Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comics Review: Venom #39

Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Kim Jacinto and Mike Henderson

    Eugene "Flash" Thompson has been on some seriously wild adventures lately in the city of Philadelphia. He's a school teacher who's grown to build an awkward bond with one of his students, not romantic don't worry. Unfortunately for Flash, that bond has just been replaced with another bond of sorts. The Jack-O-Lantern made his comeback, now working for the crime boss Lord Ogre, he's come to Flash's apartment building looking for him, but settled for his student, Andi and her father. And settle was right, as he settled his scythe into her father's chest. In a last ditch effort to protect Andi, Flash sends her some of the symbiote to guard her. Instead, it takes her over and she becomes a host to another symbiote warrior. Now the only question is, is she good, or a bloodthirsty rage filled monster. 

    The battle between Jack, Agent Venom and Andi rages on non stop in Andi's apartment. A fire blazing in the apartment doesn't help the situation at all either. Filled with emotion, anger, rage, symbiote Andi sees a conveniently placed wrench next to her fathers body, she picks up and engulfs it in symbiote just to give Jack one good smack right in the face. Completely turning his head around. While he deals with that, she deals with his floating lackeys quicker than fast. Finally when Jack gets his head on right, he's got Venom to deal with. Hoping to have a moment to himself with Jack, Venom prays for a way to figure out what's going on with Andi and how to fix it. After all, he only wanted to protect her, he didn't want to turn her into a whole other symbiote. But right as Venom gets that second alone, he realizes that Andi may just be the killer he doesn't want her to be. She shows this by turning her head into a giant mouth with multiple rows of circles of teeth where her face should be. I don't know about you guys but that usually spelled out "killer" to me. She even struggles against Flash when he tries to hold her back. She's in full "Kill this mofo Jack-O-Lantern" mode, and I don't blame her. But something stops both of them in their tracks, something makes even Andi not move. Jack's pumpkin head is cracked, and revealing a bit of his face. Except this dude has a full face, even a full set of teeth. This can't be Jack, the old Jack had no nose, about 3 teeth and looked like he should've died 7 years ago. Lord Ogre has hired someone to don the Lantern suit, a paid merc to hunt down some of Jack's old, and Ogre's new foes.
    He tells the story of how he was a worker in a storage facility when one day he heard a voice coming from one of the units. A voice calling out "Help me." It was one of Jack's little helper guys, he looked right into the eyes of the doll and now had the powers of the Jack-O-Lantern. Possessed, if you will. Not under his own influence, making Venom almost feel sorry for him. Not wanting to kill him, he convinces Andi to not end his life. That's when Jack uses this opportunity to make his escape. Now Flash is left with a symbiote covered Andi. And you know what they say, if you can't beat the high school girl now in control of a symbiote of her own, then you team up with them to get to the bottom of things in the world of Philly drugs and crime. That's how the saying goes, right? That's how I've heard it at least. They finally get a minute to themselves on a nearby non burning rooftop, Andi wants to go after Jack and kill him, Venom wants to get to the bottom of things the quiet way and take care of it like that. With different methods conflicting, Venom just tries to take the symbiote from Andi and when that doesn't work, she tells him not to try it again and swings off. Venom follows her, but its not long before they get ambushed by Jack again. Only this time, he's brought friends. A villain called Constrictor and a bunch of henchman all show up in time for the fun to start. Venom throws the first kick, landing right into Constrictor's face when the shootout begins. The fight ends fairly quickly when finally, Andi's got Jack in her hands, and she's ready to kill.

    Venom does a very good job of convincing her otherwise, and she lets Jack go. Promising to figure everything out, they leave all these new baddies webbed up to wait for the police that are already closing in. The next couple days are low profile for Flash. Andi, on the other hand, doesn't think waiting is very fun. She's out and about at night taking care of local crimes, leaving Flash very confused. She seemed to have picked up on this symbiote/spider powers thing VERY quickly. He's got someone in mind who he wants to ask about it, but that person isn't talking yet. Any ideas on who this person is? I've got a few, but I'll keep my guesses hush hush, you'll just have to find out next issue of Venom, and if you don't buy it regularly, you gotta hope its on my review list for the week. Until next week readers!

-Matt Milanes

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