Venom: Tooth & Claw #2

Issue Date: 
January 1997
Story Title: 
Vollied and Thundered

Larry Hama (script), Joe St. Pierre (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Tom Smith (coloring), Ken Lopez (lettering), Tom Brevoort (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Entering through the warp chamber door, Dirt Nap is chased by Venom, the spaceship, and Wolverine and Emmett. When Wolverine notices that Dirt Nap still has the essence of the young boy he had possessed inside of him, he tells Venom not to hurt Dirt Nap until they can discover how to save the kid. As they begin to fight, the spaceship opens and Scream tussles with Dirt Nap. During the battle, Dirt Nap possesses Scream. At that moment, Chimera enters the room along with Plasma Wraiths. Using the Wraiths as a distraction, Chimera leaves with Dirt Nap and the spaceship in tow and enters another area and eventually, another room. There, Chimera destroys the only way for Wolverine and Venom to return home, by blowing up the room and creating a vortex. Agreeing to work together, Venom and Wolverine make their way to the room with the vortex. Wolverine is almost sucked into a black hole but he is saved by Venom and they are in turn both saved by Emmett, who utilizes a device to stop the vortex. In another area, Chimera hangs Dirt Nap upside down as bait. Flanked by a number of Plasma Wraiths, Chimera tells Dirt Nap that when the heroes get there they won’t know what hit them.

Full Summary: 

Somewhen, in the ether between realities, a door that wasn’t merely a door popped open and a rat that wasn’t merely a rat (Dirt Nap) hopped through. The rat that wasn’t merely a rat was being chased by a human and an alien occupying one body in a symbiotic relationship (Venom). The symbiote (for that is what it was) was followed by a mutant with claws (Wolverine), a young boy from another dimension (Emmett) and an alien spaceship (that could fold itself up into a topological anomaly) which contained a female symbiote (Scream) and two (2) kids (Jerry and Rocky) on skateboards. And that is when things got interesting…!

As he continues to give chase to Dirt Nap, the spaceship bounces off of Venom’s head. When it does, Venom turns to Wolverine and tells him to bounce a chrome football off his head, they’ll eat his brain. Wolverine proceeds to inform him that it wasn’t his lateral that beaned him. That silver pigskin has got a life of its own. Shooting his weapon at Dirt Nap and missing, Emmett quips “rats, he missed the rat.”

Just then, the spaceship begins to unfold. When it begins to do so, Jerry asks what’s going on. Donna Diego (Scream) states that their phage spaceship just “tagged” its programmed target – Venom – and completed its mission. Now it’s expanding to allow the phage to attack and devour its prey. Jerry tells Donna that’s very interesting but they’re not going to eat anybody. Rocky agrees. They’re just gonna get run down by some weirdoes on a motorcycle or chomped on by Venom. Smiling, Donna informs the boys that she thinks the guys on the Harley are on their side and Venom may not be her best pal, but at least they’re both symbiotes.

Chasing after Dirt Nap, Emmett asks Mr. Logan to keep the bike steady while he continues to blast away at their quarry to which Logan asks him if he thinks this is easy. Venom then tells Wolverine to reign in his sidekick. They’ve got dibs on Dirt Nap for eating symbiotes without a license. Dirt Nap replies that he is the only symbiote he ever partook of, and he is well-nigh indigestible. Blasting away at Dirt Nap, Emmett states that he’ll “moidelize da liddle rodent.” When Venom exclaims that they told him to lay off, Emmett tells him that his mudder wears army boots.

Just then, Dirt Nap morphs into the image of a young child and asks Wolverine if they remember him. Upon seeing the face, Wolverine exclaims it’s the kid. Emmett tells him that it’s just da rat puttin’ on da hoo-doo face change but Wolverine orders him to hang fire. They can’t punch Dirt Nap’s ticket while there’s still a chance o’ getting that kid outta him. Leaping over towards Dirt Nap, Venom grabs his tongue. As he does, he says to him that he’s got a tongue twister for the shape-shifter. If they tied a propeller to this, he could take off.

After seeing what is transpiring, Wolverine tells Emmett to bail out. He’s down for a one-on-one with this bad boy before he does something he’ll make him regret. Once Emmett bails out, Wolverine rushes towards Venom and Dirt Nap. While Venom continues to beat on Dirt Nap, Wolverine yells at him to step back from the creep. Dirt Nap’s holding a genetic imprint that he wants back even if he has to pop a six-pack o’ throw down on his funky butt. When Wolverine crashes his motorcycle into Venom, Venom tells him that he knows, of course, this means war.

Across the room, Rocky asks his buddy Jerry and Donna where the heck are they, this is some gonzo alien landscape. Rocky retorts maybe they’re in Kansas. Just then, Donna sees Dirt Nap rushing towards them. She proceeds to tell him not so fast. If Venom had a gripe with him, maybe she should shake him down and see what rattles. Ceasing to rush forward, Dirt Nap replies no problem and transforms from the shape of the kid to a large monstrous looking rat. All that upchucking has put him in the mood for some tasty hors d’ouvres. When Rocky says that he doesn’t see no canapés, Jerry informs him that he’s talking about them. Transforming into Scream, Donna says not if she can help it.

