Monday, December 11, 2017

Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc.: Alpha #1 Review - Marvel Monday

Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc.: Alpha #1
Writer: Dan Slott & Mike Costa
Art Team: Ryan Stegman, Brian Reber
Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 6, 2017
Cover Price: $4.99

You get a symbiote, you get a symbiote, EVERYONE gets a symbiote!!!!!
I know exactly what everyone wants from Marvel for Christmas … it’s another Venom-centric mini event? Nailed it didn’t I. So strap in cause here we go in true 90’s, and then again in the mid 2000’s, fashion we have a good old Venom showdown. Let jump into this extra sized Alpha issue and see what we have in store.

Philadelphia, PA (last week)
The story starts off with Mania as she swings through the streets stopping crimes while chatting with Flash Thompson. Flash informs her he’s still attempting to locate the symbiote he’s lost (aka Venom - in possession of Eddie) catching us all up on his status. At one of Mania’s stops she runs into some problems, while being a little too cocky, and is taken down by some ‘thieves’, run by former Venom wearer Lee Price, equipped with weapons to take a symbiote down. 

New York, NY
At the Guggenheim Museum we have the Ringer and Tumbler attempting to do their thing and steal some stuff when Spidey interrupts their good time with a cool call back not seen in a while some Spider Signal action. Spidey dispatches both of these ‘no namers’ but does get snuck up on by Black Cat who quickly traps Spidey under a heavy sculpture.

Later Peter ends up meeting with Flash at a diner as Flash tries to get Peter to relay a message to Spider-Man for him. Flash informs him of the attack on Mania in PA and how he needs to locate Venom before anything bad happens to it next. Peter/Spider-Man politely blows Flash off reiterating Spidey and Venom aren't exactly pals and Spider-Man might be more likely to dispose of Venom if he had his way. 

Speaking of Venom when we finally first see the Eddie Brock version of the character as he’s brutally taking down another ‘no namer’ the Looter. Eddie’s able to hold back the bad side of Venom from wanting to kill the Looter, deciding to head back off to Alchemax for a more permanent solution than a temporary drug.

Once Eddie’s inside the building we see Flash is hot on his trail, having tracked him down, since he previously mentioned he still feels a connection to the symbiote. Although Flash is initially tossed out by security he is able to weasel a key card off a guard to get where he needs to go.

Meanwhile Spider-Man follows a Spider Tracer he planted earlier in the issue when meeting Flash for coffee to join the fray as well.

In the lab where our story concludes Eddie Brock initially talks with the Doctor who’s working on the symbiote cure, a white milky concoction, as everyone converges on the scene. Flash approaches Brock asking Venom to return to him and be a true hero again, which causes a shit storm of symbiote-ness, as the suit starts splitting down the middle, half towards Eddie half towards Flash.

Spider-Man, jumps in the ruckus at this point, trying to help but only possibly fucking things up for everyone. Spidey tips the gigantic jug of surum the doctor has been mixing up all over the scene, anticipating it would cure Venom of his madness, but to no avail.

Our Cliffhanger is two fold as we get the first reveal which is Flash Thompson in possession of at least half of the symbiote and now turned into an Anti-Venom, with Brock in the background fuzzy on whether or not he’s got any suit left. The last bit concerns the ‘thieves’ we saw earlier in the issue run by Lee approaching the Looter in a villains only bar. After Looter turns down their invitation Lee spits some Venom goo in his face, and apparently everyone in the bars face as well, as he now is in possession of an army of symbiotes at his disposal.

Overall, this issue moved at a crazy pace, really setting the stage for what we’re going to get and who are villain is going to be in the crossover moving forward. However I'm not crazy about another Marvel crossover so soon in Legacy and buying issues outside my normal pull list again, especially priced at $4.99. I also thought Spider-Man, while written entertainingly enough, acted stupidly, rashly, and a little bit out of character throughout this issue. Yet I had fun reading the comic at the same time and at the end of the day that counts for something especially when the art looked fantastic throughout the issue, the splash pages were really hammered home.

Bits and Pieces
I had a fun entertaining enough time reading the issue and its contents, coupled with some great art, but do have some problems with the overall story, its character direction, and price point of entry. I would recommend this to huge Spider-Man and Venom fans in the mood for a classic feeling low stakes conflict but not many others.


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