We Care a Lot Part 11: No More Mr. Nice Guy

May 11th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , ,

“While on Madripoor’s wharf, Venom has a Zen moment: If the fish aren’t biting, then it is time to bite the fish! Confucius he is not.” — Marvel Swimsuit Special: Mad for Madripoor

Venom’s run as an anti-hero with his own solo series lasted a full five years. Unfortunately, we’re at the point where he only has three months left in that five year tenure. Yes, I’m afraid it’s time for Venom to be cancelled. Why? I can think of at least two reasons.

First off, I have to imagine sales were in the crapper. This is due to a variety of things. The comic industry as a whole was feeling the backlash of the 90’s collector boom and almost deep-sixed completely. Spider-Man’s Clone Saga had a horrible stigma to it that I’m sure turned people away from the arachnid side of the Marvel universe. Then there’s personal experience. Now, I stopped reading comics by this point, but just from these articles I can tell nobody was buying these. None of the comments in these articles have anyone talking about how they read the entire run. At most, people recall reading 2-3 different Venom arcs, but that’s it.

The second reason for its cancellation is definitely the rubber banding of the Spider-Man-related comics. Clone Saga was originally intended to fix Peter Parker and make him the fun-loving wise-cracker like he used to be instead of the depressing psycho he had become. Three years later, it was a resounding disaster that Marvel wanted to wash their hands of. In their opinion, the best way to do this would be to set a lot of things back to the classic depiction. Sandman was a villain again. Norman Osborn wasn’t really dead after all. The Aunt May who died was really an actress hired by Osborn. Peter and MJ’s baby was kidnapped under the guise of a miscarriage. Doctor Octopus was resurrected by the Hand. Of course, Venom would have to be pushed back into being primarily Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis.

I think that last part shows how messed up the Clone Saga was. Green Goblin, Doc Ock and Venom are considered to be his Big Three in terms of villains. Look at where they all were during that era: Venom? Good guy. Octopus? Dead. Green Goblin? Dead, dead, dead and good guy. All he had to fall back on were Carnage, Jackal and Doc Ock with boobs. Poor guy.

Before getting into Venom’s downfall, let’s take a look at his other heroic appearances outside of the comic book pages. First thing that comes to mind is his inclusion in the videogame Marvel vs. Capcom. In the game, you play as a pair of Marvel and/or Capcom characters out to fight Onslaught. After winning matches, Venom lets loose with lines about how he’s out to protect the innocent… except that no-good Parker. The best is his ending, which involves him posing alongside whoever was used as his partner. For example, we’ll use Ryu.

“Onslaught’s beaten, but evil still remains! We will protect the innocent! Your heart is pure and I know you can be trusted. Let’s go, RYU!”

Then Ryu goes from doing a supportive victory pose to the awkward pose he’d do after losing via time limit.

“We’ll crush their skulls and eat their brains! Do you think you’re up for the challenge?”

Venom also had a pretty nice role in the Spider-Man game on Playstation, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. Venom was voiced by Daran Norris, more widely known for playing Cosmo on Fairly Odd Parents and Jameson on Spectacular Spider-Man. He’s also less widely known as playing that creepy, annoying club MC in the Mystery Science Theater movie Hobgoblins, something I still have trouble wrapping my head around for whatever reason.

The beginning of the game makes little sense. Eddie Brock is an ass-kissing photographer working for the Bugle. He still has the symbiote, but he’s a respected member of society somehow. Then when Spider-Man (Mysterio in disguise) shatters his camera, he becomes afraid at how Jameson will bitch him out for it. Dude! You’re Venom! You tear cars in half! Stop being a pussy! Anyway, he loses control and delves back into becoming Venom again, out to get revenge on Spider-Man, even though he just saw Peter Parker two seconds earlier.

