Amazing Spider-Man #332-333
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #332, Amazing Spider-Man #333
Venom is much more monstrous, much more cartoony, and is actually downright implausible when it comes down to it, especially regarding his mouth.
We get an explanation for why the symbiote increases Eddie Brock's strength even though it didn't for Spider-Man.
I want to know more about exactly how that works, since it seems kind of arbitrary. But i guess at least it's acknowledged that Venom being stronger than Spider-Man didn't make sense at first.
Spider-Man, meanwhile, is doing a charity event with Jay Leno and Malcom Forbes.
A note in the lettercol says that shortly before going to press, Marvel was informed that Forbes died. It's unclear what the point of the cameo was (Forbes had agreed to do it) since it doesn't seem to actually be promoting any particular charity.
I also guess Spider-Man doesn't expect any repercussions from invading a military facility last issue if he's doing public charity events.
Spider-Man is attacked by Styx and Stone, Jonathan Caesar's super-powered henchmen, at the event.
Styx is unable to connect his death touch with Spider-Man, and eventually the villains flee.
Peter goes from that to a dinner date with Mary Jane, and tells her about the attack. The next day, MJ goes to confront Jonathan Caesar.
But she's disturbed when she finds that he's acquired the script to one of next week's episodes of her Secret Hospital soap opera, and leaves.
Also the next day, Eddie Brock shows up at Aunt May's house.
Aunt May had just seen a news report saying that Eddie Brock is a super-criminal, so she tells Eddie that Peter will meet him at Sheep Meadow in Central Park, with the idea that it's a wide open place and Peter can call the police to easily capture him. It's actually a good idea, but Peter is afraid that Venom will escape and take it out on May, so he goes to confront Venom himself.
I love Venom's big weird Alien head.
During the fight, a baby gets endangered, and Venom takes time out to rescue her.
Then the police show up. Venom decides to withdraw, not wanting to harm any innocents (not counting the doctor he murdered last issue while escaping, i guess).
Styx and Stone try to follow Venom into the sewers, hoping that if they can keep tabs on him they can find Spider-Man, who they've been ordered to kill. But he ditches them, and later winds up back at Aunt May's house. He arranges for Spider-Man to meet him in the sewer for a fight (again, very reminiscent of the previous Venom fight from Amazing Spider-Man #316-317).
Meanwhile, we're given an origin for Styx, if anyone cares.
Peter then gets his pep talk from Flash.
Hey Flash, how about being Venom instead? It won't even cost you an arm and a leg.
Styx and Stone continue to stake out the sewer entrance in Central Park, and they see Spider-Man going in when it's time for his fight with Venom. So the Spider-Man / Venom fight gets going...
...but it's interrupted.
And during the fight, Venom gets touched by Styx.
That seemingly kills the Venom symbiote.
In fact, it's said that they're just going to take Eddie Brock to Ryker's instead of the Vault. Spider-Man holds the remains of the symbiote, saying that he'll put them where they'll remain safe.
Uh, yeah. Do that fast, ok? And maybe put Brock in the Vault anyway, just to be safe?
No nonsense about "cocaine standards" this issue. Just a fun fight with Venom (and, sure, Styx and Stone).
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 266,100. Single issue closest to filing date = 284,850.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Basically see the Considerations for the previous arc. This takes place during Spectacular Spider-Man #162 and after Deathtrap: The Vault.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
Definitely looking forward to the upcoming Sinister Six multi-parter.
Posted by: clyde | April 28, 2015 5:41 PM
The tongue, the slobber, the brain eating comments and protection of innocents...yep, I think its more Larsen's Venom that made it to the mainstream than even McFarlane's.
Posted by: Ataru320 | April 28, 2015 5:47 PM
Michelinie has said in interviews that editorial insisted on using Venom too often and turning him into a hero. His concern for innocents here sees pretty leftfield, and the repetitious elements suggest that Venom has already reached the point of diminishing returns. Larsen's manic design tweaks help freshen things up, though.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | April 28, 2015 6:05 PM
Is this where the Venom "eat your brains" talking action figure was birthed? I remember the parental groups all up in arms over that.
Posted by: Bill | April 28, 2015 7:00 PM
Venom was all talk about eating brains for years, but I think he eventually did eat someone's brain.
Posted by: Mortificator | April 28, 2015 7:38 PM
Worth noting, not the last time Spidey and Jay Leno would team up...
Posted by: gfsdf gfbd | April 28, 2015 9:24 PM
Am I the only person that didn't get that Stone was the scientist who experimented on Styx when he first read this story?
Posted by: Michael | April 28, 2015 9:49 PM
I didn't even get it now that you said it because every time Styx and Stone come up i zzzzzzzzzzz...
Posted by: fnord12 | April 28, 2015 10:21 PM
Ugh not a super big fan of Venom's brain phase but at least he still has just a big jaw here rather than a huge oversized tongue and jaw.
Posted by: davidbanes | April 28, 2015 10:29 PM
I loved Venom as a villain. I think he was completely ruined when they turned him into an antihero.
Posted by: Steven | April 29, 2015 1:42 PM
Styx and Stone referring to each other as "Mr." has always seemed to me to be a reference to Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from the Bond movie "Diamonds Are Forever." It's pretty much the only quirk that gives these otherwise generic villains any kind of charm.
Posted by: TCP | June 11, 2015 11:44 AM
I wish that the look had never deviated from McFarlane initial design - you know, just a bigger form with a mouth. When we got the wayward tongue, that's when it all started going bad.
Also, the negation of Peter's Spider-sense should have itself been negated by the hateful vibes from Eddie Brock. When Mac Gargan was wearing the symbiote, it should have been like when Captain Britain first faced the Fury - absolute and utter carnage.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | June 11, 2015 12:11 PM
Maybe Michelinie didn't want to use him, but for me anyway the Venom fights are easily the highlight of his run.
Goobery Venom aside, Larsen seems to be getting better by the issue.
Posted by: MindlessOne | June 10, 2017 1:51 PM
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