We Care a Lot Part 13: Way Out of His Mind

June 29th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , , , ,

The badness that stapled to the 90’s is well-documented, but it’s interesting to see the stages that followed it. In the present, we’re in the phase where failed 90’s ideas are being brought back. Onslaught got his own miniseries and an appearance in Ultimate X-Men. Bendis wrote the Ultimate Clone Saga and now Ben Reilly is set to make some kind of comeback. Azrael is back in the Bat-universe. The latest Superman/Batman arc was a one-sided version of Amalgam. Carnage is slated to make a return. Some of these come off as a writer deciding that maybe he could do justice to the idea this time. More often than not, it’s just another bad example of comics cannibalizing its past.

But during the late-90’s/early-00’s, Marvel was in the middle of its great purge. Seeing something like Ben Reilly or Onslaught namedropped was rare. They were trying to wash their hands of every concept that went wrong during that decade. Because of that, Venom downright vanished. After Howard Mackie’s questionable use of the character, Venom wouldn’t appear for a couple years. Unfortunately, he returned in a very bad way.

The 18-issue run of the series began in June of 2003, under Marvel’s Tsunami imprint. The imprint was supposed to be more geared manga readers, whatever that means. The comic series was written by Daniel Way. Now, let me get my thoughts on Daniel Way out of the, er, way.

It’s easy to hold a grudge on a comic writer if you hate a comic they wrote. Lord knows I do it with Jeph Loeb. Way has certainly written some comics I didn’t like outside of this. For instance, if you’ve ever read through Agent X, you might recall that one issue late in the series which is meant to be the anti-climactic finale until Marvel later decided to bring back Gail Simone and UDON to tie up loose ends. That was Way’s issue. Ouch. Adding to that, I’m not much of a fan of “Wolverine uncovers secrets over secrets over secrets”, otherwise known as Wolverine Origins.

That being said, the guy has written some good-to-great stuff. His two Bullseye miniseries were fun. His Nighthawk miniseries was pretty rocking too. Dark Wolverine is already off to a great start. Of course, how could I not mention is stellar run on Deadpool? It’s a comic that gets better by the issue.

But while Daniel Way has certainly grown as a writer, there’s still this mess.

The series begins with a 5-issue storyline called Shiver, otherwise known as that Venom comic that completely rips off John Carpenter’s The Thing. Hey, if anything, that gave me a good enough excuse to finally watch that movie, so I get something out of this article. On art is Francisco Herrera, who is like a bad parody of everything you’ve ever disliked about Humberto Ramos’ work.

That would be our main character, Patricia Robertson. Being that she’s a female protagonist in a comic with this art style about an exploitative creature, you can bet that the series will be filled with some unintentionally unappealing nude scenes.

Patricia is a communications expert for the army. She’s a bit peeved that despite her intentions to be all she can be, she spends all her time sitting around with headphones on. She wants to prove herself, which means working at an outpost in northern Canada and volunteering to visit the nearby laboratory building to borrow DVDs. That building belongs to Ararat Corporation.

Patricia hears no response from them at first, but then hears a voice on the intercom begging for her to help. With her snow dogs spooked behind her, Patricia braves into the building to find a whole bunch of dead, mangled bodies. She sees traces of a mysterious black goop and prepares to get the hell out of there until hearing a man beg for help. Patricia finds a man locked in the kitchen, shivering and asking, “Is it… gone?”

Unsure what the guy is talking about, Patricia drags the survivor back to her sleigh. The dogs seem unnerved and growl at the poor guy, but Patricia commands them to mush. As they leave, we see a lone figure standing behind them in the distance.

She makes it back to her outpost, where her commander Colonel Malone is waiting with others. They deal with the survivor, who is in too much shock to explain anything. Malone comforts Patricia with some liquor, figuring that based on her description, there must have been a polar bear attack. That almost puts Patricia on ease, until they realize that if this guy – who we eventually learn is named Perry – was locked away in the kitchen, then who was answering the intercom?

Perry goes into a seizure and Patricia comes to realize that she may have made a big mistake.

All of that? That’s the first issue. Other than a couple drips of black ooze and the front cover, we didn’t even get a taste of Venom. Imagine if your favorite comic character hadn’t made a single appearance in years and when promised his or her own storyline, it started like this. A slow burn can be a great thing, but this isn’t one of those times.

