Spider-Man/Venom FCBD 2020 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 22, 2020


Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Colours: David Curiel
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

The first of two stories in this FCBD Spider-man is a Spider-Man & Black Cat tale called Moonlighting. The basic premise is Black Cat & Spider-man teaming up to stop The Vulture making a weapons deal. Nothing too original or clever about that plot. Except that isn’t really what the story is about. That’s just a fun backdrop to get Peter & Felicia together, and the real focus on the story is the two of them and their complicated history together.

It’s a fun story and is exactly what Free Comic Book Day stories should be about. They advance the story, are a bit of fun, and a nice bonus adventure for fans. And at the price point of free that’s exactly what fans are after. It teases a little about Black Cat’s ongoing adventures, and all the appearances she’s put in recently, but only a little tease. Enough to entice readers to pick up the ongoing Black Cat series if they aren’t already.

The art from Patrick Gleason is excellent throughout, the action packed scenes with The Vulture are fun and frantic, but it’s the quiet moments with Peter & Felicia sharing sushi on a rooftop that really shine. David Curiels colours are great as well, between Spider-Man and The Vultures costume he’s got plenty of colours to draw, but again it’s the quiet shared moments between Spider-Man and Black Cat which work really well.

A fun team up between Spider-Man and Black Cat, excellent banter between the two against a backdrop of taking down The Vulture make for a fun adventure. The art is excellent. As a free story it can’t be recommended enough.


Storytellers: Donny Cates & Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colours: Frank Martin
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Venom picks up immediately in the aftermath of Venom #25 where Eddie has just told The Avengers all about Knull. It’s a nice opportunity to see their reactions which we missed previously, as well as look at the aftermath of Venom Island. But that’s not the real draw of the story, which is the introduction of Virus.

Virus is the new villain for Venom, and has been teased on Social Media for a few months now. His identity is unknown, but he has a serious grudge against Eddie and every intention of killing him. It’s unclear what his problem with Eddie is, but he seems to know quite a bit about Eddie and his current circumstances. As far as first introductions go he makes quite an impression and promises to be an exciting storyline down the line.

The original release schedule for this FCBD story was before Venom #26, due to COVID-19 effectively messing up comics for a little while its meant that this has released after Venom #26 rather than before, which isn’t the end of the world but would have been better being released in the planned order. It’s a more organic fit inbetween #25 and #26, since it follows up the ending of #25 as well as introducing us to Virus before his appearance in #26. The only real knock on effect of that is Virus’s introduction in Venom #26 was a little lacklustre compared to this one.

Ryan Stegman is back on art duties after a break following Venom Island. His art and Cates’ writing go hand in hand for what makes Venom great, they both compliment each other and looks incredible. Stegmans’ version of Brock perfectly encapsulates the character and brings him to life fantastically. The detail which goes into each panel is extraordinary, the action scenes are outstanding, but it’s the detail and emotion on Eddie’s face as the story progresses which really stands out. And as good an artist as he is, it’s JP Mayers inks and Frank Martins colours which not only finish the art off, but help to produce an incredibly gorgeous comic.

Another excellent FCBD story, it fills in the blanks between Venom #25 & #26, but most importantly it introduces readers to Virus. Fans of Donny Cates run will lap this up, Ryan Stegmans art is incredible as always, and released as a free comic it’s a no brainer. Pick this up at your LCS today.

Our Score:


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