Category Archives: Dave Posts
Well, it has been a while since I’ve written a Reading List post, so I guess it’s about time. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at the first on-going Venom series, which began in 2003 and ran for 18 issues. It wasn’t particularly long, and only lasted for two years, but it, like a lot of things marvel was doing at the time (see my post on the Captain Marvel book of that era) was completely and very entertainingly insane. The series starts somewhere in the arctic, in a a lonely, frozen outpost which is staffed by a handful of stalwart roughnecks and is largely cut off from the rest of the world. If this is starting to sound a little bit like the film The Thing, well, just wait. An army lieutenant named Patrica Robertson, who is stationed there, travels to a research lab a few miles away to return and borrow some VHS tapes, but when she gets there, all hell has seemingly broken loose and nearly all of the scientists have been brutally murdered. There is one survivor, and he is incoherent, so Pat brings him with her back to the military outpost. The survivor is, of course, carrying the Venom symbiote, but this is a somewhat different version of Venom than we’ve seen before.
Theses days, there is a sort of ‘telepathic honor system’ in place in the X-men universe. The Professor and Jean (when she’s around) and the other telepaths mostly shy away from reading people’s minds with out their permission, as well as doing things like, you know, erasing their memories. Back in the sixties tho, as we’ve seen, the good professor wouldn’t even think twice about using the old brain-fry on an enemy, and Scott, well, Scott isn’t even a telepath so the phrase ‘telepathic honor system’ definitely hasn’t occurred to him. Here we have him hooking up some burglars to cerebro and wiping their memories, which is certainly not something I’ve ever heard of cerebro doing.
Okay, so first of all, I feel the title is just begging for comment. I mean, I sure feel like I’ve seen this title before. Anyone else? Well, here are some numbers for you that I have recently made up. Not only are 27% of all Spider-man titles “Along Came A Spider”, but 85% of crossover comics that feature Spider-man also use this title. In fact (and somewhat surprisingly), it turns out that when you look at all non-Spider-man Marvel books published between 1960 and 2010, a whopping 38% of those individual issues use this exact title. So, that’s weird. Anyway, it’s issue 35 and The Banshee is out looking for his lucky charms!
Well, as is often the case, Professor X was in his room playing with Cerebro and he finds out that, yet again, the greatest threat that the X-Men have evar faced is on it’s way, so it’s time to go get some new team mates. Issue 27 does something new, which is kind of fun. They start near the end of the story, and once we see the team fight the Mimic for a while, the issue then goes back and shows how everyone ended up in this situation, and don’t you just know it? Things are not as they seem! This is a pretty basic plot structure, but when most of your stories are monster-of-the-week types, it’s nice to break it up once in a while.
Oh no! The X-men are being attacked by a group of bounty hunting cowboys! This is sure to be an epic and danger-fraught encounter! And due to the extreme danger presented by a bunch of horse-riding, gun-toting dudes, our heroes don’t pull any punches.