Category Archives: 90s Marvel

He’s a Hit! (The Short History of Fight Man)

Greetings and salutations, fellow Unspokenites! Symbifan here and, boy oh boy, do I have a treat for ya this time! I’m gonna report about someone that (To my imited knowledge.) hasn’t been covered in an article before! Who could I possibly be talking about? What hidden gem have I uncovered? (Um. Look at the pic above. Duh!) It’s about the man everyone loves to hate…..Fight Man! So fasten your seatbelts, kiddies, it’s gonna be bumpy ride!

We begin with a scene not unheard of in a big city, a mugging. The superpowered goons demand the woman’s purse. Panicked, she screams for police assistance. Her cries go unanswered. She remarks how she detests her obvious next course of action. She yells for Fight Man! Immediately the muscle-bound, caped man crashes into the villains from above! Immediately jumping into action, the hero punches one of the criminals. He sails through the air, presumably into orbit! The other, he hits so hard that the man’s artificial eyes fly from the sockets! As he attacks the last one, he hands a camera to the shocked female victim. He asks that she take pictures of the downed villains for his ever-growing scrapbook! He also remarks how he should really collect those false eyes for their value! (I don’t know about you guys, but I’m sensing that the writer is trying hard to paint a picture of just how much of a jerk Fight Man is….nah! I’m clearly just jumping to conclusions here.)

Finishing up his battle, the police arrive in their typically late manner. Fight Man and the lead officer have bitter words. He then turns to the woman and, instead of checking to her welfare, he asks her out! (Okay. Painting’s crystal clear. He’s a jerk.) She offers a handshake instead. Clearly disappointed, he complies. Suddenly, the now eyeless would-be mugger springs back to consciousness! He roars that “they” will see him dead and how his days are numbered! While the superhero has been listening, he’s accidentally broken the lady’s hand. He ignores this threat and shoots off into the air. The police yell that they need the man’s fake eyes for evidence. Fight Man nonchalantly replies that he doesn’t know what they mean in the slightest. As he flies off, an officer wonders out loud if he should open fire. Another replies how it would accomplish very little as Fight Man is bulletproof. (I doubt a superhero, even a foolish one, would steal evidence from the scene of a crime! Silly police!)

As he soars overhead, he accidentally drops the artificial eye. It crashes through the window of a passing cab, shattering the windshield! (Okay. I may have been mistaken once again. Man! It’s hard to be impartial about this guy! He makes Kanye West look like a saint!) Fight Man curses to himself as the cabbie threatens legal action. He flies on, towards his home. He descends at his parents’ house and checks the mail. He then heads towards the front door but is met with insults from the neighborhood children. Instead of acting like an adult in this situation, he shouts back threats before slamming the door. He passes his parents with a quick greeting. They remain silent, transfixed by the television. The hero then enters his room and tears open a legal summons! He’s being sued by his ex-wife for back alimony!

(You know, I’ve never believed in suicide, but in Fight Man’s case…..) As he lies back upon his bed, he reminisces on his miserable life: the lawsuits filed, his messy divorce, and the deaths of his many, many sidekicks. Oh well, best to not dwell on the past. Later, he enters a local toy company’s corporate office. The man in charge hardly looks pleased as he bursts in. Fight Man excitedly shows him a design he’s sketched for an action figure based on himself. To say the man is unimpressed is an understatement. Not to be dismissed so easily, Fight Man reveals his supervillain scrapbook, stating that his foes could also be part of the line. Before much more can be said on the matter, three villains break through the wall! (Looks like everyone’s gunning for Fight Man! Can’t say I blame them. I’m starting to want to strangle him myself!)

Irritated at this interruption, Fight Man prepares for battle! The green, slimey one forms a large fist from his gelatinous form and strikes the hero in the face, knocking him through the skyscraper window! He plummets all of the way down to the street below! Enraged, Fight Man rips a girder loose from a nearby construction site. He winds up as if he were playing baseball but instead falls victim to the girder himself as a robotic villain smashes it into the hero’s face! It then follows up by firing several small missiles at Fight Man’s chest! This does little more than annoy the powerful superhero! He retaliates by swinging the girder and knocking the creature’s metallic head far from its body! Before the mighty one can return his attention back to the other criminals, he finds himself suddenly surrounded by the mucousy body of the slime creature! Fight Man’s powerful fists mean very little to this monstrosity! So, having to think outside the box, he throws a barrel of heated plastic at the beast! (I can see why a toy company would have need for heated plastic, but in the corporate building? Are they making the toys there? I’m sorry, but this comic book fight just lost all realism for me now.) The creature mixes with the plastic against its will until it disappates! Shocked, the last criminal barely has time to fire off a energy blast before he’s knocked unconscious by a powerful fist!

