With only one issue left in the series, you know that #41 had to deliver. Deliver it did, giving us a full move forward on most of the major plot points.
Let’s take a look shall we?
For starters, we get the full reasoning behind how we saw a dead Hellstorm in the previous issue. Hellstorm apparently made duplicates of himself and has sent them out into the world. Only, he’s lost so much of himself in them he’s not even sure at this point if he truly is the real Hellstorm or not. Still, he confirms what many guessed from last issue – Venom is no longer carrying the demon’s mark that showed as a Pentacle. Anyone paying attention last issue may have noticed it on Mania’s chest.
Speaking of Mania, she’s successfully tracked down Lord Ogre. In this issue she slices and dices through his henchmen before finally coming up against the man whose orders ended with her father’s life being lost. It was time for revenge. Only, he saw that coming and has a toxic gas that will blanket the area if he dies.
When it’s clear she doesn’t care and is about to go in for the kill – she’s stopped. Venom has shown up just in time and they have a very moral heart to heart with their symbiotes all around them. At this point you would expect Lord Ogre to try and escape and he gives it a shot but Venom has enough experience now to make sure to not let him get away. An almost unexpected win.
As they are finishing their conversation, Crossbones shows up intent on bringing down Mania. He knows Mania has the demon mark and he’s busy collecting them. A huge fight against minor demons ensues which ends with Lord Ogre quickly being eaten alive or killed by them (far too quick of an ending to determine) and the symbiote duo pulling out all of the stops.
They end up escaping and we get an inner dialogue shot between Flash and the Venom sybmiote. It’s not quite as mindless as we’ve been lead to believe as of late. It tells him that it got rid of the demon mark so it couldn’t corrupt the both of them. Interesting that an alien symbiote can get rid of a demon mark. Still, it’s now confirmed that Mania has it.
With one issue left and a kill squad hot on their tail to take out Mania, it’s only a matter of time before they have to find a way to get rid of this mark forever. One could bet that it has to do with making a deal with a certain devil.
We’ll see how that plays out and how this changes the future of Venom (if at all) after this story comes to a close. We know Flash is still active on the Thunderbolts so most likely he’s going to end up alive and well. Mania? It’s hard to say if she’s going to be losing her powers.
I’m a bit bummed that this series is going to come to an end. I’ve been enjoying seeing Venom out on his own. I’m not a huge fan of what they’ve been doing with him in the ‘Thunderbolts’ so far so I hope they find a way to bring him back as a main stream Avenger or find another role for him in the near future.
Writer: Cullen Bunn