, she screams.

General Comments

There were a number of weak plot moments throughout this issue as well as the rest of the series. After finding his father dead back in his apartment, I don't see why Toxin didn't immediately go after Razor Fist and deal with him right away. He was on foot and it's not like Toxin, who can swing through the city just like Spider-Man, couldn't find him pretty easily.

At the funeral for his father, I don't see why he felt he had to hide from everyone. The one person that I know he needed to stay away from, Gina, saw him anyway. And even though he felt he needed to not be seen, why not use Toxin to disguise himself as anyone else, that way no one could possibly identify him, plus he could actually go to the funeral instead of watching it from a not-so-safe distance.

One part of the story that didn't match up with me was that Pat immediately knew that it was Meadows who must have told his father, Jimmy, where he could find him. But when Razor Fist gets his address it doesn't pop into his mind for one second that it was Meadows again giving out his location. It took Meadows himself to confess to Pat that Razor Fist got his address from him, surprising Pat with this information. Come on. One person gets his address, it must have been Meadows who told, another guy gets his address and he has no idea how he figured out where he lives.

At the end the battle between Toxin and Razor Fist, with Spider-Man watching from the shadows to make sure Toxin didn't kill him, wasn't anything too exciting. Toxin pretty much pulled the prosthetic swords off him and that was it. Plus I don't really believe the whole 'Spider-Man as a mentor, testing Toxin to see if he can handle himself or not' theme. With the number of people who were murdered by Razor Fist and his gang, Spider-Man would have immediately put a stop to him instead of letting Toxin struggle to see if he could handle himself, wasting time and more lives. It just doesn't hold true to Spider-Man's character.

Overall Rating

I feel this story could have been better but with all the really weak points throughout it and the lame super villain (I really shouldn't call him super anything), it just falls short and should be grouped with all the other horrible symbiote mini-series. The main problem I had with the super villain in this series was that he wasn't anything special. Ok, he had swords for hands, big deal. He wasn't super strong or anything, he just lost his hands in an accident and placed swords where prosthetics should have been. If Toxin took on King Cobra and both the Wrecker and the Piledriver at the same time, the main villain should be more of a challenge then other bad guys who barely took up five pages in one of the earlier issues.

On top of the weak villain, the story instead wasn't thought out very well. It seemed like some parts were drawn out, like the issue with the Wrecking Crew, where razor Fist doesn't even show up in that one at all, to issues like this one were everything is rushed it get it all in in the amount of pages left. It felt like instead of sitting down and thinking out each issue as part of a large story, the writer focused on one issue at a time, which disrupted the rhythm of the story.

All in all I would say save your money and your time and leave this series in the bargain bin at your comic shop. Plus, if you wait a few years you can probably buy it at a greatly reduced price if you really feel like you need it. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

 Title: Toxin
 Posted: 2005