Marvel Comics – July, 2008 – $2.99 – 32pg. – Color
Writer: Christos N. Gage – Artist: Ben Oliver – Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
During a mission to take down a villain named Biohazard, Venom gets knocked across town and finds himself face to face with an old acquaintance called Whirlwind. He asks Mac (remember, the Scorpion Mac Gargan is currently in possession of the symbiote) to meet him later that night, giving him a temporary antidote for the nanobots in his bloodstream. He agrees and sneaks out of Thunderbolts mountain that night to find that Whirlwind, Tiger Shark, Boomerang and Mr. Hyde are all waiting for him. They offer him a permanent solution to his nanobots in exchange for a meeting to blackmail Norman Osborn. They blackmail him with the fact that he once stole Osborn’s plans for military robotics for Obadiah Stane, which forces him to agree. They both meet with the villains the next evening.
However, Norman did not come unprepared. The USB Drive he hands over that contains all the information is actually infused with the same materials he used for his pumpkin bombs, exploding in Boomerang’s face when he tries to use it. He takes a bit of punishment from Whirlwind before fighting back, then being clobbered by Mr. Hyde. Being the resourceful fighter he is, Norman punches Hyde in the crotch and throws a few more USB bombs, one catching him in the mouth, a nice Looney Tunes explosion coming out of his ears. All the while, Venom lets his symbiote creep into Tiger Shark’s mouth, effectively drowning (but not killing) him. As it turns out, Venom told Norman all about the trap, as well as his past indescretion against him. Norman calls it even and also allows him one day every month to leave the mountain and do as he pleases.
Now, unlike the X-Factor one-shot this week, I think this one was pointless. Aside from showing that both Mac and Norman have good planning and resourcefulness despite being somewhat insane, nothing really happened. And for the most part, we already knew that. The only reason I can see this issue being published is because of the horrible shipping schedule of the main series. They did the same thing a bit ago with a one-shot focusing on Radioactive Man. On top of being pointless, the art wasn’t really my bag. However, a Djurdjevic cover never hurts.
Writing: 8 – Story: 4 – Art: 6.5 – Cover: 8.5