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.
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
"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.