Next up, Venom. This has been one of the better comics coming out of Marvel as of late, which isn't really a surprise with how hot Rick Remender has been lately. That guy has been on a crazy writing roll! Let's see if that strong writing continues here.
Summary: Okay, this issue picks up after the Spider-Island event, with Manhattan still slowly recovering. Venom is swooping around town looking out for trouble(as well as avoiding his personal life) when he comes across a giant tank that runs some security guard over on it's way to a bank. The tank tears open the safe and plucks out the money before Venom attacks it. Venom gets some intelligence on the tank from the army and learns it's driven by some goof named the Hijacker who obviously saw the chaos from Spider-Island as an ideal chance to swipe some loot. Venom chases after the tank but it goes airborne and lands right near a woman and her young son. At the speed he was going, the Hijacker can't swerve in time, and Venom is unable to get in front of the tank, leaving the woman and her boy to be flattened. The Hijacker is a bit disturbed by that turn of events, but rationalizes the murders to make himself feel better. As for Venom, Flash loses all control of the symbiote(or more likely hands control over TO the symbiote) and turns into old school, teeth, claws and tongue Venom... Sweet! Venom attacks the tank, but is unable to break into it and the Hijacker manages to seemingly run over Venom before taking to the water and making it back to his base scot-free... Or does he? The Hijacker emerges from his tank to check out his haul for the day is is shocked to discover that Venom had hitched a ride underneath the tank. Venom beats the utter hell out of the Hijacker all while Flash thinks that he COULD take the Hijacker to the cops... While the beating continues, Flash begins to think of what the Hijacker stole from the boy and his mother and does nothing as Venom toys with the Hijacker a bit more before biting his head off and spitting it out(!!). From there the scene shifts to later on at Flash's apartment where he is elated to see Betty Brant walk in, unharmed from the Spider-Island events. Betty inquires if Flash told his mother about the death of his father, but Flash admits that he didn't, and also tells Betty that he lost the letter his father gave him to read in the event of his death. Luckily, Betty had a spare copy(huh?) and reads it to Flash, ending this issue.
Thoughts: Now this was a fantastic issue! The only gripe I had about it, and the only thing that kept it from a perfect score, was the ending with Betty and the letter. If this issue had ended with Venom walking out of the Hijacker's base after killing the criminal, easy perfect score. That's how great this issue was. I really don't have all that much to say. Flash's(and the symbiote's) reaction to the woman and her son's death was perfectly executed, and the fact that Flash/the symbiote killed the Hijacker in the end instead of Flash suddenly coming to his senses at the last second was one of the more realistic comic book reactions I've read in some time. Usually the hero will beat the tar out of some villain after the villain has done something heinous, but will catch him/herself before delivering the deathblow. That's exactly what I expected to see happen here. Venom making the Hijacker beg for his life and then Flash stopping just short of murdering the man. When Venom bit the Hijacker's head off and then spit it out? I have to admit, my mouth dropped, but in a good way. Was that the way Captain America or Superman would have handled the situation? No, of course not(although Cap biting off the Red Skull's head is a bit intriguing to me...), but it WAS the way a normal person with the power Flash had would have reacted. As usual, Rick Remender delivered the goods here... Big time.
Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.All that's missing is the “Finish Him! Dun dun duuuuunnnn...”