Venom Annual #1
A bar full of criminals sit in a bar and tell tall tales of the scariest guy they know, Venom! In a trio of tales, Venom faces off against The Black Cat, The Juggernaut, and Wolverine, all taking place at various points within continuity.
All in all, this was a pretty fun annual, following marvels recent trend of untold tales within continuity a la the recent ASM annual, the recent X-men Gold annual and such.
I did think it was a bit odd to have a Wolverine cameo as the recent Ve’nam one shot also featured a lengthy Logan appearance, combined with his (Logan) appearance in the last 2 issues of Thor I surmise that Marvel storytellers are being pushed to include him in their stories to promote his return. I have predicted this and Reed Richards cameos since mid-July in various reviews.
That said I did think the Wolverine story was the strongest of the 3 stories, it was hilarious how Venom was a bit out of his league fighting Wolverine and the end was actually pretty nice. Definitely felt like a solid Logan moment. The art in this section by Tigh Walker was also the best in the book IMO, although it was nice seeing Ron Lim for the first time in a while.
The Black Cat tale was decently fun but did feel like the weakest of the bunch, although it felt like it was well placed within the era if you’ve read much late 80s early 90s Spidey, which was largely written by Michelenie so that makes sense. This tale just didn’t leave a huge impression good or bad and was frankly pretty forgettable. (i forgot about it)
The Juggernaut tale by James Stokoe, who recently wrote and drew Aliens Dead Orbit, was pretty funny and reminds me a bit of the classic Batman the animated series episode Almost Got ‘Im. In that episode, a group of thugs sit and tell tales of times they almost defeated Batman, with their boastful narration often diverting wildly from the story actually shown as they attempt to save face. Likewise rather than being boastful this thug is trying to save his skin, as Juggernaut tells him if he doesn’t tell everyone he won he’s gonna beat the thug to death. A pretty clever story.
All in all, a decent annual with a handful of stories I may read again someday.
Venom Annual #1: South of no North
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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