Venom's setting up shop in Philly and he's trying to take down a big and bad crime boss name Lord Ogre. Venom got close in the last issue, but in the end, this new villain vanished. Apparently, Lord Ogre isn't taking too kindly to Venom going after him, so the crime lord is going on the offensive and placing a massive bounty on Venom. What happens next is... well, it's ridiculously awesome thanks to a really energetic turn of events and some fitting artwork.
We finally see the return of reporter Katy Kiernan and it's clear writer Cullen Bunn has big plans for her, but the plot points with her are soon overshadowed as we're treated an amazingly exciting action sequence between Venom, goons, and a whole lot of villains (Katy's back for more time after this, of course). If you were upset over Venom being temporarily fazed by a bullet to the head in the last issue, you'll be happy to know plenty of lead hits him this time and it does nothing more than make a small splash mark (not to mention he quickly recovers from a sonic arrow, too). The extended action scene is stellar and loads of fun (although I have no idea how Flash can say the marksman is almost as good as Hawkeye before he's fired a shot). It's frenetic, dark, visceral and brutal... so yeah, it's pretty much everything you'd want from a big fight involving Venom.
This issue introduces artist Kim Jacinto. It's a very, very rough style which may be slightly jarring at first, but it's not long before Jacinto's work will floor you. From the slithering symbiote to the savage tendrils and haunting facial features, Venom looks absolutely magnificent. Jacinto really brings the action sequence to life, delivering a proper sense of motion and weight behind each strike, explosion and every other kind of attack. One thing is for sure: VENOM has had the luxury of many talented artists lending a hand and Jacinto is 100% worthy of illustrating the title.
I can't understand Flash's reaction to the picture of Venom. I understand trying to lie about knowing too much, but seemingly denying that was Venom in the picture? Seems like an odd reaction to me. And while I am happy to see a certain villain return, I feel like this story could open the door for plenty of other characters to instead take the lead. Said individual has already had plenty of time to shine in the book and I am looking forward to more from them, but this could have been a good opportunity to create a rivalry with another new villain. Aside from Lord Ogre, maybe that'll still happen. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Super minor gripes: Constrictor's coils are usually made of carbonadium or adamantium, so cutting them wouldn't be so easy. Regardless, Bunn has given him more credit than many others in recent years, so that counters this small complaint. Additionally, human noses may be too exaggerated at times for some.
Sure, I have some minor complaints here and there with this issue, but I'm telling you, VENOM just gets better and better. This issue shines because of some big plot developments, stunning visuals and a seriously entertaining action scene. Maybe it's because I'm a total sucker for lesser-known villains, but this storyline has me all kinds of excited and I totally loved it. I can't wait to get my hands on the next issue.