Comic Reviews: Flash Thompson’s Venom and Grifter’s troubles

I’d like to state I claim no comic-expertise credentials whatsoever, and since about a year ago I went fully (and legally) digital. I get all my stuff through Comixology. The reason I picked these two comics is simple. They’re both from a similar mold that I like. A black ops with some special power, but mostly human, sent to deal with some incredible odds and dealing with a few demons himself, with some sarcasm and reluctant heroics thrown in for effect. The execution is miles apart though.

(Source: Marvel Comics)

I am not commonly a Marvel comic buyer, but I got hooked during Venom‘s Circle of Four storyline. This is of course, Venom’s Volume 2 which is really Flash Thompson taking up the Spider-Man-hating-symbiote. The storyline is great, the art is great and I keep loving the interaction between Flash and the symbiote a little more every time. He’s been drafted to the Secret Avengers, which is tempting me to buy a few of their books but I’d rather stick it with his solo title. Flash Thompson is the original bully, first appearing on the pages of Spider-Man as both an intimidating jock that would hurl Peter Parker into lockers and Spider-Man’s #1 fan. After joining the armed forces and losing both his legs, he’s had to face the death of his abusive alcoholic father and become an alcoholic himself. The government’s Project Rebirth 2.0 chose him to use the symbiote which grants him legs again plus powers similar to those of Spider-Man.

There’s more but I don’t want to go for a complete summary here. I just would like to say, it’s one of the few books I look forward to reading every issue.

(Source: DC Comics)

I used to follow Wild C.A.T.S in their several incarnations. When Wildstorm characters were integrated into the DC Comics for their New 52’s rebooted timeline there was no character that I was looking forward more than Cole Cash a.k.a Grifter.

We’re like 12 issues into Grifter’s solo series for the New 52’s and… I’m less than impressed. I want to stick it out, I want some good stories with him but so far no dice. It’s just painful to see him fighting this blue ghosts that appear on the pages and just mess everything up. The plot itself is dubious with him just running from one page to another and no end in sight. I’m not quite sure I can point to one thing that is wrong, but everything together is just not working. I just basically get the next issue, browse through it and dread someone up in DC will pull the plug. There’s always a little gleam of hope when a new team is announced but I’m not much for recognizing the artists and creators behind the work. I just know what I like, folks.

The truth is, I’m getting closer and closer to dropping Grifter. He needs a plot reboot badly and the art could be better specially if they decide to drop the blue-daemonite look that infects their pages. But it doesn’t look like it since they’ve resorted to crossover the same look for the Voodoo comic, which had a great start but seems it will stick with the same look from now on. Apparently Priscilla Kitaen (Voodoo is her clone) will be making an appearance in Grifter’s pages. How will this affect the comic… hopefully in a good way. In the meantime, Venom is doing what Grifter is lacking: kicking some ass.

That will do for now.

Coming up!

(Sources: Marvel, DC ComicsComixologyComicvine(1), Comicvine(2))

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  1. #1 by wwayne on September 8, 2012 - 3:18 am

    The integration of the Wildstorm world into the DC universe has a great potential, in my opinion. The Wildstorm world has a lot of intriguing superheroes and villains who never met the DC ones, so their union is a potential goldmine of brand new stories. At present it’s not working, though: Voodoo closed, Grifter is about to close, and Stormwatch sells quite well, but is boring as all hell. I hope the potential I see will be expressed in the upcoming Team 7.

    • #2 by The Editor on September 8, 2012 - 8:25 pm

      True, they have a lot of potential. And right now, Helspont is being primed to be one of Superman’s new foes.

      • #3 by wwayne on September 8, 2012 - 10:56 pm

        This is wonderful. No one notices if you give a regular series to Grifter or Voodoo, but, if you make a Wildstorm character interact with Superman, then millions of readers from all over the world will notice it. That’s the power (and the responsibility, Stan Lee would add) that characters like Superman have. Thank you for your reply! : )

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