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Venom #159 Review

‘Venom Inc.’ continues, but you may want to look away.

“Venom Inc.” continues this week with part three pushing Spider-Man’s back to the wall against multiple bad guys. Just another day in the life of Spider-Man, but this time he has Anti-Venom on his side. Still, will that be enough?

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So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

VENOM INC. Part 3! Venom Inc. is weaving its tendrils through New York’s criminal underworld, and Maniac’s got himself a cadre of symbiotically subdued, super-powered lieutenants–and they’re all bearing down on Spider-Man! But Venom is in no shape to provide an assist for his unlikely ally…

Why does this matter?

Dan Slott and Mike Costa are attempting to make the world of Symbiotes more complex and dynamic. So far they’ve done a great job, giving Flash Thompson a new lease on life and a new role among the Symbiotes as the new Anti-Venom.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Poor Eddie.

This is largely Eddie Brock’s story as he opens the issue and has an arc all his own. He’s falling apart after losing the Symbiote a few issues ago (in the arc) and now he’s wandering not knowing what to do with himself. Along the way he follows his gut and is rewarded and the creative team does a good job capturing his inner turmoil in the captions.

Gerardo Sandoval has fun with the art with some good back-to-back heroes fighting baddy full page spreads. I really dig the wavy detail he puts into Spider-Man’s feet and body as if he’s a ball of energy. Eddie’s Symbiote gets a key two page scene that’s a big highlight of the book as the thing is screaming to find its master. In a laugh out loud final moment, Sandoval draws Spider-Man and Flash Thompson conversing as if they’re a-okay only to cut to them not okay at all.

Fighting. Back 2 back!

It can’t be perfect can it?

Aside from Eddie’s arc in this issue, the entire book ends as it basically began. A few chess pieces are moved, but nothing substantial happens. That includes any character work and even Eddie’s turmoil is something we’ve seen a thousand times. Spider-Man and Flash’s battling is fun-ish, but it seriously has no impact since it doesn’t matter and seems very run of the mill.

The entire issue ends up serving as filler for crossover story that probably didn’t need to be made at all. We still don’t know what the “Inc.” in the title is about and this issue even drops the Spider-Man/Flash brodown which has been the best part of the arc so far. I’ll hold final judgments for the last chapter, but so far the villains are flat and boring and the characters haven’t budged from their current predicament.

Is It Good?

I want to like this story, but dammit is this issue a pointless affair. Nothing changes, no character work takes place, and we have to sit through tropes we’ve seen a thousand times before. This issue even drops the best part of the arc so far and replaces it with boring action.

Is it good?
I'm still going to read this story arc, but dammit was this entire issue a waste of time.
Eddie has an arc...of sorts
Art is solid
The issue ends as it begins with very little development at all
A lot of tropes are used we've seen a thousand times before
The villains are boring

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