Superior Spider-Man 023-000I have a soft spot for Flash Thompson especially after Remender wrote him so compellingly and tragically in the Venom book. It was always an interesting concept in having the symbiote controlled for military purposes, and Flash having to keep control of himself and his ultimate weapon. Dan Slott has purposely kept the spider villains to the lower tiers, but now we see a big gun released, literally. Umberto Ramos is his typically exaggerated and distorted self in showing Flash reaching in desperation. His facial grimace is the most pertinent feature but Venom itself looks horribly malicious and out of control. The tongue is lashing and the teeth gnashing. It’s body is spider like but actually completely tormented. The cover in itself may not be overtly impressive but the theme is what really grips you. Though it is not obviously clear, Flash has had bilateral amputations and he is floored because he is unable to stand. He is left helpless and shouting to the symbiote because he needs him, but more importantly because he knows what Venom can do, and the danger it poses. Its destructive intent is well known to Flash because he contests it on a daily basis. This is why the cover is so important, it represents a separation of morality and malign actions. Form Flash’s perspective it represents his failure as a soldier and his sole purpose in life. The Darkest Hours tag is incredibly ominous and the black borders show how this certainly is the start of Spidey Ocks darker times.

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