Needless to say, the meeting doesn’t end well for our hero. He leaves the toy company with a definite no. As he leaves the building, he’s suddenly surrounded by the press. The question on all of their minds? Who’s out to kill him? The press is brutal. They bring up everything from his early triumphs, like the defeat of the mysterious crime boss, the Hooded Eye, to tragedies such as the murder of his first sidekick, Kid Fight Man! They also report that the mayor has called for a meeting tomorrow with the superhero. (Hmmm. I should really insert a joke here. Something witty. But all I can think about is leaving my work here to go to the gas station for a Mountain Dew…..I might just have to edit this part out later. I’m sure I’ll remember. )

The following day finds Fight Man in the mayor’s office. He speaks of his fears for this sudden emergence of so many superpowered criminals. But when the hero discovers that he isn’t to receive some type of citation, he turns to leave. The mayor is outraged by the outright rudeness of this and yells how he cares nothing for the life of the superhero. He doesn’t want a super-brawl destroying his fair city! Fight Man responds in the most intelligent way he can think of…..he puts his fingers in his ears and exclaims how he can’t be a the city official! He the flies out of the window in retreat. (Geez! Talk abou being juvenile! I would have at least stuck out my tongue and farted before I took my leave. Yeah! Suck on that!)

The next stop on Fight Man’s agenda, his ex-wife’s lawyer’s office. We look in on our hero as he “bravely” begs on his knees to not be sued by the ex love of his life and her maniacal lawyer! His pleas however go unheard as the woman, Beverly, demands money from the bankrupt superhero! She tires of trying and failing to receive any sort of monetary compensation for her time spent with Fight Man. But before the hero can verbally defend himself, a gigantic, reptilian claw reaches through the office wall, snatching the frightened woman up and pulling her outside to the city street! Looking out the hole the creature has created, Fight Man spies a man within a red, armored suit and a large, dinosaur-like monster, and they’re demanding the hero’s immediate surrender! Give up now or they’ll kill the woman! To this, the superhero replies for them to please do so. Shocked, the armored villain replies that he means what he has said. Fight Man retorts that he can go ahead. In fact, he has his camera ready to take pictures! (Okay. I know I’ve been admittedly hard on Fight Man throughout this article. But, having an ex-wife myself, I completely understand this genius battle tactic. ) Admitting defeat, the hostage is set free and the two strange criminals prepare for a physical confrontation!

And boy, they sure aren’t disappointed! Fight Man wastes little time. He punches through the mouth of the “dinosaur” knocking the man operating the robotic creature through the back of the faux-prehistoric skull! The armored villain takes this time to unleash a barrage of bullets and missiles at the hero’s back! Fight Man simply uppercuts the criminal through and out of his armor! He leaves the scene after heated words with Beverly. The lawyer waits until the superhero is out of earshot before he asks, why were they even together in the first place? She replies that she simply felt sorry for him. (Awww. Now I feel sorry for the hero. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster during this article! Damn, I’m good!)

He returns home only to have to dispatch of two more supervillains before it hits him, maybe somebody truly wants him dead this time! Before he can ponder further upon this revelation, he gets a phone call. Answering, he finds he’s been invited to give his side of this situation on a popular talk show! Jumping at the chance, he arrives right on time. The female host instead talks about all of Fight Man’s many failings! She brutally hits him with every bad decision he’s ever made! He roars in outrage how does this has anything to do with his present situation! That’s when a sinister, hooded face enters all television screens! The Hooded Eye lives! The Eye proclaims that this has everything to do with Fight Man’s current plight! Everyone despises him! Everyone wants him dead! And to prove it, he offers a ten million dollar reward for the death of the superhero! (Okay. I’m back from the bathroom. What’d I miss?)

The next day, the news of the Hooded Eye’s offer seems to be everywhere. Fight Man tries to brush this off as he does everything but after awhile, even he has to admit that he’s getting nervous. He attempts to put this all out of his mind and go about his day as usual. But, as he’s brushing his teeth, he looks at his reflection and sees hordes of superpowered villains, poised to strike! (How did they all get into his small bathroom unnoticed? It’s a comic book! Sheesh! You believe Superman’s secret identity is secure behind a pair of dorky glasses!) And strike they do! The fight seems to be unending! It’s hard to tell just how many supervillains rise only to fall, defeated! Finally, within the ruins of his parents’ home, only Fight Man stil stands! He is victorious! Or is he? A second wave of powerful criminals attack, but this time they’ve added ordinary citizens into the mix! The hero fights and fights until, after an entire skyscraper is dropped on him, he falls at last!

Fight Man awakens some time later, held prisoner in a sort of high-tech iron maiden! (Aaah! Iron Maiden! Now that’s a band! Not like the so called “bands” today! Remember when MTV actually played music videos? What’s that? How old am I? Moving on…..) Before him, surrounded by yet more dangerous villains, stands the Hooded Eye himself! While the superhero remains held in place, the Eye reveals who he truly is! After all, didn’t the Hooded Eye perish not ten years ago? The Eye pulls off his hooded disguise, revealing a hideously deformed and scarred man underneath! The hero doesn’t recognize the monster standing before him. The Hooded Eye explains that he is none other than Kid Fight Man!

