That being said this is no Lethal Protector, as Rick Remender is playing in a world with his own Venom and his own rules. No longer is it Eddie Brock, or even Mac Gargen in the symbiote, but a amputee Flash Thompson who is using it for the good of America for the US Army. For those who have been following the character since Brand New Day this feels very natural and allows us a book that is very within the Spider-man universe, but also gives us a different side that often gets overlooked.
Remender and crew have done a great job of setting up the new dynamic as well as staying true to the Spidey formula (which maybe the best mainstream Spidey book right now) as Flash is trying to lead the double life and deal with his girlfriend (poor Betty Grant, first Peter, than Ned, and now Flash). It also has the distinction of doing a tie-in right (though I did enjoy Spider Island) that made it so you didn’t need to read the other books but rewarded you if you did.
Wednesday saw the release of issue 10 which is the start of a new direction and artist Lan Medina (another in a series of fantastic artists, but more on that later) on board to breath life into the title. You do need to know a bit about the book and where it’s at so far, but it’s a catch-up read that I promise will be worth the time.
Along with Remender is the art, starting with Tony Moore (who just finished up Fear Agent with Remender), and Tom Fowler (just check out Mysterius the Unfathomable, it’s great) this is one pretty book and a style that I would never think I’d see in a Venom book. Both had been switching and with Lan Medina in the mix it only gets better. Moore and Fowler both have very complementary styles, and even with Medina which is much different than the two the secondary art team have done a great job of keeping the overall look of the book constant.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about Remender’s work is his ability to take the years of history and still tell fun original stories without ignoring it (just look at his Uncanny X-Force, and crazy fun Punisher work). I’m looking forward to his work on Secret Avengers just for that reason (and he seems like a perfect fit to take over from Warren Ellis) and want to see him continue to work his magic in the house of ideas.
This is one of my top five books that I’m reading right now and look forward to see the title continue to grow. Even if you are weary of Venom (and all the other symbiotes for that matter) you should think about giving this book a try… otherwise Marvel just might cancel this book as well.