Category Archives: 90s Marvel

The Case of the Venomous Offspring (Part 2)

RCO001_w_1463374424-1-1-1-1Greetings and salutations, you sexy and clever fans of The Unspoken Decade! What’s that? Why am I kissing your butts? Me?! Never! Can’t a narrator praise his amazing readers? Good. I’m glad we cleared that up. (By the way, have you all been working out? It shows!)

Now that everyone is feeling good about themselves, let’s begin my review of the second half of the “Venom: Lethal Protector” storyline, shall we?

When we last left our hero, he had been captured by an organization called the Life Foundation, and the villains were only interested in his symbiote’s offspring! Nope, things don’t look good for ol’ Venom! As we begin this issue, things haven’t gotten any better. Brock and his symbiotic “other” continue to float in an energy orb of comprised of pure sound. Venom thrashes and roars in defiance as Carlton Drake calmly looks on. Venom threatens to “suck his lungs out through his nose!” (Now that’s thought provoking. Can this be done? Does one need symbiotically enhanced lungs or simply Justin Beiber-level of ability to suck? Hmm….)

RCO004_w_1463374573-1-1Drake merely brushes the threat away and begins speaking of his master plan. Simply put? He wants Venom’s offspring to enhance bodyguards for the wealthy that have already purchased condos from him. (Devious, eh? He’s essentially like if Dr. Doom had an evil love child with the Monopoly Guy!) Just then, the fifth and final symbiote is born and quickly contained. Venom continues to thrash in outrage!

Meanwhile, Spidey is seen doing what Spidey does best – fighting crime. As a group of young hoods race away from the convenience store they have just robbed, they take their collective gaze off of the road ahead just long enough for the Amazing Spider-Man to drop down onto their hood! He webs their windshield and leaps to safety. The escape car, now driving blind, hits a nearby tree! Later, as the local police thank the wall-crawler, he asks for change to make a call.  (For you youngins, the change is for an ancient device that we neanderthals called a phone booth. Nope. No cell phone for selfies or texting! Truly frightening, huh?)

RCO006_1463374573-1He notifies his wife that, though Venom has recently dropped off of the grid, crimes are being committed in true symbiote fashion all around the city. His stay in San Francisco may just be longer than expected. Back in the desert compound of the Life Foundation, Venom continues to attempt an escape. Sadly, the force of the Sonics is just too strong for the symbiote. But for the human within….? The thought coming to the venomous duo, Venom grins his many-fanged smile.

RCO011_1463374573-1

Back to ol’ web-head. Following a few leads he finds himself in a mall. A young woman is thrown from above, but Spidey gets there just in time to catch the girl, saving her from certain death. He then follows the gaze of the onlookers and sees the source of their fear….a female symbiote?! Rather than acting afraid of the sudden appearance of a seasoned superhero, she seems positively pleased! (You know, there’s just something exciting about a woman who could either kiss you or bite your face off on a whim. Mmmm! Sexy!)

RCO017_1463374573-1Back to Venom. While the villain has his back turned, speaking further of his sinister plans, Venom suddenly reaches through the orb with his human arm and seizes a guard! He then throws the minion into the control center for his prison, effectively shutting it down! Now free, the Lethal Protector begins tearing his way through the security personnel as if they’re no more than tissue paper! As he reaches for Drake, however, he is suddenly shot in the back by a sonic rifle! Brock and the symbiote drop unconscious. (Nekkid again, it should be noted. Someone, anyone, get this man some tighty whiteys!)

We then return to the mall, where Spider-Man battles the female symbiote with all that he has! As the fight rages on, he notices that she is extremely fast and strong but couldn’t be any more of a rookie in combat. Using this to his advantage, he lures her away from the civilians, pretending to surrender, and then springs into a fierce attack while she’s unprepared! Now down, she calls for an extraction. She tosses another would-be victim toward a wall. Spidey quickly cushions the man with his own body. Returning his gaze to the symbiote, he sees that she is gone. A hovercraft begins to lift off, but before it can get too far, the wall-crawler fires a web onto it! He is then pulled with the vehicle towards its destination. (Has anyone else noticed how this has become less of a Venom miniseries and more yet another excuse to showcase Marvel’s “big gun,” AKA Spider-Man? Like the dude doesn’t have enough comics in the 90’s! Let the V-Man have his moment in the sun! Geez! Rant over.)

Meanwhile, in a dark and hidden room, the torture of a homeless man finally comes to an end. Treece grows impatient. He wants the homeless exterminated. That way, he can claim the gold he’s discovered beneath the park! If he could just locate their hidden lair….

RCO023_1463374573-1When the craft reaches the Life Foundation compound, Spidey enters and sneaks along the ceilings, unseen until that’s no longer an option. He battles armored goons left and right, slowly advancing upon the room where Venom is held captive. Within, Drake has decided that Eddie Brock has become more trouble that he’s worth! Using his sophisticated machines, he actually painfully strips the Venom symbiote from Eddie Brock! (Way to go, web-head! Just had to stick your nose where it didn’t belong! Now there is no Venom to finish this storyline! Well, I guess I could finish this with some thoughts on Marvel’s Powdered Toast Man Special #1. What’s that? Oh. The comic’s not over yet. Well, color me embarrassed. Please. Do continue.)

