Venom: Tooth & Claw #3

Issue Date: 
February 1997
Story Title: 
To Do and Die!

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: 

Upon seeing Dirt Nap hanging captive from the ceiling, Venom, Wolverine and Emmett know they are entering into a trap. Their plan begins by having Wolverine and Venom fight over the fate of Dirt Nap. Once they do, Chimera reveals her position and sends Plasma Wraiths to do battle with them. As they battle, Wolverine is able to tackle Chimera and Venom is able to defeat the Wraiths. Eventually, Scream is able to free herself from Dirt Nap and is also able to free the rat, the kid, and special agent Daryll Smith of the Mutant Task Force. Realizing that she’s been defeated, Chimera destroys the room with lepton imploders which cause a vortex. Before Wolverine, Venom, and their allies are sucked into the vortex, Jerry and Rocky are able to open the spaceship and they save them. Chimera and Dirt Nap, however, are not so lucky and they fall into the vortex. Setting the course for Carnage, who they know is on Earth, the spaceship begins its journey home.

Full Summary: 

In a crack between realities, where a cold wind blows from the end of time, a symbiote, a mutant and an agent of an inter-dimensional trading firm have formed an alliance of sorts.

Entering the room where an individual is chained upside down, Venom asks his allies if they’re ready to step into the trap. Wolverine replies as ready as he’ll ever be and asks Emmett if he’s up for this. Emmett tells him that Landau, Luckman & Lake stands by its clients. Upon seeing the individual hanging from the ceiling, Venom mentions that it looks like Chimera has set out some fresh bait. Wolverine in turn tells him to cool it. They’re playin’ dumb, remember? Emmett remarks dat big lug ain’t gotta pretend. He then remarks that da bait toins out to be da shape-shifter Dirt Nap.

Dirt Nap exclaims that he’s seen the error of his ways. Just cut him down and he promises he’ll be good. Wolverine tells him that he must think they were born yesterday. Howsabout chuckin’ the kid he absorbed back on Earth, the one whose form he’s frontin’ right now.

Observing from an adjacent room, the Plasma Wraiths ask Chimera if she wants them to “attack/devour/discorporate the meat things.” Chimera tells them not yet, they must be ever so certain. Inside the spaceship, Rocky asks Jerry if he heard that. They’re gonna ambush the good guys. Jerry replies that there’s nothin’ they can do about it. As long as Chimera is generating the force field that keeps this Phage space ship shrunk down, they’re trapped. Rocky adds that if she lets the field down, they gotta be ready.

In the other room, Venom asks what they are doing mollycoddling this pernicious shape-shifting inter-dimensional criminal. They vote for biting off the top of his head and sucking out the brains. Wolverine tells him to “back off bub.” He’s not chompin’ down on this galoot until he figures a way to get that kid outta him. Venom angrily tells Wolverine to not point those overgrown cuticles at him. Wolverine says he’ll do more than point with ‘em and proceeds to slash Venom with his claws. Absorbing the slash, Venom asks if that was supposed to hurt.

In the other room, the Plasma Wraiths ask Chimera if they should go now. Can they “rip/eviscerate/mangle the sentient protoplasm?” Chimera replies that she wants to be sure this isn’t a ruse to draw them from cover. Landing hard up against a nearby wall, Wolverine asks Venom if he calls that his Sunday punch and answers back with a punch of his own. When he does, he calls Venom’s punch pathetic. Grabbing Wolverine’s head, Venom says let’s see if his brain can regenerate and heal as fast as they can eat it. Upon seeing that, Chimera tells her Plasma Wraiths this is no sham and sends them after Wolverine, Venom, and Emmett.

Just then, Emmett tosses a photon grenade in their room and blasts them. When he does, he remarks that’ll even up da odds some. Ceasing to battle each other, Venom says to Wolverine that they suckered them and reversed their trap. With that, Wolverine tells Chimera that it’s payback time. Chimera tells Wolverine that she thinks not. They missed a vital element of her trap. Did they think the chains and hooks hanging from the ceiling were simply part of the décor? Using her mind, Chimera ties Wolverine up with the chains and hooks. Tied up and dangling from the ceiling, Wolverine asks Chimera so she’s a telekinetic too? And here he thought she only had her crazy sock puppets.

On the ground, Venom faces off against three oncoming Plasma Wraiths. As they rush towards him, Venom asks if they have a single brain between them to munch on. The Plasma Wraiths tell him their substance is primal energy bound by ions/electrons/neutrons in an ionized flux. He may not sup of their bodies but they may devour his life force/soul/anima. Venom tells them that anybody who wants to have him for lunch has to bite off a chunk first. Tossing a grenade onto the Wraiths, Emmett says they can snack on that for starters.

