There's a new Anti-Venom in the Marvel universe, introduced in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man/Venom: Venom Inc Alpha! Things haven't been going well for poor Peter recently, with his company bankrupt and the public less-than-pleased with him... and this week's adventure added a new twist to the spider-verse with the creation of the new Anti-Venom. Amazing Spider-Man/Venom: Venom Inc Alpha is a crossover event bringing together Venom and Amazing Spider-Man, with familiar faces Peter Parker, Flash Thompson, and Eddie Brock front and center.
Spidey and these two Venoms aren't the only characters with a symbiote history making an appearance, either. Mania (aka Andi Benton), and Lee Price are also part of this issue, bringing together multiple characters from the Venom-verse to launch Venom Inc. For those who aren't up to date on the latest adventures of the symbiote, Andi Benton is a friend of Flash Thompson's, fighting crime with a clone of the Venom symbiote. Lee Price was briefly Venom himself, but his time was short-lived, and now, Venom is once again bonded to Eddie Brock.
Amazing-Spider Man/Venom: Venom Inc Alpha Recap
The one-shot begins with Flash Thompson talking Mania through her crimefighting, before she is taken down by Lee Price and a gang of thugs. Turns out that Price is making good on his previous promises to re-take the Venom symbiote, as he forcibly separates Mania from her symbiote and takes it himself. Clearly, Price has an evil plan, too, as he wraps up the issue by injecting the symbiote into various low-level criminals to create his own Venom army... but that will wait for the next issue!
The bulk of this issue become a show-down between Spidey, Brock and Flash, as Brock struggles to cope with the symbiote, which has become increasingly violent and difficult to control. He turns to Alchemax to make a serum to help him out, but the medicine being created there is still experimental and may have some interesting effects. As Flash attempts to find Brock and get the symbiote back himself (to help Mania and figure out what Price wants), Spidey is attempting to get rid of the symbiote once and for all; bringing the three together in a fantastic showdown as both Brock and Flash attempt to convince the symbiote to bond to them. As they struggle, Spidey chooses to douse them both with a vat of the anti-venom serum created by Alchemax, in the hopes that it will rid the world of Venom for good. Of course, nothing could be that simple, and instead, a new Anti-Venom arises from the accident: Flash Thompson!
Flash Is The New Anti-Venom
An Anti-Venom has already appeared in the Marvel Universe, bonded with Eddie Brock. Brock became Anti-Venom when he was battling cancer, and a touch by Mr Negative turned the remnants of the Venom symbiote in his bloodstream into a cancer-fighting Anti-Venom symbiote. After meeting Venom (bonded to Mac Gargan), this semi-dormant new symbiote took over for a time, and appeared as a white version of Venom. Eddie remained as Anti-Venom for some time, working first as something of an anti-hero alongside the Punisher, attacking drug barons and curing addicts, before finally becoming a hero... but sacrificing the Anti-Venom symbiote to save the city during the events of Spider Island.
If this new Anti-Venom is anything like Brock's version, it means that Spider-Man and any Venom symbiotes will be weakened in Flash's presence. This is good news in one sense, as it will make the defeat of Lee Price and his army of Mania/Venom thugs easier to defeat, but it could spell doom for Andi, if the new Anti-Venom also wishes to rid the world of the Venom symbiote and any of its clones. It's not clear exactly what the powers and intentions of this new Anti-Venom are going to be, but it's definitely an interesting choice to flip the script and have Flash take on this role. Given his friendship with Spider-Man and with Mania, we can't wait to see how the new Anti-Venom plays out!
The six-part story continues in Amazing Spider-Man #792, available Dec 13th.