Moments later, Spider-Man breaks into room only to find a taunting Carlton Drake on a computer screen, and what appears to be the fresh corpse of one Eddie Brock lying on the floor!

RCO005_1463374619-1On to the next exciting issue! Spidey, still fighting guards, replies that Venom is a lot harder to kill than he thinks. Just then, one of the lab techs alerts Drake that they have found a faint pulse! Eddie Brock lives! Disgusted with this turn of events, he switches off the monitor and orders the tech to perform an autopsy anyway! As for Spider-Man? Let him meet “the children!” The five symbiotes enter the room! (Man! Spidey looks like he’s kinda screwed, eh Unspoken fans? I mean, he usually has trouble with just one symbiote! Is the wall-crawler’s number finally up? Will Marvel lose its biggest cash cow without an “X” in the title? Stay tuned….)

RCO008_1463374619-1Meanwhile, Treece has had enough of his “homeless problem” and pulls the tarp from the back of a large truck, revealing crates of explosives! He means to bury those poor people alive! Seeing this, spies for the underground city return to their home with the alarming news!

Back in the desert compound, just as the Life Foundation lab techs are about to begin their autopsy, Brock suddenly leaps to life and attacks! A guard enters the room and fires a sonic blaster at our hero, but the joke’s on him. Without his “other,” Brock no longer fears loud noise! While it is assumed that these men are being beaten to death, Spidey continues his battle in a nearby room with the five symbiotes!

RCO011_1463374619-1Two of the aliens trap his arms in tendrils as a third charges with sharpened fists! When the symbiote gets close Spider-Man pulls all three together with his enhanced strength! Another then attacks with barbed hands and, strangely enough, excretes a strange acid from them! (Does anyone else remember this “acid thing”? I mean, I admittedly haven’t read this in years, but isn’t that a strange ability for a symbiote to possess? I don’t remember Marvel bringing this up ever again either. Hmmm. The House of Ideas, forget something? Impossible! Write in if I’m wrong here.) Spidey ducks and webs up their faces. Just then, Brock enters the room! He tries to call his symbiotic children to him in peace. They answer by attacking him in unison, forcing the heroic duo to momentarily retreat!

Webbing the door behind them, Brock leads Spidey to the dissection room, and they each arm themselves with the fallen guards’ sonic rifles. Both fire as the five symbiotes break through! Four are incapacitated but the fifth ducks the attack and lunges forward with bladed arms! Webbing the symbiote, both heroes retreat to yet another room. Once inside, Brock is relieved to see his “other” being held in stasis! Quickly breaking the alien free, the two become one once more, and Venom is reborn! (That’s right kiddies, daddy’s back and it’s time to line up for your spankings!)

RCO017_1463374619-1While Venom tangles with the other symbiote, he orders Spider-Man to look to the keyboards of the many computers for help of any kind! Accidentally, he discovers a ray that, once it hits the alien’s skin, ages it to death! Venom tells Spidey to hit them all with it as the others burst in! Spider-Man, not wanting to risk the lives of the humans within, refuses! (What a weenie! I’m sorry, but thats why I root for the anti-hero! I mean, I get the whole moral compass thing, but these guys had no qualms about making Spidey-kabobs just minutes earlier! Sheesh!)

Wasting little time, Venom sends a tendril snaking behind Spider-Man’s back. His spider-sense, of course, not sensing it, is caught by surprise when Venom chokes him out! At that very moment,  the five symbiotes break in! Using the ray at full blast, Venom ages the symbiote halves of the five humans to alien dust! The humans within survive, though unconscious. Spider-Man awakens in just enough time for both heroes to escape the Life Foundation compound before it explodes! Losing track of Venom, Spidey begins his search anew. Venom, on the other hand, heads back to San Francisco. He has unfinished business there!

RCO003_w_1463374663-1At the home of Roland Treece, the chief of security is in a state of shock! It seems that all security measures for the estate have been bypassed and all guards lie beaten and unconscious! Who could have done this? What happened? That’s when he turns and the answer to his question becomes clear…..Venom happened! To his credit, the man tries his best to protect the property, even from the likes of the Lethal Protector! But, in the end, he talks. (Finally, the secret of why there’s gold in them thar hills will be explained! Umm. At this point, do we even really care? Don’t we, the readers, just want to see justice served to the bad guy? Agreed. Moving on.)

RCO012_1463374663-1Learning that the homeless are in danger from the explosives in the park, an outraged Venom knocks out the security chief and heads toward the park. Spider-Man, however, is already there. When Venom arrives, he is met by two red-booted feet in the gut from our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, quickly followed by a quick punch to the jaw! Venom retaliates by entangling the hero in symbiotic goo! As the arachnid hero attempts to free himself, Venom states that there is no time to fight. Innocent people are in danger. He finishes by asking the hero for help. Surprised by all of this, Spidey agrees. (Wow! Venom was the voice of reason in this scene! Is the world nearing its end? Quick, someone check on Betty White! Everyone knows she’ll outlive the planet itself!)