He kidnaps Mary Jane and hijacks the big screen in Time Square to goad Spider-Man into going after him. The two eventually get the misunderstanding behind them and team up against the real masterminds, Doc Ock and Carnage. Venom’s played for laughs here and gets four great moments:

1) There’s a section of the game where Spider-Man chases Venom through New York City. They enter an office building and we only see the outside as you hear sounds of the chase going on. Finally, the two exit out the other side and the game continues. When you play this level in “What If Mode”, they’re in a fitness center, where you hear them busting into the women’s locker room. Spider-Man screams that he’s covering his eyes to reassure everyone, while Venom flirts with a woman who enjoys his biceps.

2) Spider-Man narrowly saves MJ’s life and starts laying into Venom. He points out that he couldn’t have been the one to break his camera because they saw each other in the crowd. Venom’s response is a mild, “Our bad.” This sets off Spider-Man, who wants to kill Venom, but then Mary Jane screams at him to get her unchained this instant. Venom looms over and says, “Bummer. Looks like you’re the doghouse tonight, dude.”

3) The two try to figure out who would want to steal Dr. Octopus’ technology. Venom insists that it’s either Sub-Mariner, the Mighty Thor or Galactus.

4) At the end of the game, Spider-Man has just defeated Monster Ock (Dr. Octopus with Carnage’s symbiote), but it looks like the facility is about to blow up. At the last minute, a Quinjet arrives. Venom reaches down and pulls Spider-Man to safety. Inside the cockpit, we see Captain America piloting, along with Black Cat. Despite the cramped cockpit, Venom sheepishly asks, “Hey Spidey, can you get us Captain America’s autograph?”

Venom appeared a couple times in the Spider-Man cartoon. His final appearance had him move towards his good guy persona by teaming up with Spider-Man and Iron Man against Dormammu, Mordo and Carnage. To make it easy for kids to figure out such a difficult concept as “Venom not being evil”, the mask would be retracted the entire time. Of course, Venom’s cartoon appearance is mostly remembered for that time he hijacked a van and started angrily pounding on the horn.

Lastly, there’s the Spider-Man novels by Diane Duane. These 300+ pagers came out in the mid-90’s and acted as a trilogy of Spider-Man and Venom vs. whatever villain. The first one is The Venom Factor, which not only did I read years back, but I did a book report on it in junior high! Yeah! Then I read about half of The Lizard Sanction before getting bored and didn’t care anymore when The Octopus Agenda came out.

The story of the first book is that there is some kind of toxic waste monster going around killing people and eating radioactive materials. Since he’s huge, has big teeth and it’s dark, everyone thinks it’s Venom. Then it turns out that Hobgoblin is somehow behind it all and plans to destroy New York in some way. The second book has something to do with this cloud-like material that’s light, but strong as adamantium. I think there were terrorists trying to force the Lizard into doing stuff, but it’s been like 15 years and I never finished it, so who knows. Then all the stuff from the first two books is really the work of Doctor Octopus, leading into the third chapter.

I wasn’t too sure why I never finished the whole thing until checking out the online reviews for Venom Factor. Diane Duane wrote a lot of boring shit. I’m not saying it didn’t have its moments. I remember in the second book, there was a really good scene where Spider-Man and Venom debated on whether or not Venom should be able to kill Doc Connors for what he’s done as the Lizard. But there’s a reason these books are over 300 pages long. The reason is pointless scenes that go on forever about stuff that we just don’t care about. Imagine waiting for a cool Spider-Man vs. Hobgoblin fight scene because you’re too busy reading about Mary Jane trying to get acting jobs. Really, there are huge chunks of the book that are just about Mary Jane trying to get auditions and hoping to get calls back from casting directors that don’t have anything to do with anything!

But now to the comics. First, before delving back into Venom’s series, we have to check out Spider-Man: The Venom Agenda. Great, now all those novel titles are just running together. The story is written by Larry Hama with art by Tom Lyle. The timing of the release is odd, since it comes out during the same month as the final issue of Venom: Finale, meaning that we’re 2/3 into Venom’s final story before knowing the lead-up.

