Venom 2099 Custom Figure found in the recesses of the internet

EDIT: The Tripod thing is being weird, so in case the image doesn’t load, here’s The Franchise getting poked in the crotch:

http://makeagif.com/i/AmQbyk

You ever accidentally stumble onto something locked in the bowels of the ancient internet, in the realm of angelfire, static html pages, and in this case, tripod?

Venom 2099! In figure form!

Someone’s swank Venom 2099 custom action figure, located at

http://sawol.tripod.com/VEN-F1.JPG

Throw another on the Venom 2099 pile! (God I love the internet sometimes)

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The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 5 of 5)

Spider-Man 2099 #39 was a comic I had to have.

(image from Marvel.Wikia)

Not because of fantastic cover art (SM2099…looking plain!), but because I had to, had to know who Venom 2099 was. So I went down to the comic shop, hoping they had the last issue I needed, hopefully also for $3.00 like I had paid for the previous 4. What luck! There it was. I took it home, and when I finally breached its pages, I found the answers I was looking for. Venom 2099 was Kron Stone, who was apparently Miguel O’Hara’s half brother. The origin of Venom? After getting beaten by Punisher (2099) and left in a sewer, Kron Stone was possessed by the Venom symbiote, which had been “hanging around” in the sewer for 100 years, apparently, and also apparently just evolved to be acidic. A little bit of a let down. Miguel beats Kron something fierce, which is kind of a separation of Spider-Man 2099 from modern day Peter Parker. That I liked. There was also the beginnings of new plot threads (or continuation of old ones) with Goblin 2099 and Vulture 2099, but I chose to leave the Spider-Man 2099 universe for now. For me, the explanation’s a bit of a fizzle; sure the twist of a half-brother is nice, but a sliver more imagination on where they symbiote came from would have made it all the more satisfying. A mysterious containment vessel? Maybe the symbiote morphed into some creature that lived in the sewer? Instead, it’s just a sack on the wall that’s been hanging around for 100 years.

In the end, I’m glad I revisited this chapter of my childhood. I recaptured an issue that had slipped from my grasp, and had some closure as to what actually happened with Venom 2099 after I saw his brief debut all those years ago. Combine that with a compelling storyline over the course of about three of the issues, resulting in the death of a major character, and I’m left feeling like this was a worthy addition to my collection. If you can find these (for less than $12 an issue), you wouldn’t be disappointed.

 

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 4 of 5)

This week’s entry is the thrilling conclusion of the “Venom 2099 Saga”, as I’ve deemed it, taking place in the pages of Spider-Man 2099. I’ve already reviewed issues 35, 36, and 37, and to catch you up: Venom is back, mostly liquid and secreting acid wherever he goes, he’s captured Xina and Dana, Miguel O’Hara’s dueling love interests, and in a horrible twist of fate, the SHIELD patrol’s bullets, meant for Venom, passed through his amorphous body and killed Dana!

(image from Marvel.Wikia)

So the climactic issue 38 of Spider-Man 2099 starts off with Spidey cradling Dana’s lifeless body, and I’m going to say right now before we get into the thick of things, Andrew Wildman’s pencils on this, while perhaps a bit “90’s” (in the Jim Lee/Rob Liefeld vein of intense, squinty features), are, to me, the definitive look to a Spider-Man 2099 story, and I’m glad to see he’s doing this issue after his absence in the previous issue. Spider-Man, in grieving, literally lashes out at a SHIELD agent, smashing his visor. Further demonstrating his rage, Spidey declares that “[Venom is] dead. Wherever he is, he’s dead.”

 

Elsewhere, Miguel O’Hara’s mom, who gave us a nice suicide fake, tells Gabriel (another party to the Miguel/Xina/Dana love triangle) that Dana is dead, and Gabriel punches out a TV screen, though in an unintentionally funny twist, him screaming “DANA!” is presented as a sound effect rather than dialogue. Gabriel exits, likely en route to his own revenge on Venom.

 

We next find Venom, posing all “Spider-Character”-like (unnecessarily deep squats), as a warning goes out about the threat he poses. In Miguel’s Alchemax office, he and some Alchemax scientists study a piece of Venom they found, and discover it reacts to sound, as well as historic references to the “Heroic Age” Venom, meaning this Venom and modern day Venom are ostensibly the same. Tyler Stone awakens from his coma (another plot extending beyond these issues), to be met by Jake Gallows (Punisher 2099), who doesn’t have the heart to tell him Dana is dead. In another plot thread that will likely set up the next few issues, Vulture 2099 captured some girl (Kasey Nash?) and meets up with Goblin 2099.

