While on the way to a police precinct to hand over the defeated Hobgoblin. Spider-Man is ambushed by the Demogoblin, along with the six limbed Spider-Doppleganger, who was left over from the Infinity War. Demogoblin seeks to sever his bond with Hobgoblin completely by killing him. The battle ends up in a nearby church, and soon goes underground into the sewers. Next, Ghost Rider and Blaze stumbles upon Spider-Man's battle, while in the middle of theirs with the Deathspawn. To make matters worse, Venom is also involved in the battle, and he soon changes his focus the very second he lays eyes on Spider-Man. -summary
This is the way to kick off and end an action packed mag; start off simple, end simple, keep it short, with no annoying characters. There is absolutely nothing mind bending or topsy turvy about this. Everything flows well from go and the guest appearances work well into the story in every way. Spirits of Venom is a trade paper back that captures the four part Spider-Man and Ghost Rider crossover; which took place in Web of Spider-Man #95 - #96 and Spirits of Vengeance #5 - #6. The stories continue and tie up storylines that carried over to here.
The story is action packed from almost the very first pages up until the end. I enjoyed the artwork overall, with Spirits of Vengeance being slightly better than Web of Spider-Man. Although the action wasn't too imaginative, there was more than enough fist action going on, with Blaze blasting his Hellfire gun to provide the style. There were plenty of fights with the Deathspawn, who are dark figures that resemble shadows, and they can even go through walls. They become a threat when they solidify for battle, and they even feed off humans. Other fights took place with the acting Deathspawn leaders Hag and Troll, as well as other confrontations between Ghost Rider/Venom, Spider-Man/Demogoblin, Venom/Doppleganger, and eventually Spider-Man and Venom. It was pretty easy to follow the action through the panels along with the dialogue bubbles. Speaking of the dialogue, the interactions added to the fun, with Venom going on with his brain and spleen eating talk. There was never a dull moment and the character designs were also a plus, with some sick artwork on Venom's mouth wide opened while laughing.
There is a bit of story going on here; the central plot mainly revolves around Ghost Rider villain Deathwatch, who happens to be the true leader of the Deathspawn. His servants Hag and Troll seek to steal his dead body from Ghost Rider, and use the Deathspawn, along with the life force of many people to revive him. Deathwatch was originally killed by Ghost Rider single-handedly in Ghost Rider # 25. Venom fits in because he was in hot pursuit of Hag and Troll to make them pay for murder, plus, he had recently escaped the Guardsmen.
Although there are several stray events mentioned along with various footnotes. The story is still easy to follow and understand. There are some small story points that are cleared up in much later issues, such as the reason why Spider-Man couldn't fire Blaze's Hellfire gun, but this is such a small issue that it doesn't hurt the story at all. For the most part, the bigger things are tied up here giving this story some immediate closure and that's always a good thing.
Normally, I don't really care for these all out action arcs, but what makes this story stand out when compared to let's say, Spider-Man: Round Robin, are the interesting characters, action, and lack of corniness. Spirits of Venom is a must read for fans of these characters. The pacing is splendid, it isn't dialogue heavy, and the character interactions have their stand out moments. Recommended.
Pros: -Loads of action -Pretty good guest stars -Doesn't require too much knowledge -Real good pacing
One of my all time favorite stories out there and one of the coolest drawn ones ever. I loved this story with Venom, Spidey, Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Hobgoblin, Demogoblin, Doppleganger and well just excellent situations in the sewers. Honestly this is a great story that makes enemies freinds and back again. This is a great TBP.
This story was a lot better than what it should've been. Cool action through out, and Venom seemed to fit in with Ghost Rider's world. This is a really good cross-over that went under the radar way back then.
Collects Web of Spider-Man #95-96 and Ghost Rider Blaze Spirits of Vengeance #5-6. Written by Howard Machie. Art by Alex Saviuk and Adam Kubert. It's Venom vs. Ghost Rider vs. Demogoblin vs. Johnny Blaze, and stuck in the middle of it all is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man! Cover by Adam Kubert. Includes a bonus pin-up gallery. Softcover, 96 pages, full color.