Appearing in 1st story
- Venom (Flash Thompson) (Controlled by the Venom Symbiote) (Leaves the Thunderbolts)
- Ryan Reynolds (Mentioned)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Only in flashback)
- Scorpion (Mac Gargan) (Only in flashback)
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Only in flashback)
- Carnage (Cletus Kasady) (Only in flashback)
- Petoskey Stone Diner
Synopsis for 1st story
At the Crucible, Deadpool's name is selected for a mission. Thaddeus Ross asks Deadpool what he wants to do, and Deadpool immediately suggests they abduct Ryan Reynolds, but before he can continue Agent Venom interrupts and asks to make a request. Deadpool is initially intrigued, but when Flash asks if he can have this mission Deadpool loses interest and asks why. Flash states he is leaving the team. Ross states that Flash is free to leave if he wants, but asks why when the Thunderbolts are doing good. Flash explains that the group's goals are generally good, but their violent methods have made it increasingly difficult to suppress the Venom symbiote. When the Punisher sneers at his decision, Flash snatches the combat knife Castle was sharpening with a tendril and casually snaps it. He then issues a challenge: he will let the symbiote take over to see if the group can defeat the fully unleashed Venom. Deadpool immediately accepts Flash's challenge, dismissing Flash's warning that the symbiote is a powerful enemy and stating that he came up with a contingency plan to kill all the Thunderbolts just in case. Flash states that if he were to truly lose control it would happen without warning and that he'll try not to kill them, but is cut off as the symbiote takes over. Transforming into Red Hulk, Ross orders the Thunderbolts to attack Venom, who escapes into the ventilation system. Ghost Rider expresses confusion as to why Venom fled, and Ross states the symbiote wants to escape the base and rampage. He turns on the exterior defence grid to prevent that and orders the team to split up and hunt Venom down.
Later, Ghost Rider is ambushed by Venom. Pinned to the floor, Ghost Rider sneers that he's made of fire - the symbiote's main weakness - but Venom calls his bluff, daring him to kill Flash in the process. Venom reveals that Flash thinks that Blaze is an abomination and only pretends to like him. Ghost Rider tries to use the Penance Stare on Venom, reasoning that it would be super-effective against the carnivorous parasite. Ghost Rider sees the symbiote's memories of Peter Parker, Eddie Brock, Cletus Kasady, and Mac Gargan, but the sheer amount of sin and death it carries shorts his powers out and leaves him unconscious. Unharmed, Venom laughs and disappears into the shadows.
In an armory, the Punisher tells Elektra he has enough incendiary bullets for them both. When Elektra asks if he's worried about killing Flash, Castle states that he interpreted Flash's challenge as asking them to kill him because the symbiote won't let him commit suicide, and that he respects him for that. Elektra retorts that Flash asked them to kill the symbiote, not him, but Venom - standing in the doorway - asks what the difference between killing one or the other is, pinning them to a wall with tentacles. The symbiote reveals that Flash is attracted to Elektra and wants the Punisher to die so that he can have her. Castle retorts that the Venom will die first, and when the symbiote sneers that better men have tried and failed to kill it, Castle responds that it shouldn't be worried about men. Elektra grabs a white phosphorus canister and detonates it, escaping with Castle, who was temporarily blinded by the bomb. The symbiote taunts them before noticing the air fill with white powder. The Leader reveals it's magnesium, telling the symbiote to give up and die. Venom pins Sterns to a wall and stabs his shoulder, contemplating eating him, but Red Hulk punches him and tells Flash to stand down. Venom taunts the Red Hulk, stating that Flash thinks he's the worst of the Thunderbolts because he doesn't realize how bad he is. Enraged, Ross attacks Venom, who effortlessly dodges and escapes. Sterns requests medical attention, but Red Hulk tells him to man up and asks what the white powder was. Sterns explains it was magnesium, and that his online brain had informed him that it was one of the symbiote's weaknesses. Ross asks what website he consulted, and Sterns states it was Wikipedia, admitting that he is no longer certain of its accuracy.
Ross regroups the Thunderbolts and asks how they're holding up. Ghost Rider remarks that he's almost fully recovered, Leader wants to sit the fight out, and the Punisher remarks that his vision's come back. Ross explains that Venom is picking them off one by one, so they need to work together to defeat him, but notices Deadpool is absent. In the hanger, Deadpool has finished setting up a trap by hanging a jet from the ceiling overtop a mannequin dressed in his costume, which he has crudely altered to resemble Spider-Man's. Castle approaches and inspects the trap, and Deadpool briefly considers killing him with it before asking what he thinks. Castle calls Deadpool an idiot, and as the other Thunderbolts arrive the cable holding up the jet snaps and Red Hulk tells him to get his costume on. Later, Deadpool comes across Venom and attacks him, but Venom snares him with a tentacle and eats him before vomiting his dismembered and decapitated body. Ghost Rider snares Venom with his chains and drags him down the halls into the hanger, where the Punisher and Elektra blast him with flamethrowers. Venom is enraged but unharmed, until the Leader unveils a sonic amplification device. Red Hulk claps his hands together, and the machine focuses the sound waves into a beam that blasts the symbiote off of Flash. Ghost Rider restrains the symbiote with chains and hellfire, and Ross asks Flash if he's alright. Flash remarks that he can still taste Deadpool but otherwise is fine, and is satisfied that the team could stop him if he ever truly lost control of the symbiote. Ross asks if Flash wants them to kill the symbiote, but Flash refuses, explaining that the symbiote would somehow escape and survive to claim a new host, and that even a hero like Spider-Man couldn't control it. As the symbiote bonds with him, Flash states that the alien is his curse to bear. Later, as Agent Venom prepares to depart, Ross reveals he knows Flash had an ulterior motive for taking the symbiote back: it wasn't because he wanted to spare anyone, but because he wants its power for himself and possibly needs it. Ross asks Flash if what the symbiote said about him was a lie, but Flash states that the symbiote doesn't lie before assuring Ross that everyone can change and telling him to take care.
• It’s Venom’s turn to set the Thunderbolts’ mission!
• So, why does he have them targeting…himself?
• That’s right – VENOM vs. THE THUNDERBOLTS!
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