|The Amazing Spider-Man|
|Cover date:||May, 1988|
|Cover artists:||Todd McFarlane|
|Cover inker:||Todd McFarlane|
|Previous:||Amazing Spider-Man #299|
|Next:||Amazing Spider-Man #301|
"Venom" is the landmark three-hundredth issue of the first Amazing Spider-Man ongoing comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The story was written by David Michelinie with artwork and inks by Todd McFarlane. McFarlane also rendered the cover art illustration to this issue. It was colored by Bob Sharen and lettered by Rick Parker. The story was edited by Jim Salicrup. This issue shipped with a May, 1988 cover date and carries a cover price of $1.50 per copy (US).
Peter Parker returns home to his apartment to find Mary Jane Watson ins a fit of hysterics. She tells him about the strange man who broke into their home and terrorized her, emphasizing the fact that he wore a costume similar to that of Pete's black costume, except this one included a menacing face beyond the contours of the mask. While she is unharmed, she refuses to remain in the apartment. Peter arranges for them to spend the night in a hotel. He is perplexed as to what or who this new menace might be.
The man who broke into Peter and Mary Jane's home is Eddie Brock, who has now bonded with the alien symbiote that was once Spider-Man's costume. He lives in a ramshackle tenement home in the South Bronx and spends his time lifting weights. Eddie communes with the symbiote explaining that they left the apartment because Mary Jane kept screaming.
At the Lyden House Hotel, a restless Peter Parker tries to connect all the dots leading to the recent attack. He thinks back upon the alien costume and how he first acquired it on Battleworld. The costume tried to permanently bond with him and he was only able to fight it off using sonic vibrations. Reed Richards assisted with this with the aid of a sonic blaster. Peter's final fight with the entity was at Our Lady of Saints Church. A the time, Peter thought he had destroyed the creatures. Now, he is not so sure.
The next morning, Peter wakes up to some good news, Mary Jane had just got off the phone with a realtor and she has managed to secure a condo in the exclusive Bedford Towers. Peter is surprised that they were able to find a place so quickly, and agrees to move there since Mary Jane is no longer comfortable living in their Chelsea apartment anymore.
Peter stops by Four Freedoms Plaza to borrow the Sonic blaster from the Fantastic Four. On his way home, something sets his nerves on edge, but his spider-sense isn't going off. Eddie Brock is tailing him, and due to the nature of the symbiote, it doesn't trigger Peter's spider-sense. He goes to the new condo to check it out. Peter still feels bad that it is Mary Jane's money that is making all of this possible, and feels that he cannot commit in equal measure financially. Mary Jane suggests that he looks into fashion photography, but Peter quickly realizes that such a profession is not a good fit for him. Later, Peter and M.J. go to have dinner over at Aunt May's house. It is the first time they have gotten together with her since they've been married.
Meanwhile, at the Our Lady of Saints church, Eddie Brock has come to the place where the symbiote was seemingly slain and decides that this will be a fitting place to end the life of Spider-Man. His discussion with the symbiote is interrupted by a police officer who believes Brock is responsible for the recent thefts of the church's collection boxes and orders him to freeze. Brock wills the symbiote to send a tendril out and suffocates the officer to death.
The next day, friends of Peter and Mary Jane help the couple move into their new home, including Joseph Robertson, Flash Thompson, Sandy Kintzler, and Harry Osborn. While out on the balcony, Joe Robertson asks Peter if he has given much though to his suggestion of finding another line of work. Peter tells Joe that he has been thinking about going back to school. That's when he spots his mystery stalker web-slinging nearby, and excuses himself to go and deal with him.
Changing into Spider-Man and loading up with the sonic blaster , Peter follows after the stalker. He is lured to the dilapidated building in the Bronx. Spider-Man follows after him, confident that his spider-sense will warn him of any trouble. However, it fails to warn him when the stalker attacks him. Spider-Man decides to stall for time so he can reach the blaster and asks who his mystery attacker is. He calls himself Venom, and that he has sought revenge against Spider-Man for ruining his life. Drawing the symbiote off his face, Venom reveals himself to be Eddie Brock, a reporter who used to work for the Daily Globe. He explains that he publicly exposed Emil Gregg as the Sin Eater during the most recent string of murders, but Gregg was a compulsive liar, and it was Spider-Man who revealed the Sin Eater to actually be Stan Carter. The false exposé sent Brock's career spiraling out of control. He lost his job and could only find work writing stories for supermarket tabloids. Brock's depression eventually brought him to Our Lady of Saints Church where he discovered the surviving organism. He willfully accepted bonding with it, and together they began scheming of a way to avenge themselves against Spider-Man.
After listening to Brock's spiel, Spider-Man attempts to use the sonic blaster, but Venom quickly knocks the hero through the floor. Discovering that Venom is more powerful than he is, Spider-Man relies on his experience and skill to outsmart him. Ultimately, he recovers the sonic blaster and unleashes it upon Venom. He stops himself however, realizing that if he kills the symbiote, he will also kill Eddie Brock, and can't bring himself to do it. Venom recovers and pulls Spider-Man back into the building with his webbing and lands a knock out punch.
When Spider-Man wakes up, he finds himself webbed up to the church bells atop Our Lady of Saints. Brock gloats over his victory. He reveals that the bell will being to chime, crushing Spider-Man. Spider-Man struggles to get free, managing to push his hand loose from the webbing and grab the clapper before it crushes him. Venom sees Spider-Man escaping and goes after him. Spider-Man deduces that the symbiote uses its own substance to make its webbing, and likely needs time to replenish its supply. Spider-Man forces Brock to expend so much webbing that the symbiote begins losing substance, allowing Spider-Man the chance to knock him out. Spider-Man takes Venom to the Four Freedoms Plaza where the Thing agrees to keep him secure until the maniac can be shipped to the Vault.
Peter Parker returns home to explain everything to Mary Jane. She understands, but cannot stand the fact that Peter is wearing the black-and-white costume because it reminds her of how Venom. Peter agrees to get rid of it and Mary Jane produces a version of his classic red and blue costume. Peter thanks his wife and tells her that she is the greatest before putting on the replacement costume and going out to web-sling.
- Arthur Chekov
- Bambi Modica
- Candi Muggins
- Emil Gregg (In flashback only)
- Harry Osborn
- Mister Fantastic, Reed Richards (In flashback only)
- Nathan Lubensky
- Randi Cooper
- Sandy Kintzler
- Stan Carter (In flashback only)
- New York City Police Department (1 officer; dies)
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Spider-Man was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. He first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 in April, 1962.
- This issue celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of Spider-Man.
- The origin of Eddie Brock is revealed in this issue.
- Mary Jane Watson is the first character to appear in this issue.
- Reference is made to Peter Parker's trip to Berlin, Germany. This was an adventure he shared with the X-Men known as Wolverine. It was on this mission that Spider-Man discovered that Ned Leeds was the Hobgoblin.
- Peter Parker had his previous encounter with the symbiote at the Our Lady of Saints Church. During this encounter, Peter believed that he had destroyed the alien parasite, but now learns it had survived. This took place in Web of Spider-Man #1 in April, 1985.