Peter Parker has been called in to meet Jameson at the office for a reason never quite explained. This would be all fine, except Peter has a horrible case of the flu. Oh, that wacky Parker luck! Anyway, Jameson has been pretty busy lately, investigating the government and the no good stuff Bastion is up to. Agent Daryll Smith is in charge of dealing with this. You know, if they really went long enough with this whole government angle, they could have gone in some interesting directions for Venom. Here we have him believing he’s on the side of the angels, when the government is forcing him to take care of a reporter who’s investigating corruption and prejudice in high offices via free speech.

Eddie leaves the car. The driver tries to tell Agent Smith his take on their conversation, but Smith tells him to zip it.

Peter sneezes and blows his nose on his way to Jameson’s office, all while Venom crawls up the side of the building.

“We hate the way those secret agent types like Smith talk circumlocutorily and euphemistically… prancing around the point like blue bottle flies around a gobbet of rotting meat. ‘Can’t something be done about this onerous person?’ Hoo-Ha! What a crock! They just can’t ever get themselves to say the ‘K’ word! They can’t come out and say, ‘Kill him!’ Did they think we would debate the questionable ethics of this act? We are simply carrying out orders and meting out just desserts to villainous traitors!”

Venom busts through the window, to find Jameson and Peter panicking. Venom easily slaps Peter away and shrugs it off when Jameson breaks a chair over Venom’s head. In all the confusion, Peter changes into Spider-Man, knowing that this isn’t going to be a pleasant experience. Normally, he’s Venom’s bitch by default. Now he’s fighting Venom and he’s sick.

Down on the streets, there are more developments with the supporting characters. Mary Jane has shown up, as Peter forgot to bring his camera’s strobe light. Agent Smith and his driver go over how his unspecific directions are for Eddie to scare Jameson into backing down, but the driver explains to Smith that while they both know that, Eddie isn’t down with the usual intelligence community dialogue and may likely misinterpret the orders. Smith realizes his gigantic mistake and runs out of the car.

Wait, doesn’t Eddie have a bomb in his chest that acts as a two-way radio? So they’re just dropping that plot device completely now? I get that it wasn’t used in the Ghost Rider crossover because it was a different writer, but this is Hama’s baby. Oh well.

Now, you know that Spider-Man is going to save Jameson from falling. That’s a given. But damn if there isn’t an over-the-top head start to it. As comic fans, we’re supposed to suspend disbelief in situations like this, but when Spider-Man has to fight Venom for a moment, push Venom through a window, rant at him for a couple paragraphs worth of text, finally dive out the window and still have time to save Jameson in the nick of time, you have to call bullshit.

But because Jameson is flailing around and Spider-Man isn’t, he grabs him and swings off with an angry Venom looking on. Mary Jane is an idiot because when Spider-Man swings by her, she loudly screams, “PETER!!” Thanks for that.

The situation takes to across the street, at a construction site. Venom corners Jameson and prepares to kill him, when Spider-Man swings over, angry that no matter what he tells Venom, Venom never listens.

“Haven’t you ever noticed? We don’t have any ears, dummy!”

Venom tosses aside Jameson and goes for his mortal enemy. Spider-Man pleads for Jameson to run, but he’s in “What a scoop!” mode and sticks around. Does anyone in the media ever seriously say that? I’d like to believe that somewhere, someone does. It helps me sleep at night.

Mary Jane is seen rushing over to the area, angry that Spider-Man would pull a stunt like that in his condition. Yes, of course. How dare he risk his life to save his abusive father figure’s life? She does prove to be less worthless than Smith in this situation. Smith tries the elevator, but sees that the power is out, so he runs up several flights of stairs. Mary Jane sees the lack of power, flicks a nearby switch and uses the elevator.

Despite hating Spider-Man, Jameson finds himself disgusted at seeing him beaten to a pulp by Venom. Or maybe it’s because Venom’s drool is pouring over Spider-Man’s face. Rather than just snap Spider-Man’s neck, Venom goes for the more dramatic approach by bringing down the entire construction site on Spider-Man.

