Venom #6

 Title: Venom
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Paul Sebert (E-Mail)


"Seemingly having escaped from a mysterious research station near the Arctic, the alien being known as "Venom" took its bloody vendetta on to another secluded location: U.S. Radar Station "Christmastown."

During Venom's siege of the radar station, another mysterious entity emerged: "The Suit," a sentient, self-regenerating being who is fiercely determined to isolate and destroy Venom. Ultimately, The Suit failed and Venom escaped. Leaving only a single survivor: Lieutenant Patricia Robertson.

Venom now knows it's being pursued. Before, it had wanted only to escape and feed -- now, it knows that it must hide. The element of surprise has been lost and The Suit must now chase Venom down before it reaches civilization and becomes impossible to isolate.

Venom is on the run--but is it running away...

... or toward something?"

God I love these "Previously" pages.

Story Details

  Venom #6
Arc: Part 1 of 'Run' (1-2-3-4-5)
Editor: John Miesegaes
Writer: Daniel Way
Pencils: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Articles: Venom

New artists, new arc, shiny metallic ink cover, yep it's the beginning of a new era for Venom. So I guess I'll give Daniel Way another chance to impress me.

Our issue begins with The Suit politely giving the thankfully not-dead Patricia Robertson a piggy-back ride. Our heroine groggily wakes up, obviously startled by her predicament.

"Oh my god, I just had this horrible nightmare." She says. "I was trapped in this awful knockoff of John Carpenter's The Thing, and that creature that attacked us suddenly got a good guy complex and started calling himself a protector of innocents. And there were all these other symbiotes, like every color of the rainbow, and the black one latched itself on Eddie Brock's ex-wife and gave her D-Cup sized breasts..."

Ok... so I made that last part up but I just couldn't resist. Anyway Robertson's really confused and needless to say not particularly happy with the situation as The Suit once again explains the urgency of having to destroy Venom before it reaches civilization. An argument between the two ensues as Robertson is understandably irate at the fact that Suit kinda shot her with I will from hereon out refer to as Deus Ex Nokia (Or DeN for short.) She erupts yelling at him demanding that they contact the superiors to deal with the monster, but her complaints fall on deaf ears as The Suit replies by simply FZZAAAKING-ing her unconscious yet again with a DeN blast.. Does the N-Gage come with this feature?

Mr. Suit recovers Robertson's unconscious body along with a can of rations that she had thrown to the ground in the ensuing debate. After fiddling with his cell phone a bit, a text message appears on it reading "Target Located" appears. He continues to press forward before finding a dead sled dog, a few steps later he then stumbles onto a mess of dead huskies along with a an ink-black owl webbed to a tree in a mess of inky black gunk. Upon finding some bear hair sticking to the gunk, he scans it with his Deus Ex Nokia studying if said bear is Venom's next host, completely oblivious to the fact that said bear is right behind him and quite angry. Deus ex Nokia informs Suit that the bear is not a threat... well no more of a threat than any other 800 pound angry grizzly bear. Suit scares off the bear with a DeN zap.

An inky black crow (are they found this far north) apparently dripping with goo watches over the scene as a loud "VVVVMMMMMMM" sound can be heard. Wow between this and the growling bear, Robertson is a really sound sleeper. Deus ex Nokia demonstrates another handy feature as The Suit uses it to momentarily turn the two invisible as we see a huge purple spaceship, or perhaps a newfangled SHIELD hovercarrier of some sorts VVVVVMMMing it's way through the sky.

We cut away into the space ship to see two mysterious women hidden in shadow talking.

"Nope... negative contact."

"No big deal."

"We'll find it sooner or later."

"It's not like we don't know where it's going..."

Meanwhile Suit and Robertson de-cloak prompting Suit to speed-dial well, whoever it is he's been talking to all this time. He informs his employer that "the situation has been complicated" and "there are others now searching for the creature." How Suit is able to know all this by just seeing a spaceship fly by, I don't know, but I doubt it's two occupants are just seeing the sites.

"...Yes I understand. We will reach the settlement before dawn. I fear that the creature will have already become entrenched by then though." He says. "...Yes I have a contingency plan." He says looking over at Robertson, as ominous music cues up in my head. Cripes The Suit waffles on the "I'm a good guy, no wait I'm a bad guy" issue more than Zeches Marquise in Gundam Wing.

We then fade in at night to see a reasonably large wooden lodge. A Canadian redneck by the name of Clem walks on the door, and is let in, oblivious to dead bird covered in black good laying in the snow outside.

"I hope you fellas brought plenty o' money 'cuz I'm feelin' lucky toight!"l Clem says tells an older redneck poker buddy with mutton-chop sideburns.

"Well if that's your poker-face, I think you might be in for some disappointment." The unnamed redneck replies.

Clem asks where everyone is, and the rather sinister looking redneck friend replies that "they're all in the back." Clem wants to know if they started the game without him, but the nameless redneck guy says they wouldn't do that. "You're the life of the party!"

The door is opened and Clem's jaw drops about 3 feet as he finds tow of his poker buddies dead, the walls smeared in Venom slime... or possibly PSR-rated blood. "Hey Clem..." a sinister black wiggly speech balloon says.

Clem turns around to see an eight-foot tall, really irate looking Venom "You still feelin' lucky?" The unlucky Canuck tries to run for the hills, but manages to trip over... "C'mon Clem... I know you've got one good scream in you." Clem does indeed have a good scream in him.

We flash forward to see the now Venom-possessed Clem starting up a snowmobile and heading towards town.

"A full tank of gas, a beautiful evening... Let's go paint the town red."

Elsewhere two strangers, show up at Bob's Bar. The friendly bartender offerl them a scotch, but speaking in unison they only want water. One of the strangers asks how many people live in this settlement. The Bartender estimates the local population to be in the 100-150 range. "Mostly loggers an' pipeline workers. Ain't exactly the kinda place to raise a family, y'know."

Another voice interrupts this local color. "You two ain't from around here, are ya?"

The strangers are revealed to be the two women we saw on the spaceship/hellicarier earlier, completely identical aside from the fact that one has blond hair, and the other has red hair. They respond in stereo. "How'd you guess?"

A turn of the page, and the person talking to them is none-other than our good old friend James "Logan" Howlette AKA Wolverine. "I just know these things." Logan says with a wry smile.

General Comments

Whew... After the incredibly anti-climatic frustrating yawn-fest that was the finale of "Shiver," the opening chapter of "Run" manages to hit a number of right notes, as this story reintroduces us to the surviving players from Shiver, adds a couple of wildcard characters into the mix, and leaves Wolverine in the middle.

The best thing about the issue however must be Paco Medina's (Captain Marvel, Suicide Squad) art, which has a very nice cartoony mix of Eastern and Western artistic influences and calls to mind Studio Udon's work on Deadpool, Agent X, and Sentinel.

And on a side note, for those wondering what happened to previous artist Fransisco Herrera is up to, he's now doing a book called "KMKZ: Kamikaze" that I actually like strangely enough. But that's another story for another day.

Overall Rating

A good opening issue of what will hopefully be a good arc, but after a number of people were burned by the initial arc and Marvel's support of the Tsunami line in question will it be too little, too late?

 Title: Venom
 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Paul Sebert (E-Mail)