Wow, what a dark and twisted issue. I'm legitimately astounded by Venom's fight with the U-Foes. The anti-hero encounters the team of villains outside a motel. When they realize he's too agile to immediately take down, they turn their attention towards the innocent people nearby. As you know, the U-Foes are a group of villains with assorted powers (strength, gas, etc.) and they viciously unleash their abilities on the helpless people nearby. At first I thought Venom would do something to save all of them from the situation (he certainly tries), but no, after his attempt we get a few panels of the brutal situation. Electric attacks slice people in half, they're crushed with super strength, they suffer as they choke on gas... it's almost painful to watch the event unfold. I imagine there are some people out there who might even find this scene a bit tough to stomach.
There are some moments where Thony Silas' and Nelson Decastro's art really shines. The splash page of Venom's first appearance in Philadelphia is downright amazing. Everything from the detail to the shading is top-notch. Where the art team also excels is combat. All of the attacks look great and pack a real force behind them. This ranges from his symbiotic legs being sliced off to the tragic scene with the civilians. Venom's status after the battle is also viciously detailed.
Venom said he needed change so I was honestly expecting him to have his own reason for heading to Philly. Perhaps just to escape from all the chaos that happened in New York. Whatever the reason, I thought he'd come here on his own terms. That's not the case, though. Katy's the reason Flash comes to Philly and thankfully the motivation provided is more than adequate.
Flash should stand no chance against the U-Foes, so when they were introduced I was concerned some major PIS was on the way. Luckily, that didn't happen and Ironclad even remarks that Venom's attacks aren't accomplishing anything. That said, watching Flash bounce around was a blast and he made great use of a grenade.
Flash is a moron for taking that phone call. I have no idea what he thinks could have been more important than his alone time with Valkyrie. First they're interrupted over in SECRET AVENGERS, now he prevents it from happening by picking up the phone. It's official: Flash has no luck with the ladies.
Now that all the evil magic and minimum craziness is out of the way, this feels like a refreshing start for Venom. I know Rick Remender did a phenomenal job on the run and those are big shoes to fill, but writer Cullen Bunn has done a superb job with this and the previous issue. I have no idea how Venom and Katy will get out of this predicament but if they both do, I really hope it's pulled off well. Because at the moment, there isn't exactly a whole lot of options to save the day.