In last month’s ‘Venom’ #23, Agent Venom was on a Secret Avengers mission to spy on an occult group called the Department of Occult Armaments. Things turned sour on our hero when Daimon Hellstrom shows up and demons start possessing people… including Venom!
As this issue opens, the demonic Venom is looking for something to eat and Hellstrom is more than willing to offer up some cultists for a meal. When Venom goes to eat these “willing” men, Flash begins to assert some control over him again and flees to find some help.
With access to his Avengers teammates cut off, the only person that Flash thinks might be able to help is Katy Kiernan, the reporter he crossed paths with last issue. When a disheveled Venom shows up on her doorstep, Katy actually takes it quite well and immediately comes up with some ideas to help with Flash’s predicament.
Luckily, Katy is friends with an ex-priest who is willing to help her exorcise the demon from Venom. During the exorcism, the demon makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be a part of this situation any more than Flash does but he can’t disconnect himself from Venom. With that idea having failed, Venom decides to force some answers out of the only man who might be able to do something about it… he’s back to Hellstrom!
As the issue closes, Venom sinks further and further into the demonic depths as Hellstrom gains the upper hand. In the end, Venom discovers that he may be part of another group aside from the Avengers.
When Cullen Bunn started on yet another horror themed ‘Midnight Sons’ type of story with last issue, I opted to turn my brain off and just go with it. The previous supernatural story, ‘Circle of Four’, was pretty decent so I wanted to give this one a chance. While I’m still open to Bunn turning this one around, it seems to be slowly slipping into terrible territory. From the lame “Monsters of Evil” title to the demonic horned Venom, this one reeks of mid-90s supernatural goofiness and, while that’s okay in smaller doses, this one seems to be going a bit too heavy on the cheese.
Still, I thought the same thing when ‘Circle of Four’ started so I’m willing to give the rest of this arc a chance. I just can’t recommend it very highly to those who are looking for a good Venom story. Here’s hoping that the upcoming ‘Minimum Carnage’ cross-over and Venom’s pending move from NYC to Philly will shakes things up and get this title back on some good old fashioned military style Venom tales.
Story by Cullen Bunn
Art by Thony Silas and Nelson Decastro
Cover by Patrick Zircher and Skottie Young