Monday, March 21, 2011

(New) Venom #1

As you all saw in my Spider-Man #648 review, Mac Gargan recently lost the Venom symbiote, and the US Government took possession of it. What happened to it from there? Well, they put it on Flash Thompson.

Yes, that Flash Thompson. I guess they decided he was the perfect man to put a possessive intelligent suit on since he wanted to be Spider-Man and that was the next best thing. So, being the new Venom, he gets a new solo series. Well, it can't be worse than the Sinister Spider-Man.

Comic Review: Venom #1

The comic begins in-- wait, what is this? Nrosvekistan? The hell? Eastern Europe? God, you can't just throw random syllables and add -stan at the end. Well, you know what? I can do that too. I'm from, uh, Yopilistan. Yeah, totally plausible.

Anyway, in, augh, Nrosvekistan a lot of people are running away from crazy explosions and laser looking things shooting down. Their salvation comes in the form of giant Iron Man looking battlesuits from the UN, here to save everyone. "It's Stark Tech!" They say, "We can't lose!"

Er, nevermind.

As the UN guys get their asses handed to them, we see who is the cause of all of this, Jack O' Lantern, an old Green Goblin ripoff who just became goddamn terrifying.

Then Jack and his mysterious contact, who of course is cloaked in darkness, go on to recap their situation, talking about how they have some Antarctic Vibranium, it cuts through any metal, and here, in Nrosvekistan is a dude who's making it into bullets, so they need to capture him. As they get weird and Jack O' Lantern starts waxing philosophical about chaos, our good buddy Venom drops out of a helicopter.

He starts kicking ass and taking names, while giving his own recap. They only let him keep the symbiote on for 48 hours at a time, lest it "permanently" bond to him. By permanently they mean until it gets boring and they take it off him easy as pie, if the previous Venoms are any indication. If he loses control of the symbiote, someone back at command is to throw the kill switch and then it's time to get a new operative. He picks up a live grenade that's about to explode next to him, because apparently the symbiote can stop it from doing that.

At this point, I mean, his internal monologue is nothing I haven't seen a hundred times before, whenever you get a look into a soldier's head. "I'm far from home, fighting for my country, dark bad place blah blah blah." I mean, he's like a mix of Sylvester Stallone in Rambo and Schwarzeneggar. Only not as entertaining.

So Venom finds the guy he's supposed to find, but gets his ass kicked by Jack O' Lantern, who then takes the target. Using the symbiote, he manages, somehow, to aim and fire a tank from outside, and thinks he hits Ol' Jack. Unfortunately, he misses, and as Jack comes back to attack, command reminds him to calm down.

When things look bleakest, Flash remembers he's got a live grenade that hasn't exploded yet, somehow.

After getting half his freaking face blown off, Jack O' Lantern somehow manages to do something rather than just scream in agony, and grabs the Doctor and flies away again. Flash does the only logical thing.

Well, uh, okay. Seeing as how that was the opposite of his mission, when he gets back to base, command is pretty mad at him. Especially since he went kinda crazy with the suit there, not the best first mission.

Wait, so Flash isn't the first? You already had to use the kill switch? They haven't tried anything else yet? Considering the last person who used it was a homicidal cannibalistic maniac, I don't see why this was the first application of the Venom symbiote. Someone didn't think this over very well.

Anyway, Flash goes back home, only to remember he missed some benefit dinner he was supposed to go with Betty Brant to.

Wait, why doesn't he just say he was with the military? It's his freaking job; everyone knows he's a soldier, why can't he just say he got shipped out again? They're trying to force a Spider-Man type thing here. That becomes more apparent when Betty accuses him of drinking again. You see, Flash is an alcoholic, but he's been off the wagon for years. After leaving the apartment, Flash monologues about how his dad was a drinker too.

The comic ends with Flash depressingly riding into the distance.

I don't know about this comic. The whole military-war thing is someplace Venom hasn't had too much exposure in, but it's something pretty overdone to begin with. It looks like sticking the Venom symbiote in there didn't make it all that refreshed. I mean, Flash hasn't got much of a personality, he's just a thing that shoots stuff and talks about war. I mean, he's pretty much just a dumb action movie star. I guess that's not the worst thing, but then they try to make him Spider-Man, with the "Oh no he's not there to fulfill social engagements" thing tacked on there unnecessarily. I mean, the alcoholism is a new thing as far as Venom's concerned, just not a new thing as far as ANY WAR MOVIE EVER. Every soldier in media's hot a "dark side" and the fact that Flash's just happens to be an actual dark organism that makes him get giant sharp teeth isn't all that much of a development. It's not terrible, I just hope next issue is more inspired than just War Movie With Main Character Replaced With Venom (Kinda). Still hiding my dark and brooding soul, this is the W Defender!

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