Although the beginning of issue #2 doesn’t give us any real Venom action, we do get the next best thing. Way introduces the most redeeming part of these 18-issues: The Suit.

Shown investigating the site of the earlier slaughter, the Suit pulls out his cell phone and calls up a mysterious ally to explain the situation. Reading him years later, he seems cool enough, but back when this came out, it was obvious that he was there to capitalize on Agent Smith from the Matrix’s popularity. Plus a little Agent K from Men in Black.

Back to the army guys. They have a hard time holding down Perry, as he seems to have some kind of superhuman strength. Then they go outside to find that one of Patricia’s dogs is all messed up and leaking black goo. The other dogs, scared for their lives, run off. Exposition, exposition, Patricia shower scene, and Colonel Malone gets a strange visitor that night.

The next day, Malone is acting like a complete asshole. Patricia finds that her injured dog has a human finger in its mouth. Then Perry comes to and starts screaming. He says some cryptic stuff about containing an experiment until being interrupted.

Took you long enough!

From the plot, you can probably figure out that that isn’t Eddie Brock under the second skin. Nope, that’s just Colonel Malone. See, let me spoil something. Eddie Brock isn’t going to be showing up in this series for a long time. Long enough that he won’t pop up at all in this update.

That’s right, Eddie fucking Brock doesn’t even appear in the first two story arcs for a series called Venom. What in the hell?

This so-called Venom lunges at Robertson, but his hand is shot off by an energy blast. He’s stopped by the Suit, who then hits Venom with a more direct blast. You might be wondering what caused the shot. Does the Suit have a MiB knockoff laser gun? Does he just shoot energy out of his hands or out of his covered eyes? Nah. We get something way cooler.

He shoots energy blasts out of his CELL PHONE!


Suit hits Venom again and tells Patricia that he only has enough juice for one more shot, so she better leave or else she will die. Patricia refuses, as she wants to save her friends, who are unconscious for reasons I can’t recall. As Suit gets ready to finish Venom off – and the symbiote has been damaged enough to reveal that Colonel Malone is in fact underneath – another soldier by the name of Jackson opens fire and puts a couple bullets through the Suit’s torso. It allows Venom to escape and Suit turns around to chastise Jackson.

“It is a parasitic life-form from another planet. I am here to isolate and destroy it. Unchecked, it will move on to larger population centers, growing both more powerful and more difficult to isolate.”

Yet another soldier Delacroix shows up with a shotgun, aiming it at Suit. Suit wonders if Delacroix is a symbiote host and aims his cell at him. Jackson shoots Suit in the head at point blank range, causing him to slump over against the wall. Perry, the freaked-out scientist, makes a run for it. As the soldiers get ready to chase after him, Patricia first makes a stop to try and steal Suit’s badass cell phone.

Suit calmly informs her that the cell phone is an energy conductor. He stands up and electrocutes everyone in the room, knocking them all out. He then gives chase and makes an attempt to fight Venom again, though – as he warns his benefactor on the other end of the phone – he’s lost the element of surprise.

Truth be told, the banter between Suit and Venom is awesome, while at the same time, cryptic enough that you’re interested in where the story is going.

“Why have you come for me?”

“I have come to destroy you. I know what you are.”

“Yeah… and we know all about you. You’re no better than we are.”

“That is arguable.”

“Heh-heh… Wanna argue?”


Suit fires at Venom, but only hits Colonel Malone’s decoy corpse. The symbiote grabs onto the Suit and tears him to pieces. With the Suit’s sunglasses coming off in the commotion, we see that he has completely empty eye-sockets.

Patricia and Jackson come to in one room, tied together. Jackson figures that the Suit put them there as bait for Venom. Patricia accepts that their only chance of getting out alive is the Suit, which is very unfortunate, considering he’s lying motionless under the Venom symbiote in the form of several torn-up pieces at the moment.

Soon after, Venom takes over Jackson.

Venom gives Patricia the chance to run away, but then grabs onto her leg and trips her. As he goes to kill her, Delacroix pops in with a shotgun. It distracts Venom for a second, as he lets go of Jackson and takes over Delacroix’s body. Patricia runs for it and arms herself, for all the good that will do. She uncovers a room filled with all the supporting characters, dead and tied up in black webbing. This includes Jackson, meaning that Venom works REALLY fast.

