“Venom Inc.” continues this week in Amazing Spider-Man after kickstarting from a title by the same name and it hosts multiple symbiotes, Venom, Anti-Venom and Spidey! Sounds like a fun party, but is it good?
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Dan Slott and Mike Costa are weaving a Venom tale of their own after Cullen Bunn and Iban Coello did their Venomverse line. Is that too much Venom in a calendar year? If you’re a kid from the 90’s, the answer is hell no!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is very much Flash and Spidey’s issue.
This issue picks up immediately after Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha #1, wrapping up the conflict that had Anti-Venom choking Eddie Brock and his symbiote as Spider-Man watches. Brock fans are going to need to wait another issue, because this issue is all about Anti-Venom aka Flash Thompson going on an adventure with Spider-Man. The two bond, joke (just Spidey really) and set their sights on stopping Maniac and his quest to build a Symbiote army.
The best element of this issue is Flash and Spider-Man hanging out. There are some definite nostalgic vibes when it comes to Spider-Man’s dialogue as he cracks wise and continues to play dumb about his secret identity. It’s also very creepy how Flash treats the Symbiote like a long lost pet. It’s fun to see these two team up in part because Spider-Man has so much respect for Flash, but also because Flash’s headspace has completely done a 180 now that he’s a hero again.
And with heroes you need villains, who get an ample amount of page time here. Their plans are rather simplistic and of a ’90s variety. Amass power, do bad things, take out mob bosses. You know the drill. The cliffhanger has that ’90s feel too because it reveals a treasure trove of Spider-Man villains who are souped up in new gear.
Ryan Stegman’s art is pretty damn good, opening with a full page splash (that spills into a second page) of an up close and personal knuckle sandwich from Spider-Man. It’s also nice to see the Symbiote and all its tendrils waving about in clean detail. The poor thing takes a beating this issue and Stegman makes that quite clear. The darker inked pages suit the story just as they did in the last part and are especially effective in the last two pages. If i wasn’t mistaken this was a horror book by the imagery though last I checked it’s December.
He popped him good there.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much like the comics of the ’90s, this book resorts to convenient quick thinking by the hero who never asks the important questions like, “Is Flash’s transformation okay for his health? What is going on there anyway?” The heroes rush to save the day not thinking. It’s the usual tropes so it’s not a very surprising plot so far.
Is It Good?
I was a bit worried for this story arc with the first installment, but after seeing how Slott and Costa write the dynamic between Spider-Man and Anti-Venom Flash Thompson I’m all in. Time for them to bro down and for Marvel to make magic with the Symbiote mythos!