Venom has always been a cherished member of the Spider-Man mythos, partly because it’s a cool concept; but let’s face it, mostly because he’s super cool to look at. Last month Venom got to go toe to toe with the Superior version of Spider-Man and got his ass handed to him. How does he get out of this pickle this issue, and is it good?
Superior Spider-Man #23 (Marvel Comics)
Missed our review of issue #22? Check it out here.
Since Doc Ock took over Spider-Man’s body he had to erase his memories which hasn’t caused him much trouble yet…until now. He doesn’t remember Flash or much of his battles with Venom, but luckily his intellect can get around the Venom part. This issue opens with Venom escaping from Spidey with plenty of tangent storyline updates. As per usual, with this series you’ll need to have read at least the last few issues to to be fully invested in the storylines as writer Dan Slott is weaving quite a web out of this series.
Starting to talk a little more evil, eh?
This issue has some good moments, particularly with Aunt May and her husband as she gets treatment at Parker Industries for her legs. This mirrors a moment Flash has for his own legs later and there’s an interesting correlation. You see, Peter uses the tech to save Aunt May’s legs and doesn’t even show up, but when it means potentially ending Venom for good he’s right there salivating over his plan. Doc Ock was all about the master plans, so it’s a nice touch to see Slott showing off an inadvertent nod to his personality. The story of Venom also progresses nicely and it’ll be interesting to see how it comes full circle next issue. Once again, SpOck’s arrogance gets the better of him.
The ancillary stories progress just enough to spark interest too. Green Goblin gets a moment—and not shoved on the last page for once—which progresses the Carly story to pique your interest. J.J. also makes a decision that is surprising considering his relationship to the Spider Slayers, but it’s clear Slott is building up the enemies for Spider-Man. Early on he has pointed out he can do this all on his own and I think Slott is showing us one of the strongest aspects of the true Spider-Man was his ability to call on friends; something Doc Ock wasn’t very good at.
Humberto Ramos is on art and he has a bit more to work with than last issue. The balance and pace between stories works rather well this go around, where as last issue felt fast and stifled. His fluid lines always add an interesting dimension to Venom as well.
I wonder why…
- Great pacing between storylines
- Strong art
- Newbies will be lost, lost I say!
Is It Good?
After the horrendous Spider-Man 2099 arc this series seems to be back on track. It’s a fantastic serial that’s been running a ton of storylines at once for ages. There’s nothing quite like it out there which makes it that much more great, but of course, if you aren’t following a serialized story you’ll be lost without picking up at least a few back issues.