The Amazing Spider-man issue 654.1 Review

Continuing Dan Slott’s theme of Big Time, issue 654.1 sees Venom revitalised for the twenty-first century. In this issue we follow Flash Thompson as he has just been chosen to be Venom by the American government. The government plan to use the symbiote as a black ops weapon. Yet the test subject before Flash had a problem: he bounded with it.

Slott continues his winning ways here with the Big Time story arc. By re introducing classic characters with a modern slant as well as making Peter Parker no longer the loser that no one wanted to be, he has managed to resurrect the book, the most exciting it has been since pre One More Day. Slott has thought of a new and interesting way to interpret Venom in the same way that he managed to do with The Hobgoblin previously.

Slott’s pace is just right whilst Ramos is the perfect companion, drawing Spidey and his friends just the way you would imagine them. However there is one big problem with this book. Being a .1 story, Marvel said that this would be the perfect jumping on point for new readers. I don’t think this story would help anyone who had never read Spider-man or had not read it in awhile.

For new fans who have possibly only seen the films or just fancied picking up an issue, it does not relate to Spider-man whatsoever. The entire story is Flash Thompson’s evolution into the new Venom. This is fine if you have read lots of Spider-man and the last issue (where Flash signs up for the operation) but to new readers they might be slightly confused. No Spider-man in their first Spider-man book: I would definitely find it odd. Also to a Spidey fan who say has not read Spider-man since One More Day, little will make sense. For example it is never made clear that Jameson’s father returned and went onto marry Aunt May, let alone how Flash Thompson got involved with Venom.

Amazing Spider-man issue 654.1 is a shame. To a fan who has constantly been reading the book it is a masterstroke, providing the strongest issue in a long time. But to new or returning fans they might be slightly confused. Not what I would call a jumping on point but a great story.


Luke Halsall

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