With Flash Thompson trying to start his life a new in Philly as the new Venom, things seemed to be going well. That is until the new Toxin (Eddie Brock) has decided it’s his purpose to kill his old symbiote and the man attached to him. He’s taken to the streets of Philly and last episode we had a little run in first with Venom and a monster followed by Toxin.

This issue’s cover promises a confrontation between Venom and Toxin that we’ve been clearly working towards. This issue we finally see them come face ot face! While unfortunately most of the actual confrontation won’t be occurring until next issue it felt paced properly.

The build up to that first moment where they see each other is done amazingly well. He has become one of the most relatable heroes in the Marvel Universe and this issue shines on why. While his past keeps him from being someone you’d like, his downfall and road to personal redemption is something almost everyone wants to see. In this issue his personal life is explored on two fronts. One of these is where he and Beast are talking about life in general: a way to fix this monster he’s tracking. Also, how each are doing as loners and also the joys of how coffee is truly one of the most amazing inventions in the world. It’s too men who have become friends that are talking a mix of shop and life. It’s fitting.

The second portion of Flash’s personal life that is explored is him facing his inner demons. Flash goes to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and lets his guard down to a group of strangers and finds acceptance and understanding.

On Eddie’s side all we see is the hunt. While he’s actually hunting for Venom, he has come across the monster that he was tracking. In the first scene between the two a fight breaks out and the way Toxin is illustrated I’m reminded more of how Carnage has molded himself over time. While each symbiote is of course different I would have thought that their ‘look’ would semi match the man who the symbiote is melded with. While fighting I was expecting more of the over the top size look and instead was feeling Carnage. The monster does a surprise attack and is able to escape.

So this wasn’t a bad look for Toxin it just wasn’t quite what I was expecting when a fight broke out.

The second scene involving the monster leads into the final pages of the issue. Toxin uses it as bait to get Venom right where he want him. He also uses the bait to try and get into Flash’s head and lower his guard.

We’ll find out if it worked next issue when we’re finally going to see a showdown between these two. Honestly what I’m most excited about their fight is going to bet the artwork. I absolutely love how Declan Shalvey draws symbiotes on page and this issue is another perfect example of how amazing they can really look!

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Declan Shalvey