Venom # 12

Posted by bulletproofsponge 14 February 2012

Since we're a little behind on the Venom reviews, I figured I'd give Adam a hand, ( he's taken over Venom for the time being) and lessen his load a little. So far, the Venom series has had a pretty decent story line. You can read our previous reviews to find out what has been going on. To sum it up though, the Crime Master has threatened to hurt Flash's loved ones if he refuses to help him do a job.

The Story.
Basically, this issue begins with Flash acting as a drunk to get behind the security doors of a club in Vegas. Flash can sense that the symbiote doesn't like whats coming. Once behind the security doors, Flash can no longer control Venom, who's going into rage mode. Venom almost takes full control, trashes all the security guards, and proceeds to kill Toxin, who is apparently being kept there in a tube ( no host). There is no real explanation as to how Toxin got separated from Patrick ( his last known host)

Anyway, Jack O'Lantern shows up, and stops Venom, taking the toxin symbiote with him. Obviously, this does not go too well with Venom. Jack soon finds himself in a very dangerous position with almost no chance of survival. His only chance is to somehow get through to Flash to take control of Venom. Jack warns Flash that the Crime Master will hurt Betty and the rest of Flash's loved ones if anything happens to him.

Flash eventually regains control and lets Jack-O go. He later calls Betty, and breaks up with her, giving some poor excuse. It came across to me that he was breaking up with her to keep her safe ( one of the things that comes with wearing a mask )

The story ends with Flash, sitting with a homeless guy drinking from what looks like a bottle of Jack Daniels. Well, technically, Flash's story ends there. The real story ends with the Red Hulk closing in on Venom, ready to put him back in line.

We're finally getting to see what lots of fans have been waiting for - Flash losing control of the symbiote. Flash has had the symbiote on him for some time now, ever since he stole it from Project Rebirth. More and more we see Flash's hatred manifested in his thoughts. His hate also seems to be feeding Venom a whole lot, as we can see how big Venom gets when fighting Jack-O.

The highlight of this issue for me was the reappearance of Toxin, my favorite symbiote, even though he's just slime at the moment. Whatever plans Crime Master has for Toxin, I'm sure its big. Toxin's first host was a good cop, who at the time was trying to teach his symbiote some good morals. I'd love to see what has become of the symbiote.

From here, it looks like things are definitely going downhill for Flash. I haven't read Venom 13 or 13.1, ( not even a review) but I'm guessing Rulk eventually appears and fixes him up?

Look out for Adams review for the rest of Venom! Cheers.