Slashing away at Dirt Nap, Scream tells him to eat symbiote fist shape-shifter. Dirt Nap replies no thank you. As foul and indigestible as symbiotes are, it’s far more convenient to swallow them whole than trade punches with them. With that, Dirt Nap absorbs Scream and takes her form, much to the boys’ dismay.

As the boys rush towards the spaceship for safety, Dirt Nap chases after them. Before he can reach the boys, Venom extends a tentacle, wraps it around Dirt Nap’s leg, and slams him up against the wall. While he does, he asks leaving so soon, the fun is just beginning. Wolverine says to him that he just doesn’t get it, does he? Taking refuge inside the spaceship, Rocky tells Jerry to close the hatch, they’ve got to get out of there. Jerry tells him it’s not like he’s got the instruction manual. He still can’t figure out how this thing is a hundred times as big inside as it is outside.

Just then, a door opens and Chimera enters the room. She then asks what they have there – a whole waiting room full of people without appointments. Her right hand responds “twist their ugly little heads off.” Firing away, Emmett points out to Wolverine that it’s da gaslight frail and she’s talkin’ wid her hands again. Popping his bone claws, Wolverine asks Chimera if she’s lookin’ for more o’ what he dealt her last time. Chimera replies that the last time, she didn’t have a bevy of Plasma Wraiths with her. Sending them to attack her foes, Chimera tells them to disrupt their temporal stability with the light of a billion tomorrows.

As they proceed to attack Venom and Wolverine, the Plasma Wraiths say “sentient protoplasm/meat/protein pastlings” and “devolve/die/rot and hurt for nevermore.” Standing up to one of the Plasma’s blows, Venom tells them that they said a mouthful.

Just then, the spaceship folds in on itself and transforms back into an oblong sphere. When it does, Rocky asks Jerry what he did; he made the ship collapse again. Jerry tells him that he was just trying to close the hatch. Oh well, they wanted to get outta there, didn’t they? As the spaceship zooms off, Chimera captures it in the energy being emitting from her right hand. A topological anomaly transport module is not an artifact she intends to let slip past her grasp.

Standing next to her, Dirt Nap tells Chimera that they make a pretty good team. Now if he can only disgorge this symbiote. Chimera asks her hand if that presumptuous pile of putrid pus addresses moi in too familiar a way. Her hand tells her “it doesn’t know its place. Take it with us to the cusp of all badness.” Dirt Nap states that he hopes that’s a euphemism. Capturing Dirt Nap with another energy being, Chimera tells him it’s not, it’s an understatement and proceeds to escape through another door.

As they continue to battle the Plasma Wraiths, Wolverine informs Venom that they are sentient energy beings from the Crunch at the end of time. Biting his foes arm, Venom asks if that is why they make their teeth burn when they chomp down on them. While they finish off the Plasma Wraiths simultaneously, Wolverine tells him that he nailed it.

Facing Wolverine, Venom tells him that it looks like they’ve both got some hash to settle with Dirt Nap. And now this Chimera has snagged his two little friends too. He figures they oughtta bury the hatchet and join forces until they deal with the real problem there. Emmett states that he thinks they should take dis big lug out back and blow his brains into da next continuum. Besides, he’s poachin’ on da Expediter’s turf. Wolverine tells Emmett that they ain’t snuffin’ anybody outta hand. But on the other hand, they don’t wanna be watchin’ their backs while they track down Dirt Nap. He then tells Venom that they should call a truce. But he sure ain’t no pal o’ his. Punching their fists together, Venom tells him good enough.

Entering the same door Chimera and Dirt Nap went through, the trio find themselves in a strange area full of a number of ramps and ladders. Venom quips that that was some door, it’s like some bizarre alternate reality on the other side Wolverine adds that his ol’ sniffer ain’t much use there and wonders how they track her down in this ball o’ confusion. Emmett responds dat ain’t no problem for them bona-fide agents o’ Landau, Luckman & Lake. Advanced thermal trace imaging devices are standard issue. After using it, the trio can see in which direction Chimera went.

Further in the strange world, Chimera informs Dirt Nap that she went to a lot of trouble to set Wolverine up. She intercepted a confidential LL&L memo about Logan’s appointment with Zoe Culloden, a.k.a. the Expediter and she arranged for a certain party to be in the waiting room to soften up Logan for her. Dirt Nap asks that was him, huh. Chimera tells him yes, it was him and it would have worked if he hadn’t dragged Venom and those kids along with him. She should just drop him into a black hole. Now, she has to go to plan B.

Grabbing him by the hair, Chimera asks if she can trust him to behave from now on. Dirt Nap tells her yes, absolutely, no doubt about it. Chimera replies good and then orders him to carry the collapsing spaceship with the kids in it and follow her. Seeing an extremely tall ladder, Dirt Nap asks up there? What does he do if the kids start up the ship? Chimera says that she’s generating a containment field around it. It’s not going anywhere.

