Saturday, July 27, 2013

Comics Review: Amazing Spider-Man #300

Written by: David Michelinie
Art by: Todd McFarlane

We last left off with a Mrs. Mary-Jane Watson Parker (shit, that's a mouthful) coming home to find a strange man in the black suit in her apartment. This issue open up with her cowering in a corner crying, begging not to be touched by this creature named Venom. Just then, Peter walks in to find her. She's skeptical at first, because he too is wearing the black suit. She's so shaken up, she can't even stay in their apartment for the night. They dried to stay at a near by hotel. Meanwhile back in the Bronx, this Venom guy peels of his suit to show he's just a blonde dude. A jacked dude. My man lifts 10 plates for fun! HOORAH!!!

At the hotel, Peter is having some trouble sleeping, he thinks he knows who might've terrorized MJ, only problem is, that's ridiculous! He thinks it may be the actual suit he war after coming back from the Secret Wars. The living suit that tries bonding to him after Reed Richards blasted it off, AND after he thought he killed it at the church with the bells. Before he can tell MJ, she hushes him and let's him know she understands the risks she's taking when she married him. Now ain't that just adorable, that's earned her some nookie that night.

The next morning MJ tells Peter that they've been moved up on the list to get a new condo! The Jefferson's would love these Parker children. Just movin' on up to every apartment in the sky! I think I may have used that joke already once before, oh well. Perfect opportunity to take some before/after pics. That means he'll have to run over to the Chelsea apartment, and on the way, make another stop for a side errand. Spidey finally arrives at his apartment to unwrap his errand, the sonic gun that he plans on using against the symbiote. A quick change of clothes and Peter's right back out the door. Out on the street, Pete's Spider Sense isn't going off, but he can shake the feeling that someone is following him. Well Pete, someone is. A hulking Eddie Brock! That is, until Peter walks into an alley and web swings outta there before anyone can see him!

The condo Pete and MJ have is HUGE! Big open living room, balcony. Really a great place, but Peter's still concerned about paying for his half. MJ decides to try and cheer him up with a fashion photo shoot, telling him there's more money there and he could practice with her. After all, she works on one end of a camera, it can't be too hard to teach someone to work on the other side of one. So after a couple shots, Peter realizes that he's just not cut out for it. He feels silly saying all the things that fashion photographers do, begging for sexiness on camera. Not a problem, MJ asks if they can just take some pics for their...private collection. She strips down her robe and the reader is left with their imagination. (Enter The Mask pic here)

That night, back at the very church where Eddie Brock received the symbiote for the first time, we have a creepy scene of a familiar visitor to the church. Brock, a religious man, back at the same church planning his first and hopefully final (in his mind) encounter with Spider-Man. He's confronted by a cop who wants to arrest him for some petty robberies. Thefts that are of no concern to Brock. He kills the cop quickly. Back at the Parker's new condo, they've got friends from all corners helping with the move. Friends, family, coworkers. Anyone you can think of who can lift a box is helping Pete and MJ move. I wonder if they're working for pizza and beer, or maybe that's just me. Robbie takes Peter outside to ask him if he's put any thought to what Robbie told him a couple issues ago. If he's considering looking elsewhere for regular work, but before he can answer he sees Venom swinging right by the building. No time to waste, gotta catch him and stop him before he has a chance to hurt anyone else.

Spider-Man follows Venom back to his hiding spot in the Bronx. Relying on his Spider Sense, he heads into the building. Lesson learned from here on out, symbiotes don't trigger Spider Sense. Remember that spider kids, Peter learned the hard way. He gets floored by Venom who wastes no time in revealing himself to Peter. He explains how his hatred for Spider-Man began way back when he worked for The Daily Globe. Brock had written a piece "exposing" a supposed serial killer Sin-Eater. The Globe was on top and Brock one of its best reporter, until Spider-Man caught the REAL Sin-Eater. The Globe now became a joke, and Brock fired. He had heard weight lifting released stress, so he started hitting them, hard. Picturing Spider-Man's head with every pump. He even thought about suicide, but that's a mortal sin in his religion, Catholicism. So he would go from church to church praying for forgiveness for even contemplating suicide, until he reached Our Lady of Saints. That's where Peter was that same night getting rid of the symbiote. That same night where Venom was born. The bond not only cleared Brock's mind, but it added its own hate. The symbiote hated Spider-Man for not wanting to let it bond to him. And it knew who he was, so now Brock knew. They used this knowledge to hunt down the ones Peter loved to draw him out to finally kill him. This was Venom's plan. All the while Peter's reaching for his sonic gun that he borrowed from the Fantastic 4 and when he finally reaches it, Venom notices and tosses Pete into the ground, a floor under them. A fight rages on between the two black suites spider men when Peter finally reaches the gun and blasts Brock with it. The symbiote still isn't coming off completely, it's bonded permanently to Eddie Brock. Spider-Man would have to kill Brock to fully kill the symbiote. Not sure if he can do that, Spidey tries to escape in order to clear his head and regroup. That's when Venom webs him back and knocks him out cold.

Spidey wakes up unknown hours later strapped to a church bell. Venom took Peter to the very bell where he tried to kill the symbiote. Poetic, ain't it? Web the clock hits the next hour, Spider-Man's head will be crushed by the clanging of the bell's clapper. The clock strikes two and the bells begin to chi...wait, no chime? Peter has to use his brute spider strength to scratch through the webbing and stop the clapper with his bare hands!!! He's catching the clapper and sending it back, not sure how much longer his arm can take that, he grabs the clapper and uses that force to pull himself free! What a smart thinker that Parker kid. Not having heard any bells, Venom heads back to the roof to see what's the problem, only to find Spider-Man out of his would-be tomb. Spidey's got another genius theory, the symbiote makes its own webbing, and it must've spent a huge amount on strapping Peter to the bell. Also, not enough time has passed that the symbiote could've replenished all the webbing it used. So if Spider-Man can keep Venom falling off the church, he'll keep using his web and eventually burn out the suit. And what a plan that is because it actually happens!

Brock falls to the street with a bang and Spidey meets him down there. He takes Brock's broken body to the Baxter Building, HQ of the Fantastic Four. The Thing, current leader of the team while Reed's away, keeps Brock in a containment tube with the symbiote. A holding cell, if you will, until Mr. Fantastic returns and decides what to do with him. Back at the condo, Peter explains why he was gone and why he had to stay out so late, MJ understands but she's still upset. She hates Peter's black suit. It reminds her of Venom and it scares her. Don't gotta tell Peter twice, he takes the suit right off vowing not to wear it again if it'll make her happy. But now he needs a suit, he's been using replica black ones since he lost his symbiote. Again, not a problem for MJ! She pulls out a nice new red and blue suit, and the legend begins anew.

This was an incredible milestone issue. It was great reading the origin and first appearance of my favorite Marvel villain of all time. And for anyone who hasn't read this issue, I hope this overlook has given you some justifiable pleasure. Stay strapped in your seats though, this Michelinie/McFarlane omnibus is NOWHERE near over. We've barely scratched the surface, more to come next week!

Matt Milanes

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