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“Monster’s of Evil Part 2″
WRITER: Cullen Bunn
PENCILS: Thony Silas
INKS: Nelson Decastro
COLORS: Chris Sotomayor
LETTERS: VC’s Joe Caramagna
COVER: Patch Zircher
VARIANT COVER: Skottie Young
Hellstrom obliges the demon possessing Venom by feeding one of his cultists to our hero. Flash then wrests back control and escapes. Unable to reach the Avengers, Flash visits muckraker journalist Katy Kiernan.
Katy brings Venom to an exorcist shopkeeper named Reggie. Reggie contacts the demon, who wants to leave Venom’s body because Venom has been marked by Mephisto. The demon gets pulled back whenever it tries to depart. Reggie tells Venom he needs to make Hellstrom reverse the possession. Katy mentions that she and Hellstrom share history together.
Venom locates Hellstrom at the Brooklyn Zoo. Hellstrom commends Flash for domineering over the demon. According to Hellstrom, Flash should be happy to have the demon’s power under control and at his fingertips. Hellstrom summons a few colossal creatures, the “Monsters of Evil.” Hellstrom says the monsters could kill Venom, but they would rather he joined them instead.
If you’ve read Cullen Bunn’s “Fear Itself: The Fearless” miniseries, then you and I have at least one thing not in common. But according to my Google research, that series depicts Daimon Hellstrom joining Sin and Crossbones, who provide Hellstrom with the Department of Occult Armaments (DOA) minions he employs in this Venom story. My fact finding has proven fruitless in discerning why Hellstrom suddenly switched allegiances. I realize that in a shared universe stuff will always happen in books I’m not reading, but a little help wouldn’t hurt. Venom #24’s recap page just says Hellstrom was “once a hero,” but it does not explain why he eschewed heroics to work with Nazi terrorists and gleefully watch Demo-Venom crunch humans.
I must follow my own advice and recalibrate my expectations toward a mindset less demanding of logic.*
*See my review of Venom #23. P.S. effective recaps are THIS easy.
But much like Venom himself, I have two cerebral voices. One voice loves this story’s fun action scenes, vivid creature designs, and interesting twists. A possession story where the demon wants to leave just as badly as the host wants it gone? Perhaps I’m an unseasoned horror reader, but I haven’t seen that one before. Venom’s also a neat character for exorcism scenes because the symbiote by nature allows the artist to create all sorts of funky physical contortions.
The second voice, however, can’t stop asking pesky questions. Like, why can’t Venom call the Avengers? In the dialogue, Venom just says the “DOA cut me off somehow.” That’s no explanation! What, did they put demons in all the pay phones? Clearly, the real reason Venom can’t call the Avengers is plot contrivance. If Venom could rely on other heroes, then he’d have no reason to interact with Katy and Reggie.
But then the original voice reminds me that Katy and Reggie are fun characters. And this issue ends with Venom getting pummeled by a flaming bovine’s scorpion tale, right in front of a mountain with three sphinx heads and a giant with pygmies jumping out of his hollowed-out skull. I’m enjoying this. I’m ready for more.
By the way, “Monsters of Evil” isn’t the first time Venom has sported a third personality alongside the usual two. Remember “Venom: The Madness” from the ‘90s, where Venom gets possessed by sentient toxic mercury and turns into an awesome thing?
Ahem. In summary, while Cullen Bunn’s Venom has its ups and downs, I have emphasized the fun aspects to myself when reading it. I’m primed for a zany monster throwdown later this month.
3 Sons of Satan out of 5 (Adequate).
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