 

Miguel, learning of Venom’s weakness to sonic attacks, has the 1984-esque ubiquitous speaker system start playing high frequency noises (so high, in fact, only Venom can hear them). With Venom weakened, Spider-Man 2099 strikes, including severing the little spider shaped pouch that rests on the outside of Venom’s body. Venom begins to go all melty from the noise (doubly so because of his acidic secretion) and Spider-Man unleashes his rage, pummeling the prone Venom. Even as the person underneath (which makes little sense, we’ve seen Venom dissolve other bodies and be liquid himself) emerges and begs for mercy, Miguel, overcome by rage for Dana’s death, shockingly resolves to kill him any way. As Spider-Man goes to choke the life out of whoever is underneath the Venom symbiote, he stops and murmurs… “You?” and does that thing where a Spider-Man mask looks sad. Who is it?

 

I know I said I only got 35-38, but I had to know who, so issue 39, next week!

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Fan Art)

The counterpart to Spider-Ham 15.88 (and Venom 2099)

 

Since I’ve been dissecting Venom 2099 so much, I thought I’d add to the rich pantheon of alternate future animal universe characters by introducing Pork Grind 15.88, the counterpart to Venom 2099 (and foil to Spider-Ham 15.88, also available in zombie form)

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 3 of 5)

When last we left the Venom 2099 saga, I had recapped issues 35 and 36, and we left with Venom 2099, skin-eating acid secreting foil to Miguel O’Hara’s Spider-Man 2099, holding Dana and Xina while threatening death to both if Miguel doesn’t choose one. Miguel is also in charge of Alchemax, and was researching the history of something called “Venom”.

(image from Marvel.Wikia)

We open with some memory-fogged panels about the first time Miguel O’Hara met Dana, while he was still dating Xina. This leads into Venom, holding both Dana and Xina hostage, forcing him to choose. First and foremost, I’ll say the art in this issue is a lot tighter than in issue 36, and it’s all the better for it. Miguel ostensibly choosing Xina, and uses his pointy spider claw hands (or something) and severs Venom’s arm, to which Venom quickly makes a dick joke (“What, you packing some sort of…concealed weapon? Bet mine…is bigger”). Miguel severed the arm to save Dana, while Xina is…apparently falling down a garbage chute? I’m not sure how they got there, but let’s say the deranged Venom was a man of his word and let Xina go, only to be outsmarted and outmuscled by Miguel to save Dana. Let’s say. Anyhoo, Miguel begins the attack without changing into his Spider-Jammies, and also sicks the futuristic SHIELD stormtroopers on Venom. More memory-fogged panels give us Dana remembering the early days with Miguel, but that’s interrupted by Venom.

Meanwhile, Miguel O’Hara’s mom, who was seen to have been committing suicide last issue (off panel), actually shot some recording device, that had her confession to something not necessarily covered in this issue. Swerve! She resolves to be put on trial.

Elsewhere, Venom has “the girls”, and they’re fleeing in..Xina’s car? Weird. More memory-fogged panels show us how Miguel cheated on Xina with Dana, with a funny little bit where the word “click” is substituted for the word “f—k”. Venom leaps from the car as SHIELD agents set upon him, smashing one in a fiery explosion with “mace hands”. In the mayhem, Xina drives off a bridge, but is saved by Spider-Man, who decided to go full costume after all. All of this seems to be taking place outside the “Escher Club”, a staircase themed club that was mentioned in the first flashback opening this issue up, furthering the mystery of how Venom is related to Miguel O’Hara’s life. Venom quickly snatches the dueling damsels in distress, though, and in the ultimate act of Spider-Mandom, the SHIELD agent’s shots on Venom go through his amorphous body (he dissolves his hosts rather than coating them), and end up killing Dana. Let that be a lesson to all you girls across the universes and timelines: if you date a Spider-Man, you’re probably going to die. We close on that scene, and I can’t wait for the thrilling conclusion to the Venom 2099 saga, it’s Spider-Man 2099 issue 38!