And much like that old story, Spider-Man once again powers out of the wreckage. Venom backhands Jameson, knocking him out, and goes for Spider-Man again. Mary Jane appears and tries to blind Venom with Peter’s camera strobe light. It has little effect, since… I don’t know, symbiotes and stuff, but Venom recognizes who Mary Jane is and decides to kill her for being associated with Spider-Man. Spider-Man tackles him off a ledge and starts pounding his face in, going through the generic, “I’m gonna kill you! Wait, what am I saying?!” moment.

Venom has had enough of this shit and says that if Spider-Man doesn’t kill him and Venom doesn’t kill Spider-Man, then Venom is going to finally reveal Spider-Man’s secret identity to the public. He also notices that some torn power lines are flickering next to a pile of dynamite nearby and is probably going to take them both out anyway. Spider-Man points out that you need both fire and concussion to set off that dynamite. Venom strikes back at him and gets ready to finally end it. Spider-Man webs a big slab of concrete and drops it onto some of the dynamite behind Venom. It goes off and although it doesn’t hit either of them, it’s certainly loud enough to had an effect.

Notice that Spider-Man just punched the fuck out of Eddie Brock’s head with no symbiote to absorb the hit. That’s important… for a really dumb reason.

Spider-Man escapes with Mary Jane. Jameson stands around safely, wondering where everyone went. Smith was able to save Eddie and get him out of there safely. As the car drives through town, Smith puts bandages around Eddie’s head and asks how Spider-Man got involved in this whole mess. Eddie knows that he knows something important about Spider-Man that he’s supposed to tell everyone, but ever since the dynamite, he can’t remember.

That’s right. Eddie Brock no longer remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Why this was needed, I don’t know. Shouldn’t the symbiote remember all of this anyway?

Okay. We’re done with the coming attractions. Now it’s time to get to the feature presentation. Venom: Finale, written by Larry Hama and drawn by Mark Pajarillo, acts as Venom #58-60. It takes place sometime after Venom Agenda, beginning with a scene of Eddie Brock being shot down with a tranquilizer dart laced with dopamine blocker to keep the symbiote dormant.

Three higher-up government types argue over what to do with Venom. One of them, a general, thinks that Venom’s doing a good enough job and that they shouldn’t have to punish him. The other two want to cut their losses and blow up the thermite bomb in his chest. As the three bicker over what to do, Agent Smith checks in with Dr. Yao, creator of the dopamine blocker. Yao finds out about the bomb in Eddie’s chest and loses it. A foreign object like that would tamper with the dopamine blocker and allow Eddie to regain control of the symbiote earlier than usual.

That’s a good way to set up Eddie Brock doing what may be his most badass act ever.

Agent Smith is too late to warn them. One of the government goons presses the button, causing the bomb to detonate. The cell door (taken from a bank vault), is blown off its hinges and Venom comes out. He eludes all the soldiers and their little sonic gadgets, able to escape to the surface. Smith knows this isn’t a good situation, as he recalls what’s going on that day.

Venom pops his head up from a manhole and says, “Oh, wow!! We love these things!!”

You guessed it. It’s a parade.

Peter and Mary Jane see this, which means that Peter has to suit up and swing off to face his dark double yet again.

Venom hooks up with Trish Tilby. Trish is a character from X-Factor who became one of Marvel’s stock TV news reporters. I haven’t brought her up much, but Larry Hama would use her regularly in his Venom stories. Although this is her first time ever getting to talk to him one-on-one, she’d usually appear to play Venom’s devil’s advocate. When authority figures, such as police or the military, would do some underhanded or hypocritical actions to get at Venom, she’d be there to call them out on it on national TV.

At first, Venom tears apart the camera in his face, yelling, “Hey, lookit us! We’re Sean Penn!” But Trish yells at her guys to get a backup camera. Venom’s impressed with her bravery and grants her an interview on the spot. To the camera, he explains that the rumors are true and that he is working for a secret government organization. He names names and points out the different missions they’ve given him.

This complicates matters for Agent Smith. He and his men are armed and ready and have orders to kill Venom, but that isn’t going to happen. There are eye-witnesses all over the place and to slaughter Venom after giving that speech would only make things worse. Spider-Man’s still on his way to the scene, so all Smith can do is argue with Venom.

