WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Amazing Spider-Man #800
When Spider-Man isn't enough to save the day, he has no choice but to reunite with the Venom Symbiote - for heroic purposes only, of course. Peter Parker has returned to the black suit and the alien second skin a few times since it was first introduced, before leaving him for Eddie Brock. But in Amazing Spider-Man #800, fans get to see a reunion like no other.
They won't get long to enjoy it, since time is running out. Not only on writer Dan Slott's decade at the helm of the core Spidey comic, but for Peter's family, now that the Red Goblin is out to kill them. And an enemy like no other calls for a Venom upgrade.
Thankfully, Venom is every bit the hero as Spider-Man these days. In fact, it may be Peter's rage that the symbiote will have to resist.
For those who may not have followed Slott's final Spider-Man run, it may be hard to believe that any villain could be "too much" for either Spider-Man or Eddie Brock's Venom. But then, the Red Goblin isn't just any villain. It's what happens when you combine the Green Goblin Norman Osborn with the symbiote psychopath called Carnage.
The result is a crazed killer who can't be harmed by fire, sound, or conventional attacks. So even when Eddie manages to protect Mary Jane Watson... he knows only Spider-Man has the superhuman abilities needed to bring the Goblin down. But he'll need an upgrade first.
Given their history together, Peter is less than excited about Eddie's plan to transfer the alien symbiote to the hero. But with Mary Jane agreeing that there's no saving Aunt May, or defeating Red Goblin without a Venom boost, he finally concedes. And as the symbiote leaps from Brock to Parker, Eddie warns the hero that he's carrying precious cargo (even if Peter thinks he's the precious participant, which is definitely his style).
What Peter doesn't know is that he's not really at any risk whatsoever. The days of an evil or malevolent symbiote are largely over, after Venom actually became a hero and resisted the villainous desires of its former owner, Lee Price. Now it has returned to Eddie, its original human host, and have spent the time since returned to their... aggressive, but nevertheless heroic ways.
In fact, when the Red Goblin fatally wounds Flash Thompson a.k.a. Anti-Venom, it's Peter who pushes the symbiote to new depths.
Enraged that Red Goblin has put so many of his loved ones in danger, and seeing the damage inflicted upon Flash, Peter actually grows into the massive, violent, and bloodthirsty version of Venom. Until Flash proves he's one of Spider-Man's biggest fans by talking Peter down, reminding him that the people of New York need a superhero. Even if Peter's anger is understandable, he must be better - Flash then confirms he now knows Peter Parker is behind the mask. And when Flash falls, Spider-Man is more committed than ever to earning his admiration.
Spider-Man wins the day, as was almost guaranteed as part of Slott's farewell. And in keeping with the spirit of the hero, he must separate from the Venom symbiote to finally defeat Norman Osborn. For those who feel that symbiotes may be a little over-represented at the moment in both comics and the upcoming Venom movie, then this final adventure may not rise to the same heights.
But if you're on board with Peter Parker and the Venom symbiote uniting for a common goal, then Amazing Spider-Man #800 isn't to be missed.
The Amazing Spider-Man #800 is available now from Marvel Comics.