Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Artist: Tony Moore
Company: Marvel Comics
Well, the 1990's era Nick Budd loved the concept of Venom, as did numerous other people. I mean, why wouldn't you? He was everything that you could want: All the neat powers of Spider-Man coupled with the added bonus of eating brains and tongue lashing. What's not to love? Sadly, after such things as Venom: Lethal Protector and the subsequent 15 or so other minis that have emblazoned the name, the character got slightly silly and a bit old. Even the various other people who have been host to the symbiote besides Eddie Brock couldn't revitalize the character, of which I still find the idea of giving the suit to Mac "The Scorpion" Gargan one of the weirder notions. But want to know what's a stranger idea? Giving the suit to Flash Thompson.
But that is exactly what writer Rick (Fear Agent/Uncanny X-Force) Remender has done. Flash Thompson has never been a favorite character. Sure, he's crucial for earlier Peter Parker stories as the jerk jock who picks on Parker, but beyond that role, I never happened upon great stories that included him. Maybe they exist though and I missed them. I think that any character can be made cool by a good writer though. Bonding him with the Venom Symbiote is an idea that made me cock my head to the side and say, "Huh?" It's so bizarre, but it does work on the page. It also revitalizes the character in a way that I didn't think was possible, and I have to say, the first issue is a page turner.
The second issue however is little more hit and miss on the story side of things. I like the general idea of seeing Venom in the Savage Land being hunted by Kraven, but by literally dropping the reader into the situation without really explaining what is going on and why Venom is actually there is a bit off-putting. I can imagine that Remender was going for sort of a James Bond style approach with it, but it just didn't work and led to a rocky tone. Still, there are some neat moments and ideas at play, Venom swinging from dinosaurs and a doped up and ravenous Kraven to name a few. The Hunt motif was fun and seeing the clash between Thompson and the traditional "I want to eat your brain," Venom strummed a bit of nostalgia that made me smile.
At the end of the day, Venom is a comic worthy of trying out. It isn't perfect, but there are good ideas to be found, sensational action to be witnessed, and a different look at a character that could have been all but forgotten and left to rot in the recesses of Amazing Spider-Man continuity.