Plot: ONE MONTH AGO…At Trask Enterprises, Eddie Brock is held in a containment field, where he is interrogated by CEO Bolivar Trask, who claims to have “bought” the Venom symbiote and intends to remove it from Eddie’s body. He adds that the accompanied Dr. Adrian Toomes is familiar with the inner workings of the Suit and can remove it from him. After trying to break free as Venom, Eddie finally gives up and asks their price.
HOURS EARLIER… Spider-Man (for once) manages to explain his actions to the police thanks to bystanders who back up his heroics. Even HE’S surprised. Later on that night, Peter and MJ compare notes on Eddie and his physical reaction to Venom’s proximity to him, which is due to the Suit’s template being Richard Parker’s DNA. A “PING” from his web-shooter alerts him to cut it short and go back out as Spider-Man. TWENTY MINUTES EARLIER at Trask Labs, the Beetle breaks in to the lab while scientists are studying Venom, who’s in a stasis field. Silver Sable and Wild Pack engage, but gas bombs give him the advantage, and he releases Venom. He then takes out a container from his armor and slices off an attacking tendril as a sample from the Suit and speeds away. Venom engulfs another victim and gives chase. The fight continues to the street, as innocent bystanders and cops only serve to feed this monstrous hunger. Spider-Man arrives, but is quickly overcome by another migraine. The Suit, sensing Peter, leaves Eddie’s body without a second thought and attaches itself to Peter, who is now in full-blown panic…
TO BE CONTINUED…
- Tighter chronology
- Bolivar Trask
- Ultimate Venom and Beetle brawl-for-all
- Spider-Man overtaken by The Suit
- Peter bringing out classic science nerd Peter in examining his blood.
- No more Forrest Brock routine
- Adrian Toomes? I thought he was Ultimate Vulture.
- Disorganization of chronological setup
- The realization of HOW LITTLE TIME HAS PASSED from the last time Peter went up against Eddie
RATING: 4/5 Webs
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Is Brian trying to give everyone a migraine of their own? I mean it’s cool he’s trying to switch it up, which he does with perfection, but is it necessary to know what someone did HOURS EARLIER, or TWENTY MINUTES EARLIER?! The Chronology in this story is so disjointed. I’m just glad he ditched the Forrest Brock schtick before chocolates came into play.
At least now they brought some relevance to Beetle’s role in this story. Rather than a “sub-labor” for Spider-Man, Bendis has managed to utilize the industrial espionage angle to his revamp. As for the design of Trask, which is a huge departure from the Sentinel-creating biggot X-fans know and loathe, he comes off as a cross between Norman Osborn and Lex Luthor. Corporate America at its worst.
Peter bringing the microscope out of mothballs was good. After seeing him screw up in the past few issues since Bagley departed, Bendis emphasizing his scientific background. It also alludes to classic Parker ingenuity that Spidey’s known for, that the wisecracking goofball act is the “mask” he unconsciously wears to hide his true gift: his mind. This scene of him analyzing his blood reminds me of how he did the same in USM #1 post-spider bite. The bit about Peter seeing this as a date was also funny. As to his being taken over by the suit, however, the splash was good, but Stuart could have shown more than the subtlety he employed in the panels leading up to it.
Now we come to Eddie Brock. Ultimate hypocrite rather than Ultimate Venom. In the first issue of this plot, he’s musing on a park bench about the nightmare his life has become, how he hates the parasite, yadda yadda yadda. And THEN when a) he’s captured and Trask tells him he wants to remove the Suit, and b) when the symbiote rejects him and grafts itself to Peter, he acts as though it’s like ripping off an arm. To my mind, this Brock views the suit as the last part of his father. Like he said to Peter it’s all he has left of him. And in order to hold on to the past he’s willing to make himself the suffering host to a homicidal, cannibalistic creature. I think it’s because HE thinks he can master this power, in addition to his daddy issues.
All in all, huge improvement. NOW we’re getting somewhere. And from what I gathered from the cover for #126, the fun’s about to begin…
Cover: 5/5 Webs
It connects with the story EXACTLY. The threat is immediate and in your face: the incorruptible Peter being overtaken by this inhuman, inhibitionless monster ironically created by his father. It’s like a revamped version of the Frankenstein story in that Ultimate Venom serves as how the road to hell was paved with good intentions.