Inside the new area, Chimera asks Dirt Nap if this looks familiar. Dirt Nap replies that this is the office he landed in when he went through the door marked W.C. Chimera says precisely and walks across the room to another door. She states it is the inter-reality side of the warp chamber door that leads back to the Earth that Logan and Venom call home. Looking for her lepton imploder, Chimera finds it in her cleavage and discovers it it’s all nice and warm. When she slaps it on the door, Dirt Nap asks if it’s a grenade. Chimera tells him that it’s even better.

Inside the spaceship, Rocky points out to Jerry that she just slapped a grenade on their only way back home. Can’t he get this thing rolling? Jerry tells him he’s trying but none of the controls are responding. Just then, the grenade explodes and the door is blown up. When it does, Dirt Nap exclaims that it’s sucking them in. Chimera tells him not her. She is generating a stasis field that counteracts the forces exerted by the mini black hole resulting from the collapse of the warp chamber. She adds that now Logan and Venom are trapped there unless they can find another warp chamber home. And that doesn’t seem likely, does it?

Grabbing Dirt Nap by the hair, Chimera makes her way towards another door marked processing. As Dirt Nap tells Chimera that she is nasty to the bone, Chimera thanks her and tells him that is sweet. Inside the spaceship, Jerry mentions to Rocky that they are definitely up the creek now but Rocky tells him that they ain’t licked yet.

Reaching the ladder, Venom begins to climb it until Wolverine stops him. He tells him that he doesn’t want him trashin’ Dirt Nap before he gets a chance to extract the kid. He’s goin’ up first. Venom says adds that Dirt Nap’s got Donna inside of him too. Scowling, Wolverine asks if they are gonna throw down over this. Venom tells him no. The truce is still on for the time being.

Ascending the ladder, Wolverine asks Emmett if he minds watchin’ his back to which Emmett admits to do so. Reaching the top, Wolverine whispers to the others that it’s a trap door. He then tells them to keep it quiet, he’s gonna bust it open and go in chargin’. Opening the door, Wolverine is sucked in by some kind of vortex. When Venom asks what, Emmett tells him that it looks like da woik of a lepton imploder. Attempting to slow himself down from flying through the door on the other side of the room by jamming his claws into the walls, Wolverine remarks that whatever it was, it collapsed the warp chamber door in on itself. He then tells the other two that they had better save themselves. He ain’t gonna be able to hold out against this suction much longer.

When Emmett and Venom both inform him that neither of them are buggin’ out on him, Wolverine tells them to forget it, there’s no way. Venom says no way unless you’re in symbiosis with an alien other. Wolverine begins to ask what use… Venom informs him they can anchor and extend. Emmett tells Venom that he better shake a leg, the trap door frame is discorporatin’. Just as Wolverine loses his grip and is sucked through the door, Venom is able to grab his arm and save him.

Once Wolverine is saved, the room begins to make a creaking sound. Upon hearing it, Venom points out that the whole room is coming apart and getting pulled into the vortex. Pulling a device out of his pocket, Emmett states that he wuz savin’ dis Q.E.D. (quark emulation disruptor) for a special occasion and dis is as special as it gets. Once activated, the room reverts back to normal and the vortex is gone. Wolverine turns to Venom and tells him that it looks like he owes him one. Venom retorts that they both owe the kid. And they wonder if he would have pulled them back if they had been the first one through the door. Wolverine tells him the next time, Venom can go first and they’ll find out. Venom remarks won’t that be interesting.

Pulling out the scanning device, Emmett tells them to eighty-six da repartee, da trail is growin’ cold. Finding another door, Emmett states that it looks like Chimera didn’t even bother to cover her tracks ‘cause she figgered the lepton imploder would do da trick. Entering the new door, Venom points out or more likely, those tracks are meant to lead them into another trap. Wolverine asks that he’s always ready to think the best of folks, ain’t he? Emmett points out that da gaslight frail ain’t just “folks.”

In another room, Dirt Nap is in the form of the kid and is chained and hangs upside down. Calling out to Chimera he asks her that she didn’t just string him up and abandon him there, did she. Chimera tells him to be quiet. Flanked by five Plasma Wraiths, she tells Dirt Nap that it is the job of the decoy to thrash around, look appealing and attract attention but not the betray the hunters in the blind. When Logan and his friends make their inevitable appearance, they’ll never know what hit them.

Characters Involved: 

Venom (Eddie Brock)

Wolverine (Logan)

Emmett (agent of Landau Luckman & Lake)


Dirt Nap

Plasma Wraiths

Scream (Donna Diego)

Two young boys – Jerry and Rocky

Story Notes: 

Wolverine first met Dirt Nap and was possessed by him back in Wolverine (2nd series) #95. In that same issue, Dirt Nap also ingested a young boy.

Wolverine battled Chimera in Wolverine (2nd series) #97.

Wolverine faced off against the Plasma Wraiths back in Wolverine (2nd series) #52-53 when he battled alongside Spiral against Mojo at the Crunch.

Issue Information: 
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