Then, out of nowhere, a superhero touches down and confronts Venom.

“Who in blue blazes are you and who invited you to this brouhaha?”

“Until just a few weeks ago, I was an ordinary underpaid sound engineer… But now, I have devoted myself to good deeds and saving this wonderful city from the heinous criminal elements who would otherwise run rampant! To that end, I have devised this costume that incorporates nano-tech amplifiers which can boost my voice to ear-shattering volumes! Now I am STENTOR, Master of Amplification and Modulation!”

Smith rolls his eyes and Venom laughs him off. That is, until Stentor pulls a Black Bolt and screams Venom into a brick wall. Shockingly, this idiot may be just what the doctor ordered. That is, if it wasn’t for two things. One, Stentor can’t scream like that again until his costume recharges. Two, Venom heals faster than that. Stentor stops his attempt to get Trish Tilby to interview him and figures he can probably just punch Venom out by now. Venom gets his hands on Stentor and you see a huge ripping sound effect, with Smith covering his eyes.

It’s not as gruesome as you think. Venom only tore away Stentor’s outfit, leaving him in his boxers. He tosses the upstart into the distance, where Spider-Man’s able to save him with a web.

The crazy thing? Someone actually remembered this joker enough to give him a profile in the Civil War: Battle Damage Report! They came up with a real name for him and everything.

So anyway, Spider-Man fights Venom. Venom reacts like he’s only heard of Spider-Man, but never met him before because of his whole selective amnesia. As the two play catch with a cab, Venom accuses Spider-Man of being a cheap parody of him and figures he probably has some lame mechanical web-shooters. The collateral damage of their fight puts the public in danger, so Spider-Man focuses on dealing with that. This allows Venom to escape into the sewer, where he tries to figure out why Spider-Man seems so familiar.

The final issue begins with Spider-Man sneaking into the sewer in an attempt to get Venom to chase him. They go up a manhole, where Smith has a giant amplifier waiting for them. He lets it loose on Venom, but before it can do too much damage, he tosses the manhole cover into the amp and blows it up. To make matters worse, Smith has orders not to attack Venom. There’s been so much damage done that to fail would be intolerable to his government superiors, so that if they leave it to Spider-Man, they can blame everything on him. Of course, if Spider-Man wins, he’s allowed to step in and take the credit.

Sucks for Spider-Man. Like with every Venom fight, he has to play it all defensively. He gets some distance from Venom and tricks him into branching out pieces of his symbiote at him. Spider-Man would dodge and web up the tentacles, provoking Venom to send out more. This wears Venom’s costume thin and causes his mask to unravel. It’s just enough that Spider-Man can swing in and nail him in the chest with a kick, sending a more vulnerable Venom straight into a truck.

He ruined your “like”? What?

Coincidentally, Spider-Man is able to figure out that Venom remembers everything except that Spider-Man is Peter Parker. That makes plenty of sense, right? Yes? No? Definitely no? Well, tough shit.

Spider-Man lets Venom chase him up a nearby building as a way to keep civilians and troopers safe from the chaos. Venom catches up to him and goes into rant #2,301 about how Spider-Man ruined his life. Then he starts ranting about how Spider-Man never had the guts to fight him like a man. Spider-Man starts thinking about how Venom’s right. All these years, Spider-Man never beat Venom himself. He always used outside help, sonics, fire, dynamite, faking his own death, church bells and so on. It’s about time Spider-Man mans up.

Spider-Man doesn’t make any snappy comebacks. He gets to his feet, trying to ignore Venom’s punches and slashes.

Spider-Man pulls Venom back off the ledge, causing the two to fall off the skyscraper. Venom doesn’t seem to care. He has plenty of time to tear Spider-Man apart in mid-air, but then decides he’d rather just see Spider-Man crushed into the pavement before him. Spider-Man tells him it won’t be happening and at the last second, spins it around so Venom is the one with his back to the ground. It’s too late for Venom to try anything and he smashes into the street.

Spider-Man lays on top of him, but slowly gets back up. He’s hurt and rattled, but Venom took it worse by being the one spiked down. He absorbed far more of the shock.

