Venom: The Mace #1-3
Issue(s): Venom: The Mace #1, Venom: The Mace #2, Venom: The Mace #3
This series is also relatively noteworthy for having a minor bit of continuity with the previous series in the sense that Eddie Brock's love interest, Beck Underwood, from that one continues to appear here (she'll be in the next one, too). That's a really low bar, but when an ongoing series is disguised as a string of minis, all by different creative teams, it's worth observing when something resembling a supporting cast is being maintained.
The title of this series refers to a character called Mace.
He does use a mace.
We first see him escaping from a group of more armored people from the "Sunrise Society". As Michael notes in the comments, this was the same group Carl Potts used in his Punisher run (e.g. Punisher War Journal #8-9) and Shadowmasters.
One of the agents reminds me a bit of Marvel's Judge Dredd knockoff, Justice Peace...
...and another that looks like Iron Man.
Venom, meanwhile, is still doing his part to protect the homeless population of Los Angeles, but he can't be everywhere at once. His focus is on the "undergrounders", the group that he's been protecting since his first mini (although we never see the same characters across the different minis). So when a group of squatters at an abandoned building keep getting attacked, they pool their resources to hire a hero to protect them. And Mace takes the job. Unfortunately it seems like the undergrounders are the ones that were attacking the squatters, so Mace kidnaps Beck. And that of course leads to a fight with Venom.
Beck's attempt to convince Venom that it's all a Misunderstanding doesn't go well.
So the fight goes on forever. Like, for all of issue #2. Since i was in it for the Liam Sharp art, i guess i'll highlight this splash.
But generally there's nothing interesting going on artwise, either.
The Venom/Mace fight only ends because the people that have been hunting Mace show up.
Aside from revealing that Mace can see on the infrared spectrum (and he has to wear sunglasses to avoid seeing that way all the time), the story so far hasn't bothered to tell us anything about Mace or get us to care about him at all. So the fact that he's now fighting to save himself from the Sunrise Society doesn't have much weight before it. It's just more random fighting.
Carl Potts is writing with the odd confidence that we already care about Mace, who just seems really generic.
Liam Sharp really likes doing the shield thing with Venom.
Beck eventually tells Venom that some of the undergrounders were attacking the squatters and that Mace was just protecting the squatters. So after the Sunrise people (who it seems were all clones from the same template as Mace) are defeated, Mace is allowed to go on his merry way, and Venom kills the offending undergrounders.
A Marvel Comics Presents story arc also by Potts, published after this series, will delve into the origin of Mace. But with this story as the main "hook" for the character, it's not surprising that we never see him again.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: A solo origin story about Mace appears in Marvel Comics Presents #160-163; it takes place prior to this. Mace is on his way to Southern California to find the Shadowmasters so that they can help him find Mas Kimura, which means this doesn't take place long after the end of Marvel Comics Presents #163.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBeck Underwood, Eddie Brock (Venom), Mace (Sunrise Society), Venom Symbiote
The Sunrise Society are the same villains from Potts' Shadowmasters stories.
Posted by: Michael | December 5, 2017 7:56 PM
It's nice to know Venom can serve as an object lesson on how not to make an anti-hero. Eddie is a hypocritical idiot lacking self-awareness with delusions of righteousness who simply coasted on giving Spiderman a bad guy to wear the symbiote costume.
Posted by: iLegion | December 6, 2017 1:13 AM
So that's where Venom's shield move from Marvel vs. Capcom comes from.
Posted by: Enchlore | December 10, 2017 9:57 AM
If Reinhold didn't technically go to the Kubert School, he definitely comes from the Kubert school. Hatch those cheeks!
Posted by: cullen | December 10, 2017 2:52 PM
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