Appearing in "Under the Bridge"
- Venom / Black Panther (Ngozi) (Main story and flashback)
- Venom Symbiote (Main story and flashback)
- Ngozi's brother (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Dora Milaje (Main story and flashback)
- Setan (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Adoro (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- NEPA (Olu) (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Numerous unnamed Nigerians (Main story and flashback)
- Ngozi's mother (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Ngozi's father (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Queen-Mother Ramonda (Referenced)
- Auntie Ife (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- NEPA (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Olu's father (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- FPU (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Klyntar (Main story and flashback)
- Mutants (Main story and flashback)
- Demons (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Earth-TRN650 (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "Under the Bridge"
As Venom leaps into a flying kick towards a man surrounded by vines, she mentally notes that after spending over a year as the interim Black Panther she was feeling burnt out and returned home to Lagos, wanting to spend some time as a normal teenager.
A day earlier, Ngozi arrives at the airport and is greeted by her family, who praise her for her high marks at a Wakandan university in addition to keeping up her responsibilities as Queen -- the reunion watched from a distance by a trio of people who believe that Ngozi is the personification of the demon Uzaru. As her Dora Milaje complain about the long trip, Ngozi greets her elder brother, noting that she's surprised that her mentor Ramonda let her leave the palace for her aunt's wedding when she'd spent her 18th birthday training. The Venom symbiote notes that it likes Lagos and suggests they go out and have fun later, but Ngozi tells it they're only there for her aunt's wedding.
Ngozi's aunt Ife happily greets her, but her aunt's fiancé is wary due to her bond with a symbiote. Ife asks Ngozi if she can't stay for more than a few days, but Ngozi replies that she has to return to her duties as the interim Black Panther. Ngozi laments that just because she was happy to see her family doesn't mean they were happy to see her. As her relatives greet Ngozi, the Venom symbiote appraises their cooking and wonders if they're cooking for all of Lagos, which Ngozi remarks isn't far from the truth. Several relatives tease Ngozi over possibly getting a rich Wakandan boyfriend, but she replies that she'll always come home where she feels normal.
That evening, Ngozi's relatives are shocked that she doesn't have a boyfriend, wondering if she's still hung up on her old boyfriend Olu. Ngozi remarks that she and Olu are old business and leaves to go to the bathroom, coming across Olu sneaking through the house. When he runs she pursues him into the kitchen to find it overgrown with vines that have cocooned everyone. As Ngozi's brother pulls out a pistol and opens fire outside, her mother tells her they took all the wedding supplies and food. Olu uses magic to extinguish the lights and tells her not to follow him -- causing her to furiously ask if he even knows who she is now. Olu climbs into a van as the driver complains about him taking so long; and Ngozi transforms into Venom, the symbiote excited to finally have something to do. A purple energy barrier blocks her from pursuing, her brother remarking that Olu sold his soul for dark magic and calls himself NEPA after the National Electric Power Authority. When her brother remarks that Olu is a gang member now, Venom dismisses the notion of magic, saying that if anything Olu is a mutant; and angrily demands to know why he didn't tell her Olu is a gang member. Her brother remarks that while she's been protecting Wakanda he's been protecting the neighborhood, and knows where Olu's crew are staying.
As Ngozi and her brother ride through the streets on a motorcycle, Ngozi remarks that she understands Olu's reasons for fleeing: mutants are heavily persecuted out of superstition the moment their powers manifest, and his father is a priest. The symbiote asks if that means they're going to go easy on him, but to its satisfaction Ngozi angrily states she cannot forgive him ruining her aunt's wedding. Arriving at an overpass, Ngozi transforms into Venom, her brother marvelling at her insectoid form and offering to help. Taking off, Venom tells him she will be fine due to her partnership with the symbiote; her monstrous appearance terrifying onlookers into thinking she's a demon. Coming across the van surrounded by a group of poor children eating the would-be wedding feast, Venom confronts them over who gave them the food and is confused when they mention "Setan" - mishearing it as "Satan". When the children clarify that Setan brings them food and NEPA brings them light, Venom asks where she can find them.
In a structure made from intertwined trees, Olu, Setan, and Adoro - a girl with the ability to manipulate purple energy - celebrate their successful heist. Venom arrives and confronts Olu over the theft, and he bitterly calls her a sellout and asks what she's doing out of Wakanda. Adoro sneers that she's a rich Wakandan now, and Setan asks why she bothered hunting them down. Venom furiously snarls that they robbed her aunt's wedding. As Adoro blasts Venom with a barrage of purple energy, sending her flying into the street, Olu berates Ngozi for abandoning him to live on the streets when she went to Wakanda; never coming to look for him but going all-out for some stolen food. Setan summons vines and remarks that while NEPA is soft on her he won't hold back, Olu conjuring light and Adoro coating her fists in purple energy. Venom furiously kicks Setan out of the way, snarling that she just wanted to come home and have fun with her family. The symbiote feeds off her rage and bulks up significantly, its voice acquiring a sibilant hiss as it states she should let it handle this. Transforming into a dragon-like beast, Venom lunges jaws-first at Setan, who barely avoids being eaten. As Olu tells Ngozi she's crazy for getting so worked up about food, Venom roars that Olu and his friends ruined everything. As people panic and flee at the sight of her monstrous form, Ngozi restrains the symbiote and returns to her humanoid form, apologizing for lashing out. Adoro rejects Venom's apology and teleports herself and her friends away; a dismayed Venom notices her Dora Milaje bodyguards approaching. She demands to know why they didn't help, and they reply that they arrived too late to assist but praise her for showing mercy despite her rage; Venom lamenting that far from showing mercy she almost lost control.
The next morning, the slum where Olu and his friends were living is torn down just because three mutants were living there; Ngozi and the symbiote disgusted by the degree of superstitious prejudice. Ngozi remarks she's glad they let Olu and his friends go, and that the people aren't that afraid of them. Three days later the wedding takes place, Ngozi remarking that Wakanda replaced the stolen food and that maybe Olu had a point. The lights abruptly go out, making her brother wonder if Olu and his friends have returned, but they come back on and her father expresses relief that it was just a brief power outage. As the rose on the table suddenly blooms, Ngozi suspects that Olu, Setan, and Adoro are closer than they think.
And don't miss the final chapter of BLACK PANTHER: LONG LIVE THE KING featuring the return of Ngozi (Venom AND Black Panther from EDGE OF VENOMVERSE: WAR STORIES)!
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