RCO013_1463374663-1Now united, the heroes quickly leap into action! Never losing a step, Treece sends the digger armored suits to stop the heroes from reaching the bombs! Spidey lets loose a webline at one as it fires a heat ray and swings it towards another, effectively using both robotic armored suits to take each other out! Not to be outdone, Venom pushes a suit’s drill arm down, towards its own armored knee! Treece then does what anyone in his situation would do – runs away!  (Yep. Things are coming crashing down on the villain, aren’t they? He’d have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling heroes and their symbiote!)

Spider-Man continues battling the diggers while Venom races after Treece. The only problem is that some fuel has ignited due to the crashing of metal on metal. Fire. One of the two main weaknesses of the symbiote race! Inside a nearby trailer, Treece continues to begin the process of blowing the bombs! If he goes down, he isn’t going alone, it seems. Venom, risking the very life of his symbiotic “other” and fighting against unimaginable pain, reaches through the flames and pulls Treece out, ending the threat!

RCO020_1463374663-1Spider-Man runs up to check on his once-enemy. Venom is already healing itself. Sirens sound in the distance. Spidey turns momentarily. When he returns his gaze, Venom is gone. (Batman, eat your heart out!) Later, Eddie Brock is once again called upon by the council of the underground city. Having witnessed how he saved them, he is offered sanctuary. He accepts. Not only will he live as one of them, he will be their protector – a lethal protector!

End.

RCO023_1463374663-1(This article is dedicated to my lovely niece, Angel Marie Miller. You’ve always had my back throughout your young life. Always defending your uncle no matter what. Words cannot express just how much you mean to me. I love you.)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Case of the Venomous Offspring (part 1)

RCO001_w_1463374424-1-1-1-1We’re gonna eat your brains! Sorry. But when it comes to the “Father of Symbiotes,” I feel almost giddy! Why, you ask? Simply put, this is my jam, baby! I mean, look at my pen-name, Symbifan. I like to think of myself as an authority on the subject of Venom and all of the other Marvel symbiotes. (God knows I’ve spent enough money on comics over the years!) All of that said, welcome back to the Unspoken Decade and boy, do I have a story for you! So, without further ado…….

rco005_1463374424-1We begin our tale in sunny San Francisco. (Venom had recently left New York as per his deal with the Amazing Spider-Man.) But not all of the city is bright and cheery. Like anywhere else, some of it is dark and dangerous. Down in one of those places, an alley to be exact, a local thief is angered that his mugging of a young woman has born little money. He threatens to take his payment in other ways. As he flashes a knife, he comments with glee how he loves seeing fear in his victim’s faces! That’s when he hears a monstrous voice from behind him agree! Venom attacks the thief with savagery and brutality! It takes no time at all before the criminal is pinned by his throat to a wall by the Lethal Protector! Voicing disgust, he sends tendrils of symbiotic goo down the man’s throat until his eyes roll back into his skull! Presumably dead, Venom drops the street filth and turns to the victim. The anti-hero picks up the fallen purse, apologizes for this whole ordeal, and pats her on top of her head before leaping away. The woman promptly screams and runs away in terror! (That’s some gratitude for ya! You try to help a girl out! I mean, he had a mohawk in the 90’s! He kind of deserved to die, right?)

rco007_1463374424-1-1Eddie Brock and his symbiotic other then make their way through the city, via webline. Once they’re sure they’re out of sight, the symbiote camouflages itself as street clothes and Eddie Brock emerges. He rounds the corner from the abandoned alleyway and joins the rest of the San Francisco populace. He enters a motel and inquires about a room, but it seems that he was sighted after all, as two police officers enter after him, guns drawn and ordering him to put his hands in the air! (And wave ’em like he just don’t care! Woot! Woot! Sorry, I’m in a mood while writing this. A mood….to DANCE!) Instinctively, the symbiote slithers up his hands and webbing fires from both of his fists! Webbing both weapons, he swings both officers into opposite walls, knocking them out! Now fully covered by his symbiote from head to toe, Venom politely cancels the aforementioned room. The terrified clerk shakingly complies.

Meanwhile, on the isle of Manhattan, Peter Parker goes about his work within the walls of the Daily Bugle newspaper office. It’s here that he learns of Venom’s run-in with the San Francisco Police Department. Thinking back, he remembers how the Venom symbiote was on Earth in the first place because of him. He also remembers how it was Eddie Brock’s hatred for him and his alter-ego that called the abandoned symbiote to him, thus creating Venom. He feels that everything that Venom has done or ever will do is his responsibility. (Talk about a martyr complex! Geez! Am I the only one who gets annoyed at how much we, the readers, are reminded of Uncle Ben’s words? Broken record much? Ugh!) That said, Spidey decides it’s time for a trip.

rco015_1463374424-1-1The next day, Eddie takes a stroll through a local park when he suddenly becomes aware that the local homeless are being harassed and beaten by well-dressed goons! (Well, they are dressed nice. But one does have a mohawk. What is it with that? Did thugs in the 90’s have a certain dress code they had to follow that encouraged these early 80’s punk hairstyles? Inquiring minds want to know!) Enraged, Brock demands that they leave the people alone. In reply, “Mr. Mohawk” pulls a handgun! This does him little good, as Venom crushes the weapon easily! He starts systematically fighting his way through the villains, but a red-clad boot comes seemingly from out of nowhere and slams into Venom’s back, knocking him flying! Spider-Man is here!