Hanging from the ceiling, Wolverine quips to Chimera that they have to stop meeting like this. Talking to her hand, Chimera says he made a funny and asks if they should let him live. Chimera’s hand tells her “thwash him. Chew him up and thpit out the hard parth.” Chimera asks spit out the hard parts? Ooooh – that’s so nasty. When Wolverine tells her that she ain’t seen nasty yet, Chimera unleashes a being of energy from her hand and says that she thinks they shall gnaw those hard parts to bone meal betwixt their blazing teeth. Freeing himself from the chains at the last moment, narrowly missing the energy being, Wolverine mentions that the hard parts she’s talkin’ about are all o’ him. As he tackles Chimera, knocking the spaceship out of her grasp, Wolverine tells her that they will see who gets chewed up and spat out now.

Holding one of the Plasma Wraiths head in his hand and picking his teeth, Venom tells Dirt Nap that it’s his turn as soon as they pick the scraps out of their teeth. Dirt Nap calls out to Venom to chill out. He then tells him to remember who is inside there with him – his fellow symbiote, Donna. Once Dirt Nap transforms into Scream, Scream tells him that was a mistake. He can’t fully absorb symbiotes, which means that, when he assumes their forms, he loses a certain amount of control over them. Venom calls out to Donna to go for it, soften him up for them. Knocking Dirt Nap/Scream from the chains, Venom tells Scream to keep the shape-shifter neutralized so that he can eat his brains.

From across the room, Wolverine yells out to Venom and asks him how many times he has to tell him. No one puts the bite on Dirt Nap until he gets that kid back. Chimera tells Wolverine that is his weakness, he cares too much. At that moment, Chimera blasts Wolverine with her hand. As they begin to reform, the Plasma Wraiths state that the meat/carbon cycle beings can only dissipate/disperse them, a temporary/transitory condition at best. They await her, Chimera’s commands/directions. Pointing his weapon at Venom, Emmett tells him that Mr. Logan sez ta lay off and asks if he’s deaf or sumpthin. Smacking Emmett away, Venom asks hasn’t he noticed, he doesn’t have any ears.

Picking himself up off the ground, Wolverine angrily tells Chimera that they’re goin’ to throwdown city for the stompin’ marathon. Rushing towards Wolverine, Chimera continues to blast him and asks him if he’s a glutton for punishment. Ignoring her blasts, Wolverine tells her that she ain’t got what it takes to stop his clock. Grabbing her by the ankle and slamming her up against the wall, Wolverine says to her excuse him while he does some urban renewal in this ‘hood with her face. To assist her in her losing battle, Chimera orders her lambent beauties to flay her foe. As the Plasma Wraiths stand before him, Wolverine asks flay him? That’s rich. It puts him in the mood to slice, dice, fillet, and julienne these walkin’ nightmares. With that, Wolverine begins to viciously tear into the Plasma Wraiths with unbridled fury.

Standing over Dirt Nap, Venom pulls back on his jaws and tells him to give Scream up. He knows he can do it. He regurgitated him after he swallowed them whole. As Wolverine tells him not to do it, Scream exits Dirt Nap’s mouth. When she does, Venom welcomes her back to the land of the undigested. Across the room, Emmett tells Mr. Logan that he’ll deal with da leather frails if he wants to go punch Venom’s ticket. Logan thanks him and immediately goes after Venom. Punching him, Wolverine asks him didn’t he tell him that he needs to get that kid out of Dirt Nap before he tears his head off? Venom asks how he was going to manage that – by asking him nicely.

Facing off against Dirt Nap, Scream tells him that he hopes he gave him an ulcer the size of Rhode Island while he was inside him. When Dirt Nap replies that it didn’t faze him, Scream tells him that she can fix that right quick and proceeds to punch Dirt Nap in the gut. When Scream wraps her tentacles around Dirt Nap’s neck, Venom stops fighting Wolverine for a moment and tells him to check it out. Donna can be terribly convincing when she’s got a death grip on somebody’s throat.

As Scream continues to squeeze his neck, Dirt nap regurgitates the kid, a rat and an African-American man. At that moment, a bald creature with a large head, three clawed toes on each foot, and four clawed fingers on each hand says now that everybody is out of him, they’re square. And now that they see what he looks like when he doesn’t have a genetic structure ingested to morph off of, they know why he does what he does. What would they do if they were in his place?

Pointing his gun at Dirt Nap, the African-American man states that he wouldn’t be breaking the law like he’s been doing. Introducing himself as special agent Daryll Smith of NSA and the Mutant Task Force, he states that he was just about to bust the ugly gazoony when he got the jump on him and had him for lunch. Wiping the slime off of his face, the kid that Dirt Nap had ingested asks where he is. He had went down to Times Square to stand on line for tickets to “Cats” and the next thing he knew, he was swimming in amino acids.

