Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Decompression Project - now continues

So the library finally fixed, re-purchased or bound their copy of the sixth Ultimate Spider-man book. It's the one about Venom. It has been one heck of a long time since I read the previous volume and while I remember most of the story up to now I have to say I was still a bit lost on some minor details, like I don't remember Spidey fighting The Lizard, but that's not entirely the major point of this story.

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me, in that I liked aspects of the update such as the bio suit using the body's natural abilities and enhancing them to superhuman aspects rather than an alien symbiote from Ultimate Secret Wars. And while there is a lot of development of Peter's back story, mostly in the form of posthumous videos from his father, there is very little development of the actual Venom story. It just sort of happens and feels slightly rushed when compared to the father son relationship that gets explored. It's fine if this is what they wanted to explore but I think it really could have been a lot better if some of the aspects that are examined and explored between Peter and his father get reflected through the main plot of the Venom suit as well. I'd like to see it more as a whole that is exploring different aspects of similar relationships rather than the somewhat disjointed story it turned out to be with Peter sort of reconnecting with his past and Eddie Brock being a two-faced jerk.

Still, the whole Nick Fury foreshadowing was kind of cool and I'm hoping I'm in for some better payoffs as this story continues. So this is still a decent Spider-man story, just not for the story that is being advertised to you. If you're a Venom fan then you may be a bit disappointed, but I have to say I like this take on him than the 616 version, even if I like the 616 background for Eddie Brock a bit more. This works in this universe but it really could have been fleshed out a lot more, which is really weird for me to type in something I call The Decompression Project.


plok said...

I thought this one worked really well -- maybe the high point of the USM adaptations.

And yet, everything you say about its shortcomings is true, true, true. I just was so amazed not to hate Venom so much as I usually do.

From here, it starts to slip, in my opinion. Don't know how long it takes Ultimate Aunt May to have that meeting with her therapist, but if I remember right, it's just around the corner.

joncormier said...

Throughout this there has been a few moments that haven't sat right - mostly just the repeated panels that don't quite work although were probably brilliant at the time. I'm thinking that reading through a lens of history makes it hard to realize this book was innovative for what it is. A lot of its innovation is now somewhat commonplace.

I do think they were on the verge of making Venom more sympathetic and he's much more understandable as a lost teen/early-twenties young man - well at least to me. It's a frustrating point in any young man's life. I just feel for a book that manages to flush out so many parts of itself that to be left feeling somewhat lost on the character just didn't sit right with me.

I think it's the first time it left such a major plot very obviously unresolved, and not "resolved with the possibility of re-occurance" as the series has up to now.

Jason said...

FYI...the Ultimate Lizard showed up in the Ultimate Team-Up book, so you probably didn't read his appearance.

Anyhoo, I agree that the Venom book was where this series peaked, not that I think this was the best arc from the book, but from here, its slow descent into "OK-ish-ness" started. From here the book really started to be defined by a formula (talk for a few issues, introduce "Ultimatized" character, fight, rinse, repeat). I wish they would try something new, instead of just doing new versions of old stories.