The two begin duking it out until Venom finally gets through to the wall-crawler that these aren’t police officers, as he suspected, but rather criminals that he’s fighting! Spidey wastes little time in joining Venom in battle when the men begin shooting! When the dust clears, Spider-Man finds himself alone. Venom is gone. Meanwhile, at an undisclosed location, a sinister man watches this all on the local news with keen interest. He lifts a phone and commands someone on the other end to assemble “your men.” (Hmm. Who is this mystery shady character? What is his agenda? Does he wear boxers or briefs? No? Not important? Okay, moving on….)

rco016_1463374424-1Where is Venom? He walks, as Eddie Brock, with the homeless people he has just saved. Where are they, you ask? Beneath San Francisco. In a hidden sanctuary within the sewers! They explain there is a whole secret society here and, if the council approves, he is welcome to live here. But before he can answer, huge mechanized suits of armor drill their way through a nearby tunnel wall! (Only in comics, ladies and gentlemen!) Brock shifts into Venom and stands in front of the crowd of innocents. The men within the armor waste no time and attack! Venom is lifted by powerful robotic arms and shot with lazers! Hating the heat, the symbiote fights back! The vigilante begins to win the day too until sonic weapons are used! Hating loud noise even more, Venom begins to weaken! (Hey! Superman’s weakness is a rock, okay! Don’t be so judgmental.)

The armored monster then raises two large fists above its head in unison and brings them crashing down on our hero! The force of the blow not only damages Venom but the ground beneath him! Both hero and villain crash through the floor and fall through to a hidden chamber! When both come to, they look in wonder as it appears that they have not only fallen through the ground, but back in time itself!?

rco023_1463374424-1To be continued…..

…..right now! Issue two begins with the armored villain and Venom continuing their brawl within the strange antique city. A second bad guy, a complete copy of the first, falls through the opening and comes to the aid of the other goon! The suspicious man from last issue, Treece, is mentioned to be their boss! Some of the villagers come to Venom’s rescue with weapons of their own. This angers the goons and they retaliate with lazer blasts, killing several of the people! Venom flies into a murderous frenzy, smashing the head of one and impaling the another through the chest! Soon, all that remains is smoke and death.

rco004-1It is later revealed that this part of the underground city is not accessed through time travel, but is rather a city from the past that fell during the big quake of 1906 and was paved over and forgotten. It was later discovered by a homeless man and has been a secret sanctuary for those less fortunate ever since. (Aww! No time warp? And I was all ready to dance in my Dr. Frank-N-Furter costume! Get it? You’re not “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fans?! This younger generation with its cell phones and video game consoles….sob….)

While this is going on, elsewhere in San Francisco, Spider-Man hacks a police computer database and finds the home address of Eddie Brock’s father! What’s he up to? Later, Eddie Brock is taken before the council. It takes little time for them to reach a decision. Their ruling? He cannot stay! Even though he saved several of their lives, they are afraid of him. Upset, he calls upon his symbiote and becomes Venom once again. Shooting webbing, he swings back up to the surface world. Meanwhile, Peter Parker knocks on the front door of the Brock residence. Asking about Eddie, he is answered by a door slammed in his face!

rco012-1-1Venom does some searching and soon finds the corporate headquarters of this Treece. Easily breaking in, he crawls along the ceiling, and while examining the building’s rooms he discovers a scale model of the park that he saved the homeless from earlier that day. The model depicts the park, only newly renovated as a gift to the city. This type of renovation would require all of the city’s “undesirables” to be removed from above and below! But before he can examine further, security guards burst in and open fire! (Damn! Look at all of that drool in the photo above! Talk about giving away your position! He’s gotta be leaving a huge slimey trail! Reminds me of a giant slug cosplaying as a ninja! HA! I amused myself!)

rco014-1They state aloud how they followed his drool trail to locate him. (Ha! Told you! And it’s not just because I’ve read this miniseries a million times. I’m just that smart.) Venom tells them, as they are doing the work of others, they may be innocents and are allowed to leave with their lives. They answer with even more gunfire! Venom falls! They foolishly approach, thinking their prey deceased. Venom then leaps to his feet, firing the bullets his “other” has just absorbed right back at them! Those who aren’t gunned down are beaten mercilessly by the Lethal Protector!

