All Hell breaks loose! A review of Venom #13.1 & 13.2

And I thought Venom #13 was good! Things are just getting all kinds of crazy!

Post contains spoilers


So Hell has come to Earth, starting at Las Vegas. Now normally I would think Hell would be in New Jersey but I guess Marvel has different ideas. Ghost Rider, X-23, Red Hulk and Venom are the only ones standing between Hell and Earth. Now normally these four are pretty badass and even together they are badasses. However, this is Hell on Earth, even for these four, this won’t be a walk in the park. Not to mention they now have to face their Antithesis, living embodiments of all their fears and weakness. Our heroes now have to stop Hell and fight, X-666, The Evangelist, Ichor, and Encephalon.

Blackheart is pulling out all the cards to make sure his plan to bring Hell to Earth. However, something is still stopping his plan. He sends out Gari Oylet, his lover, out to find what is causing this and destroy it. It falls to Ghost Rider to stop her and leave the others to deal with the Antitheses. Sadly, it doesn’t take long for the others to fall to the Antitheses. Venom, Red Hulk, and X-23 are used to being powerhouses but these villains don’t play off strengths, but weaknesses.

It doesn’t take long for The Evangelist to break Venom and separate Flash from the Symbiote. He continues keeping Flash down about his past with his father and his drinking problem and quickly takes him out of the fight. For all his strengths Red Hulk still fails to take down Encephalon. He feeds of Red Hulk’s doubts and worries about the others not following his orders. It doesn’t take long for Red Hulk to call out for his mother..While the boys struggle with their pasts, X-23 struggles with who she is. X-666 doesn’t fight her head on but taunts X-23 as she makes her way to kill Blackheart for using her blood for more clones. Now as much as X-23 tries, she always ends up being a killer, someone with no soul, just a clone. Now that she has X-666 reminding her of what she has done, she might be reaching the breaking point.

Now while those three struggle. Ghost Rider is actually making progress. While she is able to out run Gari Oylet, she is attacked by Ichor, her Antithesis. However, unlike the others she is able to overcome her weakness. While Alejandra did commit crimes and terrible acts, their is no forgiveness for her. But Alejandra is also gone…All that is left is Ghost Rider. She then processed to run Ichor over and continues to race off. Doctor Strange and Daimon Hellstorm have arrived at the amulet placed by Blaze, and Strange can feel the weakness of those inside, falling to there deepest fears and weaknesses.

While our heroes are continue to get beat down and tossed around, they do not completely quit and that is what makes them so of the best out there. X-23 is used to being able to heal, but finds her cuts not healing. Why? Because Last Vegas is now Hell. X-666 continues to let X-23 go after Blackheart just to watch her suffer. So at least point, X-23 is not only suffering physically but mentally also. You can even see it in her face as she looks at X-666 when she tells her that she is a monster and belongs in Hell. She is starting to think she may be right.

While Ghost Rider was able to overcome Ichor, she still has to stop Hell from spreading. However, Blackheart keeps offering a seat in his new kingdom. She can forget all the horrors in her past but she continues to fight. Ghost Rider finally catches up with Gari Oylet and asks Blackheart if his new kingdom is worth the life of his love. He starts to panic and sends the remaining Antitheses to the town limits to stop the Ghost Rider. This frees Venom and Red Hulk from their weaknesses and allows them to regroup and think of what to do next. X-23 also finds herself free to go to Blackheart’s throne room. However, she finds her clones there and is forced to fight them.

Ghost Rider quickly finds herself attacked by the remaining Antitheses and while she has power, fighting all three might be a bit much. This is until Red Hulk and Venom show up to help out. From there last fight, they learned that each Antithesis is built to handle a different person. So Red Hulk and Venom change targets and finally start to get somewhere. The two try to buy more time for Ghost Rider to stop Gari Oylet and her gargoyles. Things are looking well into Evangelist blows a whole through Red Hulk’s chest. Encephalon also looks inside Ghost Rider and finds nothing…not a good thing. Venom sends Ghost Rider on her way, claiming he can hold and buy her sometime, even of it costs him his life. He uses the Evangelist’s book to blow off Encephalon’s head, and then strangles Evangelist, buying Ghost Rider all the time she needs. However, just when he thinks it’s all over, Gari Oylet comes from behind and snaps Venom’s neck.

X-23 continues to fight the clones on her way to kill Blackheart. He starts to try to get under her skin. X-23 thinks she and other clones don’t have souls, but she is in Hell right now, and you must have a soul to be in Hell. It is unclear if he is lying or telling the truth. But something to think about if you are an X-23 fan(I know I am becoming one). Just as she gets a chance to attack Blackheart, he activates a trapdoor and sends her falling into a pool of lava…healing or no healing, that is going to hurt like a bitch. Not to mention as long as they are in Hell, healing powers don’t work..

As Ghost Rider races to make sure Hell stays trapped in Vegas. She is faced with a number of things. To start, whatever Encephalon did to her is killing her. Not to mention that this whole time Blackheart has been trying to make deals with her and find ways to fix whatever she did in Nicaragua. Like the others before her, Ghost Rider falls to her own weaknesses, fears, and doubts and removes the amulet keeping Hell from spreading. As she does so she dies. Our heroes are all dead, Dr. Strange and Daimon Hellstorm might be the only ones left who can stop this..Regardless, things are not looking good..

I still feel bad I wasn’t able to get the review for 13.1 out last week. However, even if you don’t like how the new Venom is, pick up and read Circle of Four, it really has been fantastic so far. Can’t wait for next week for 13.3!


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