AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #316-317 (1989)

After several issues of build-up, Venom and Spider-Man finally meet again.  But first…

Felicia Hardy is looking for Peter Parker so she goes to his apartment, learns he’s now married to Mary Jane, and then gets her face beat in by Venom.  Venom also knows Spider-Man’s identity, so he’s also looking for him.

Goddamn that’s brutal.

In the process, Venom sees some change-of-address forms, goes and stalks Aunt May’s house (where Peter and Mary Jane now live, having been evicted), and, of course, eventually fights Spider-Man.  But before that…

mary jane and spider-man fight

Domestic “bliss.”  Anyway, about that fight…

After an initial battle, there’s a “big showdown.”

But it is cut short. 

Peter Parker realizes that what the symbiote really wants is back on his body.

So it’s kind of a love story…But when the symbiote tries to jump off of Eddie Brock and on to Peter Parker.

It doesn’t work, and the effort knocks the symbiote unconscious.  From there, Thing, on behalf of the Fantastic Four, brings the science-y stuff needed to contain and re-imprison Venom.

It’s good, but the quick finish undercuts the tension drawn out over a half-dozen issues as Venom stalked his way towards a “big fight” that never happens.

I like that Eddie Brock is one of the few Marvel characters who works for it–especially since 1989 marks the dawn of the overly jacked-up Marvel Universe, where even postmen have muscles.

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