 

(PS, I dug the flashbacks throughout this issue as a way to put some definites on the relationship between Miguel, Xina, and Dana alluded to throughout the past few issues, as well as doubling up to pack a bigger emotional punch upon Dana’s somewhat unexpected death. I’m really into this story right now)

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 2 of 5)

Last time on the Monday Morning Quarter-Bin, we took a look at the first part of the Venom 2099 story arc running through Spider-Man 2099 35-38. Issue 35 introduced the character of Venom 2099, and was an issue and character that had intrigued me since I got it as a child when it was new. Sadly, my youth caused that issue’s cover to disintegrate, and I never bothered with the subsequent issues. Now, though, I’m righting the wrong; I’ve found all four issues of the story arc and we’re at Spider-Man 2099, number 36!

The cover I have. Variants!! (image from Marvel.Wikia)

First off, the issue makes no bones about the hype surrounding the Venom 2099 character; the demonic looking black and white creature is full and center, with his own name in the “title section” of the cover, relegating Spider-Man 2099 to a small blurb underneath. I suppose if you have a Spider-Man alternate universe series, the introduction of that universe’s Venom, Spider-Man’s “negative”, antithesis, the “anti-Spider-Man”, should be a big deal, and this is giving the character a strong push rather than wasting what could be a breakout character.

 

Issue 35 introduced Venom 2099, in a somewhat mysterious fashion, and as alluded to at the end of that issue, the next issue picks up with a full on battle between Spidey and this newfound nemesis. As was implied in the previous issue, Venom 2099 is surmised to “secrete a skin-eating acid”, which plays into his jagged, caustic look. After a few blows, Venom leaves the body he had been possessing to leap to a doctor, leaving behind a smoking, raw body in its wake as Spidey describes “the stench of burnt flesh”. Clearly this is taking the symbiote possession to another level. Venom goes all Plastic Man on us, turning his arms into wacky weapons like a mace and whip, before knocking Spidey out of the highrise medical facility they had been fighting in. After creating some separation, Venom is confronted by the futuristic police/security force present in the 2099 universe (SHIELD?), and Venom quickly makes short work of them, this time with some of their own guns (What if Venom 2099 Possessed Punisher 2099? – Gold, that’s what).

 

Regrouping, Miguel O’Hara is now in charge of Alchemax after Tyler Stone was taken out (alluded to in last issue, a longer arcing story that extends beyond this). Miguel calls off the dogs on Spider-Man, his alter ego, and asks for historical references to “Venom”. Then, Miguel O’Hara’s mom commits suicide, again probably part of the larger arcing story I’m not privy too. Still, seeing some older lady put a gun underneath her jaw and do the deed was quite shocking.

 

We end this issue with Venom 2099 tracking down Miguel O’Hara at the Alchemax offices, tearing through staff members and finally confronting Miguel with a Sophie’s choice over the lives of Xina and Dana, Miguel’s dueling love interests: “You see these two? One of ’em gets to live…on your say so…while the other dies. You’ve got five seconds to decide…or I’ll just kill them…both. Choose.” An effective cliffhanger, because I’m officially sucked into this saga. What does Venom 2099 have to do with the original Venom? What is his beef with Miguel O’Hara and Spider-Man? How does he know the secret identity? Can Miguel save both Dana and Xina? All these questions and more, same Spider-Time, same Spider-Website (hey, a pun!). It’ll be Spider-Man 2099 issue 37, and it’s gonna be awesome.

 

(PS, as far as critiquing, I find the writing to be compelling, with a mixture of personal drama and super-hero action, but the art in this issue was a little clunkier than in the previous issues).

The Monday Morning Quarter-Bin – The Venom 2099 Saga (Part 1 of 5)

A quick preface, these issues likely wouldn’t be found in the quarter-bin, but if you do find them there, snatch’em up!

Recently I completed a run of Spider-Man 2099 #s 35 through 38, a four issue arc featuring the debut of Venom 2099, an alternate future counterpart to Spider-Man’s “negative”. I call this the Venom 2099 saga because it’s not only a story arc spanning four issues, but a journey spanning 19 years. Okay, that might be a bit heavy handed, but my acquisition of Spider-Man 2099 #35 was actually a reacquisition. I bought (or had my mom buy from the grocery store) SM2099 35 when it was new. Oh, I had been averse to Spider-Man 2099 because it was in some alternate future with weird characters I wasn’t familiar with, but that didn’t matter this month, because Venom 2099 was there, and he looked awesome. You see, as a kid I was often swayed by cool covers and art inside, and the story was secondary. I dare say not too much has changed for me, but I’ve managed to resist buying up most of the “cool” looking things I see and focus on completing runs or series or any other sort of set you want to come up with.

