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Quote1 I don't like this. You guys, we shouldn't be talking about him like this. What if it gets back to him? Quote2
-- Jack O'Lantern

Appearing in "Tall Tales"

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Synopsis for "Tall Tales"

At the Bar with No Name, Mac Gargan, Shocker, and Black Cat listen as the new Jack O'Lantern tells them about his run-in with Venom. Scorpion sneers at Jack O'Lantern's fear, Shocker stating that last he heard Venom broke good and was a super-soldier. Scorpion corrects him, saying that the old Venom had been killed by Norman Osborn some time ago. Schultz incredulously asks if Gargan is saying Eddie Brock is dead, but Gargan states that he's talking about the other blond Venom. Confused, Schultz asks if he means the space-ranger Venom, wondering how many Venoms there are. Gargan boasts that he was Venom for a time, but is interrupted by Jack O'Lantern, who continues with his story; saying he'd been minding his own business, selling high-power weapons to bad guys, when Venom showed up speaking in tongues and gouged his right eye out; asking if they've seen the news that Venom's turned into a giant symbiote-dragon. The other villains don't buy it, but Black Cat steps in and tells them that Jack O'Lantern is right and that Venom is a vicious monster.

As Black Cat concludes her tale, Scorpion sneers at her before being interrupted by Lenny, the bartender; who tells Gargan to be more respectful towards women before sharing his own encounter with Venom to the group, noting that while they may be familiar with the Lethal Protector, he knew Venom back when he was a straight-up supervillain. When Lenny's tale finishes, Shocker notes that thus far all he's heard is stories of how Venom's gotten his butt kicked. In response, Lenny asks Shultz when the last time he gave Wolverine a run for his money was. Jack O'Lantern tries to change the subject, afraid that word of their gossip will reach Venom and result in their deaths, but Scorpion mocks him and asks what he thinks Venom could do if he found out. A man wearing a black executioner's hood and robe interjects, saying that Venom would rip Gargan's spine out and use it for floss, but Gargan refuses to be intimidated and boasts he could take "discount Spider-Man" on any day of the week. The hooded man disagrees, saying that Scorpion gets beaten by Spider-Man on a regular basis but that he's seen Venom take on the Juggernaut.

As the hooded man finishes his story, Scorpion laughs and states that in the version he'd heard, Venom had a hundred arms and the Wrecking Crew was there. Turning to face the others, Gargan states that Venom's fangs and claws are all for show and that he hasn't even eaten anyone. Behind Gargan, the man's executioner robe transforms into a flurry of black tendrils, and he speaks in a distorted voice - asking Gargan if he wants to know why Venom's so scary. As the man states that Venom can be anywhere, hears everything, and has all the time in the world; Gargan turns around in horror to see Venom towering over him as an amorphous mass with a massive fanged maw. Asking the patrons if they want to hear a story, he coils his tongue around Scorpion's head and opens his jaws.

As Scorpion screams in terror and patrons flee the bar, Venom calmly exits - the symbiote transforming into a trench coat and fedora.

Appearing in "Round Two"

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Synopsis for "Round Two"

Recounting her first encounter with Venom, Black Cat states that he nearly beat her to death. Vengeful, Black Cat attempted to pursue him, but was too badly injured; seeking medical attention from a back-alley doctor. Knowing that Venom was hunting for Spider-Man, Black Cat began shadowing Peter's old haunts until she spotted Venom leaving Aunt May's House in Forest Hills. Taking advantage of Venom's lack of a Spider-Sense, she followed him into Manhattan, slowly closing the distance and catching him off-guard while he was distracted by something... belatedly realizing that Venom had stopped to intervene in a hostage situation. Angered, Venom grabbed her by the throat with a tendril and threatened to finish her off; Black Cat using her claws to sever the tendril. Taking advantage of Venom's rage, Black Cat kicked him into an oil truck, causing it to explode. Torn between taking revenge on the incapacitated Eddie Brock and rescuing the hostages, Felicia chose to do the latter - taking out the thugs. Recovering, Venom engulfed her head in the symbiote, musing whether to suffocate her for being affiliated with Spider-Man before deciding to spare her on account of her saving the hostages - warning her not to cross him again. Her wounds re-opened, Black Cat was forced to let Venom get away, but was confident that she'd showed him she wasn't to be trifled with.