Venom no-sells a gunshot to the chest, as he’s wont to do, and gives chase. Then the shell explodes, stunning Venom and killing Delacroix. Patricia runs some more and finds Perry. It’s there that he finally explains what the deal is with Venom and what he’s doing in the arctic. Patricia is shocked and angry, holding a gun to Perry’s head and screaming at him for being irresponsible.

Oh, what’s that? You want me to tell you what he told her? Ha! Wouldn’t you know it, we don’t get to read that conversation. All we know is that they talked about it. After all, they want to keep the mystery running as long as possible, don’t they?

Outside, the Suit is stitched back together by little metal spiders. Once finished, they crawl up into Suit’s eyesockets. He sits up, puts his shades on and ponders, “Now, where were we…”

I notice that of this issue, Herrera’s art has improved. Patricia looks more like a female human being.

Patricia continues to bitch out Perry for being a coward and an asshole, but comes up with the idea of driving off in one of the trucks and torching the rest of the place so that Venom has nobody to devour.

I should note that Perry, despite being a scientist involved with studying the creature, has no idea how to destroy it. I can understand not thinking about the sonics, but come on. Even in The Thing they were smart enough to know that a flamethrower is the go-to weapon against shape-shifting alien parasites.

There’s a huge explosion that busts down the wall and knocks the two out for a moment. Patricia realizes that somebody blew up the trucks to trap them there. That would be the Suit, who doesn’t want Venom leaving. The Suit tells Patricia that he is from another planet and if he fails to stop Venom, all of humanity will die. As for why she should trust him, other than him saving her life an hour ago, Suit points out that Perry is yet another Venom host.

Suit explains that Venom has devoured Perry enough that he’s going to be looking for a new host soon. Suit gets ready to zap Patricia with his cell phone, asking her to trust him, but instead she knocks the phone out of his hand. Suit insists that she go and kill something, but before he can spell it out, he’s attacked by Venom. Patricia is chased down by Venom for a bit, but then he decides to leave her alone. She hears the sounds of dogs barking and howling and realizes what the Suit wanted her to kill. Venom has escaped by taking over her snow dogs.

The Suit zaps Patricia unconscious again and answers his phone to tell whoever it is that he has failed, but he’ll continue to give chase.

Jesus, 2003! It was bad enough you gave us Hulk poodles! Now we get Venom dogs too?

So ends Shiver. As a Venom fan, I was more confused than anything else. I still don’t know why Venom is in the arctic. I’m unsure why the symbiote has become a sinister monster that goes through hosts like Garfield goes through lasagna. And of course, I’m still wondering where Eddie Brock is during all of this.

It’s not the worst story arc, but it falls into the category of “bowling strike storytelling”. I mentioned that made-up concept back when I reviewed Lethal Protector, fittingly the first arc of Venom’s other series. Shiver can’t best be measured on its own, but in how it relates to the rest of the story. For a second, ignore how it’s a Thing knockoff and how the five issues could have easily been condensed to four, or even three. If the rest of Daniel Way’s Venom was good, these five issues could be considered good as well. That isn’t the case.

We move along to Venom #6, which begins a new story arc Run. Art duties are taken over by Paco Medina.

The Suit treks forward with an unconscious Patricia on his back. She comes to and screams. He explains the situation and hands her a can of tuna so she can eat. She refuses and goes on a rant about how Venom killed all her friends.

I think he’s starting to enjoy this.

The Suit carries Patricia into the woods, where he finds the dogs dead and tied up in black webbing. While the Suit easily fends off against a bear, a crow flies off, carrying the symbiote within. This is all being watched by a pair of near-identical spy chicks in a hovering purple ship. The Suit sees the ship, calls up his unknown boss and explains that there are others searching for Venom. That’s okay, though, because as he looks at the unconscious Patricia, he notes that he has a contingency plan.

The Venom crow crash lands near a shack, where it proceeds to devour a handful of guys playing poker. Taking over the last victim Clem, he rides off in search of more food.

The issue ends with our two spy girls entering a bar, getting the attention of all the men. One such man sits at a table, noting that they aren’t from around there. When they ask how he knows, Wolverine turns around and smirks. “I just know these things.”

Yep! You guessed it. Run is none other than part three in the Wolverine vs. Venom Holy Shit This is Awful Trilogy. If you remember, the first chapter of that trilogy came in the form of the Howard Mackie/Sam Kieth story in Marvel Comics Presents. It’s fitting, as Sam Kieth draws the covers for the next few issues. See?

