Tags Matching: venom

Venomous Commissions

I was all business at WonderCon. Sure, I attended some panels, but those were chosen with a focus on the goal I had in front of me: HAND EVERYONE IN COMICS MY NEW ASHCAN. I almost succeeded. Got the book in the hands of a lot of people and all the usual suspects. Overall, a productive weekend.

During my stalking of editors, I must have passed the Image Comics booth forty times. Erik Larsen was there 90% of the time and 90% of that time he was doing commissions for fans. From my informal visual survey, I’d say 90% of those commissions featured Venom. I always associated Venom more directly with McFarlane than Larsen, but there’s no doubt he contributed to the iconography of the character. With a new Venom book out, I started thinking “is Venom a legitimate character with some sort of relatable pathos? Or did I just like him as a kid because he was “really cool”? I’m not sure. While I think about it, let’s look at some takes on Venom from Mister Larsen.

Nova. Sort of a Green Lantern rip? Sure. But occasionally interesting and full of potential? Also, yes. Rarely realized and probably not realized at all here. This was the final issue of this series and it ends with a battle against a character he’s not really connected to? Rush-job editing there. Also, what is it about this cover that’s making me sick? Is it the colors?

Here we go. A proper Amazing Spider-Man cover. Venom right up front. I know this is pointless and annoying, but how does Venom actually work? Like how does that mouth do that without splitting open the head of the man inside the suit? Any answer (besides “it’s a comic book!”) will do. I’ll even settle for some Superman “it’s because of Earth’s yellow sun” sort of baloney. Any answer. Anyway, Larsen has done his own thing for years. Is it good? Who can even tell at this point? He’s an institution.

Continue reading »

Not so Maximum.

Disclaimer – I have a huge collection of trade paperbacks / graphic novels / whatever you want to call them. This includes some great, some good, and some very bad. I was recently traveling and there’s no better time to plug your headphones in, pull out a trade and re-read then on a plane. Talk about needing escapism – much needed on any and all flights, at least in my opinion.

The best experience I’ve ever had speaking with a stranger (aka… overly talkative, bored, forgot to buy a magazine and needs to chat) was with a women that a friend and I nicknamed “bucky” (teeth joke, no cap reference here) who was on her way to meet her boyfriend, who lives in New York, and she was thinking about moving there. Oh by the way… this was the first time she was meeting him. Amazing.

Anyways, as much as a stomach punch as it is thinking about internet relationships, the Spider-Man “Maximum Carnage” collection makes it seem like an enjoyable experience. I went into this revisit with no sense of expectation other than “hmm, I don’t remember this storyline at all.” I went in low, and got knocked even lower. Let me give you one full page of dialogue. (Oh yeah, click the link and buy it so we can all read along.)


First issue of the collection, page 3.

CARNAGE: ¬†You test tube jockies are all the same! Can’t accept the truth when it’s spitting in your eye! The monster is far more than a wild pair of long johns! It’s become a living part of me – and we were merely biding our time! Hey Resnick — ! Remember how I said I’d go easy on you?

CARNAGE: I LIED! You should have known better than to trust a raving lunatic ! I am the ultimate insanity! I AM CARNAGE !

DOCTOR: Call Security– ! Get some reinforcements down here!

CARNAGE: Oh, goody! I could use a few more victims! These are all used up! There are just you two doctors left!

— Notice anything weird! I don’t! It seems totally normal — even in a comic book — to use exclamation points all the time! Amiright!

Joking aside, this was astonishing. 16 sentences, 15 exclamations. And the reason I mention this is not because it was the exception; this was the rule. In the first two full pages, 28/29 sentences were exclamations (So a grand total of 34/36 sentences ending in an exclamation point for three pages.) Really. This was not all that unusual in comics, but it certainly was in full display here. I won’t pull the punches, this is really an ugly collection, perhaps Spider-Man at his worst. A not so concise plot (“THAT’S THE POINT!” exclaims Carnage…) that is riddled with poor character development and a bad time for the supporting cast in general, so there’s nowhere to look besides the feature storyline. Here – choose your own adventure out of these gems.

A. Richard and Mary Parker are back from the dead… and cranky!

B. Felicia Hardy and… Flash Thompson!?!

C. Mary Jane Parker takes up smoking – and Peter hates it!

D. Aunt May joins the WNBA at point guard for the New York Liberty!

E. None of the above.

And I only made up one of those. Mix in some good art (Mark Bagley delivers, Sal Buscema does his thing, and Ron Lim is 50/50) some meh art (Ron Lim hit the wall and sometimes draws Mary Jane looking like a fish, Tom Luly?, Alex Suviak?) and a whole lot of “why is this story taking 14 issues?” and “why did Cloak/Dagger/Morbius/Iron Fist/DEATHLOK?/Captain America/Firestar show up?” and we get this pile of crap. What’s worse is that many of the writers behind this particular story have done work that I do really enjoy. Wrong time, wrong place, I guess.

All that said – I’d say just go ahead and buy the video game, it was fun.I always played the Genesis version, but the SNES version was just cooler looking here.

Continue reading »

Top 100 Summer Comics #63

Todd McFarlane gets all the early 90’s Spider-Man fame.

But as someone who was there, when Erik Larsen took over, it didn’t skip a beat. And to be honest…

I like Larsen better. Better Venom. Better Mary Jane. Less bitter beer face. And then there was this two-parter right here…

#64 – Amazing Spider-Man 347

Maybe my favorite Venom story. It doesn’t even really make sense. Somehow they end up on an island, and it wasn’t Staten, Long, or Coney. It was a tropical island? Wash past that – those details were unimportant to the story. It was a fun romp, featured Eddie Brock (aka the real venom) in his most bonkers level yet, and Peter Parker faking his death, leaving Eddie in peace. And Erik Larsen nailed it. Bombastic, fun, and loose. It was not Hamlet – but it was never meant to be either.
Continue reading »

Action Figures Shouldn’t Talk.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule or anything, just a personal preference. I find it kind of creepy.

Especially when you look at who is doing the talking in this line of talking Marvel figures.

So let’s just break it down.

Threats of murder. Daydreams of cannibalism. Declarations of genetic superiority. “I’m a machine gun rat a tat tat!” All coming from the “mouths” of tiny plastic toys.

Nope, not creepy at all.

Continue reading »

‘Nuff Said.

A few years back, Marvel had a pretty ingenious idea of publishing a whole month of books with no (or very little) text. No dialogue, no thought balloons, no narration.

What with comic books being a visual story telling medium, it worked relatively well. Some really good stories, and I’d highly recommend checking them out.

That said, with some items, there’s very little that needs to said. Sometimes, an item says everything it needs to in the image itself. Hence…

“Hey, I can really talk!”

“Evil Venom Hisss!”
Continue reading »

©2020 The Noize Corp | Advertise