Welcome back to X-ual Healing, the weekly recap column where we obsessively read every X-Men and X-Men-adjacent comic that Marvel publishes, tell you what happens, provide additional context where necessary, and examine whether the comic makes good use of the long and convoluted history of the X-Men by referencing it in a way that’s accessible to new readers — because we here at X-ual Healing love the X-Men, and we want everyone else to love them too.
The X-Men are returning to their rightful place of prominence after a decade of insults and neglect by a Marvel editorial that feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, which means it’s finally time for X-fans to enjoy some…
If you need to know more on the premise of this column, check out the longer explanation here.
VENOMIZED #5 (of 5)
CULLEN BUNN (W) • IBAN COELLO (A)
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Variant Cover by TBA
CONNECTING VARIANT COVER BY MARK BAGLEY (5 OF 5)
• It’s winner take all when VENOM joins Earth’s heroes in an all-out final assault on the Poison base.
• Will a new ally of the X-Men be enough to turn the tide against the might of Poison Thanos?
• Earth’s warriors battle for not only the fate of the planet — but of the entire universe as they know it!
• Don’t miss the conclusion to VENOMIZED!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Venomized #5 is, we hope — dear god, we hope — the end of what has seemed like an endless crossover between Venom and the X-Men. The issue opens where the last left off, with Poison Thanos battling Kid Kaiju’s monsters. The monsters are stomping him until the one named Scragg gets hit with a symbiote and then Poisonized. The comic isn’t even bothering to explain how any of this works anymore, and, fair enough, it’s the last of a five-issue mini-series, after all. That’s what we’re here for anyway.
The basic premise: symbiotes bond with hosts, and Poisons are like parasites who bond with the symbiote and consume the host. Kid Kaiju is shocked by this development, and his magic drawing powers can’t do anything to stop it. This is a very tragic development for all three fans of Monsters Unleashed.
IN SPAAAACE, the X-Men, Venom, and some randos riding in Danger the Blackbird are heading to the Poison Mothership, pursued by poisons including Poison Nova who we guess got turned last issue. They manage to crash-land into the mothership, sealing the hole they made with hard-light projections, which is explained via X-pository dialogue.
Venom needles Cyclops for still believing Jean Grey is still alive inside her Poison and leading them into a trap, something he insists is impossible. Suddenly, Poison Carnage shows up, teleported back to the ship by Poison Doctor Druid. Black Suit Spider-Man and Venom take on Poison Carnage while the Scott, Hank, and Bloodstorm look for Jean. Bloodstorm points out that they’re probably all going to die, but Scott is in full-on Scott Summers self-sacrifice mode, which Bloodstorm thinks is cute.
As usual though, Scott can only think about Jean. Speaking of whom, they find her, but she’s some kind of ghost, like Doom’s mom for Poison Doom, Death for Poison Thanos, and Professor X for Poison Jean, as we’ve seen in previous issues. In fact, while Scott sees Jean, Hank sees the Goblin Queen (actually a clone of Jean to whom adult Scott was married before he left her for real Jean, and who then turned into a demon during the Inferno X-over event back in the ’80s, and was most recently seen encouraging time-displaced Hank to pursue dark magic), and Bloodstorm is finally able to make some sense of this comic…
Back on Earth, Poison Scragg is wrecking Manhattan, so Agent Anti-Venom uses his Poison-killing powers to murder him. He has a very touching death scene that we’re sure would really move anyone who read Monsters Unleashed or its follow-up, Monsters Unleashed, but that isn’t us, so we’ll just move along.
In space, Poison Carnage is kicking Venom’s and Spider-Man’s butts while the other heroes stand around and watch. Carnage stabs Spider-Man through the chest, but that happens regularly in Cullen Bunn comics and no one ever dies from it. It happened to Scott Summers in the previous Venom X-over, Poison X, and look, he’s fine now! Venom tosses Carnage and Spider-Man out into space, and he shames Spider-Man for his anti-symbiote racism now that he’s going to need to rely on that symbiote to survive.
In the throne room, Scott, Hank, and Bloodstorm are helpless against the power of the Poisons. Poison Jean and Doctor Doom finally start to provide some X-position on all of this, even though the comic is blessedly almost over. The Poisons are all part of something called The Hive, and they’re all connected. The ghosts top Poisons keep talking to are actually manifestations of the Hive. Hive Professor X tells Jean that it knows she’s been resisting and it’s going to punish her. She’s just another anomoly, like Carnage.
Then, Scott calls out to Jean, and, hearing the voice of her true love, Jean gathers up the power of all the Poisons she’s telepathically connected to and bursts out of her Poison shell to become a glowing, strategically naked energy being.
Then she kills all the Poisons and saves the day, and all of a sudden, after all that @#$%talking, Venomized has become one of our favorite X-Men comics in recent memory purely because the entire event hinged on the love between Jean and Scott, which is peak X-Men in our opinion.
The X-Men gather up Spider-Man from space and head home. Daredevil did jack @#$% this whole issue. Why did he even get on the plane?
Jean uses X-pository caption boxes over a montage to reveal that most of the poisons are dead, but some (like a Poison Wolverine, presumably Jimmy Hudson?) and Carnage survived, and some of the heroes, like Spider-Man, are still stuck with symbiotes. Kid Kaiju and his monsters are sad about Skragg, but we don’t care. It’s left unclear whether the other heroes who were turned into Poisons are now okay, dead, or still Poisons. Hopefully, it’s no longer our problem.
Mercifully, this is over and we can go back to not reading any Venom comics for the foreseeable future and the X-Men Blue team can get back to the business of their regular storylines.
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