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Quote1 Exactly the kind of man we need to stop Stegron. So I want to thank you for taking the job. Quote2
-- Liz Allan

Appearing in "The Land Before Crime: Part One"

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Synopsis for "The Land Before Crime: Part One"

In the ruins of an abandoned subway tunnel, four teenagers — one dressed in a Creature of the Black Lagoon costume - stand around a video camera on a tripod, arguing. In response to the boy in the costume complaining, Johnny - a young man wearing a red scarf - retorts that the costume looks stupid, criticizing their filming location and lamenting being talked out of filming a nude scene, saying that no-one will watch their film. Disgusted, Amanda - the girl - retorts that they're making a student film, but Johnny retorts that they're ruining a career-making opportunity with amateur-hour antics. Amanda hears a hissing sound, which Johnny dismisses as a ploy to waste more of his parents' money, but she turns to see a pair of glowing eyes and a maw full of jagged teeth appear in the darkness of an archway. As the monster lunges with its jaws open, Amanda screams.

At the hospital, Eddie sits next to the priest, who is alive but unconscious. He apologizes, saying that things should have been perfect with his reunion with his partner but that something's wrong, and he intends to fix it, getting up, he leaves — not noticing he's left behind a still-living piece of the Venom symbiote on the floor. As he walks down the hall, Eddie asks the symbiote why it attacked the priest, a good man and an innocent, and it replies that he was trying to hurt them by undermining their bond. Eddie scolds it, saying that nothing can break their bond and that it can't go doing things without his knowledge, worrying that the symbiote may have done something else when he was unconscious. A voice interrupts his train of thought, and he looks into a room to see a young man with his arm in a cast, raving to a doctor that his friends were torn apart and eaten by a monster in the sewers near Our Lady of Saints Church. The doctor skeptically asks what the monster looked like, and the young man says that it had huge fangs, horrifying Eddie. As the doctor dismisses him and prepares to run a blood toxicology to check for drugs, Eddie bursts into the room and demands to know if the monster was humanoid. The doctor asks him to leave, but Eddie furiously rebukes her, saying that other people could need help and that dismissing the boy's testimony out of hand is foolish given that monsters do exist. Turning to the boy, Eddie tells him to provide a detailed description of the monster that attacked. The boy says that he didn't get a good look at it, but that it was almost seven feet tall, walked on its hind legs, and had enormous fangs. Sombrely, Eddie asks the boy to tell him the exact location of the attack.

Descending into the sewers of Manhattan, Eddie notes that this is where the boy said he and his friends had entered. The symbiote asks if he's going to hunt the monster and be a hero, and Eddie agrees. The symbiote notes that he assumed that it was responsible for the attack and is relieved that's not the case, annoyed that he doesn't trust it. Arriving at the location of the attack, Eddie replies that the symbiote's outbursts of rage and bloodlust worry him, saying that he thought it had changed. He insists that their relationship has to be different this time around, and that he doesn't want to be blindsided. The symbiote retorts that it knows he manipulated Spider-Man into trapping it, and when Eddie protests that he only did that so they could be reunited, the symbiote states that it's worried about whether it can trust him too. As Eddie examines the bodies, the symbiote begins to cover him, stating that the monster is behind them. A set of talons slashes Eddie across the back, and he scolds himself for coming down into the tunnels in human form. Transforming into Venom, Eddie turns to face the monster, a humanoid beast with saurian features. Venom punches the beast in the face, and when it lashes out with its tail he grabs it and slams it into the tunnel wall, sneering that it's just another monster with no brains and a tail. Transforming into an even more monstrous form, Venom snarls that the monster got lucky when it got the drop on a bunch of innocent kids, but when faced with a real monster like himself, it's outmatched. The monster chomps down on Venom's tongue, causing him to fly into a berserk rage and beat it to death. Returning to his normal form, Venom notices the word "ALCHEMAX" tattooed on the beast's chest and decides to pay them a visit.

