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- You don't go through the fire... not like this... and remain unchanged.
- -- Venom
Appearing in 1st story
- Venom (Eddie Brock) (Main story and recap)
- Dark Elves
- Dark Elf army (Corpses)
- War Witch
- Jack O'Lantern (Main story and recap)
- Wild Hunt
- Frost Giants
- Dylan Brock
- Avengers (Referenced)
- X-Men (Referenced)
- Champions (Referenced)
- Numerous unnamed New Yorkers
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Spider-Man (Peter Parker) (Recap)
- Carl Brock (Recap)
- Jack O'Lantern (Jason Macendale) (Referenced)
- Jack O'Lantern (Jack) (Referenced)
- The Maker (Reed Richards) (Recap)
- Knull (Recap)
- Malekith the Accursed (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and recap)
- Dark Elves
- Klyntar (Recap)
- Birds (Referenced)
- Asgardian Wolves
- Dogs (Referenced)
- Hellhounds (Referenced)
- Frost Giants
- Alien Gods (Recap)
- Ten Realms (Main story and recap)
- Midgard (Earth) (Main story and recap)
- North America (Main story and recap)
- Middle-earth (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Undisclosed location (Recap)
- Midgard (Earth) (Main story and recap)
- MRE field rations
- Magic Venom Costume
- Spider-Man's Suit and Web-Shooters (Recap)
- Venom Symbiote (Recap)
- Jack O'Lantern's Suit (Augmented by a Dreamstone)
- Dreamstone (Mentioned)
Synopsis for 1st story
Reminding himself that he has to prioritize Dylan's safety, Eddie Brock - clad in an artificial symbiote manifested from a dark elf Dreamstone - flips over a Roxxon tank; noting that his suit grows stronger the more negative emotions he feeds it and weakens if he calms down. Focusing his rage on Roxxon for betraying humanity when they could be helping fend off the invasion, Venom bisects the tank with a single blow from his stolen troll battleaxe. As the tank's driver flees, Venom plucks arrows from the Dreamstone symbiote using tendrils and fires them at the fleeing soldier, crippling him. Feeding the artificial symbiote his years' worth of hate towards Spider-Man and his father, Venom brutally kills the soldier, noting he can feel the suit slowly changing as it adapts to him; cutting off all his emotions except rage.
Venom is suddenly struck from behind by a torrent of flames and turns to see Jack O'Lantern clad in his own Dreamstone-enhanced suit, wielding a flaming scythe and astride a mystically-enhanced broomstick in the shape of a flaming bat skeleton. Jack O'Lantern mocks Venom for not having gotten rid of the symbiote's weakness to fire, and the two lunge at each other - Venom realizing that Jack O'Lantern must be working for the War Witch. As Jack O'Lantern spits a point-blank torrent of flames into Venom's face, Eddie notes that his enemy isn't the first or even worst person to don the pumpkin-themed helmet, having just been some punk who stumbled across a cache of suits and weapons. Eddie recalls having nearly killed Jack O'Lantern when the Venom Symbiote had been in the thrall of Knull, lamenting not having done so as Jack declares he's going to carve out one of Venom's eyes in revenge.
Leaping onto his flaming bat broomstick, Jack sics a pair of Wild Hunt on Venom, who feeds the artificial symbiote his despair at dying of cancer and kills them despite Eddie noting that he likes dogs. As Jack O'Lantern flies away, Venom leaps after him; but as he notes that he should be careful not to stray too far from his son, he feels the artificial symbiote suddenly weaken, revolted by the taste of concern and love. As Eddie tries to conjure up more bad memories to fuel the rage his suit needs to function, he's suddenly smashed by a massive mace as a trio of Frost Giants arrive, having been led by Jack O'Lantern. Slashed across the back by Jack's flaming scythe, Venom realizes he's outmatched and overloads the artificial symbiote with all the negative emotions he can muster, feeling it scan his memories for more data on the Venom symbiote before suddenly causing Venom to increase in size to match the Frost Giants. Roaring, Venom bites a chunk out of one of the frost giants' necks, quipping that he tastes minty. Internally, Eddie notes that he always blamed the Venom symbiote for the monstrous acts they'd committed together, but now he's not so sure who corrupted who. Killing the remaining two frost giants, Eddie notes it feels good to put all of his negative emotions to productive use and that he's starting to have fun; but Jack O'Lantern interrupts by speed-blitzing him and setting him ablaze. As Venom reels in pain and collapses, he can feel the artificial symbiote adapting to protect and heal him, reshaping itself into a black-and-white suit of Asgardian armor. Angered by Venom's survival, Jack O'Lantern sneers that he'd like to stay and finish him off once and for all but that he has a job to complete that he says Venom is going to love.
Communicating telepathically as she regenerates her arm, the War Witch tells Jack O'Lantern to keep antagonizing Venom, and that the angrier he gets the easier it will be to turn him into a war-puppet for Malekith. Jack O'Lantern retorts that he hopes that's not how she sees him, and that they're only working together because their goals align. The War Witch sneers that Jack O'Lantern is a coward who had been hiding until she came across him, stating that they'll go their separate ways once his job is done. As the War Witch remarks that the more Venom fights, the more a warrior of Malekith he becomes, Jack O'Lantern teasingly states she has a crush on the dark elf warlord. Outraged, the Witch snaps at him to hold his tongue and focus on attacking the innocent in order to truly draw out Venom's rage, adding that there is one innocent in particular that Eddie desires to protect - his son. Deciding to emulate Venom's trick against the frost giants, Jack O'Lantern grows his bat-broomstick to massive size and begins gleefully razing the city with its flame-breath. As countless innocents perish, Venom realizes that Jack O'Lantern will annihilate the entire district if left unchecked and decides to try going berserk like the Norse warriors of old, assuring himself that Dylan will be fine as long as he stays hidden.
In Rex's bunker, Dylan swelters and notes that it's starting to get unbearably hot.
WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN!
• Chaos reigns as Malekith’s campaign to take over the Nine Realms sweeps through Manhattan.
• With desperate battles raging all around them to quell Malekith’s horde, Venom has teamed up with an unlikely group to try to stop Malekith…
• …or die trying.
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- Images from Venom Vol 4 14
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