Just a quick aside, one of the storytelling problems in this comic is that rather than have the characters’ names revealed within the story, Way mostly relies on the recap page for the following issue. For instance, that guy Perry from the first story? They never say his name ever. By this point they haven’t referred to the Suit as the Suit yet. So far, the only reason I know the spy girls’ names are Vic and Frankie is because the recap page of Venom #7 tells me.

Also, I’m not sure if there’s wisdom in naming a character the Suit when “the suit” is what plenty of people use to term the Venom symbiote. It’s needlessly confusing.

Anyway, the story. Clem reveals himself as Venom at a diner. Everyone takes off running, only to get gunned down by Vic and Frankie. Frankie gets ready to shoot down the fat waitress trying to make a getaway, only for Wolverine to jump out and tackle Frankie. As he interrogates her, the symbiote catches up to the waitress and takes over. Venom pounces on Wolverine, allowing Frankie to run off.

Despite being a living pile of goo covering a large, obese woman, Venom still appears as a 10-foot-tall mountain of muscle. Go figure.

Frankie and Vic talk back and forth about how they’ve trained their whole lives to fight Venom. Frankie still runs off, as her “collar” is broken. Then the Suit pops in to knock out Vic.

With the Wolverine vs. Venom fight, we see why the idea of them fighting in the 21st century doesn’t work. In the 80’s and a lot of the 90’s, Venom mostly appeared as being a bigger, stronger Spider-Man. He’s got the liquid costume, but he’s still a man underneath, so him fighting Wolverine is still an exciting concept. These days, Venom isn’t even so much muscular as he’s a big blob of black ooze. It’s less about a guy with claws fighting a man in a special suit than it is a guy with claws fighting the T-1000 with teeth.

The symbiote doesn’t want to kill Wolverine, but to take him over. Wolverine’s healing factor makes him the perfect host; one that the symbiote could use to live off of forever. The Suit also realizes this and takes steps to make sure it doesn’t happen. He aims his cell phone and fries Wolverine.

Logan is now a skeleton with clothes and hair. That phone packs quite a punch. I want one.

I want you to pay attention to that panel for a second. His skin is completely gone. He’s just bones. THAT is what kind of damage a cell phone gun does. Remember this.

With all this commotion, I forgot about Patricia. She wakes up in the woods and sees a panicked Frankie running by. For no good reason, Patricia confronts her and tells her to get on the ground, which doesn’t go over well. The two get in a physical altercation, where Patricia knocks off Frankie’s wig. Frankie, bald as a cue ball, chases her down.

Patricia Robertson really sucks as a hero.

Back to Suit, Venom and Wolverine. Suit explains that by taking out Wolverine, even momentarily, it prevents Venom from using him as a host. For some reason, Venom has to wait for Wolverine to heal up first. Vic shoots the phone out of Suit’s hand and makes herself known by removing her own wig. Venom feels drawn to her.

The Suit explains that she’s genetically enhanced to appeal to Venom and that her special collar will allow her full control if Venom makes her its host. An old man stumbles upon the meeting and tries to get away, but just by being there, he makes things even more complicated. Vic fires at the man so that Venom can’t make him his host, only for the symbiote to latch onto the bullet and use it as a means of travel. With a new host and farther away from the fight, Venom gets away.

The Suit and Vic begin to fight, only for Frankie to blast down the Suit from her ship. Vic joins her in the cockpit and they go over how this guy with the shades somehow knows who they are and what they’re about. They send this information to their boss, while in the background, Patricia is tied up.

Wolverine is finally healed up and he sees the little robot spiders putting the Suit back together.

No, don’t worry. That guy the Suit is always talking to is not Reed Richards.

Welp. As you may have noticed, things haven’t been too stupid yet. At least not for this storyline. Right now we’re going to get into the big pile of retarded that everyone remembers this series for.

Vic and Frankie are given orders to drop a nuke onto this area of Canada. Yes, a nuke. That’s bad enough. Then you have this exchange between the two of them.

“Do you think the Canadian government is… really gonna let us do this?”

“Heh… D’you really think they’d say no… to him?”

