In the finale to ‘Venom’ #18, Venom was attempting to save his family and friends from a all-out onslaught by the Crime-Master and the Savage Six. When Flash/Venom attempted to save his girlfriend Betty from Jack O’Lantern, Betty was struggling as much to get away from Venom as she was from Jack. To stop her struggling, Flash revealed his real identity to Betty.

As this issue opens, Betty is rightfully angry that Flash has been sneaking and lying to her all this time. But, before she can really let loose on Flash, the pair are on the run again. At least now Betty isn’t fighting against Venom.

Now that Betty’s safe, Flash rushes to save his sister and mother. His sister, Jessie, lives closer so Flash chooses to rush to her apartment while giving his mother a call to warn her to get out of her home. The tension ramps up when Flash can’t reach is mother and any further attempts at calling are cut off when the digital villain Megatak reveals that he’s tracing phone calls and can travel through the cellular signals.

Flash decides that he has to hope that his mother is out as a reason for her not answering her phone and rushes to Jessie’s apartment. I won’t reveal what Flash finds at Jessie’s place but, before the issue’s end, several people are dead and Flash’s life spirals further down the Venom toilet.

I’m absolutely digging the Savage Six timeline. It’s definitely shaking things up for Flash but I think that every hardship that he endures through this event is only going to make him more of a hero once he comes out the other side. That said, the Venom symbiote is still there waiting for Flash to hit his lowest point. In that moment of weakness, the symbiote will surely take control and it’ll be total chaos. I expect Flash will triumph in the end but I have to question… how much will he have to lose to get to that point?

Rick Remender has done a stellar job on ‘Venom’ so far. So much so that I had my doubts when Cullen Bunn came on as co-writer and announced that he’ll be taking over full duties soon. Now I don’t know how much of this arc is Bunn and how much is Remender but it certainly has assuaged my fears about Bunn’s writing skills.

Verdict: Buy

Story by Cullen Bunn & Rick Remender
Art by Lan Medina & Nelson DeCastro
Cover by Tony Moore, Edgar Delgado, Sean Chen, & Mike Perkins