The cover I had (image from Marvel.Wikia)

Regardless, I had SM2099 35, with the debut of Venom 2099. I had what I gather is the primary cover, and I thought it was cool. However, being a kid, it got left in my Lego bin. Most all of my other comics were taken care of, usually bagged, and all stored in their own box, but for some reason this issue fell through the cracks. I think it might have been an issue of the cover accidentally ripping off (as is prone to happen sometimes, even with careful reading) and I just gave up on it and left it lying around. The cover eventually disintegrated, and now a coverless copy of SM2099 35 is probably floating around the closet of my old bedroom in my parent’s house. As I grew older, losing that comic was something that stuck out to me; I had let myself down as a collector and if I could get another copy I could make things right again.

Except by the time I got to looking, the price for the Venom 2099 issues was not something I expected. While earlier Spider-Man 2099 issues populate quarter-bins and random stacks of comics at flea markets, these later issues suffered from low print runs as the 2099 line began to whither. While other issues online were around the one to two dollar range, these were five to seven, and if you look on ebay you can see delusions of grandeur set in. A complete set of eight (regular covers and variants) for $50? Nah. Some think these issues are worth like ten or twenty dollars apiece, and you usually can’t find them for under five. Factor in shipping, and suddenly I’m looking at way too much money to spend on something that I know in my heart of hearts isn’t actually worth that much. Caught between wanting the issues and not wanting to pay $40 or $50 for them, I was stuck in limbo. Then, my salvation came in the form of a local comic book shop. Coast City Comics, where I had picked up the Police Academy cartoon issue in the quarter-bin, had all four issues, at a lovely $3.00 each. I happily paid $12.00 for all four, aware that it was far lower than anything I could hope to find online. So the Venom 2099 saga is not just about future-Venom, it’s about the value of waiting. Online shopping can make things easier; you can things quicker, and sometimes cheaper. But take a second and visit the local comic store, see what they have in stock. You might find a better price, especially factoring in shipping, and get a deal for comics priced to sell, rather than be nickeled and dimed for things auto-relisted on ebay ad infinitum.

 

So that’s the prologue (and I suppose the epilogue) to the Venom 2099 saga. But what of the books it took me years to recover? Let’s begin with Venom 2099’s first appearance, Spider-Man 2099 #35!

 

Without getting too bogged down with the storylines preceding this issue, Tyler Stone has been rushed to a medical facility, and 2099’s president, Doom 2099, exonerates his girlfriend of any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, somebody named Bloodhammer and/or Bloodmace is sitting around with his cohort, talking about Tyler Stone, when black goop attacks! Bloodmace ends up having his flesh dissolved leaving nothing but bones, and bam, we got ourselves a Venom 2099! Spider-Man 2099’s been swinging around, then Miguel O’Hara (SM2099’s alter ego) is trying to talk to some woman in a car, then tries to talk to what I presume is his ex-girlfriend. Meanwhile, Venom 2099 slithers into the hospital where Tyler Stone is being kept through a drain (because he’s all liquid, we now find out), and Miguel O’Hara’s there (conveniently delivering the exposition that Tyler Stone is his real father), when double bam, Venom 2099 busts in with a dramatically posed splash page. It should also be noted up to this point the pages have had a border of black symbiote goop that’s been growing and growing, to minimal effect. It just looks kind of silly. But anyhoo, Miguel throws a punch, but discovers Venom 2099 is made of acid, kinda(?), absconds to change into his Spider-togs, and we’re left with a cliffhanger of an ensuing battle next month.

 

Overall, a plot heavy issue, with the end result being a tease for action next month. Fine enough, and there’s some mystery to Venom’s origin and existence without it being the ridiculous “show up now, we’ll fill in a backstory later” kind of mystery. Venom 2099’s design is something that’s grown on me to where I really like it. He has an entire white face with red eyes and “Venom mouth” (giant tongue and pointy teeth), a simple black body with a separate, three-dimensional white spider wrapped around his torso, and some gnarly claws on his feet and hands. Maybe it could have strayed farther from the original Venom design, but if we’re to believe this is descended from the original Venom (or maybe even the same symbiote) and the fact that they’re calling it “Venom 2099” justifies keeping it closer to the one we’re familiar with. Whether or not another character in the vein of “Modern Day Character 2099” was necessary is debatable, but I suppose it’s a moot point (at least for another 85 years).

Up next is Spider-Man 2099 #36. Will an actual battle between Spidey and Venom take place? Will we find out any more of Venom’s origin? Having never read the subsequent Venom 2099 issues, I have no idea, so I’m just as excited as you are.