At the close of ‘Venom’ #24, our hero was facing down the forces of Hell… literally. Venom was battling Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, and a group of demonic entities called the Monsters of Evil. On top of all that, Venom was possessed by a demon of his own and the Monsters of Evil were looking to recruit Venom as their latest member.
This issue opens on a throw-down battle between Venom and the MoE. As the chaos tears its way across NYC, Hellstrom reveals that the MoE were once powerful entities. There ranks include a sphinx from ancient Egypt, a godlike alien worm, a bull creature that was worshipped by the mole men, and a creature called the skunk ape. Hellstrom possessed these creatures with demons of his own, making them even more powerful… but why? It gets kind of weird and vague here but it looks like the ranks of Hell are about to shift and some of the lesser demonic beings (like Hellstrom himself) are going to be given a chance at getting a promotion of sorts. What that has to do with the MoE, I don’t know but Hellstrom seems to think that the now demon-possessed Venom will take a seat as one of the rulers of Hell.
It seems that Venom is happy with his career with the Secret Avengers and isn’t looking for a promotion to Hell Lord, so he’s got to find a way to stop Hellstrom and the MoE from forcing him down that path… and he may already know a way to do it.
So far, Cullen Bunn’s first arc in ‘Venom’ has been quite a let down. I tried to give it a pass since I likened it to the mid-90s supernatural books but, after a couple of issues of this tripe, it’s almost painful to read. I fell in love with Rick Remender’s “Agent Venom”, the military black ops Venom that alternated between fighting villains for the Secret Avengers and trying to keep things together in his personal life. This supernatural tale is so far removed from those ideas that it’s almost like it’s a different book entirely.
It’s so bad that it’s even got me looking forward to the upcoming ‘Minimum Carnage’ crossover that begins next month. I’ve never been a big fan of Carnage and I’ve liked that Venom and Scarlet Spider had taken great strides to position themselves as heroes away from the shadow of Spider-Man. I am loving the idea that these two are going to team up but I’m not sold on having them battle yet another Spider-Man villain… but, since Carnage was spawned from the Venom symbiote, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
I just hope it doesn’t let me down like the ‘Monsters of Evil’ arc has done.
See you next month when the carnage begins in the ‘Minimum Carnage Alpha’ one-shot.
Story by Cullen Bunn
Art by Thony Silas
Cover by Patrick Zircher