With Flash Thompson as Venom having moved out of state to start a new life in Philadelphia, he was hoping for a bit of peace and quiet in between becoming a teacher and continuing being a crime fighter. It was a great idea in theory but it wasn’t long before Eddie Brock (the original Venom) was merged with a new symbiote and became the new Toxin and is hellbent on destroying his original symbiote. Eddie has been tracking Flash down and we’ve been suffering from one cliffhanger after another thrown at us it finally happens.

Venom vs Toxin in a full on symbiote brawl!

This is probably the first issue to not really focus on the ongoing plot for the majority of it and while I usually am a bit annoyed when this happens I won’t lie – symbiote on symbiote fighting looks amazing. I’m sure it helped that Declan has had experience with the sybmiotes for quite some time now but there work in having the two just tear into each other is some of the best sybmiote fighting to date. It’s fluid, organic and brutal in a way that is rare in Marvel comics.

The fight is clearly an all out one from the get go. From claws to fangs to brute forth to guns to symbiote created weapons there is no holding back! It isn’t just about Venom and Toxin though as the monster that’s been on the loose the last couple of issues is brought into the fight too. While Toxin takes it out rather viciously while taunting Venom that he is no hero, the strange containers on the monster’s back break off. Whatever will that mean?

The fight wages on and Toxin has the advantage between more years of being merged with a symbiote as well as having one that can fight for itself. That’s where Flash realizes he does have an advantage he can use. Flash’s new plan will take Eddie/Toxin out long enough for him to regroup. He can’t stop him but he uses the inhibitor that he’s been keeping the Venom portion dormant with and injects it into Toxin.

Instantly the sybmiote loses it’s half of control and Eddie, not expecting it, doesn’t know how to regroup. He runs away to fight again later and we see Flash making his way home. He ends up on the roof of his apartment building with the help of the sybmiote who goes dormant to try and heal them both as both are badly damaged and barely surviving from the assault. On the roof also is Flash’s neighbor who is too young for a love interest but keeps popping up and I’m sure will be playing some kind of role in Flash’s life soon.

Didn’t I mention the creatures popping off that monsters back? Well the closure of the book elaborates on that. We see a bum strolling up to his homeless friends complaining about being hungry. His hunger is soon a thing of the past though as we see the ‘Symbiote Slayers’ that were growing from the monster’s back have eaten his friends and one takes him out as well.

The Slayers look pretty damn awesome (and creepy) and seeing through their eyes is some kind of an alien digital read out. Fortunately it’s an English so it’s either man-made or being translated for our benefit. Basically it’s analysed the symbiotes and classified them as the Apex predator and they are now what are going to be targeted to kill. (Hello Toxin/Venom team up a whole issue after they nearly kill one another.)

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Declan Shalvey