Meanwhile, Peter approaches Mr. Brock Sr., this time in his Spidey gear, through an open window. He demands to talk. As this is going on, Venom finishes with the guards and turns to leave through a window. He is then blasted out of the air by a group of heavily armored people! In front of them stands a mysterious blonde man! The man says, with a sinister smirk upon his face, that The Jury has come to destroy him!

To be continued…..

rco017-1Third issue. We begin where we left off. Only now, the armored men have attacked our hero! He is struck down by a sonic weapon, shocking the symbiote to its core! Eddie Brock manages to stumble across the right words and asks why he’s being attacked. The blonde man replies that he is Orwell Taylor, and that during one of Venom’s escapes from The Vault, a prison for supervillains, he had murdered this man’s son! He has since studied Venom thoroughly in order to take him down for good! He even assembled friends of his deceased son that either served as guards within The Vault as well, or with him in the military! He calls them The Jury! (Boy, this sure seems like a lengthy explanation since Venom is nowhere near death and quickly regenerating. I’m reminded of Disney’s “Incredibles” and the villain’s joke about “monologuing.”)

rco004_w_1463374524-1Venom uses this opportunity to lash out at his captors, his strength fully renewed! (See?! What did I say?!) He battles The Jury with great skill and quickly leaps to freedom! Meanwhile, Mr. Treece surveys the damage done to one of his offices by your friendly neighborhood symbiote. He is not pleased. He makes it clear to one of his cronies that Venom must not find out the true purpose of the park rejuvenation project.

rco012_1463374524-1At the home of Mr. Brock Sr., Spider-Man is told only that he cut ties with his son long ago and to leave immediately. (Nice guy, huh? Ah. Reminds me of my own dear papa. Maybe I should become a supervillain turned anti-hero. Now if I could just locate an alien symbiote….)  As Spidey turns to leave, he is approached by the housekeeper. She tells him that she wants to help.

Elsewhere in San Francisco, Venom is having a moral dilemma. He did kill the man’s son after all – isn’t he in the wrong? Is there no hope of his becoming a hero? Deep in thought, neither he nor his “other” sense the oncoming assault from The Jury! And attack they do! Well-coordinated and high-tech blast after blast either hit our hero dead on or miss him by a fraction, all along the length of Golden Gate Bridge! Two of The Jury members strike out at the same time, with their armored fists, sending Venom sailing through the air! Looking off the side of the bridge, they see no signs of him. Deciding to attack him further at a later time, they flee, leaving Venom clinging to the undercarriage of a car, camouflaged and relieved!

rco016_1463374524-1The housekeeper begins her tale of young Eddie Brock. She tells how Eddie’s father only loved one person in his life, Eddie’s mother. When she became pregnant, he was happy, until she died during childbirth. Raising the child alone and secretly blaming him for his mother’s death, the man became more and more bitter. Nothing the child could do, be it sports or schoolwork, pleased his father. When Eddie landed the job as a reporter and broke the story of his career, still nothing. When Eddie lost his job, after the story ended up being false, his father cut all ties. (Great guy! I wonder who gave him parenting advice, Charles Manson’s father?!) Spider-Man takes his leave as the old woman finishes. He wonders, is he actually not only getting to know his enemy better, but is he also beginning to understand him?

rco018_1463374524-1Venom detaches himself from the car, reverts to Eddie Brock mid leap, and lands on the sidewalk some distance away. As he walks incognito, he suddenly becomes aware that a metallic orb is hovering in the air behind him, following his every move! Before he can react, it drops to the ground beneath him and lets loose an intense sonic shriek! The loud sound starts to cause the symbiote to retreat away from its human host! (Have you ever found it amusing that when stuff like this happens, the human host has just enough symbiotic goo left to cover his or her naughty bits? Hey, if the rest of it retreats, where does it retreat to? I think a proctologist might be involved.)

rco019_1463374524-1A man boasts from behind that the orb was a sonic grenade, and then raises a rifle to finish the job. Venom tries to reason with the man, arguing that Eddie understands why The Jury is doing this, that the man he killed was a good man. But if he were to die, many good people would perish beneath the sewers. This makes the man hesitate. He does so long enough that Eddie can call the symbiote to cover him and then quickly reach out to crush the weapon! He then defends himself against an onslaught of blasts from the armored fists of one of the other Jury members! This battle doesn’t last long, though, as a missile explodes, knocking Venom’s foe unconscious! Looking up to the source of the projectile explosive, Venom sees a hovering helicopter! Someone is actually helping him!

rco021_w_1463374524-1A megaphone from within the copter announces that his savior offers him sanctuary and a proposition. Curious, Venom shoots up a webline and boards the craft. Once inside, he is met with a screen, on which is a black-haired man with a goatee. The Man introduces himself as Roland Treece, and he wants Venom to act as his head of security! Venom asks if this includes the park project. He is assured it does. Obviously smelling a trap, Venom agrees. (We all know that this is gonna go sideways for the V-Man, don’t we? The question is how.)