Oookay. Listen, guys, you need to stop doing this. I’ve seen this in Tamora Pierce’s awful White Tiger mini and the infinitely bad Identity Disc mini. If you’re going to be writing for Marvel or DC and you’re a new guy writing a C-list title, stop it with all the “bad guy controlling EVERYTHING who is such a secret that not even the smartest of the smart government agencies have even heard of them” crap. It’s cheap. Jeph Loeb came up with Romulus during his Wolverine run and Way is currently continuing on it, but at least it works on a level because Loeb is high profile, Way has become high profile and Wolverine Origins is a high profile comic.

I’m just sick of reading that crap in a comic that five people will remember in two years starring someone with the star power of Cloak’s second-cousin.

As for that nuke, it lands directly onto Wolverine’s head. Looking up, he mutters, “This just ain’t my day…”

Once the dust is cleared, we see what’s left of Wolverine. Remember an issue earler. The Suit was able to reduce Wolverine into a skeleton with a blast from his phone. So what do you think a nuke is going to do to him?

It blows off most of his shirt, while his flesh, pants and shoes are totally untouched.

Thanks! I missed you guys.

Up in the air, the blast caused enough shock to rock the ship around. This allows Patricia to loosen her binds.

As for why Vic and Frankie nuked Canada, they have left the Venom symbiote with no hosts. Now it has no choice but to merge with one of them for survival. All this time, everyone’s focused on Wolverine surviving when it’s about as silly that the symbiote would live through the explosion as well.

They dress up in bulky armor outfits and go off to hunt down Venom. They notice that on their radar, the symbiote’s movement is strange, but blame it on its hunger. They find him held up in a cellar, but once they open the door, they find out that Venom isn’t as hostless as they thought. Living off the bodies of thousands of cockroaches, Venom lunges out and slaughters Frankie. Venom escapes, leaving Vic to be killed by the Suit.

Her death is really weird, actually. The Suit swings an axe across Frankie’s armor and there’s a big “SHLUKK!” sound effect, but there’s no sign of any damage whatsoever to Frankie and her armor afterwards. The Suit removes her gauntlet and copies her fingerprints so that he can enter the ship. To his surprise, Patricia is both alive and free from captivity. The Suit goes back to Frankie’s corpse, raids her armor, returns to the ship and knocks Patricia out yet again.

Elsewhere, Wolverine notices a bunch of dead cockroaches, which is odd, as they should have survived the blast. Behind him, the symbiote reaches out and grabs him. Say what you will about this comic, but at least it tends to give us nice panels like this.

Patricia wakes up, now bald, wearing a metal collar and with a metal tube going into the back of her skull. I was going to make a joke based on Bane and how that tube in his head feeds him venom, but it came off as way too forced. Do me a favor and laugh anyway.

The collar is there to let Patricia control the symbiote if it ends up taking her over. Patricia doesn’t care, as she’s now a freak. This scream-filled moment is made even more scream-filled when the Suit is cut in pieces by adamantium claws.

“Hello, Patricia… Love your new look…”


In one instant, you can feel the fist-pumps of several thousand 12-year-olds.

If things didn’t look bad enough for Patricia, it gets even worse with the cliffhanger! An identical ship appears in the distance, watching Wolvenom in action. In the cockpit? Another set of Vic and Frankie, still with their wigs on!

What does all this mean? How is Wolvenom going to be stopped? Who is the Suit? Who are Vic and Frankie working for? Where in God’s name is Eddie Brock?!

That’ll be for another time. That was the end of issue #9 and being the halfway point, that seems like a good place to stop.

Heck, I’m not even going to pick up from here next time. Around this point, Venom was making appearances in more notable titles. Titles that made a little more sense. I’ll finish off Daniel Way’s Venom another time, but first, I’m going to talk about Marvel finishing off Eddie himself.

On a more positive note, I highly suggest checking out the Brian Reed miniseries Sinister Spider-Man. Mac Gargan and “Symby” have their own letters column. That’s how awesome it is.

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14 comments to “We Care a Lot Part 13: Way Out of His Mind”

  1. > No, don’t worry. That guy the Suit is always talking to is not Reed Richards.

    You’ve firmly established that Reed Richard’s sanity is held together by a thin, frayed thread. How cool would it have been if Reed dispatched an army of metal-spider-run agents to do… well… anything and everything?

