Characters Appearing: Carl Mach (Orange Symbiote), Donna Diego (Scream), Eddie Brock (Venom), Edmung Zwerling, Indigo Symbiote, Ken Ellis, Lasher, Leslie Gesneria (Violet Symbiote), Orange Symbiote, Ramon Hernandez (Lasher), Scream, Trevor Cole (Indigo Symbiote), Venom Symbiote, Violet Symbiote
Venom: Separation Anxiety #1-4
Issue(s): Venom: Separation Anxiety #1, Venom: Separation Anxiety #2, Venom: Separation Anxiety #3, Venom: Separation Anxiety #4
Actually, this series does begin with Eddie seemingly being held on some kind of moon base.
But the symbiote is being held at a government facility in the Adirondacks by a Dr. Zwerling.
Eddie gets some undesired help from the symbiote spawn previously seen (and thought dead) in Lethal Protector.
They attack the guards, but deliberately don't kill them. Since Eddie doesn't want their help, he tries to fight them, and he demonstrates superhuman levels of strength doing so...
...but he's still overwhelmed by the symbiotes. A reporter who was at this facility, Ken Ellis, pretends to be Eddie's doctor and says that he can help determine why Eddie has super-strength.
The symbiotes know that he's not really a doctor, but they take him anyway.
The symbiote hosts explain a little bit about who they are and how the symbiotes aren't dead.
They need Eddie's help in bringing their symbiotes under control. Eddie refuses to help, and neither pleas nor threats sway him. He's put in a cell, but he and Ellis manage to escape.
Meanwhile, the Venom symbiote escapes, killing many guards and badly injuring Zwerling in the process. It starts making its way to Eddie, stopping crimes along the way.
Eddie also stops random street crimes while he's escaping.
Meanwhile, one of the symbiotes is murdered.
Then the symbiotes catch up with him. Eddie seemingly kills another one, also with what will turn out to be a "sonic blade" like what killed the previous one.
But Eddie isn't really the murderer. It turns out the murderer is the one called Scream.
Eddie is reunited with his symbiote in time to fight Scream.
She's defeated, and Venom leaves as government agents arrive to apprehend her and all of the symbiote spawn.
Eddie later tells his symbiote that he needs to stay separated for awhile so that he can sort things out in his head. But the Next Issue blurb tells us that it won't be for too long because we've got a fight with Carnage coming up.
There's a lot of padding in this story. I guess some people might be excited by the return of these additional symbiotes but Carnage is pushing the limit for me so seeing these ones return is not a positive. Especially since we were teased with the possibility of space symbiotes; these ones are just spawns of Venom and so don't have any new information for us.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Spider-Man #53.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Ken Ellis previously appeared in Spider-Man 52-53 and Web of Spider-Man 118.
Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2018 8:21 PM
To be honest, I'm really surprised you didn't mention and criticize the scene introduce Scream in this series - where she is just pointless cheesecake teasing some soldier boys and tricking them into letting her into the base. When I read this as like a 14 year-old, it struck me as being embarrassing and blatantly there just for pervs.
Posted by: AF | February 1, 2018 11:24 AM
Wait. My memory may be failing me, but didn't Scream actually appear in the story where Ben Reilly defeated Venom? If so, why is Venom suprised to see her and the other symbiotes alive?
Posted by: Piotr W | February 1, 2018 6:06 PM
Indeed, Scream was in that 4-part "The Exile Returns" story, and refers to its events in Separation Anxiety #2. Eddie Brock has the I thought the symbiotes died at the Life Foundation! reaction in both stories, with a footnote to Lethal Protector #5 each time.
So your memory isn't failing you, Brock's is. Maybe the writer for Separation Anxiety #1 hadn't see what happened in Spider-Man #52, because it doesn't make sense for... oh wait, Howard Mackie wrote both issues.
Posted by: Mortificator | February 1, 2018 7:22 PM
All he asked was how they survived and what they were doing there. As far as he knew, Scream could have survived on her own.