Our hero is taken to a secluded compound in the Mojave Desert. (Sounds bad already, huh? I’m guessing he’s gonna be forced into slave labor. A symbiote could make a lot of tennis shoes in an hour, after all!) Anyway, one of Treece’s men points Venom in the right direction, stating that the boss will meet him inside. Done playing games, Venom encircles the man’s throat with a symbiote tendril and forces him ahead as a hostage. It does him little good as the man breaks free when the walls surrounding them burst into flames!

rco023_1463374524-1-1A voice tells Venom that he can blame him for this predicament if he wishes. He introduces himself as Carlton Drake of the Life Foundation. He states that Treece, a board member of his, told him that Venom could possibly be of help to him. Venom roars that he would never help the likes of him! Drake replies that he isn’t interested in Venom….but his offspring!

To be continued….

This article is dedicated to my nephew, Blade Miller. He has grown up beyond even my greatest expectations and is a big Marvel symbiote fan as well. I love ya, kiddo, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Loss: A Tale of Wolverine?

RCO001_1467447586SNIKT! That’s right, Legions of the Unspoken! Symbifan has returned with yet another article about my favorite time in comicdom history, the grungy 90’s! And, as I have hinted above, this is an article about everyone’s favorite clawed mutant, Wolverine! You may be asking yourselves, why no part 2 to the Justice League article I wrote last? (I know. I sense an instant literary classic there too!) Well, you see, I have my reasons. And since I hold nothing back from you, my loyal readers, trust me when I say that all will be explained at the end of this article. Be patient. That’s all I ask. As you know, Wolverine is not known for his patience, so let’s begin with our story, shall we?

We begin with two unsavory types play poker within a decrepit old boat as they wait to reach their destination. A bigger scary man sits almost completely concealed by shadows. Across from him sits a weaselly small man that is this ship’s captain. The bigger man, sure of victory, plays his hand; a full house. The captain then plays his, four aces! But, before the good captain can celebrate, he is hauled over the table by powerful hands! As this occurs, another card drops from the “victor’s” shirt sleeve! It is the last time he will ever cheat at cards…..or breathe again! (You’re welcome for the mood I set there. Make sure to pause to let the goosebumps go down.)

RCO007_w_1467447586-1Meanwhile, within the forests of Madripoor, the man called Logan hunts a deer alongside an aging gray timber wolf. Does Logan hunt for trophies or food? No. He hunts most probably to keep his inner beast calm and pacified. (Apparently this means running around in the woods completely nekkid! I mean, there are cleverly positioned bushes and deep shadows to cover Wolvie’s junk, but come on! Modesty, bro!) The wolf, unsure of it’s company, continues to stalk it’s prey regardless. It finds it’s moment and pounces, ending the life of the deer in one fatal slash of claws! (Damn! You’d think Bambi would be safe since this whole Disney/Marvel merger! As it turns out……) Wolverine notices the trouble that the old wolf is having with devouring it’s meal. Cautiously, the mutant creeps forward and uses his adamantium claws to more easily cut up the deer meat for his companion. After a short pause, the wolf nudges some of the raw meat towards our hero. They then both feast until sleep overtakes them. Wolverine is awakened a short time later by a strangely familiar scent coming from the city below.

RCO009_w_1467447586-1Later, now wearing his familiar costume, (Thank God!) The clawed mutant warrior enters the home of his ally and sometimes lover, Tyger Tiger. This unannounced visit is met with a dagger thrown directly at his face! Slightly amused, he snatches it from the air. The two then decide to communicate more verbally. Logan asks if there are any new criminals that have recently entered the city. Tyger replies that indeed a General Coy has been making new drug connections. As he turns to go and investigate this, Tyger Tiger decides that now’s the perfect moment to break her off a piece of that Wolvie-pie! They make love into the night. (Only Wolverine can turn a B & E into sex! I think this might be an unknown mutant power of his.)

At the docks, a man approaches our dark mystery man. He calls him Cyber and states that his boss, General Coy, looks forward to doing business with him. Cyber says the same about whoever he is working for. As they shake hands, a metallic hand is seen in the moonlight, belonging to the Man called Cyber.

RCO010_1467447586-1We next find our hero using his unbreakable adamantium claws to scale the outside wall of the aforementioned General Coy’s penthouse. As this is going on outside, we find our two criminals beginning a meeting of sorts. As pleasantries are exchanged, Cyber’s attention suddenly shifts. He says that he senses something. Something from his past. (I’m reminded of Darth Vader here when he says, “I sense something. A presence I haven’t felt since…..” And then he just walks off, sentence left lingering!I know Sith Lord’s are supposed to be evil but, rude much?!)

RCO003_w_1467447646-1By this point, Wolvie has just about reached the top of the criminal compound. He enters without a sound, guards completely unaware of him. In the meantime, Cyber begins slowly taking off his hat and trench coat while he explains to the crime boss seated across from him that he possesses certain psionic abilities that allow him to pick out familiar brain patterns. He continues by saying that he has just sensed another man who he thought dead long ago. As the villain continues to disrobe, he reveals that most of his body consists of a metallic alloy of some sort! (Wouldn’t this be an uncomfortable meeting? First the dude starts talking like Darth Vader, now he’s taking his clothes off! I feel sorry for General Coy here!)