  2. While I don’t like Origins much, I have to give Way credit. He’s at least TRYING to make Wolverine continuity fit a timeline. He’s taking all the Claremont, and Windsor-Smith stuff, plus the Weapon Plus stuff Morrison came up with, on top of the Romulus bullshit Loeb pulled out of his ass, PLUS the Jenkins/Kubert Origin series, plus who knows how many other stuff I must have forgotten.

    Very few writers could take all that and make it great.

  3. I have often wondered too about the “Nuke”

    Obviously the simplest answer is its just a large missle and nuke is being used as a slang term for large explosives like it is in video games.

    The weapon clearly wasnt massive nuclear warhead or it would be a bigger event then 9-11.

    A host with a healing factor makes perfect sense for a symbiote and seeing as this venom is clearly different it makes sense he would go for him.

    I know completly what happens I own this series but I wont spoil it.

    However why would you go onto the Venom appearences in other comics when they are chronologically set after this, that makes no sense and will partially spoil the outcome of this series summary.

  4. People are far to harsh on this series.

    the tsunami imprint was a about completly differnt art and writing styles this was given to Way under the provision of it being a horror story twist.

    When he tried to give people what they wanted later in the series they cancelled it just as it was getting good again.

    It wasnt a regular 616 titles and he didnt/couldnt/shouldnt have written it as such, its only hated on so much because of the blatantly misuderstood nuke scene and that its the most recent time we had seen any kind of venom so our hopes were insanely high.

    Overall I dont like the series and preffered all the nineties and modern stuff but I just see it as a lull in the career of my favourite anti hero and try not to hate on it to much.

  5. Man I’ll hate on this all day. Terrible art and a rip-off of a Carpenter movie. I liked Venom as a kid and I like Way now and this was easily one of the worst things associated with either of them, which is saying a LOT. There is literally no reason to read this book other than to write about it on your blog.

  6. @Toby Stokes: I was about to ask why you would possibly want to make this bullshit makes sense but it seems you have an entire website devoted to that when I click your name. You care. A lot.

  7. Even for Marvel, this Venom stuff is bad. This blog entry is way more entertaining than the actual comics

  8. @Toby Stokes: However why would you go onto the Venom appearences in other comics when they are chronologically set after this, that makes no sense and will partially spoil the outcome of this series summary.

    Chronologically, sure. But spoiling? Come on. The only comic to ever directly reference this series is that Venom Bomb arc of Mighty Avengers, as it namedrops Patricia Robertson.

  9. Oh hey, finally something that I was actively reading as it came out. Well, I think I started around issue 9 or 10, as that when I was first getting back into comics.

    Venom had been, and still is, one of my favorite characters from when I was first reading comics in the early 90s. Getting back into comics in early 04, this was one of the first series I started reading because it was Venom. I remember getting the back issues and kind of liking the first arc, but wondering where the hell Eddie was. Then as the series went on, I was kind of just like, “what the hell is this I have no idea what is going on. Was there some lead in to this maybe I could figure out some of what is happening?” Well no, there wasn’t. You just kind of had to go along and try to make sense of it on your own. Then other stuff happened with Eddie after this series which Gavok will get into, but I’ll talk about that as it happens.

    Both Way and Paco Medina have gotten a lot better over the years in their respective crafts. Medina I’ve noted has fortunately gotten away from those large as hell noses he used to draw, which I always found quite disconcerting, as pretty much every single character had them at one point.

  10. The symbiote’s “Mine” in that one panel makes me think it should be an Orange Lantern. I want to say that I’m really enjoying this series of articles. I was a big Venom fan when most of these books came out, and it’s nice to see them revisited from a good-natured perspective that acknowledges their flaws but doesn’t wallow in snark and negativity. Keep writing them and I’ll keep reading them.

  11. You know, the suit should remind me of Agent Smith, but thanks to Psychonauts, all I think when seeing him is “I work for the road crew. This is my street sign”.

  12. What the hell is this criticism of not littering every issue with needless back-exposition and name dropping? That’s a GOOD thing! Since i was a kid i have always hated this need to fill-in new readers with details they missed IN THE ACTUAL NARRATIVE. It is retarded and a casual reader should be expected to read a recap page if they are coming in blind rather than hatcheting the story’s flow by spelling it ll out in-panel.

  13. @kailryu: Naming a character over the course of a story isn’t “name dropping.” It’s one of the basic fundamentals of decent writing.

  14. Exactly. Plus I’m sure it chafes whoever was unfortunate enough to pick up the trades.