The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 5: The Superior Venom by Dan Slott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Venom! What would a Spider-Man be without a run in with an alien symbiote?
This is the Flash Thompson version of Venom (my favourite I think). Check out Rick Remender’s great work on that title: Venom, Vol. 1
Here, Spidey gets a little too full of himself, and in trying to help Flash walk by repairing his legs, accidentally frees the Venom symbiote, which of course, takes over Otto.
This plot has moments where it meanders, but I think that’s more to Christos Gage than to Slott.
The really important developments are as follows, to me at least: 1 – Otto’s love for Anna Maria is shown when Aunt May makes an inappropriate remark, showing how good a person Otto actually is under it all.
2 – Carlie Cooper will never be the same after her capture by the Goblin King and his minions…
3 – The Goblin reveals himself to a longtime rival, who might not live to tell another soul about it.
4 – Otto-Venom goes nuts, and only the combined forces of the Avengers and Flash are able to combat it.
5 – Even then, Otto isn’t able to free himself from the alien symbiote…but is someone else able to?
There’s some very cool stuff here if you ignore the ho-hum bits. They’re building to a huge Goblin/Spidey Showdown, and I cannot wait for that to arrive at the library!
I have a sneaking suspicion there’s not much more for Otto to do, but I sure hope that doesn’t mean the end of Superior, as it’s been a fantastic series, and great way to bring new life to old characters.
This is also a great book for elevating Flash’s status in the Marvel world, before, it seems only Captain America knows him (that being soldier thing helps) and Iron Man and Spidey both comment about having no idea who he is.
If you’re invested in Flash Thompson at all (I am, thanks to Dan Slott actually, and Rick Remender, but mostly with the Flash Thompson ASM issue where he goes overseas and serves. That one was a rather well done one to me, so I like that he’s moved on with his life and upwards) this is a great result.
If you just want to see more of Otto Parker, this is great too, but if you miss Peter…well, you’re not alone, and don’t fret…
This seems like the closest we’ve seen Otto go to returning to his evil ways, and that was only due to the Venom impact. Otto is able to convince the Avengers that it was Venom affecting him the whole time – way back to their first concern after he killed Massacre way back in Vol. 1. However, Iron Man, in all his paranoia, discovers something that Otto cannot talk his way out of, and it might spell the end of Spider-Man’s membership with the Avengers!
All in all, a good recovery from a lacking Vol. 4 (NOTE – A lacking volume 4 of this series is better than the majority of volumes from many other series out there.) Cannot wait to get Vol. 6 from the library (assuming it’s in before next year!!!)