Back to back Dark Reign solo mini series reviews? You bet your cannibalizing symbiote ass.
Check off another surprise from my weekly collection of funny books. "Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-Man" on the surface seems to be another pointless tie-in to the ultra-mega-huge-crossover that has become "Dark Reign". Every villainous character in the Dark Avengers title also is appearing in their own monthly book (Daken in 'Dark Wolverine', Moonstone in 'Ms. Marvel') or has a mini series out (Bullseye in 'Hawkeye'). It was only a matter of time before Venom would be showing up as his Norman Osborn manufactured alter ego, Spider-Man. Really, the only Dark Avengers who don't have a solo going on right now are The Sentry (presumably because he is still good, just misguided) and Ares (who can never really be quantified as either good or bad).
For those of you who don't know, Venom is no longer Eddie Brock. I don't read the Spider-Man titles (surprise, surprise) so I don't know exactly when he lost the symbiote. What I do know is that the symbiote is now attached to Mac Gargan, formerly the lame Spider-Man villain, the Scorpion. When Gargan became bonded with Venom he became more powerful than Brock ever was and is more dangerous since he lack Brock's conscience. He was initially recruited to be a part of the Thunderbolts strike team to take down superheroes and villains who did not register during the Civil War struggle. When Norman Osborn rose to power following the Skrull Invasion, Venom moved onto the Avengers as the Sinister Spider-Man.
This series kicks off with Venom taking down a bank robber by the name of General Wolfram who claims to be part of the Third Reich. Venom steps in and stops him, much to the delight of the onlooking crowd. Normally, Spider-Man would save the day and swing off on his next adventure. Not this Spider-Man. This Spider-Man indulges in the superhero groupies, hanging out long enough to play some games of tonsil hockey and grab ass with his adoring female fans. The real Spider-Man would web a petty criminal up and leave him for the police to arrest. Not this Spider-Man. This Spider-Man bites off the perp's arm because he is hungry and swings away with the stolen loot. The original Spider-Man would go home to his Aunt May after a long day. Not this Spider-Man. This Spider-Man goes to a strip club and throws enough money around to convince a stripper to change her name. The good Spider-Man would take J. Jonah Jameson's insults and slights with a shrug. Not this Spider-Man. This Spider-Man leaves dead strippers in JJJ's bed to cause a scandal for the new mayor of New York City.
I love the fact that Venom is eating this up, no pun intended. This is the type of Spider-Man I would be if I had his powers and connections. Fondle a couple of groupies, visit a strip club, throw some money around, and smite your enemies before the day is done. I'm not down with the cannibal stuff, but to each his own. But everything is not entirely rosy in the life that Venom has come to enjoy. Norman Osborn is not pleased that he is out stopping bank robberies without his approval. And there is a shady character named the Redeemer who is currently recruiting other members of the "I Hate Venom" club to take a run at him.
So who is the mysterious Redeemer? Is Norman Osborn pushing a barely stable maniac too close to the edge? How does J. Jonah Jameson explain the dead stripper in his bed? Wanna know what happens next? Buy the book, available at Bent Wookee Comix located at 127 Fairfield Avenue in the West End section of Johnstown. See ya there!