The original Venom Eddie Brock joins with new Anti-Venom Flash Thompson, Spider-Man, and others in their final battle against Lee Price in this conclusion of the 6-part series. Part of Marvel’s Legacy Series.
Venom Inc. Omega
Writers: Dan Slott, Mike Costa
Artists: Ryan Stegman, Gerardo Sandoval
Color Artist: Bryan Reber
What You Need To Know:
Last time on Venom Inc….
Lee Price separated the Mania Symbiote from Andi Benton and took it for himself, becoming the supervillain Maniac. Price begins his ultimate plan to take over New York’s Criminal Underworld by infecting the Five Families with the symbiote. Eddie Brock, the original Venom, and Flash Thompson the new Anti-Venom must settle their differences and team up with Spider-Man, Black Cat, and Andi Benton to stop Maniac once and for all.
Although the team has succeeded in curing everyone of the symbiote, Price reveals his trump card when all the symbiotes he spawned returned to him, transforming price into a gigantic version of his Maniac form…
What You’ll Find Out:
Despite Flash’s Anti-Venom powers, and the same chemical found in the weapons of Eddie and Black Cat, they were all ineffective against Maniac and the latter critically injures Flash. Spider-Man tends to him while the rest of the team battle Maniac. After a little pep talk and some advice, Flash returns and briefly injures Maniac.
Black Cat discovers that the Maniac symbiote cannot infect the same host twice and relays that information to Spider-Man. Peter deducts that after being infected with the Maniac symbiote, antibodies were created in the process. Calling them “Anti-Maniac”, Peter shares his antibodies with Flash through a handshake, giving Anti-Venom a much-needed boost. The newly powered Anti-Venom finally defeats Maniac and destroys the symbiote, although a small portion remains inside Price.
After Price is captured, Peter insists Eddie surrender to the police for his past crimes, but Flash stops Peter and tells him Eddie and the Venom symbiote have changed. Everyone then leaves to go their separate ways – Andi returns to Philadelphia while Flash decided to remain in New York. Peter talks to Mockingbird about his latest adventure, then makes a quick exit when she finds her bathroom destroyed. Black Cat ponders how she will rebuild her criminal empire after Price brought it down. Eddie appears and advises Cat to use her powers back for good, just as he has.
What Just Happened?
This 6-part story arc accomplished 6 things – Flash Thompson is now the new Anti-Venom; Andi Benton no longer has her symbiote but continues to fight for justice using her Hellfire powers instead. Lee Price will be back as Maniac. Spider-Man and Black Cat had reconciled, somewhat. Cat herself is gradually moving back to becoming a superhero. And Venom himself is just as much into the superhero game.
I’ll be honest, the biggest problem with Venom Inc is the plot itself isn’t really anything grand in scale, let alone interesting. Price just doesn’t really do well as a major Marvel villain, and it doesn’t do him any better when Slott and Costa turned his Maniac form into a giant. I do understand Price becoming Maniac as Venom and Anti-Venom lack an archvillain for them to fight, compared to Spider-Man’s. I commend the final battle though, as it’s the most illustrated depiction of the entire arc. The majority of this final part is heavily focused on this particular battle, with the remaining few featuring the aftermath and where the characters go to next. There is also a possible future partnership between Venom and Cat, and maybe a path to a romantic one, as the two are kindred spirits.
Final Rating: 6/10
For a 6-part series that spans multiple books, I find Venom Inc. a disappointment, compared to other works writers Slott and Costa made. And for its title (and especially in this final part), it’s Flash who is the real protagonist in this series and not Eddie. The series’s only achievement is the changes to the characters and how they move forward in future stories. The series is worth looking at a glance, but not enough to dig deep.