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Just as the mutant tracker locates the office, Cyber crashes right through the wall! The two square off. Cyber speaks of how he thought Wolverine was dead. The hero looks momentarily confused. Recognition then crosses his features and he grits his teeth as he roars the metal man’s name in rage! They clash! The ol’ canuckle-head begins slashing wildly with his claws but Cyber merely looks amused as zero damage is done to his silvery hide!

Cyber then reveals that he has claws of his own as needle-like metal fingernails extend from his hands! Before Wolverine can react, Cyber cuts our hero! Cuts him deep! Bleeding profusely our hero is forced to retreat. He throws himself through a nearby window as Cyber looks on pleased.

RCO009_w_1467447646 (1)-1Later, Logan finds himself slowly dragging his terribly wounded form up a nearby cliffside. He is unsure why he’s doing this or where exactly this rocky formation came from. His only thoughts are of escape. While this is going on, in another part of Madripoor, Tyger Tiger wonders where Wolverine is. He should have returned from General Coy’s long ago. Just then, a redressed Cyber crashes his fist through her door! Unafraid she asks the madman if he would care for some tea. He replies that he would. (Cool scene. Personally, in the same instance, I’d have offered some Kool-Aid. You know, just to throw him off his game.)

RCO003_1467447700-1The exact time this is going on, our pal Wolvie lies in a forested area. While his body bleeds, his mind drifts. It, oddly enough, drifts back to a 1950’s looking diner. He sits upon a pink Cadillac speaking to a young girl named Janet. He tells her that he’s not used to having to work so hard to get a girl. To illustrate this, he calls out and several women surround him in an almost cartoon-like fashion. He then tells them to go, returning his attention to the blonde. She replies that perhaps he should ask one of his worshippers to the upcoming dance instead of her. Plus, there’s this other guy…..To save face and show off a bit, Logan lets his claws loose, betting that this other guy posesses nothing as cool as his adamantium claws.

RCO008_1467447700-1-2-1-1That gets her attention! She seems mesmerized by the shiny but deadly instruments of death. She admits that this other guy has nothing like these, but happens to be older, a teacher in fact. This completely enrages the furry mutant! He demands the name of said teacher. She admits that it’s the gym teacher, a Mr. Cyber. Logan slashes wildly at the air, vowing to put a stop to this right away by removing him from the picture in a most final way!

(Anyone else confused?) Finally, Cyber sits in the living room of Tyger Tiger, sipping his tea. He speaks of a deal he’s attempting to finalize with General Coy for a new type of hallucinogenic drug that is so addictive, one can become addicted by simply smelling it! The villain continues by adding that a drug this powerful could make one into a powerful player in the world of crime. She seems interested. Too interested. (Ah! I get it! Wolverine’s stoned out of his gourd! Uh…..um…..say no to drugs, kids!)

The next part of our Wolverine epic shows him still in the woods barely able to hold his internal organs in with his forearm. But, as this is going on, he continues to hallucinate. He dreams of arriving at a high school. A girl he must know approaches and tells him that the coach just left with Logan’s girl, Janet. But, before the mutant can race off in his car, Cyber and Janet pull up next to him in a bigger vehicle. (It should be noted here that the “cars” or “vehicles” I’m speaking of are…..well…..I guess you’d call them weiner-mobiles. Now, before you laugh yourselves silly, remember that this is just a hallucination. By the way, Wolverine dreams of Cyber’s weiner-mobile dwarfing his in size. Ponder the hidden meaning there, folks!) After exchanging challenging words, Cyber races off with Wolverine in hot pursuit!

RCO003_1467447767-1Meanwhile, Tyger Tiger and Cyber sit in the living room of her apartment haggling over the cost of keeping this new drug from General Coy and putting it into her own hands. A price is not agreed upon and Cyber grows aggitated. Within the dream-world, Cyber pulls ahead of our hero easily, but instead of just winning or escaping, he turns quickly and smashes his vehicle into Wolverine’s with full force! Minutes later, within the firey destruction, Logan walks from the wreckage, the dead body of Janet held in his arms! He places her carefully on the ground and unleashes his claws as Cyber approaches. Both appear ready to fight!

RCO008_1467447767-1Next, we find Tyger Tiger seemingly alone in her apartment. Cyber has gone but she now aims a gun at an intruder of some type! As it turns out, it’s the timber wolf from earlier on in our tale. She senses that the wolf wishes her to follow it. Back in the dream-world, Wolverine and Cyber rush each other, slicing and dicing as they meet and then take opposite sides. Suddenly, Logan quite literally falls to chopped-up pieces! (Don’t you hate that in anime? You know, when two rivals rush each other and then end up on other sides. One then looks back and the other’s head falls off. Nobody’s weapon is that sharp and precise, people! Ugh! Anyway, returning to our story…..) Cyber spits down on the pieces of our hero and turns to leave.

