Here we go again, same bad-time, same bad-channel.
Befpre this: A bunch of stuff happened, and it didn't make any sense. Spider-Man got caught in a fight between the two Venom creatures, and was batted aside. Robertson fled to the sewers to hide her symbiote. Eddie went into the sewer to merge with Robertson, and the Suit, "delayed" by something or other, shot them with the Ultimate Nokia-fier (Deus ex Nokia was better, but I'm trying to forge my own jokes here, people, so bear with me). So, Spider-Man wants to save Eddie, who has his own ideas with Robertson, who in turn has HER own plan of escaping civilization and killing the symbiotes, while Bob and the Micro MachinesTM seem to have an iron grip on the United States government (or something, they control Nick Fury now), and the Suit either is or isn't with Bob, or maybe he IS Bob, they're the same species and they take on many different appearances, that's all I know. It makes absolutely no sense. The best explanation I can offer is that this title thus far has been like watching a bizarre combination of The Thing, Starship Troopers, and Monty Python's the Meaning of Life, with everything that implies. I wonder where that fish did go...
So, here we are again, another Vic-clone is walking the streets looking for Frankie. Suddenly, the disillusioned Frankie-clone from issue #10 arrives, having torn out her implants (the cerebral ones, not the other ones), explaining to Vic that Bob says they are all clones and completely expendable. Vic asks what that was all about - and gets a bullet in the head Same old, same old. There's a cool looking rat on page 3 that looks way too excited to be sniffing Vic's body. Frankie stuffs Vic's body in a corner, and has a moment of teary silence for her deceased partner in lesbian-mecha-anime-symbiote warfare. Bob calls for Vic on the headset, and Frankie responds that Vic's dead. Bob asks why she doesn't sound like herself, but Frankie merely crushes the headset. She walks to a manhole, using the Venom-tracking device, and announces her intentions (to us, not Bob) that she's going to kill Bob's precious baby. Nothing stupid happened yet... not bad.
Robertson is cowering naked in the sewer, with pieces of her Venom symbiote covering her naughty bits. Which brings me to ask the question: Why does everyone else with a symbiote have clothing on? Anyway, she asks Mr. Suit what is happening. This'll be good. Suit says that the device that was implanted in her brain which was used to control the alien creature has been deactivated and depowered, and that Robertson's own willpower is the only thing left keeping the symbiote in check. He recommends, rather obviously, that she avoid human contact. Robertson begs for Mr. Suit to fix it, as the symbiote begins emerging slowly, so that her mouth is full of razor-like teeth, but still looks human. Suit says that he can't do it - it isn't defective, it has been disengaged by the source. He says that she should not have come to New York. Cause there's lotsa peoples in New York, hyuk! One of the little mechanical bugs steps out onto Suit's lip, and says that there's something Robertson should know - there are several billion others like him out there. Apparently, many years ago, they arrived on Earth to aid in the mass extermination of humanity, and the plan was going well, but just before it was activated, they learned that they were under the control of a single being's agenda. Suit continues that they are a sentient and benevolent race (then why did they try to kill us all?), and withdrew when they were made aware of the intentions of the people who wanted Earth cleansed. However, It now seems that some were left behind. Suit tells her to walk down the tunnel so that they may talk more.
Ladies and gentlemen, something strange and almost wonderful just happened: 15 issues worth of plot-holes, bizarre happenings, and mystery was almost completely cleaned up in just 3 pages. Allow me to elaborate.
That just leaves the matter of Wolverine getting his shirt blown of by a nuclear missile, while his body and pants remained intact.
Now, that Spider-Man character seems to still care enough about Eddie to want to save his life. He swings around the area, looking for Venom, wondering if he should go to the bathroom or something, as Venom always seems to catch him with his pants down anyway. Of course, this means Venom's right behind him. This scene seems ripped directly from the Spider-Man video game for PlayStation, which oddly enough, I was just playing. Anyway, Eddie starts beating Parker, demanding to know about the guy with the cell-phone and suit, who's there to do Peter's dirty work because he's too much of a pansy. The Parker lad says that he doesn't have a clue about him. Venom accuses him of lying, and throws him through a window. He demands to know what Parker DOES know. Spider-Man says that Eddie needs to get out of town so they can figure out what Venom is better off doing. Venom grabs him by the neck again, and Spidey lets him know that the other symbiote is trying to kill him. Venom laughs and grins, telling Parker that he doesn't know anything (other than how to land a super-model wife with a part time job). Peter finally snaps at Eddie's arrogance, and beats him senseless. He tells Eddie to get out of town now, as he's trying to do the right thing by saving him. Venom asks "or what? You'll kill us?" Peter stares at Venom, and says he's too much of a pansy - someone else can do his dirty work. Spider-Man walks away, fed up with Venom's ignorance. This is actually a good scene. Too bad I still hate the art. Seriously, I believe that Skottie Young is only imitating Humberto Ramos, which is odd, as it is a very divisive style among fans - that is to say that people either really like it or really hate it. I hate it.
Back below the city, in the crystal-clear sewers (New Yorkers pee mineral water!), The Suit is leading Robertson away from "potential hosts." Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but if Robertson is only controlling the symbiote with willpower, how is she still intact? After all, all those people in issues 1-10 seemed to be digested by the symbiote in a big hurry. She asks who the being in charge of the extermination plot was, and Suit says that he does not know - but the plan was to eradicate all life on the planet, for recolonization purposes. He says that they are a very communal species, and they share everything. It is almost definite that the being in charge is dead, as several generations have passed since the plan was hatched. However, cut off from the other members of the race, they would not get the message to discontinue the extermination plot, and would see it through - though the mechanical people would die shortly after being abandoned. Still following me? It's quite long-winded, but it's tying the plot up in a neat little bundle, so keep following... Suit continues that the plan is still moving forward, now under the guidance of a mutated form of the species. Robertson begins to morph into Venom, losing control. Suit says that this creature was patterned after one already existing on the planet. However, it is slightly modified. Before he can continue, Robertson asks why they would create this monster, if they intended to recolonize the world. Frankie answers from behind (in almost every issue of this series, someone appears on the last page for a twist ending... it's getting stupid) that it wasn't created to be a part of the new world, it was created to eradicate the old one.
...A-fish-fish, fishy... oh! While this is hardly an excellent comic book, Way somehow managed to tie up most of 15 issues worth of problems by FINALLY starting to explain the plot. I still can't stand Young's artwork, as it seems like a rip-off more than anything, but the story definitely took a sharp turn upwards. The relationship between Peter and Eddie was actually treated... dare I say it? Poignantly. Peter will always try to do the right thing, while Eddie never believes him. Peter seems fed up... but judging by the covers for the last two issues, he'll be back for more action than you can shake a web at! I'm sure not condoning keeping the reader in the dark about absolutely everything the way Daniel Way has until this issue, but I have to face the facts - this was actually a pretty solid issue.
Oddly enough, lightning struck the power lines outside the house as I put the rating down - 3.5 webs, not excellent, but pretty good, all things considered. Since this issue receives the title's first good rating, I won't go into it's flaws in any more detail, suffice it to say that there are FAR fewer than the last 15. So why do I feel so dirty about giving a good rating to an issue of Venom?
Oh well... the only things left to clear up in this title now are A) Stop the extermination from ever happening, and B) Find out who is the cause of it. Please, please don't let it turn out to be Suit. I don't think my head can handle another ridiculous plot shift.