Appearing in "Toxic Lifestyle"
- Venom (Flash Thompson) (Main story and flashback)
- Coach Yates (First appearance)
- Andi (Flash's unnamed neighbor) (Real name first revealed)
- Darius Fowler (First appearance)
- Toxin (Eddie Brock) (Main story and flashback)
- Unnamed host to Symbiote Slayer (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
- Crime-Master (Bennett Brant) (Only in flashback)
- Aaron MacKenzie (Only in flashback)
- Katherine Kiernan (Voice)
- Rosie Thompson (Mentioned)
- "Peter Parker" (Mentioned)
- Numerous unnamed students
- Vector (Simon Utrecht) (Only in flashback)
- New York State (Main story and flashback)
Synopsis for "Toxic Lifestyle"
Eddie Brock is awakened from a nightmare of when he bonded to the Toxin symbiote by a trucker he hitched a ride with, who tells him they reached his destination. In his apartment, Flash prepares for his first day of work as a teacher, noting that he needs to get out and do something normal for a change. Flash calls Katy Kiernan and gets her voicemail, but leaves a message asking if she's alright, noting she's the closest thing he has to a friend, since his mom doesn't have a phone, Valkyrie hates phones, and Peter suddenly stopped answering his calls. Sarcastically rehearsing an introduction, Flash uses the symbiote to snag his carrying case of symbiote suppressant and leaves his apartment. He flashes back to when he first bonded to the symbiote and notes that he probably should inject himself, but decides not to since he still feels in control.
At West Philadelphia High School, Coach Yates introduces Flash as the new assistant coach. A redheaded boy whispers an insult to a friend, and Coach Yates sternly states he expects everyone will show Flash the same respect they do him. As Coach Yates has the kids run laps around the gym, Flash thinks to himself that respect from a group of teenagers has to be earned and that he wasn't any different from the boy who'd insulted him earlier. Coach Yates asks Flash if he can handle himself, and leaves for his office when Flash says he can. Flash recognizes one of the boys as Rafe, who he'd saved the night before, and sees the teenaged girl he'd met the day before sitting on the bleachers with two other punks. Flash calls out to the girl, who introduces herself as Andi, and asks her why she and her friends don't feel like dressing out for PE. After mocking Flash's choice of words, Andi retorts that she doesn't feel like getting tired and sweaty first thing in the morning and then feeling gross for the rest of the day. The redheaded boy calls out to Flash, telling him the burnouts don't need someone to tell them how to sit in a chair all day and proclaims he's about to beat his record for laps. Wryly noting that that's what he was like in high school, Flash asks Andi for the boy's name. She introduces him as Darius "The Franchise" Fowler, West Philly's all-star, noting that he's stupid and wondering if every school has a guy like him.
That evening, Flash notes that his first day felt more like a week. Partolling the streets as Agent Venom, he recalls when he uncovered an experimental weapons cache and that some of the tech escaped into the world, making it his responsibility to track it down before people get hurt. Nearby, a hunchbacked old man carrying grocery bags makes his way to a townhouse before throwing off his coat, revealing himself to be emaciated with four large green jars protruding from his back, each containing a biomechanical organism. The man opens a can of dog food and ravenously eats it, but pukes it up. He turns to a group of young people tied up nearby, moaning that he's starving, and asks for their forgiveness for what he's about to do. Tackling the man, Agent Venom notes he has no time for disguises or other tricks and tells the tied up people he's there to rescue them. The emaciated man says that Agent Venom isn't taking them anywhere, and as Agent Venom pulls a gun on him his flesh stretches and tears to reveal metallic tentacles. Screaming that they won't let him, the man lunges and pins Agent Venom to the ground, asking for his forgiveness. The man has a flashback to when the cybernetic creatures were implanted into him, and says that Venom shouldn't have come, brokenly expalining that the cybernetic parasites are ravenous and need to feed on flesh. Agent Venom retorts that he knows what it's like to live with a hungry partner, but that the man has to learn to keep them in check or they'll get more demanding. The symbiote coils a tendril around the cyborg's throat and flings him away, and Flash wonders if he's been off the drugs long enough for it to be waking up. Grabbing his gun and leaping to his feet, he sees that the man has fled, and notes he moves fast for a guy with malnutrition issues. Agent Venom frees the captives, and notes that while he's marking the night down as a win he still has to track the cyborg down before he claims a victim.
Elsewhere, the cyborg collapses from hunger outside an alley and notices a man sitting against a wall. The man, Eddie Brock, remarks that both he and the cyborg made mistakes: Eddie was tracking down a "friend" that the cyborg stinks of, and the cyborg was looking for a quick and easy snack. Transforming into Toxin, Eddie snarls that they both picked the wrong guy.
• TOXIN’S IN PHILLY. THE DEVIL’S IN JERSEY. VENOM’S GOING TO WAR.
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