Scarlet Spider 2

Posted by Jesse

Background: When we last left Kaine, he was in the midst of either turning tail and leaving town to pursue a life of leisure, or following the lead of his conscience to rescue a damsel in distress. Kaine’s inner struggle will ultimately determine his true nature, but what manner of character will emerge?
Story: While riding in a taxi, headed out of town, Kaine witnesses the hospital set ablaze through the rear window. He quickly decided to U-turn it, and save the young woman he discovered last issue. Kaine’s aggression takes flight and he tosses the cab driver out of the moving vehicle, so that he can burn rubber towards the hospital (most likely disregarding traffic laws).
Earlier, Kaine reflected on his origin, remembering how he was deemed as trash, yet wanted to live regardless of such. He remembers lying in a pile of other junked bodies, wishing to escape, just like he found the young woman in issue 1.
Meanwhile, inside the hospital, fire is being spread everywhere by the rather large shirtless man we were introduced to last issue. He’s stalking the same girl Kaine rescued, but for reasons that shall remain unknown, for now.
Just as he’s about to reach her, Kaine comes bursting through the window. In full on costumed glory. (The red and black spider-man esque, suit looks quite striking and fierce, if I do say so myself.) Kaine steps between them both, but a Dr. in the background, makes a case for saving the other patients. Kaine seems to be influenced by the Dr’s unselfish perspective, as he makes a mental note of such.
As the girl continues running away from her assailant, Kaine delivers a brutal scratch across the face of Mr. Bad guy (for lack of a name at this point.) The Dude retaliates by setting Kaine on fire. All the flames trigger the building internal sprinklers as Kaine returns to defending the young lady know as Aracelly.
A Kaine side kicks the persecutor, straight through a high rise window, sending them falling all the way to the ground, but not before Kaine executes another vicious face scraping.
Attempting to strangle the life out of his enemy, Kaine uses a strand of webbing but the big brute, tears it and turns to power punch Kaine into the distance. Significantly, this guy tells Kaine he was given his power by the serpent Xiuhcoatl (Time to bust out Wikipedia.)
A nearby security guard catches wind of the situation and commands them to freeze, while pointing his handgun. This guy nearly gets fried to death before Kaine can tackle him away from the serpent shaped fire, projected by Mr. you know who. This causes the cop’s gun to spill out and Kaine without hesitation takes the opportunity to unload 3 bullets into fire guy. Coincidentally, he is not too happy about taking the bullet wounds and becomes motivated to initiate his quintessential fatality move.
However, Kaine anticipates this, and takes proper precautions by wrapping himself entirely in webs. IE: a sort of spider cocoon, thus protecting himself from the massive wave of flames. As ol’ fire eyes, gloats about how easy it was to kill spider-man, he approaches what he expects to be Kaine’s charred carcass, but just as he comes into contact, Kaine tears out of the cocoon, catching him In a surprise choke hold, followed up by what you could imagine to be a dozen or so fists to the face, emphatically reminding him “I’m not Spider-Man!”
Kaine simultaneously cocoons the pyromaniac and debates killing him until…Applause and cheering. Kaine’s internal moral compass is supported by several local residents.
(Either they love a winner of a fight or really dig the tight fitting costume; meaning they think he’s Spider-Man.)
Later that night Kaine checks up on Aracelly, in her hospital bed. She calls him her savior, but Kaine doesn’t catch it. They are quickly interrupted by the security guard and the Doctor. The Doc takes a look at Kaine’s slight facial burns, and the cop asks Kaine to stay while calling him a super hero. However, even after being guaranteed the mayor’s approval, Kaine can’t be convinced to stay in the city. The Dr assures Kaine that the girl will not be safe as soon as she is deported. So what does Kaine do? He spirits her away to his hotel.
With his conscience now clear, Kaine goes back to his original thought pattern: To be (absolved of his past sins and guilt) or, Not to be? (Plagued by moral dilemmas and responsibility) Which shall it be?
For now, it appears he’s content to remain on a path of retribution.
First thing I want to say is; man, the artwork. Wow! Ryan Stegman, I salute you. Just top notch work.
Like I said in my last review, the costume should have been revealed in the opening issue, that way this issue could go straight to action, and possibly squeezed in more plot and conversation. The costume brings up an interesting concern, if he doesn't want to be mistaken as Spider-Man why would he wear a suit so similar?
I was a little disappointed by how short and simple this was, but I can let it slide for right now. Readers need to be wooed by Kaine before going steady.
I’m also not thrilled with his fight tactics. He’s going to have to learn some new moves if he’s to be an established crime fighter, err lethal protector. I think it’s funny that he’s still scratching faces as his prime offense, like some sort of threatened alley cat, so I’m really hoping to see that go.
Having said that, I think this is a cool book. I have a good feeling that it’s going to be fun, mostly because Kaine is reckless and aggressive but also very fearless, reminding me of not just Venom but also Daredevil. However Kaine is not too similar to either of those.
Another thing that really grabs my attention is that Kaine has never been in a relationship, so I’m pretty sure he’s curious and willing to give it a try. His inexperience socially is what’s really going to be entertaining to see play out.
I get the idea that Kaine is sensitive and irrational at times which just makes him all the more volatile and entertaining to me.
I’m pretty confident Mr. Fuego (or whatever his name becomes) will be back to get revenge, as we still don’t know the reason he wants Aracelly. Speaking of her; I’m betting she forms an attraction to Kaine and he doesn’t know how to react.
There’s just lots of story potential and promise of stellar artwork; all the reason to add or keep Scarlet Spider in your pull list.


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