Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc Alpha #1
Writer: Dan Slott & Mike Costa
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Colors: Brian Reber
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
Ever since the end of Secrets War II the Spider-Man and Venom books have had some major changes going on. Peter Parker was able to build up Parker Industries and turn it into a multi-billion only for it all to come crashing down around him. Meanwhile Flash and the Venom Symbiote went up to Space to work with the Guardians. Eventually Flash found himself back on earth and without his Symbiote. Since then Flash has been trying to find his way back to the Symbiote to regain his hero status.
Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc Alpha #1 has a lot of moving parts as it sets up the story moving forward. Flash has taken up helping another hero named Mania as he works to find his Symbiote. Flash decides that his best bet in reuniting with his Symbiote is to go to his old friend Peter Parker. He is hoping that Peter can employ the help of Spider-Man. Unfortunately for Flash, Peter is not sure so sure about the plan, and thinks that Spider-Man will want to destroy the Symbiote. Meanwhile, Eddie Brock is having trouble controlling the Symbiote and turns to Alchemax for help.
Something about all the characters here just felt off. Spider-Man feels as if he is just the third wheel that is there to be the wet blanket on everyone else’s hopes and dreams. His jokes do not land in the way that they usually do as most of them seem spiteful instead of fun. At this point the Venom Symbiote has proven over and over it falls in a hero role most of the time. So, Spider-Man wanting to kill the Symbiote rather than save it makes him come off as a grade A jerk. Not to mention his actions have an unknow effect on a couple of people, one of whom he considers a friend.
Eddie and Flash come off as jealous potential lovers who are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the other doesn’t get the girl. For Eddie Brock it is a look that works for the character. But for Flash, who is trying to continue his heroic life it just does not feel right. If Flash wants to be the hero he would let the Symbiote pick for itself and not try to control it. The Symbiote is actually the most compelling character through the entire book. As it tries to pick between Flash and Brock they way it tears itself apart you can feel its pain as it wants to be with both.
The art is hit and miss throughout. While some of the parts where the Venom is separating is visually stunning there are others that just do not work. Several panels the eyes on Spider-Mans suit are way to think and misshaped at times. Eddie Brock looks like he just stepped out of a 90s comic or Street Fighter game. High flattop, bulging neck muscles, and vein filled foreheads went out of style long ago. Even the reveal at the end doesn’t look right.
Wait and See! The foundation is there for this to be a good beginning of this crossover non-event. However, there are some serious missteps. Spider-Man truly comes off as a Grade A jerk, While Brock and Flash come off as jilted lovers who are happy keeping the Symbiote away from others rather than what it wants. The reveal at the end does nothing to save Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc Alpha #1. Wait and see how the Amazing Spider-man plays into the cross over next week, and if you enjoy that maybe then you come back to this issue.