When he was young, he thought becoming Fight Man’s sidekick was the best thing to ever happen to him. That was before the constant beatings. Not just by adult criminals, but by powerful supervillains. He began resenting his superpowered mentor. And then one fateful night, ten years ago, the original Hooded Eye blasted a hole in the city’s dam. The force of the rushing water had swept Kid Fight Man and the hooded villain out to sea! Using what strength he had left in his small body, the sidekick removed the deceased Eye’s clothing. He then spent ten long years, as the new Hooded Eye, building a criminal empire until he was powerful enough to strike! And who helped him accomplish all of this? Beverly! Fight Man’s ex-wife stands revealed! (A once-thought-dead sidekick revealed to be a new supervillain? This has never happened in the history of comics! Cough…..Red Hood…..cough…..Winter Soldier…..cough. Damn cold.)

Enraged, Fight Man uses all of his uncanny strength and bursts free of the mechanical contraption! The Hooded Eye calls for his minions to attack but nothing can stop a mad hero with super-strength! He makes short work of them! The superhero quickly advances on his former partner. He then does what Fight Man does best, he knocks him out with a single punch! After, the hero marches from the criminal stronghold, triumphant. He’s then quickly arrested by the local police! His crime? The reckless endangerment of a minor! When asked by the amassed press what he plans to do about these allegations, he replies with a smile that he’ll do what he always does, fight!

End.

This article is dedicated to my brother, Eric James Miller. You see, when I was young, it took several doctors to figure out the mental conditions that I’m afflicted with. To do this I had to be constantly monitored. So I was locked up in a local mental institution. Being only twelve years old, I was terrified. But one thing kept me from losing it, the visits from my brother. He’d bring in highly-detailed artwork he’d drawn for me to hang up in my room and a pile of the weekly comic book titles I collected. This kindness on his part was never forgotten. I love you, bro. Always.

Catch Ya On The Flipside!

807512-flipsideWhat’s that? Where’s the next part in my spectacular look back at Prophet? It’s called an intermission, guys. Geez! (Kids today!) In all seriousness, I had planned on writing Part 4 of my Prophet series, but I thought you “Loyal Minions of the Unspoken” might enjoy a break. (God knows I would! Talk about burned out! Ugh!) But never fear, Part 4 will be along soon enough. For right now though, sit back in your reclining chairs, grab your fav snacks (I suggest Funyuns for truly hardcore snackers!), and revel in the story of Marvel’s Flipside!

RCO003_1469634253-1Our story begins as a lone figure, the unsavory type, stares down at something strange lying on a medical table. He speaks to himself as he tinkers around with it, commenting on his attempts to get it online and results he promised to someone called Packrat. He reveals that this is some sort of mechanical being called Junior. As the man talks, Junior scans him. It seems to be analyzing detailed files on great superheroes of the Earth’s past. Eventually it comes to the conclusion that the looming man is of no great importance and powers itself down. Annoyed, the man gives up and leaves the room.  (Wow! You know you’re a nobody when a machine would rather switch off than pay attention to you! I’d need intense therapy after that diss!)

RCO008_1469634253-1Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara, (No relation to Scarlett O’Hara. Thank God for that kindness! Otherwise, this story would be way too long and completely overrated! Am I right?) the Spider-Man of the year 2099, is discovered, buried in wreckage, protected from the blast radius of a large bomb only by his powerful webbing. Unfortunately for Spidey, his “savior” is the aforementioned Packrat, also the leader of a group of scavengers called the Foragers. And Packrat isn’t in the least bit concerned with the hero’s personal well-being! This is illustrated by the fact that his unconscious form is secured to the front bumper of the vehicle as they return to their headquarters, content with their injured prize!

RCO013_1469634253-1Upon their arrival, Spider-Man is brutally awakened by Packrat, bellowing in his ear! Shocked to action, Spidey leaps through the air, landing some distance from his abductor! Our hero takes in his strange surroundings. He spies what he is told is an old television program, “Mr. Ed,” playing on every monitor. A minion approaches and offers the captive a Pop-Tart. He mutters about the collective insanity of these men. (A talking horse AND Pop-Tarts?! That’s what I call a par-tay! Whoo! Too bad these guys are fictional! They’re a stoner’s dream come true!)