In Alchemax's main office, Liz Allen argues with someone on the phone, telling them that they're not facing a public relations nightmare and that no-one outside the Department of Defence knows they're running the program. She tells the person that they won't talk to the press, and get ahead of the situation before they find out. Noticing a breeze as she hangs up, Liz asks her assistant if the climate control is glitching, then notices Venom dangling from the ceiling. Grinning, Venom apologizes and says he had to open a window to get in, complementing her on her office space. Liz observes that last she heard Venom was working for the military, and asks if he decided to break bad and whether she should call security. Venom says she should and that she'll want them to haul away the corpse of the monster he killed, depositing it on the floor of her office. Horrified, Liz demands to know what it is, and Venom retorts that he was hoping she'd tell him since it was branded with her company's logo, inquiring whether it's the PR nightmare she was talking about on the phone. Liz asks where he found it, and Venom replies that he found it in the sewers, where it ate a pair of the kids and traumatized a third. Venom snaps that he's lucky she didn't take the monster to S.H.I.E.L.D., and that "nightmare" hardly covers the circumstances. Liz cooly retorts that he's one to talk, being a seven foot-tall monster who's also a wanted fugitive, and that he came to her because he had nowhere else to go. Sitting at her desk, she asks if he wants hush money, and Venom retorts that his mercenary days are over and that he's through selling violence. Liz retorts that if Venom had done this out of the kindness of his heart he wouldn't have snuck into her office grinning like a cat, and Venom replies that what he wants is her help.

A few minutes later, Dr Steven, the head of Alchemax's astro-biologist department, wryly complains about being pulled away from his under-funded research. Liz dismisses his complaints and introduces him to Eddie, saying brought something important back to them and needs their help, specifically Steven's help. She tells him that Eddie is bonded to a symbiote, and that while she doesn't know much about them she figured he would. Dr. Steven asks for a sample, and Eddie extends a tendril from his palm. Taking the tendril, Dr. Steven gushes that he's finally going to be published, but Eddie firmly states he wants to have it back when Dr. Steven is done. Examining the tendril, Dr. Steven says that might not be possible, and Eddie angrily reiterates that he wants it back. As Dr. Steven departs, Liz tells Eddie that they need to get down to what he's going to do for Alchemax in exchange for her help. Partially transforming into Venom, Eddie states that he already helped them by bringing in their escaped monster, but Liz tells him he'll be bringing in a lot more than that.

Taking Eddie into a room, she explains that Alchemax has been contracted by the government for a number of projects, most of which have been harmless. However, the military has contracted them for a number of morally dubious projects. Calling up a display screen showing an anthropomorphic Stegosaurus, Liz tells Eddie about Stegron, a scientist who used a modified version of version of Dr. Curtis Connors' Lizard serum to turn himself into a humanoid dinosaur. Eddie is amused to learn that his name was "Vincent Stegron" and that he'd turned himself into a humanoid dinosaur, but Liz tells him to focus up and explains that — due to Dr. Connors' formula being unavailable — the military released Stegron to Alchemax in order to advance their research into regenerative technologies for use on the battlefield. However, Stegron escaped with a number of test subjects and equipment the week before. Annoyed, Eddie asks if what she wants him to do is find her stuff, and she retorts that what she wants is for him to retrieve $10 million in assets, which is in the hands of an insane dinosaur-man. She admits that this is technically the government's mess, but she wants it taken care of before the military gets involved and that the man she'd usually contact was knocked out and had his Scorpion suit destroyed by Venom the night before. Eddie retorts that Mac Gargan is a murderer and a criminal, which Liz pointedly says is exactly the sort of person she needs to take care of Stegron. Eddie agrees to find Stegron in exchange for Alchemax fixing his symbiote, and Liz agrees to do so as payment for bringing in Stegron.

Later, Venom returns to the sewer and approaches the entrance to Stegron's lair, acknowledging that Liz Allen is a shrewd woman, but one of the few people in New York with the resources to help find out why the symbiote is so angry, and that she won't double-cross them due to Venom being her only hope to take down Stegron. Venom notes that that alone is reason enough to help her, but that he sensed the symbiote's bloodlust when it saw the footage of Stegron. Descending into a tunnel, Venom notes he should easily be able to handle Stegron and the sad freaks he has with him; entering a cavern to find it swarming with hundreds of humanoid dinosaurs. Revising his opinion of his odds, Venom decides to retreat and come up with a new plan; latching onto a stalactite that turns out to be the claw of an enormous monster. The monster blasts him with a sonic screech, destabilizing the symbiote and sending him falling to the ground. As he collapses into unconsciousness, the dinosaur-men prepare to tear him apart before Stegron commands them to stop and bring the intruder forward. Sitting on a throne, Stegron denounces humans as inferior and unworthy, and that he and his dinosaur-men will rise up and overthrow them.

Solicit Synopsis

“THE LAND BEFORE CRIME” Starts Here!

• Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been reunited at last – and their hatred of Spider-Man is greater than ever!

• While hunting the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, Venom comes face-to-face with none other than STEGRON THE DINOSAUR MAN!

• Can Venom postpone feasting on Spider-Man’s brain long enough to stop Stegron from turning everyone in New York into a bloodthirsty dinosaur?!

See Also

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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