Spider-Man has the honor of being our first character of the month! As we praise him with various articles throughout May, we'll also give the heroes and villains that are close to him some love by placing them in a weekly battle! Our first one is between two iconic Spidey characters: Green Goblin and Venom. It was tempting to use Eddie Brock's Venom, but that fight has been created and discussed plenty of times before, so why not use the latest host, Flash Thompson? The community has debated about this fight since Monday and more than 300 of you voted. After the dust has settled from this brawl, the Comic Vine crowd thinks Agent Venom will be the winner!
The latest Venom received a respectable 58% of the votes. Norman Osborn earned 37%, and 5% believe this one can go either way, declaring it too close to call. Venom certainly took a fair lead in the poll, but there's no denying this would be a thoroughly entertaining fight to witness.
Norman's diabolical mind combined with his gear (and not to mention solid physicals) makes him an incredibly dangerous villain to encounter. His explosives and flight capabilities immediately means he's going to keep Venom on his toes and most definitely make him work hard for a potential victory. It's fairly unlikely Venom will get near Norman without being hit directly by a bomb or at least dangerously close to one. That said, Flash has a legitimately impressive history in dealing with these kinds of obstacles (e.g. Jack O'Lantern, has recovered after electric attacks). Thanks to his formidable physicals and endurance, it is fair to believe that Flash has what it takes to eventually close the distance or even disable Norman's big advantage: his glider. If that occurs, it's going to be a gigantic uphill struggle for Norman and truly is Flash's fight to lose. Not only is Flash stronger, but he's also more durable, has better speed feats under his belt and the symbiote grants him a wide array of offensive capabilities (tendrils, claws, "webbing," etc).
It'll be a savage fight and Flash will absolutely take a fair amount of damage throughout the battle, but based on his history of enduring this kind of damage and the advantages he brings to the table (e.g. strength, speed, durability, offensive options), it's understandable to believe that he could eventually overcome Green Goblin's advanced gear and twisted mentality. It won't be a walk in the park for either character, though.
There were more than a few respectable posts in the back-and-forth debate taking place between Viners; however, one of them really stood out when reviewing the whole conversation. The Comic Viner GraniteSoldier made a massively detailed and commendable post explaining why he thinks Flash Thompson should eventually win this battle. This Viner not only covers the advantages each holds in the fight, but also offers relevant examples.
"So, it's not an easy choice because like I said previously this is my favorite hero and my favorite villain. However, after giving it thought, there's really one clear winner: Eugene "Flash" Thompson.
Let's get the obvious out of the way: Flash far exceeds Norman physically. His strength is far above Norman's, speed, agility (Norman has no noteworthy speed or agility feats that I can recall) and durability all well above his. Speaking of durability, it's important to note that while Venom has been hurt, he's never actually been KO'd by blunt force like punches, and he's taken blows from Carnage, Spider-Man, Toxin, Kaine, and even Red Hulk and none KO'd him. The guy seriously has some insane durability. Not to mention healing, he healed from a near-gutting by Toxin in a panel and proceeded to Bat-kick the big guy in the head. Norman has hit hard enough to hurt Spidey, but his wins, or near wins, on Peter always come with prep and gear in addition to fisticuffs. Physically, Norman is simply outclassed.
Norman has the gear edge, what with the incredibly durable Goblin suit and his plethora of pumpkin bombs, not to mention glider. However Flash has shredded tank armor, and torn apart the symbiote slayers who were made of an alien metal. He cut through Human Fly's bulletproof wings. I don't see this armor holding up. Flash's gear is simple: usually 2 pistols, a rifle, a handful of various grenades, and the symbiote serum. The serum is worthless here, so let's skip that. The Goblin suit may be bulletproof, but the glider can still take damage. If the glider goes down, Goblin loses most of his mobility. Flash can also turn the suit into various weapons, his favorite being the arm-sword and mace-fist. With these he's diced up enemies like Carnage and knocked around Blood Spider, the physical equivalent to Spider-Man. Norman's pumpkin bombs are nothing new. He's literally tanked dozens from Jack O'Lantern, with no apparent effect. Flash has tanked building level explosions and been fine. Hell he survived an exploding and burning space station to save Valkyrie. His suit filters poisons. He's webbed and tagged Jack on his glider, so there's nothing to suggest he can't do the same to Norman. Jack also had intel and equipment provided by Crime-Master specifically for Flash, so he was essentially prepped for Venom at all times. With Norman's standard gear, most of it is going to have little effect on Flash, especially with his durability and healing.
Now Norman is smarter, but there's no prep here. Most of the problems Norman causes is due to great prep and deception, not sheer combat ability or brute force. If he had prep, this could possibly be a different battle. But he doesn't. Not to mention Norman has various instances where his insanity gets the better of him and flushes his plans down the toilet. Flash is no slouch either when it comes to combat. He's no genius, but he's a US Army Ranger combat veteran (won the Medal of Honor) and then received additional training when he became the black ops Agent Venom. He's beaten Valkyrie, a life-long Asgardian warrior, in a sparring match. He's no intellectual genius, but he's proven himself a more than capable warrior time and again. Again, if Norman had prep this might be a different battle. I know people will argue the pumpkin bombs, but again Venom has taken them, and bigger explosions, and kept fighting. Norman may have experience with Spider-Man, but Flash has experience with Jack O'Lantern who fights very similarly. So really, they are on equal ground there.
Honestly, it's still a tough fight, but in the end in a random Green Goblin just doesn't have the tools to keep Flash down. He can hurt him, but can't stop him. On the flip, Eugene can both hurt, and stop, Norman. Flash has morals, but not as strict as Peter. He can be pushed and will kill if the threat is too great. He cut Carnage's head off for Pete's sake! If Norman seems like he's going to cause too much death and destruction, Flash wouldn't worry about putting the rabid dog down. I give Flash, in a random, a solid 8/10 majority."
Do you also believe Flash Thompson should be the victor or do you think Goblin has what it takes to defeat the symbiote? Share your thoughts with us below. Also, don't forget to check the homepage on Monday for a new Spider-Man Battle of the Week! In the meantime, you're welcome to make suggestions right here in the comments or via Twitter.