Appearing in "Nobody Does It Better"

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  • Lenny (a bartender) (Real name first revealed)

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Synopsis for "Nobody Does It Better"

A younger Lenny was tending to patrons at his bar when Venom burst in hunting for Spider-Man, mauling several of his patrons and causing the rest to flee in terror. Wolverine interrupts Venom's rampage, irritably stating that he spilled his drink and mockingly asking if Venom is called Goo or Ooze. Recalling that he'd fought Venom before, Wolverine refuses to be intimidated as Venom towers over him and threatens to kill him slowly and painfully. Angered by Wolverine mocking him, Venom attacks; but Logan evades and stabs him with his claws, slamming him through the bar countertop. Wolverine prepares to leave, but as he downs a beer for the road, Venom gets up and transforms his right arm into a flurry of bladed tendrils - constricting Logan and lifting him off the ground. Venom transforms his left arm into a mass of spikes and impales him several times, slamming him into a wall and snarling that he has the power to take revenge on anyone who gets in his way. Regenerating, Logan sneers that Venom's boast of terrorizing Spider-Man isn't impressive due to the latter's youth, boasting that he went toe-to-toe with the Hulk. Venom flies into a berserk rage, but Wolverine counters his attacks and states that he wasn't so different from Venom once upon a time - driven by rage and hatred into an vengeful, animalistic state. Pinning Venom to the ground, Wolverine stops short of impaling him through the head and states that he worked to overcome his bloodlust and made something better of himself. Retracting his claws, Wolverine challenges Venom to do the same and leaves - Venom angrily lashing out at Lenny and the other people staring at him.

Appearing in "Unstoppable"

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Synopsis for "Unstoppable"

The executioner-hooded man states that several years ago he was an enforcer working for Scarmore Industries, sent to take care of a lawyer who'd been stirring up trouble. Teamed up with the Juggernaut, who he'd been a lifelong fan of, the man goes on to narrate how Juggernaut easily trounced Venom - who he notes looked uglier than he'd seen on TV, sporting multiple arms and heads - and would have finished him off had he not been a consummate professional with a job to do.

In actuality, Venom - augmented by a sentient, mutagenic, insanity-inducing mercury-virus - managed to easily overpower the Juggernaut, slamming him around like a rag doll and utterly humiliating him. Smashed through an apartment and into the sewers, Juggernaut fled until he came across some Scarmore Inc. workers dumping toxic chemicals into the sewers. Exhausted and hungry, Marko bursts through the street and robs a destroyed taco truck, sitting down to eat and warning the worker not to breathe a word of his defeat to anyone.

Solicit Synopsis

VENOM’S 30th ANNIVERSARY CONTINUES!

For the first time in Marvel history, the Wicked Webslinger called VENOM gets his very own Annual! This one features a few walks down memory lane from some of the best creators in comics today -- and even a few surprise guests from Venom’s past! Serving as a great jumping on point for readers new and old, this is one issue of VENOM you can’t afford to miss!

Notes

  • Shocker still thinks that the Venom symbiote is bonded to Flash Thompson despite having fought and defeated Eddie Brock in Venom #164.
  • Scorpion's statement that Osborn killed Flash Thompson "like, last week" is an idiom meaning it's "old news," and as such does not conflict with the continuity of Venom: First Host and Venom Vol 4 #1; both of which happen after Go Down Swinging, with the latter establishing several months have actually passed since then.
  • Scorpion's claim that Venom has never eaten anyone is erroneous given that both Gargan himself and Flash Thompson had done so multiple times while bonded to the symbiote, and Eddie Brock had done so at least twice.[2]
  • Venom Vol 4 #7 establishes that, immediately after his battle with the Grendel Symbiote, Eddie Brock was unconscious and under the control of the feral Venom Symbiote, fleeing from Project Oversight.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
  2. In Venom: The Hunger #1, Eddie ate a man's brains under the influence of the symbiote; and in Peter Parker: Spider-Man Vol 2 #16 he ate a chunk of the Sandman, nearly killing him in the process.



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