Appearing in 1st story
- Venom (Lee Price) (Main story and flashback)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
- Flash Thompson (Mentioned)
- Daily Bugle (Behind the scenes)
- NYPD (Mentioned)
- Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) (Mentioned)
- Lee's father (Only in flashback)
- U.S. Army Rangers (Recap)
- Fact Channel News (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- MD AH-6 Little Bird (FBI helicopter)
Synopsis for 1st story
Perched on a water tower and enjoying some sweet and sour chicken, Spider-Man checks his social media feed to see how his old high-school classmates are doing, but spots the livestreamed fight between the Scorpion and Venom. At Patrick Healy's apartment, Venom smashes the Scorpion through the wall to the outside, roaring that he's going to peel Gargan from his armor and eat him like an oyster. As Venom opens his jaws in preparation to devour the Scorpion, his mouth is suddenly webbed shut as Spider-Man arrives, mistakenly assuming Flash Thompson to be the symbiote's host and angrily saying that Venom has some explaining to do. Venom throws the Scorpion at Spider-Man, shouting at him to stay away, but Spider-Man dodges and catches Gargan. Venom throws a car at them, but Gargan shields Spider-Man before coating his tail in flames and lunging at Venom, shouting that he wants the symbiote. As they fight the Scorpion, Price and the symbiote mentally bicker over their next move, with Price wanting to get away and the symbiote franticly telling Price not to hurt Spider-Man. Spider-Man tackles Scott and his girlfriend out of the way and is yelled at for ruining Scott's designer jeans, turning to yell at Gargan before noticing Venom has disappeared. Gargan rebukes Spider-Man, saying he could have chased Venom if he hadn't been screwing around saving civilians. Checking the online Daily Bugle, to his dismay Spider-Man sees there's already an article covering the battle and blaming him for the destruction.
In the ruins of the apartment, Pat Healy calls the Daily Bugle to inform them of Black Cat's attempted hit on him. Price steps out of the smoke, covering one of his arms in the symbiote and grabbing Healy's arm, telling him to hang up with a menacing smile. On an isolated rooftop, Price webs Healy to a water tower. Healy notes that Price works for Black Cat but that the Scorpion tried to kill him, and Price sarcastically applauds his observational skills. The symbiote tells Price to not kill Healy, but Price rebukes it, blaming it for their situation and saying that it's up to him to get them out of it. Turning to Healy, Price transforms one of his arms and runs a claw down his cheek, demanding to know Adams' address.
At his Staten Island penthouse that evening, Adams returns home to feed his pet fish, noticing they seem agitated. He spots Venom's reflection just as the monster lunges at him from behind and pins him to the floor. Adams sarcastically welcomes Price to his home, revealing that he told not only Gargan but Black Cat that Price was the symbiote's host -- explaining why Gargan had brought anti-symbiote weaponry. Adams tells Price to get it over with and kill him, but Venom snarls that Adams undid all the hard work he'd done to get in Black Cat's graces, stating that Black Cat will be gunning for him now. However, Venom states that she will also target Adams for going behind her back. Revealing his face, Price says that he knows Adams was only looking out for Black Cat's best interests and doing what he thought was necessary to protect her from a threat to her organization, but that Black Cat isn't likely to see it that way. Stammering, Adams insists that she'll understand, but Price sneers that he should know better than anyone the lengths Black Cat goes to to punish those who've crossed her. Adams asks what Price is proposing, and Venom offers him protection.
In a mental conversation, the Venom symbiote asks Price why he's doing the things he does. Price retorts that he has no other options and that he'd have been perfectly happy keeping the symbiote a secret, but that it messed that up by emerging to fight the Scorpion. Price refuses to go on the run like other wanted supervillains, proclaiming that if he can't have the safety of anonymity he'll have the safety of power. Saying it's time to clear up loose ends, Price outlines his plan to have Adams turn the Black Cat over to the FBI, then take over as the leader of her organization. The symbiote clarifies that what it meant to ask is why he's so scheming and willing to commit crimes and hurt people. Price reiterates that the night's disaster wasn't his fault, but the symbiote interrupts, saying that it's seen his memories and knows that people and experiences hurt and hardened him: his father's abuse, the death of his mother, and his time in the army. The symbiote points out that Price had friends and comrades once, but Price interrupts and says that he had friends and learned the lesson that they're nothing but a liability, and that no matter how powerful you are, real power lies in staying hidden and attacking your enemies from the shadows, something he'd been trying to teach the symbiote. The symbiote reveals that it learned more things about him too, but Price cuts it off and tells it to shut up, telling it to stay out of his memories or he'll lock it up somewhere that'll really damage it. Adams asks if Price is talking to him, revealing that Venom had spoken aloud as they swing through the city, but Venom tells him to be quiet.
Meeting Agent Coyle Bagman on a rooftop, Price notes that Agent Wambaugh sent him alone again and must really not like him. Bagman states that the FBI doesn't have any power over Price now that his secret is all over the news, which made Wambaugh nervous when Price reached out to them, but that he figured that if Price was going to kill them he wouldn't arrange a meeting to do it. Price compliments Bagman's intelligence, offering him Adams and saying that Black Cat's frontrunner is going to give the FBI all the intel they need to put her away for good; and that he's going to walk away and they'll never see him again. Shaking Adams' hand, Bagman says that Price is right that he'll never be seen again. Realizing something is wrong, Price demands to know what he means, and Adams mockingly reveals that Bagman is an informant for Black Cat's organization, and the one who informed him that Price was Venom in the first place. An FBI helicopter fires an incendiary missile at Price as the Venom symbiote engulfs him, setting it ablaze. As the symbiote reels from the pain, Price tells it to not panic or they'll die, overturning a nearby water-tower to extinguish the flames. Adams tells Bagman that this is why he suggested another roofrop, but Bagman states that the helicopter couldn't get in close enough. Venom leaps out of the water and onto the front of the helicopter, the symbiote still panicking as Price tells it to calm down. Roaring, Venom rams his head through the front window, causing it to crash.
At New York's FBI HQ, Special Agent Dawson scrambles his agents to provide backup, then demands Wambaugh tell him what a symbiote-enhanced individual is doing at his partner's meeting with his informant. Wambaugh states this is the first he's heard of it, so Dawson demands he scramble the FBI's Symbiote Task Force. Wambaugh replies that the Task Force is mostly defunct and only one active member remains, though he's been trying to recruit new members. As Dawson demands that that man be brought in ASAP, a voice interrupts that there's no need. Standing in the doorway, Agent Eddie Brock states that he's heard rumors of a symbiote loose in New York, and asks to be brought up to speed.
• IN THIS CORNER: The scariest symbiotic sociopath this side of the Savage Land! You know him, you love him… The one, the only VENOM!
• IN THE OTHER CORNER: The wall-crawling, web-slinging wonder called THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!
• Step right up and place your bets — the bout of the century is about to begin!
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- 4 Images from Venom Vol 3 5
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