Posted by: clyde | February 1, 2018 7:23 PM
@Clyde: yeah, but (IIRC) in that Scarlet Spider story, Scream has actually said that she and her fellow symbiotes needed Brock to help them control their alien "partners". Or maybe it was a thought balloon..?
Posted by: Piotr W | February 2, 2018 2:09 AM
Did Brock give a reason for refusing to help the other human symbiote hosts on how to deal with their symbiotes? They seem like better people than Brock. I doubt Brock could help much since his other was already an adult when it first met Brock. At least, Brock should state that as a reason, otherwise he is being a jerk.
Posted by: OptimusFan | February 5, 2018 1:01 AM
Hey, wasn't this a video game plotline too (literally)?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | February 5, 2018 11:29 AM
Sort of, the game was named after this story, but it was more of an adaptation of Lethal Protector rather than this one.
Posted by: MegaSpiderMan | February 5, 2018 12:42 PM
@OptimusFan, he doesn't really give a reason. The implication is that he doesn't think they will ever learn to control their symbiotes, but he's frustratingly non-forthcoming about it.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 5, 2018 12:49 PM
Fnord, I'm confused (sure, there's plenty reason). I know you've just started (heroically) tackling the Clone Saga, but if you'll allow me, I have to point out that Brock acknowledges in the first few pages of Separation Anxiety #1 that '[I am] separated from my other by the Scarlet Spider', or something to that effect. So I'm certain you'll eventually place this story AFTER "The Exile Returns", which itself follows "Power and Responsibility".
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 5, 2018 2:20 PM
You're right, TTF. I probably would have caught this when i checked for inbound references on the Exile Returns issues, but i've moved it now. Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | April 5, 2018 2:36 PM
Glad to help, fnord12.
Did they ever explain why Eddie Brock remained super-humanly strong WITHOUT the alien symbiote? And from where did that "sonic knife" MacGuffin come? How did the Female Symbiote get hold of it and how could she know it'd be able to kill the other 'Venom-spawns' with a single stab? And how come Donna was actually able to hear the symbiotes speak to her ahead of time? The last symbiote she killed (Carl ou Ramon, I lose track, IIRC the writers themselves lost track, I'd love it if fnord12 could check it out) asked her how had she been able to pass the psychological evaluations to join the Life Foundation. Yes, how DID she?
Come to think of it, why are we told that Donna, Carl, Ramon, Trevor and Leslie joined Life Foundation BECAUSE they were decent people? What good has Life Foundation ever done?
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 7, 2018 1:59 PM
I think Donna was just crazy- she was hearing voices in her head, not the voices of the symbiotes.
Posted by: Michael | April 7, 2018 3:13 PM
That may be the case, but it makes it even weirder for her to pass the psychiatric exam at the Life Foundation. She did say she'd been hearing the voices before the Foundation attached her to a symbiote, so they'd have to be generic hallucinations, which she ipso post facto assumed were symbiotes announcing their arrival. Which brings us the question as to how much she new about symbiotes, and how did she ever figure out how to kill them. With a freaking KNIFE.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 7, 2018 3:29 PM
I don't think an origin for the knife was given, and Brock's independent strength may have been left as a mystery for a future story, since he and the symbiote remain separated at the end of this (although as the blurb indicates, there isn't much time for answers).
Posted by: fnord12 | April 9, 2018 1:29 PM
I don't recall if Brock's independent strength was ever explained in subsequent Venom stories (and, unfortunately, there were PLENTY of them). So that's yet another crime. The blurb says "these questions will have to be answered in a hurry", and I don't think they get to; "Venom: Carnage Unleashed", takes us to all kindsa places but not that one. Unless I've missed something; but either way, Brock does reject his symbiote in "Planet of the Symbiotes", and if you ever place that chronologically prior to "Carnage Unleashed", it could make more sense in this particular aspect. And yet I feel that Brock's independent strength is ignored in that storyline as well.
Posted by: The Transparent Fox | April 13, 2018 4:36 PM
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