And there it is! What better way to end the Venom series than having Spider-Man finally beat Venom?

Smith and Dr. Yao run in with the dopamine blocker. Smith isn’t taking any chances and jams him with a triple dose. Yao warns that it may force the symbiote out of Eddie’s body, which could be potentially fatal for either of them. Smith doesn’t care.

Eddie starts screaming in pain as the symbiote secretes from his body. It leaks out onto the streets, exuding reddish-purple smoke, bubbling and showing no signs of solidarity. Eddie gets to his knees and sees the goop falling off his hands.

“My alien other… it’s dead! I’M ALL ALONE!!!”

Smith puts on the handcuffs. “Just like the rest of us, Eddie.”

He’s pulled away, with everyone completely ignoring the dead symbiote. Even if they’re trying to sell it as dead, you’d think someone would try to put it in a jar or something. Spider-Man sees the soldiers leave with Eddie and talks to himself.

“Poor Eddie Brock… Hopefully, now, he can find some peace with himself! And hopefully, the rest of us have seen the last of Venom… but somehow I doubt that!”

And it’s over. Venom is no more and we have to say goodbye to all the supporting characters we’ve met over the past five years. Goodbye, Carl Brock. Goodbye, homeless people under San Francisco. Goodbye, Beck. Goodbye, Mace. Goodbye, Scream. Goodbye, Hybrid. Goodbye, punk rock girl with her wheelchair fake-druggy boyfriend. Goodbye, Detectives Clark and Steen. Goodbye, big-breasted psychiatrist at Ravenloft. Goodbye, skater kids. Goodbye, Dr. Yao. Goodbye, Agent Daryll Smith.

Good riddance? Maybe. I don’t know.

Notice I didn’t say goodbye to Ann Weying, Eddie’s ex-wife, in that list. There’s a reason for that.

You also might remember that in the last article, I said that I would cover the lamest Venom story you’ve never heard of. Maybe you figured that I was talking about the Spider-Man novels. Not so.

In actuality, I’m talking about Venumb.

Venumb was released by Parody Press, an imprint of Eternity Comics, which was an imprint of Malibu… I guess. There isn’t too much about them on the internet and parodypresscomics.com is a Sarah Palin fansite. Parody Press has released such comics as Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, The Pummeler, Sewage Dragoon and the Unfunny X-Cons. Venumb is written and drawn by Bill Maus. Considering the opening cover – which tries to tell you about how great Maus is – makes a big deal out of how many comics he works on a month, I suppose I can understand why this comic is so bad.

I’m not a big reader of Mad or Cracked, but I can at least respect their attempts at comedy. Usually, any given panel in one of their parodies has 2-10 jokes mixed in there. Not all of them hit, but at least they’re trying. Now, one of the staples in any Mad or Cracked comic segment is how you have to change the characters names. Like they could do a parody of an obscure comic blog called “4th Loser”, featuring david “yomama” uncles, Gavel and Pester. It’s not funny, but it’s a legal necessity.

Imagine a comic where 95% of the content was that kind of joke. Just changing some characters’ names and calling it a day.

It starts with a lady jogger minding her own business when Venumb jumps out of nowhere and scares her into fainting. He swings off, laughing at her misfortune, and decides to “check this place out”. I’m guessing “this place” is supposed to be San Francisco. Who knows, considering maybe four panels in the entire comic have backgrounds. Venumb talks with his costume and decides that maybe they need a disguise to get by.

That’s… that’s not how you spell Broccoli.

Then a light bulb with batwings flies by. Eddie gets angry because it saw him transform, so he grabs at the cord tail of the creature and transforms it into Lamperella. What a Vampirella parody is doing in a Venom parody book, I have no idea. She challenges him to a fight and calls Venumb skinny. Venumb blows on his own thumb, making him even bigger.

