Hey folks, if you are looking for a Spectacular alternative to Amazing Spider-Man, you should check out this issue. It contains alterations to Peter & Venom’s history, as well as a Peter Parker who is actually useful and willing to go the extra mile for someone. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the new host for Venom.
Venom Spaceknight #12: Cagney and Lacey
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Colorist: Dono Sànchez Almara
Letterer: Joe Carmagna
C. Artist: Zach Howard & Nelson Dàniel
Consultant: Dan Nevins
Editors: Kathleen Wisneski & Jake Thomas
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Perhaps The Future Is Not As Fixed As We’ve Been Thinking Lately: At the end of last issue, Venom swallows up Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man. Peter prepares for a fight, but instead talks through things with Venom. Peter learns that Venom has no memory of him or his other hosts, outside of the first and the current, Flash Thompson. Once free, Peter is about to take off to attend to the events of the second Civil War when a group of thugs attack Venom in search of Mania, Andrea ‘Andi’ Benton. Flash and Venom get the location of Mania’s sewer hideout and Peter grabs some Parker Industries symbiote containment tech to help out.
On Planet Wenb, Flash’s friends team up with the Space Knights to get an elixir to help purge the demon from Mania. They anger the native species by doing so, causing a herd of them to attack.
Flash discovers an embittered Mania, but with Peter’s aid he is able to subdue her. Peter lets Flash and Andi crash in a new Parker Industries location in Philadelphia before taking off for Civil War 2. Venom purges the symbiote Mania of its impurities, but discovers something wrong. The issue ends with the reveal Andi, not the symbiote, is the one possessed.
As Space Knights, We Don’t Have To Answer To Anyone: With just two issues left, we barrel towards the conclusion of Venom Spaceknight. There is very little downtime in this issue and while the issue is more centered around Peter Parker than Flash Thompson, at least writer Robbie Thompson uses him well. Peter Parker is used to explore final threads of Thompson’s run (what exactly the purge in issue 10 did to Venom) and used as an instrument to quickly get Flash and Andi together. Spider-Man relies a lot on tech in this issue, but his own tech which he is quite competent with. And Spider-Man is hilarious in this issue. It includes plenty of successful jokes that were both appropriately lame and funny; a favorite is the best jinx I can think of in comics.
Peter’s time inside Venom reveals that Venom no longer has any memory of their history, which is a change I do not love. Peter Parker is a paragon of good, one of Marvel’s best characters morally but Venom has only ever been in an abusive relationship with Peter and that history gave them a unique dynamic. Venom knew Peter at his worst and that is gone now. This reset switch on continuity is interesting though, as the new series looms over us. I have been contemplating Andrea as the next host, so having only the memory of Flash and the original would be a good continuation of what Thompson was doing in Spaceknight. Same with Venom on his own, which I feel is a stronger possibility. I would love to hear other theories if readers have them. It is also of note that Parker Industries is opening up shop in Philadelphia; a possible future job for Flash Thompson?
Speaking of jobs, Flash’s team sucks at their’s. They get about a page’s worth of material this issue, just to setup a conflict that probably will not happen on panel. And, I guess, to acknowledge the presence of the actual Spaceknights, which I feel could have been something Thompson had plans for but never got around to. But that is a single line of dialogue, and the Civil War 2 crossover of this issue is about three of them. This issue is very densely paced and shows what an afterthought the supporting cast has been.
I have serious praise for the art team. Gerardo Sandoval knows how to densely pack a page, especially when it comes to fight sequences. There are some pages where it is just Spider-Man in the midst of black but that is on the script not the art; this also allows Robbie Thompson to write a quippy Spider-Man. But there are also pages that are part massive splash page and part small tight panels that expand on the larger action. Gerardo Sandoval does well in every aspect of this issue; the paneling, the creativity, the fight scenes, the emotions, the costumes, and condensing story visually. Sandoval’s art is kinetic and expressive, which are two excellent traits to have when you are drawing a Spider-Family title. Dono Almara colors a lot of the panels in lazy monochromatic colors, but does an excellent job bringing the big moments to life.
Verdict: Another great issue starring Peter Parker, but at least this time he shares the spotlight with Venom, if not Flash. And Flash’s supporting cast fares even worse, leaving their final appearances uncertain in length and possibility. We are going into the final issue of Robbie Thompson’s Venom run and the stakes are pretty high; saving Andrea Benton’s soul is Flash’s final task. And if this title has been any indication, Flash will rise to the occasion. The future remains uncertain for Flash, Venom, Pik Rollo, 803, Andi, Tarna, and Iqa but the book continues to be solid.
- Overly packed
- Forgotten characters
- Lazy coloring at times