VENOM - ANNUAL #1 CLAYTON CRAIN EXCLUSIVE VARIANT (2019 - CONDITION NM)
🕸 CLAYTON CRAIN VARIANT EXCLUSIVE!
I don't like this. You guys, we shouldn't be talking about HIM like this. What if it gets back to him? - JACK O'LANTERN
Synopsis for "Tall Tales"
At the Bar with No Name, Mac Gargan, Shocker, and Black Cat listen as the new Jack O'Lantern tells them about his run-in with Venom. Scorpion sneers at Jack O'Lantern's fear, Shocker stating that last he heard Venom broke good and was a super-soldier. Scorpion corrects him, saying that the old Venom had been killed by Norman Osborn some time ago. Schultz incredulously asks if Gargan is saying Eddie Brock is dead, but Gargan states that he's talking about the other blond Venom. Confused, Schultz asks if he means the space-ranger Venom, wondering how many Venoms there are. Gargan boasts that he was Venom for a time, but is interrupted by Jack O'Lantern, who continues with his story; saying he'd been minding his own business, selling high-power weapons to bad guys, when Venom showed up speaking in tongues and gouged his right eye out; asking if they've seen the news that Venom's turned into a giant symbiote-dragon. The other villains don't buy it, but Black Cat steps in and tells them that Jack O'Lantern is right and that Venom is a vicious monster.
As Black Cat concludes her tale, Scorpion sneers at her before being interrupted by Lenny, the bartender; who tells Gargan to be more respectful towards women before sharing his own encounter with Venom to the group, noting that while they may be familiar with the Lethal Protector, he knew Venom back when he was a straight-up supervillain. When Lenny's tale finishes, Shocker notes that thus far all he's heard is stories of how Venom's gotten his butt kicked. In response, Lenny asks Shultz when the last time he gave Wolverine a run for his money was. Jack O'Lantern tries to change the subject, afraid that word of their gossip will reach Venom and result in their deaths, but Scorpion mocks him and asks what he thinks Venom could do if he found out. A man wearing a black executioner's hood and robe interjects, saying that Venom would rip Gargan's spine out and use it for floss, but Gargan refuses to be intimidated and boasts he could take "discount Spider-Man" on any day of the week. The hooded man disagrees, saying that Scorpion gets beaten by Spider-Man on a regular basis but that he's seen Venom take on the Juggernaut.
As the hooded man finishes his story, Scorpion laughs and states that in the version he'd heard, Venom had a hundred arms and the Wrecking Crew was there. Turning to face the others, Gargan states that Venom's fangs and claws are all for show and that he hasn't even eaten anyone. Behind Gargan, the man's executioner robe transforms into a flurry of black tendrils, and he speaks in a distorted voice - asking Gargan if he wants to know why Venom's so scary. As the man states that Venom can be anywhere, hears everything, and has all the time in the world; Gargan turns around in horror to see Venom towering over him as an amorphous mass with a massive fanged maw. Asking the patrons if they want to hear a story, he coils his tongue around Scorpion's head and opens his jaws.
As Scorpion screams in terror and patrons flee the bar, Venom calmly exits - the symbiote transforming into a trench coat and fedora.
🕸 CONDITION: NM
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