Amazing Spider-Man #346-347
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man #346,Amazing Spider-Man #347
We'll look at Venom more later, but i thought it was worth bringing up now in the context of the twists for Venom's entrance and exit in this story. As we saw last issue, the Venom symbiote broke Eddie Brock out of prison. But the symbiote was supposed to be dead! We learn here that the symbiote, after encountering Styx and getting attacked by his cancer-causing power, actually just retreated into a comatose state until it recovered. Also, when Spider-Man heard that Eddie Brock was broken out of prison, he called the Fantastic Four and they confirmed that the symbiote had escaped. Gee, thanks, for making me call you about that, guys.
Issue #346 is about Venom setting a clever trap for Spider-Man. It starts with him returning to his former place of employment, the Daily Globe, to look something up.
The scene of Venom's "de-masking" may have been Erik Larsen's answer to his critics about Venom's mouth. He's showing that the facial structure of Venom is not reflective of what Eddie Brock looks like underneath.
Also note that Venom's supposed respect for innocents continues to be mainly lip service.
Meanwhile, aware that Venom is back, Spider-Man packs Mary Jane off to her sister's house (she's not happy about it: "I thought we were partners...") and declines help from the now powerless Black Cat. Venom then shows up to intimidate Peter, but Peter gets away when a mugger tries to hold them up (Peter sticks around long enough to confirm that Venom knocks out, but doesn't kill, the mugger). Peter then stays at a roach motel and starts working on a strategy to deal with Venom. He checks his voicemail and learns about a new cryogenics facility. So he goes there, hoping to lure Venom there and freeze him ("like they did in that movie, The Blob").
But, after some fighting...
...it turns out that this is actually Venom's trap. He left the voicemail, and the cryogenics facility is what he was researching at the Globe. So he tricks Spider-man into the freezing chamber.
Spider-Man wakes up on a deserted tropical island. Venom's idea is that their past fights have always gotten interrupted, so this time they can fight it out with no interference. The island did used to house a mining facility, but it's been abandoned. That will be key to the conclusion.
Spidey flees, making this less of a straightforward back and forth and more of a guerrilla affair. We learn that Venom can become near-invisible in the water...
...and can really camouflage himself anywhere.
Overall it's a good long drawn out fight.
Peter "wins" by causing an explosion at the mining facility, having dressed up some bones of deceased workers in his costume, so that Venom thinks Spider-Man is dead. Peter swims to a nearby ship, and Eddie Brock, pleased with accomplishing his goal, decides to remain on the island indefinitely.
A change in editors is announced in the lettercol for issue #346 (and other Spidey books for this month). Jim Salicrup is replaced by Danny Fingeroth (who "used to edit the Spidey titles in the eighties"). It's also confirmed that Gerry Conway isn't coming back, so we're going to see creative team changes in the other Spider-books. Salicrup is still said to be the editor of the adjective-less Spider-Man title. It's also somewhat noteworthy that the lettercol is keeping a tally of people writing in for a "Spider-Wars" crossover (like the announced "Mutant Wars" that will eventually be the Muir Island Saga). We won't actually have an event called Spider-Wars, but it won't be long before Marvel starts having cross-overs between the Spider-books.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAunt May, Black Cat, Eddie Brock (Venom), Flash Thompson, Kevin Byrnes, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man, Tommy Byrnes, Venom Symbiote, Willie Lumpkin
I got this two issues with the last issue with Boomerang and Cardiac. The fights were at least pretty darn fun.
Posted by: david banes | September 11, 2015 7:33 PM
Fnord, you're right about Venom's respect for innocents being lip service, but Sly was suggested to be a blackmailer- not that it makes Eddie less of a monster.
Posted by: Michael | September 11, 2015 7:51 PM
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