Emmett explains to him that they’re in a warp shunt. Da gaslight frail Chimera done did da double whammy on them and left them halfway ta nowhere wid an expired trolley ticket. Confused, the kid asks what the hey he is talking about. Approaching Daryll, Wolverine asks him that since he’s with the Mutant Task Force if he has any beef with him. Daryll says Logan, no first name, Canadian national, military records sealed until 2026, ultra hush. Yeah, he read his file but he’s not waltzing around gobbling tax-payers off the street like this wacko. Even feds have priorities. Venom quips that that’s comforting to know.

Standing a little further away, Chimera notices that her foes are all smugly satisfied, paying no attention to her. That is their undoing. Chimera then tosses devices over in the direction of where Wolverine, et al are standing. When they land, Emmett yells out that the devices are lepton imploders and tells everybody to head for da hills. As they run off, Wolverine asks if those are the same things that collapsed the warp chamber door in on itself. Emmett replies that they are the very same and he used up his only quark emulation disruptor on da last one.

When Wolverine asks his allies if anybody has any bright ideas for getting’ outta this pickle, Venom remarks that he thinks he should have clawed deep furrows through Chimera’s brain while he had the chance. Wolverine states that he said ideas, not recriminations. Emmett points out that Chimera messed up. She’s gonna get sucked inta da vortex with them. Upon hearing that, Chimera exclaims that she doesn’t care, as long as they all meet the same fate.

Just then, after attempting to expand the spaceship for quite some time, Jerry and Rocky finally figure out how to open it much to their surprise and excitement. Taking the controls, Rocky tells Jerry to open the hatch and to tell the others to get on board. When Jerry asks if anybody wants a ride, Wolverine tells him to bring the ship as close as he can.

Once the ship moves closer, Wolverine puts Emmett into the ship and tells him that once he’s braced, haul the kid in there. The kid mentions that his name is Algernon but Wolverine says yeah, whatever. Tossing Scream into the ship, Venom states that they had better pick up the pace before they all get sucked down into the drainage sump of the universe. Inside the ship, Daryll tells Rocky that they need to get back for his prisoner. Rocky tells him no way. The crate is blowin’ gaskets just tryin’ to stay in place.

Outside the ship, Dirt Nap loses his grip and begins to fall into the vortex. Before he does, he grabs Chimera’s leg in an attempt to save himself. When he does, Chimera yells at him to let go. She can’t hold on with his added weight. Dirt Nap replies that he ain’t goin’ in there by himself. Just then, Chimera loses her grip and they both tumble into the vortex. As Chimera calls Dirt Nap a cretin and tells him to look at what he’s done, Dirt Nap tells her to get over it.

At that moment, ship is safe and the vortex gone. Wolverine asks Emmett what happened and he is told that the vortex had exploded. Dat gaslight frail must o’ had some fierce wild molecules in her. Donna exclaims that this great, they’re saved but Venom tells her to not speak so soon. They’re still hopelessly lost in the vast reaches of who-knows-where. Wolverine says Venom is right, they’re in it deep fer sure. He then asks Emmett if he has any ideas. Emmett responds that he just uses da warp chambers, he ain’t got a clue ‘bout how dey woik. After Donna again says this is just great, Emmett smiles at her and points out dat’s what she said before.

Just then, Jerry exclaims that he knows how to get home. That Phage creep used this ship to track down symbiotes, right? If they set the automatic tracker to lock on a symbiote they know is back on Earth… Rocky says right, and tells him to set it to Carnage. Jerry remarks now if they can only figure out how to punch it up to warp ten. Making his way over to him, Wolverine tells Jerry that he did good. When Jerry says it was nuttin’, Emmett tells him that he’s puttin’ him in fer da Landau, Luckman & Lake stockholders appreciation certificate.

Turning his attention to Venom, Wolverine calls him a big-toothed slobberin’ psychopath and they are gonna have words. Venom asks if he cares to converse between bouts of all-out mayhem, or does he intend to engage in witty repartee whilst the fur is flying? Rocky yells at them to chill out but Wolverine tells him this is between him and Venom. Rocky replies that he may be a kid but he’s piloting this vessel and that makes him the captain. So he’s ordering the two of them to sit down on opposite ends of the ship and not talk to each other until they get back to Earth. Venom asks what and begins to call Rocky a little snot-nosed… but Wolverine tells him to siddown, he heard the captain. Grudgingly, Venom does as he is told as the ship continues its journey home.

Characters Involved: 

Venom (Eddie Brock)


Emmett (agent of Landau Luckman & Lake)


Dirt Nap

Plasma Wraiths

Scream (Donna Diego)

Two young boys – Jerry and Rocky

Special agent Daryll Smith of the NSA and Mutant Task Force


Story Notes: 

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

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.

Chimera, Dirt Nap, and the Plasma Wraiths are next seen in Generation X #33-38, assisting Emplate.

Chimera was most recently seen in Uncanny X-Men #503-504 and 508-511 where she is a member of the Sisterhood.

Issue Information: 
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