First I want to explain why I'm starting with this book. The simplest reason is that it's the first trade paperback I bought, back when I was in elementary school actually. What got me into comics as a kid was actually the Maximum Carnage game, and interestingly it was Venom, based entirely off of his look (4th graders are allowed to be shallow) so I started reading Spider-man to find out more about the over-arching world this took place in, at about the same time the animated show came on.
So I would buy a single issue when I could talk my mom into it, and I think I bought this one with some cash I had from birthday presents or something. As a kid I LOOOOVED this book but, I was young and foolish. I also really liked Spider-man and Venom so I was extraordinarily biased to it. I didn't get Maximum Carnage until 2010 when I was back into comics, and also very flush with cash.
So I'm going to take a look at this series starting here and try to give you guys an honest look at it. Sadly this book is out of print it seems
, I will try to give you guys Amazon links to anything I read good or bad.
I assume most people know Spider-man well enough that I can simply say this takes place during the 90s and that Peter is still married happily with MJ.
Venom might be less familiar to non-comic readers, I know, there was the movie but fuck it. Basically Eddie Brock was a guy who's whole life was consumed by jealousy and feelings of inadequacy, as such he was short tempered vain and motivated to prove himself. Due to stress and said feelings of inadequacy he ended up becoming work out obsessed and built like a body builder. At the same time the Symbiote which is key to this saga is an alien creature that went onto Spidey for a while and made him stronger faster more resistant to damage, but also made him more aggressive and more of a thrill seeker. It left Spider-man when he forced it off and went to Eddie Brock who was in church praying forgiveness because he was contemplating suicide due to how much of a mess his life was, he blamed Spider-man for this. The two bonded, Venom got Spider-man's powers, was stronger, and knew everything about Peter Parker. He was also undetectable to Spider Sense.
Venom has always been guided by a warped sense of "justice" seeing himself as a victim and Spider-man as a villain who destroy's lives. This sense of honor has made him side with good guys on occasion though against bigger threats. He was also popular in the 90s and got a few short series where he was more of a ultra violent anti-hero. As a kid I liked it because I was young dumb and liked ultra violence. I now demand more from a story than decapitation (sadly) so I suspect my feelings towards those stories will be much more tepid.
To show the age, this is a 3 issue TPB that cost less than $7.