Needless to say, Spidey wants to leave. He thanks the madmen and turns to take his leave but is halted by the expected drawn weapons and the fact that he’s quickly surrounded. (Awww! I take back my earlier compliment. Stoners are rarely prone to violence. I’m so embarrassed.)  He is given two choices in order to leave: Fight his way to the exit, or repair Junior! Confused, Spider-Man looks to the nearby robot. But as this exchange has been going on, Junior has been scanning our hero! The computerized brain of the mechanical man decides this strangely-garbed being in front of him could only be two heroes from the past: either Spider-Man or Venom! It then makes the strange decision to mimic the combination of both!

RCO018_1469634253-1The android changes its appearance! As it finishes, a sinister grin forms on the creatures new face! Suddenly, it launches itself into the air, straight at Spidey! But instead of attacking, it lands in the superhero’s arms and caresses his masked face! It proclaims that its name is now Flipside. And that he and Spider-Man are going to be the best of friends….or it’ll murder him! (You’ve gotta respect love at first sight. Makes you tear up….*sob.*)

RCO003_1469634600-1Anyway, on to the next thrilling issue! We rejoin our hero as he fights for breath, being the victim of a deadly bear hug from Flipside! Spidey finally manages to overpower the android, throwing him across the room. Flipside remarks that he’s beginning to suspect that Spider-Man doesn’t particularly like him. He covers his masked face. Strangely enough, sounds of sobbing are heard. With what seems like genuine concern, one of the Foragers checks on the saddened robot. His attempts to comfort Flipside are met with a clawed slash to the throat! Flipside roars that he didn’t ask for help! It then questions if anyone else has a problem, including Spidey! As he asks, he points at the hero, growing a fanged mouth with long, forked tongue! (You’ve just gotta love this guy! I think he’s even crazier than me if I’m off my meds! Well, I did wear a fanny pack once. I win.)

RCO004_1469634600-1-1Packrat kneels over his fallen comrade, his anger growing. Spider-Man uses this time to look over the computer files on this mechanical menace. Flipside, however, figures out that Spider-Man is attempting to shut him down! Enraged, he smashes his fist through the screen. He then propels himself towards Spidey, ready to gut him for this bitter betrayal! As he attempts to kill our hero, he yells that he will murder him again and again until he begs for him to stop!  (Okay. Flipside has officially gone loco! Everyone knows that you can only murder a person two, maybe three times, max! Duh!)

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The two bust through a metal door in the scuffle, finding all of the angry Foragers within the next room. They all open fire on the crazed robot at once! When the smoke clears, a bullet-ridden Flipside laughs! He then begins using his deadly claws to shred his way through the scavenger troupe, making his way to their terrified leader! Packrat opens fire with a powerful handgun and the blast creates a large hole in the center of Flipside’s abdomen! It doesn’t even slow him down! (That’s tenacity, folks! The kind of can-do attitude that made this once-proud country great!)

RCO011_1469634600-1But, before the android can perform the killing blow, Spider-Man stops him with a strong hand on Flipside’s wrist! When questioned why he’d stop this, Spidey remarks that he doesn’t particularly care about the bad guys, or himself for that matter! Convinced that the superhero is suicidal, Flipside decides he’ll help out his “pal.” The creature plunges Spidey’s head into the gaping hole in his own body as the damage heals around the hero’s throat! (I’m so sorry! I wasn’t aware that this comic involved penetration! Wasn’t this approved by the Comic’s Code?! Well, might as well finish my article at this point. Again, apologies.)

RCO012_1469634600-1Spider-Man spends the next few moments being tossed around like a ragdoll, being bashed into wall after wall, all the while without air! For the briefest of moments, he considers giving up, and succumbing to the welcoming darkness! Finally, he finds his inner strength! He wants to live! Using his superior strength, he pulls his head out of the robots’ innards, taking an important-looking cable with him on the way out! Flipside is stunned, but only for a moment! He lunges at the hero, attempting to retrieve the cable! Using the android’s momentum against him, Spidey ties it around Flipside’s throat as he dodges and rips his head clean off! In the same motion, he throws the body into a computer console! It sparks as Flipside’s body jolts! The threat seems ended.  (Noooooo! Whyyyyyy! Excuse me. I’ve never been very good with death. This one time, my goldfish….never mind. Another time. I miss you, Bubbles.)

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Packrat and the other scavengers pull their weapons, intent on stopping our hero’s departure. He simply tells them to move. Surprisingly, they obey. When Spider-Man is out of earshot, Packrat turns. He’s horrified to see Flipside sitting upon a pile of his men’s shredded corpses! Flipside lives again! Pointing a bloodied, clawed finger at the man, Flipside says, “Start running.”

The last thing that is heard is Packrat’s anguished screams!

End.

clean-1-1I would like to dedicate this article to my daughter, Jade Leigh Miller, for her 18th birthday. (Damn, I feel old!) You are a woman now. It’s time for me to now move aside and let you make your mark upon this world. Give em’ hell! I couldn’t be more proud of the adult that you’ve become. I love you.   -Dad

 

 

 

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.

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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.)