k4tzm4n's Venom #16 - Clemency review

Venom 16 Review

Now a rookie member of the Secret Avengers, Venom oversees a seemingly effortless prisoner transport that quickly turns into an must-read bloodbath.

The Good:
It's simply amazing how writer Rick Remender can take such a basic premise and turn it into an absolutely awesome issue. Flash Thompson has one mundane mission: make sure The Human Fly, a character you likely don't care about or never even heard of, is safely transported on a high speed train to The Raft, a prison facility for superhuman villains. But, this won't be as easy as it appears. The Human Fly pleads with Venom, telling a tale of how he stole millions from Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) and now there's a huge reward over his hideous head. The deformed D-list villain begs for Venom to make sure Fisk gets his money back so the huge crime lord doesn't go after Fly's son. I never thought I'd see the day where The Human Fly was the highlight of an issue, but Venom 16 manages to achieve that herculean task.

As given away by the cover, Fisk's latest employer, Hobgoblin (Phil Urich) is the man sent to put The Human Fly six feet under. What happens next is a dark, violent, and jaw-dropping fight you won't want to miss. Fly proves his acid is not to be taken lightly, Phil destroys with his sonic scream and flame sword, and Flash, well, he's just caught in the middle and fighting to stay alive. It's tough to get more cinematic than Flash jumping off a highway and onto the speeding train with a motorcycle and using poor Hobgoblin's face for a crash landing.

Kev Walker's art is rough and a bit gritty, making it a fantastic fit for the book's tone. The heavy use of shading and excellent facial expressions compliment every scene well, putting a fitting face to every bit of dialogue. The panel with Phil addressing the security interrupting his battle with Fly feels as powerful as the explosion on the page.
What's especially impressive about this issue is the fact that it's a great stand alone read. You don't have to be up to events with Venom (although I highly recommend the series) to appreciate the issue. Everything regarding the main players are laid out quickly, establishing their unique characteristics before throwing you face first into the fray. Plus, Remender seals the deal with a superb ending. Bravo, Fly.
The Bad:
Call me a fanboy, but I honestly don't have any major complaints regarding the issue. I guess one could complain over how easily Phil embarrassed Flash, but he's proven to be a villain worth taking seriously since appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man. The focus on Flash takes a backseat, but it's compensated by giving The Human Fly a level attention we've never seen before and, in turn, teases us for the debut of the Savage Six in the next issue. Unfortunately, Eddie Brock's symbiote hunting agenda (began last issue) is nowhere to be seen in this issue. Its absence is definitely noticed, but not truly missed thanks to how entertaining of a read Venom #16 is.
Verdict:
"Circle of Four" aside, Venom is a title that started off strong and has continued to grow on me more and more with each issue. As a huge fan of Eddie Brock's Venom, I can happily say I'm pleased Flash is the host and his dark adventure is one of the best reads Marvel currently has to offer.

5/5

source: my blog

16 Comments
Posted by InnerVenom123

I absolutely adore Phil-Hobby and Human Fly.

That's just a testament to Dan Slott and Remender.

One of the other things about this series that I like is that Remender takes responsibility for all the d-listers he resurrected in Punisher and puts them back to work here.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@InnerVenom123: Yeah, Phil won a spot in my heart when Slott re-introduced him and I think it's impossible to not like Human Fly after this issue.

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Posted by Erik

Nice review. I keep wanting to give the new Venom series a shot but I have a hard time accepting Anti-Venom stories. Not that I hate Brock, I just hate that stupid name. :p

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Posted by k4tzm4n

@Erik: Thanks. Brock returned in issue 15 and he's no longer Anti-Venom after the events of "Spider Island."

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Posted by Erik

@k4tzm4n:

Yet he still hunts the symbiotes? Curiouser and curiouser.

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Posted by k4tzm4n

@Erik: He's packing weapons to take advantage of their weaknesses: incendiary rounds, sonics, electric attacks, fire, etc.

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Edited by Erik

@k4tzm4n:

But how does he keep from being immediately... torn to pieces?

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Posted by k4tzm4n

@Erik: He's the one going after them or using prep.

Read #15!

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Posted by ReVamp

I skimmed through this.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@ReVamp: This being the issue or review? :D

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Posted by ReVamp

@k4tzm4n said:

@ReVamp: This being the issue or review? :D

...both? Though I was referring to the issue. I'm simply not caught up enough with Venom to read it, when he ran away from Cap it felt too Cliché for me and I stopped where I was.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@ReVamp: Ah. That spawned "Circle of Four," a story you can miss and it won't hinder your status with the book. Anyway, 15 and 16 (this one) were very solid issues, imho.

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Posted by ReVamp

@k4tzm4n: Was CoF good?

Posted by k4tzm4n

@ReVamp: I wasn't a fan.

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Posted by Deranged Midget

Haven't been up to date with this series but it sounds to be right on track. Have to catch up again and I'm absolutely loving that cover.

Excellent review!

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Posted by k4tzm4n

@Deranged Midget: Definitely! And yes, the cover is awesome!

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Other reviews for Venom #16 - Clemency

    Venom #16 0

    Forget everything about last issue. You won’t find it here. No Eddie Brock, no urban symbiote hunting, zero sexual tension with a norse goddess. This is a new adventure.Back in issue #5 Flash dealt with The Human Fly and here Venom monitors the train transfer of the villian to the super-special prisión The Raft. However things get rough when the Hobgobblin intercepts the train with the intensión of killing the prisioner.Before the attack, The Fly plays a very powerful and very effective card aga...

    1 out of 4 found this review helpful.

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