Then Bugman swings in and kicks Venumb in the face. Venumb grabs him, causing Bugman to go into a flashback to explain Venumb’s origin. Bugman brought an alien symbiote back with him from the Secret Snores saga and then rejected it. So the symbiote went into a paper plant, where it met Eddie Brocolli, who lost his job because of a bug. You see, a spider got stuck in the printer, which caused it to splatter over a picture of Eddie’s boss. Now the picture looks like someone scribbled a mustache over him and blacked out his teeth. The symbiote jumped up Eddie’s nostrils and made him fall into a vat of liquid paper, therefore turning him into Venumb.


Venumb decides not to kill Bugman after all, since he got him his own comic. So he throws Bugman and Lamperella into a wall and sticks them there with whiteout. Then he gets hit with a garbage can, prompting an appearance from his offspring Garbage. Venumb punches him into a wall, causing Splatter-Woman to make the scene. Again, I have no idea why the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman is involved with this.

Venumb hits her with a fly swatter. Then Bugman appears in his new armor outfit, calling himself Shingle-Man. Venumb laughs at how stupid it is, puts him in his mouth, chews him up and spits him back out sans armor. Then a parody of Scream shows up. Bugman asks if this symbiote trend will ever end, which Venumb agrees to. He throws the unnamed female symbiote into a wall and asks who’s next. Since Bugman is the only one around, he runs off in the opposite direction, only to get whiteout shot onto the back of his head.

Instead of beating him up some more, Venumb freaks out. “What’s… What’s happening?! What’s going on? My costume! It’s leaving me! But why?! Who could possibly have more hatred than me?”

Which gives us our last page…

Wow. Even back in the early 90’s, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have been funny.

Oh yeah, the comic also comes with trading cards of Venumb and Shingle-Man stapled onto the inside. It’s about as half-assed as the “foil” embossed cover, which is really just a light gray cover with a slight gloss.

They’re still around too, that Parody Press. They did a comic two years back called Hewoes. What kind of unfunny nimrod would do a parody of a lame Jeph Loeb series?


Even with Venom’s solo series in the can, We Care a Lot isn’t over by a longshot. Or by a mojo. Join me next time and I’ll go over the many ways Howard Mackie pissed on the character during his appearances in Spider-Man’s books.

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5 comments to “We Care a Lot Part 11: No More Mr. Nice Guy”

  1. The fluffy adamantium-ish stuff from Lizard Sanction is called hydrogel. It was originally designed for spacecraft shielding, but later on it’s learned that it could potentially cure Connors/Lizard of his transformations, and that’s the criminals’ blackmailing point.

    Yeah, I do remember reading the first two novels. I think they came out at the time of the 90’s cartoon. Just a lot of annoying MJ filler fluff, but I think they’re on my shelf somewhere. I could look up some quotes.

  2. how’s it feel to have put more thought into venom than some of his past writers ?

  3. I have to admit, I loved some of the venom story-lines covered when I read them; The Hunger stands out as a personal favorite, and despite it not getting too much love the Secret-Agent Venom stuff was still cool (Venom, crashing into a plane, and eating brains, how awesome is that on a scale of surrealism?). I picked these up as back-issues and dipped in and out of various ones, and can conclude: Venom is great & Venom sucks–depending on who was doing the writing. The Hunger is a classic…the whole Wolverine Crossover was utter trash. Someday Brock will get back his beloved alien skin and all will be well…or horrible.

  4. I actually own all the Venom limited series, sadly, even the atrocious Tsunami print (the Venom series that starts off in the arctic), and even the issue of Venumb (in digital form), plus some Marvel UK Venom stories. But you got me beat on the novels. For some reason, I never wanted to read those, and after hearing your opinion, I don’t think I ever will.

    Lethal Protector, Separation Anxiety & The Hunger are my faves, btw.

  5. I like the article on Venom. I remember when I was a kid and I used to be scared of this guy when I first saw him in Spiderman. Venom was definately the closest thing to the boogeyman in my books
    I so heartily agree that they messed up Venom in the 90s through rampant overuse-Especially with the Lethal Protector angle. Kind of like what DC does to Joker and Lex Luthor by using them too much for their own good. This is proof that too much of a good thing can be bad for everybody.