RCO005_1467447818-1Back in the real world, the old timber wolf has led our leading lady to the wounded Wolverine at last! He remarks that he’s just about healed when he suddenly catches wind of Cyber’s scent upon her! Still confused and reeling from the drugs, he turns to attack his savior! She soon talks him down, though, and helps him walk away from the bloody scene, towards a more safe area to speak further.

RCO007_1467447818-1Back at the headquarters of the crime boss, General Coy, Cyber finishes up his business. He has sold the drugs. The General seems worried that there will be retribution from Tyger Tiger and her “friend”. Cyber replies that he’s counting on it!

RCO003_1467448063-1At the home of Tyger Tiger, Wolverine is now safely letting his mutant healing factor do it’s job. As this goes on, she asks the question upon everyone’s minds: Who is Cyber? In true Wolverine fashion, though, he is cryptic and uncooperative. He tells her very little. Tyger tells him how she is supposed to meet Cyber at midnight for the purchase of his powerful hallucinogen. It’s imperative she know what she’s gotten herself into. Logan tells her that if she’s involved with Cyber, she’s already lost. Tyger is understandably confused. Is this not the famous scrapper from the Weapon X program? It’s then that he admits that Cyber has beaten him in the past. Not just beat him physically, but mentally. If she’s goes up against that madman, she’ll have to do it alone. (Shocker, right? Who would have ever pegged the deadly Wolverine for a coward? That’s it, I’m burning my Wolverine Fan Club membership card right now!)

RCO010_1467448063-1-1Midnight comes. Tyger Tiger and General Coy stand on the docks, opposite one another. Both have their own personal armies surrounding them. Before much can be said between the two, Cyber interrupts from the shadows. Looking, you can glimpse the villain standing upon the corpses of the aforementioned armies from minutes ago! He steps down slowly, admitting that he did in fact bring the drugs, but he won’t be selling to either of them! He will now be the authority in Madripoor! Tyger starts to stand up to him but is hit with a metallic fist for her trouble! That’s when we hear the familiar SNIKT noise from the shadows! Wolverine came after all and, by the look on his face, Cyber had better begin to pray! (P. S. I never got around to burning that membership card.)

RCO006_1467449343-1-1Claws are unleashed from both combatants’ bodies as they begin to square off. Wolverine remarks how his claws are longer. (Ohhhhh! Burn!) Tyger Tiger and General Coy hold handguns aimed at one another as the two clawed men lunge at one another! The two beat and slice the holy hell out of each other as the fight moves onto the top of a nearby truck! Meanwhile, Tyger and the General have moved their standoff inside. It soon becomes a battle of words between both parties. The hallucinogen from Cyber’s claws work into his system as he fights to crash through the windshield of the truck that Cyber has taken control of. At one point, he even pictures the truch and driver to be a gigantic rushing bull! (Whoa! That must be some great stuff! Cheech and Chong would be so jealous! And Logan’s getting this stuff for free!) As the two continue to bicker, Cyber suddenly loses control of the vehicle! The truck careens off of an cliff!

RCO010_w_1467449343-1The two, of course, survive the horrendous fall. As Tyger Tiger and General Coy decide how to best explain the loss of so many of their  men to one man, Wolverine and Cyber continue their brawl! Cyber leaps from tree to tree in pursuit while Wolverine dodges and moves every time the madman attacks. Finally, his luck runs out and he’s cornered. Cyber pins Wolverine to a tree, telling him that he’ll never hurt him with his adamantium claws as his skin itself is adamantium! He finishes his threat by spitting in our heroe’s face! All this does is anger the ol’ canuckle-head further and he breaks loose of Cyber’s grasp, slashing out one of Cyber’s quite vulnerable eyes!

RCO006_1467449401-1He then continues his assault until Wolvie’s friend, the timber wolf, pounces from a nearby ledge, knocking Cyber down into the mangled wreckage below! The hallucinogens within seep into the open wound where his eye once was! (To say Cyber was now “tripping balls”, as the kids like to say, is an understatement!) The battle-hardened warrior then leaps to solid ground. Tyger Tiger awaits him. He takes her in his arms and kisses her passionately.

END.

RCO010_1467449401-1-1And now for the real reason I wrote this article. Five years ago today, my stepfather passed away from a heart attack. He had had a severe one some time before and recovered from it. Unfortunately not enough. The stronger one from earlier had weakened his heart to the point where the second one took his life. Now, I know that when the death of someone you care about hits so suddenly and from seemingly out of nowhere, the shock you feel is unbelievable. But you see, my stepdad was always my Wolverine. He looked and healed like the character so that’s what I called him.

But sometimes heroes pass away and they don’t return. Sadly, this was one of those times. My dad always encouraged me to write. I know he would be proud of me and this article. This article isn’t about the “blood loss” from Wolverine’s body. Its about the loss of my “blood”. My family. My father. The question mark in the title hints that this article isn’t about Logan at all. That is correct. This is dedicated in the memory of Bobby Allen Metz. He is and will always be my hero. SNIKT!

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