Flash fights one of his personal idols to save his family's life.
Jack 'O Lantern arrives at the funeral for Flash's father. Jack taunts Flash subtly in front of Flash's girlfriend, Betty. He introduces himself as Flash's friend without giving away the fact that he knows Flash is Venom. Jack later brings Flash to his boss, The Crime Master, for further taunting and blackmailing. Crime Master tells Flash to head to Las Vegas and that the symbiote suit will know what to do from there.
The next day, Flash is at Project Rebirth to grab the Venom suit, but before too much time passes Captain America arrives. Cap announces the suit is too dangerous and that he's taking it back to The Avengers. Flash slips out wearing the Venom suit before Cap makes it into the secured area, however. Cap gives chase, they eventually fight, Flash hits Cap too hard rendering him unconscious and sending him over a cliff. Flash saves Cap, but leaves Cap unconscious and heads back to Project Rebirth to steal Cap's motorcycle!
I very much enjoy Jack 'O Lantern as Venom's enemy. I love how creepy he looks and that he knows Venom's alias. This sort of mirrors the classic dynamic between Spidey and Goblin in a fitting way, since Spidey is Flash's ultimate hero. Flash Thompson is no Peter Parker, however, and writer Rick Remender really does an excellent job portraying this difference.
Reading Rick's work is fun because the dialog beats lay the foundation so well for the story twists. From Jack claiming Flash to be his AA sponsor; to the liberal, Project Rebirth scientist quipping Captain America; this script moves along in a delightful way. Flash fending off the symbiote's corruption, not letting it near his own thoughts, is equally fun to watch because it's not in your face, so to speak.
Remender's gang of decadent villains are very realistic, they party hard to the point of distaste, yet the reader is not burdened with having to watch it, it's subtly there in the dialog. This is to Rick Remender's credit because he shows how "cool" yet uncool the characters really are.
Also it's fun that Project Rebirth is what originally produced Captain America. So it's fitting for Cap to what to shut the program down, or take the symbiote away even though the project just helped Cap (when Cap was a genetically altered spider monster only a few issues ago).
Of equal note: Flash, in desperation, admits to himself that he's nothing without the suit. It's interesting to peer into the heart of a former bully who wants to do the right thing, yet still has this quiet insecurity about himself. It's moments like these that keeps my interest in reading this series. It's hard to suspend disbelief about Flash's leg loss, however, this is a Marvel Universe character, after all. Still, it's interesting to follow him in this phase of his journey.
Remender really sells the idea of Flash being in the symbiote suit in this issue. Not only does the suit grant him similar powers of his main idol, Spider-Man, but it really probes deeper into the type of stuff Flash is made of. Because Jack-O-Lantern and Crime Master know Flash is Venom, Flash has no choice but to go AWOL and not let Cap take the suit. All of this should fit nicely into why Flash eventually ends up in the Secret Avengers which Rick will be writing soon.
All of this is really good. Medinas' pencils are not too flashy, but solid which works with Remender's script perfectly.
However! There's one thing I should point out. Back at Flash's dad's funeral guess who was there too? Peter Parker! Meaning his spider-sense should of went crazy as Jack O' Lantern was stalking. Not cool! That's pretty much a Spidey adventure in the making right there! Oh well, maybe Dan Slott will write the reason for this somewhere in The Amazing Spider-Man.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 WEBS! GET THIS BOOK! If Peter Parker didn't show up to the funeral to begin with this would of been a five-starer!