- You ruined it, wallcrawler. I wanted to put some serious mileage between this place and me. But you couldn't let it go! Ya had to keep pushing me... until finally I just had to push back.
- -- Venom
Appearing in "The Trial Of Venom"
- Grey Gargoyle (Paul Duval) (Cameo)
- Moonstone (Karla Sofen) (Cameo)
- Sin-Eater (Mentioned)
- Gladiator (Melvin Potter) (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Daily Bugle (Mentioned)
- J. Jonah Jameson (Mentioned)
- Mary Jane Watson (Mentioned)
Synopsis for "The Trial Of Venom"
Brent Nagel of the Justice Department is being shown around the Vault prison by Ms. Brewster, the acting project head, following the recent break-out attempt by prisoners.[Continuity 1] While prisoners like the Grey Gargoyle have been punished for the attempt, other prisoners, such as Moonstone, were rewarded for not participating in the break-out. Suddenly, they hear screams coming from Eddie Brock's cell and rush to investigate. There they see Brock cowering in the corner. Apparently, the alien symbiote that he lived with had suddenly died. Frightened by this sudden death, Eddie demands that the monster is taken away from him. After summoning the Guardsmen, they scan Brock's cell and as far as they can determine, the Venom symbiote is dead.
Later, in Manhattan, Daredevil brings the news to Spider-Man as he will be defending Eddie Brock in court as his alter-ego attorney, Matt Murdock. Spider-Man can't believe that Murdock is defending one of his greatest foes.[Continuity 2] However, Daredevil explains that there were issues with Eddie's original trial and he is being retried. He was also asked to represent Brock because of his pro-bono work with other super-villains, such as the Gladiator.[Continuity 3] Unable to lie to get out of the job, Daredevil had to take it, but he also accepted it because he believes that Brock deserves a fair trial. As the pair take down some muggers, Daredevil also reveals that he intends Spider-Man to be his material witness. At first, Spider-Man refuses to do this, but when Daredevil questions his sense of responsibility, the wall-crawler relents. Soon, Matt Murdock brings Spider-Man to the Vault, where his assistance in the trial is welcomed. They explain that Brock has been contained and monitored since the apparent death of his symbiote. Murdock reminds them that they are to turn off the monitoring devices when he is meeting with his client in order to protect his right to attorney/patient confidentiality. Soon, Murdock meets with Eddie Brock who explains that the symbiote was depressed and missed its former host, Spider-Man and committed suicide.[Continuity 4] Listening to this statement, Murdock listens in closely with his enhanced senses to determine if he is telling the truth. After the meeting, Spider-Man asks Matt what Brock had said. Murdock explains that he can't tell him anything except that he doesn't feel that Eddie is lying.
Soon the trial is underway, and Spider-Man is sworn in as a witness. When the his identity is questioned, they point out that Spider-Man proved his identity by clinging to a wall and lifting up an armored car, which is enough to satisfy the court. Spider-Man is asked about his relationship with Venom. He explains that Eddie Brock blamed him for him losing his career when he misidentified the serial killer known as Sin-Eater.[Continuity 5] However, while under cross-examination from Matt Murdock, Spider-Man is unable to prove that Eddie Brock attempted to kill the wall-crawler until he bonded with the alien symbiote. In fact, when asked what Eddie Brock was planning to do prior to meeting the symbiote, Spider-Man reveals to the court that Brock was planning to commit suicide. In the middle of the trial, Eddie Brock speaks up, against Murdock's advice and asks Spider-Man if he could ever forgive him. This surprising statment strikes Spider-Man speechless.
Later, the wall-crawler waits outside of Eddie Brock's cell while they wait for a verdict. Brock promises Spider-Man that if he is freed from captivity, he will leave New York and never bother the web-slinger again. Eventually, the jury is ready to give their decision and they are brought back to the court room. On the way, Spider-Man suggests to Ms. Brewster to get more security because he has a bad feeling the jury is not going to rule favorably for himself. Sure enough, the jury finds Eddie Brock not guilty by reason of insaity. As Brock is escorted out of the Vault facility, Spider-Man still doesn't buy that Brock isn't a threat and webs up his feet. He tells Murdock to trust him for a moment, and he begins insulting Eddie Brock. The insults get too much and Brock loses his temper. Opening his mouth, the symbiote emerges from inside Eddie, having faked its death as part of a ruse to get out of prison. As the creature rebonds with Eddie, Venom explains that the creature was able to control his heart rate and resperation to trick everyone into thinking he was telling the truth. Venom decides that Spider-Man needs to be put on trail for ruining his life and attempts to strangle the hero with the symbiotes tendrils and taking out the Guardsmen. In the confusion, Matt Murdock manages to slip away and change into Daredevil. The Man Without Fear saves Spider-Man, but is easily knocked aside by Venom.
Spider-Man ambushes Venom from behind, knocking the pair over a cliff. From there, Spider-Man lures Venom into a nearby cave where he remains on the defenses. He then positions Venom into a specially prepared cell. As it turns out the "cave" was merely a hologram set up for him by Ms. Brewster to contain Venom should he release have been on false pretenses. Later, back in New York, Daredevil meets up with Spider-Man again. He tells the wall-crawler that his alter-ego was fired by Brock for representation. Still, Daredevil still believes that Eddie Brock wasn't capable of murder until he bonded with the symbiote. Spider-Man can't believe that he should feel sympathetic for Eddie Brock, and wishes for the good old days when fighting super-villains was simple black and white. Daredevil tells Spider-Man that it was never that simple, and he would understand that if the wall-crawler saw things through his eyes.
- This break-out occurred in Avengers: Death Trap, The Vault #1.
- At the time of this story, Spider-Man and Daredevil have known each other's secret identities in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107.
- Murdock represented the Gladiator in court during the course of Daredevil #173–175.
- Spider-Man originally wore the symbiote starting in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 until he discovered it was alive and abandoned it in Amazing Spider-Man #258 and then later seemingly killed it in Web of Spider-Man #1. The symbiote later went on to bond with Eddie Brock, as revealed in Amazing Spider-Man #300.
- Spider-Man captured the real Sin-Eater circa Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #107–110. As explained in Amazing Spider-Man #300, Eddie Brock did a number of interviews with someone who he thought was Sin-Eater, only to be discredited when Spider-Man caught the real killer.
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