by J.D. Cook
Venom Issues: 23, 24, and 25
Story Arc: Monsters of Evil
Written by: Cullen Bunn
Art by: Thony Silas
If you’re reading with no prior knowledge; Venom is a symbiotic alien suit currently paired with former Peter Parker bully turned War Hero Flash Thompson. It’s a great comic series and it’s ending soon thus my reason for this countdown of it’s top 7 Story Arcs . Beware Spoilers if you’d like to read these or haven’t read them yet! So without further delay Number 6 on the countdown.
Cullen Bunn starts his run on Venom with a bang. In a lot of ways it almost feels like a completely knew start since few of Remender’s threads were left after the Savage Six story arc. The one left dangling is at the heart of Monsters of Evil. In Circle of Four Venom is marked by Mephisto. It’s not really explained what the mark means at the time because Mephisto likes to keep those he makes deals with on lower footing, which is what you’d expect from the Devil. During that arc Damion Hellstrom also gives in to his demonic heritage as he is half Demon. Fast forward a few issues and Agent Venom is a Secret Avenger. He teams up with intrepid reporter Katy Kiernan who becomes a recurring character in Bunn’s run. After a scuffle with the Department of Occult Armaments, which is now led by Hellstrom, Venom must fight off a demon possessing his soul. I term this arc Evil Dead meets Venom because of a couple moments where demons in the story say ‘join us’ and similar Evil Deadish phrases.
The art is really vibrant throughout. Issue 23 has a great web illustration that brings readers up to date on Venom’s adventures and it’s fantastic to admire. The tone and enemies Venom fights throughout the arc are very different from Remender’s run but I think that really helps set up Bunn’s voice on the series moving forward. He also has Hellstrom compare himself to Venom which is a really good comparison because Hellstrom’s early character history seems to mimic Flash’s Venom character history in some ways. Both started in other series as villains then got their own starring comics before joining teams. Their actual characters are similar in that they constantly flirt the line of good and evil. The actual ‘Monsters of Evil‘ all have interesting back stories and fairly distinct cultural heritages with just the right amount of campiness about them
The cherry on top of these issues is the revelation of the Descent. Essentially Venom discovers he might be next in line to inherit a little slice of Mephisto’s hell dimension. There is something immensely entertaining about seeing the fairly reality grounded Flash come up against unnatural demonic forces. I might add this little story thread is what is being tied up in the closing pages of Venom’s last three issues and hopefully you will go out and pick these up dear reader because it’s been one hell of a final story arc.