Brand New Day, Same Old Idea

This charming fellow is Anti-Venom, the new character set to debut in Amazing Spider-Man when writer Dan Slott returns to the book in August. If you remember what happened in Slott’s first Amazing story, which just so happened to be the first “Brand New Day” story, then you’ll remember the character Slott previously introduced, Mr. Negative. Here’s what I wrote about Mr. Negative then:

There’s a new villain named Mr. Negative. He has the power to…um…be the opposite color of what he should be…or something. He’s a low level crime boss who’s trying to take out the heads of the mob families in New York so that he can run the show. He has a bomb, some kids are in danger, Spidey saves the day. Mr. Negative escapes. The end. The whole thing seemed nothing more than a generic super hero adventure. And with someone as bad ass as The Hood running around trying to take control of New York’s criminal element, Mr. Negative seemed all the more pointless.

And since nothing’s been done with the character since, I stand by that assessment.

And it seems once again that Dan Slott’s introducing a new character that seems to have nothing new about it but an inverted color scheme. Anti-Venom’s origin could be tied into that of Mr. Negative but since he wasn’t that interesting of a character to begin with I’m not that thrilled. Come to think about it, I’m not that thrilled with most of the new characters since “Brand New Day”. They just seem like rehashes of old Spider-Man characters, just with maybe a new wrinkle or two thrown in and some window dressing slapped on. For example…

Mr. Negative is a crime boss trying to take over all the organized crime in New York in the same vein as Big Man, Kingpin, Hammerhead, and Silvermane. The fact he’s secretly Mr. Li, the nice guy Aunt May works for at the Feast Center, is just like how Big Man turned out to be Freddie Foswell, Peter’s friend from the Bugle.

Dexter Bennett might as well be called J. Jonah Jameson Jr. He doesn’t have it out for Spider-Man the way J.J. does, but he has the same loud mouthed, sensational, anything-to-sell-papers attitude.

Freak is reminiscent of the Lizard, Morbius, Vermin, and all the other “accidentally-changed-into-a-horrible-monster” villains Spidey’s faced over the years. Freak even has Curt Connors tied up in his origin. The fact that when you kill him he comes back to life immune to whatever killed him is a nice touch, though.

Menace is the Green Goblin made over. We’ve even already had somebody impaled on a goblin gli…um, excuse me, menace glider. And if Menace doesn’t turn out to be Harry Osborn, I’ll owe you a Coke.

One could argue that there’s nothing new in comics anymore and that everything is a rehash of something. But if they’re going to market these Spider-Man stories as “Brand New Day” you think they’d have more than one brand new idea.



  1. The background in that shot looks like the homeless shelter where Aunt May and Martin Li work.Since Martin Li is Mr. Negative, maybe there’s a link to the reversed color schemed Mr. Negative and this reversed color schemed Venom.Maybe Mr. Negative is Anti-Venom. Maybe that’s part of his powers, he becomes negative versions of Spider-Man’s villains.


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