Flash Thompson’s life has slowly been going down the drain due to the attacks from the Savage Six. His mother and sister were nearly killed, his girlfriend has been kidnapped by the Crime-Master, and he’s been lying about his bonding to the Venom symbiote to his Secret Avengers teammates. In the closing pages of ‘Venom’ #20, Betty had just learned that the Crime-Master was really her brother Bennett, who was thought long dead. To make matters worse, Flash is dead set on killing the Crime-Master!

At the abandoned shipyard hideout of the Savage Six, Flash is taking out guards as he secretly creeps closer and closer to his intended target. Inside, Bennett is trying to explain to his sister how he returned from death and why he hasn’t contacted her for all these years. We don’t learn much but we’re shown that Bennett is not the first Crime-Master. There’s been a long line of these villains leading back to at what looks like at least Revolutionary War times.

Before Bennett finishes his long overdue family reunion, he gets word that Venom has arrived and the Savage Six spring into action to take him down. From there, the action ramps up and the shocks come hot and heavy. I won’t spoil it but, before the battle is done, people are dead, relationships are broken, and Flash decides to take responsibility for what he’s been doing with the symbiote.

Rick Remender and Cullen Bunn have delivered yet another amazing ‘Venom’ issue. Between this title, Dan Slott over in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’, and Chris Yost on ‘Scarlet Spider’, this is truly a great anniversary year for the wall-crawler and all of his supporting characters and spin-offs.

So, Marvel… if you’re still looking at a Venom stand-alone movie, please look towards what Remender and Bunn are doing with the character in this book for how Venom can be potentially handled without having to tie in with Spider-Man directly.

Verdict: Buy

Story by Cullen Bunn & Rick Remender
Art by Lan Medina
Cover by Tony Moore