Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath
"I've been enjoying the Marvel novels ... but this is the first one I've absolutely loved. It read like a Spider-Man story, but more than anything else it read like a police novel. DeCandido and Nieto slowly build and unravel the mystery of why the three people have been kidnapped, and in the meantime give us a great cast of cops interacting with Spider-Man. ... It's no secret I'm not a big fan of the Spidey titles these days, but that's not the only reason I so loved this story. It reminded me a lot of the kind of story I really enjoyed on NYPD Blue, with Spidey thrown in. Highly Recommended."
---Randy Lander, Snap Judgments
Venom's Wrath cover -- painting by Tony Harris, design by Claude Goodwin

Spider-Man
Venom's Wrath

by Keith R.A. DeCandido & José R. Nieto

on sale now from Boulevard Books

Venom's Wrath is actually my first novel. After editing novels starring Marvel's super heroes since 1993, I was given the opportunity to write one of my own.

Partly because of time constraints, I asked José Nieto to collaborate with me. José had collaborated with Christopher Golden on a couple of Marvel short stories ("What's Yer Poison?" in The Ultimate Silver Surfer and "Celebrity" in Untold Tales of Spider-Man) and also wrote a magnificent D'Spayre novella for The Ultimate Super-Villains called "Ripples."

"The two authors have a firm grip on all the characters involved. ... I hate to say too much about the plot, because it is quite engaging and there are a few twists and turns along the way. But I would highly recommend Venom's Wrath to any fan of Spider-Man or Marvel Comics."
---Douglas Clayborne Peterson, Spider-Byte Reviews
I had the basic idea that three people are kidnapped: Joe "Robbie" Robertson, editor-in-chief of the New York Daily Bugle, who had always been a friend to both Peter Parker and Spider-Man; Ann Weying, a lawyer, and the ex-wife of Eddie Brock, aka Venom; and Captain Frank Esteban, an NYPD captain that John Gregory Betancourt and I had introduced in the short story "An Evening in the Bronx with Venom" in The Ultimate Spider-Man. The idea was to have Spidey in a position where he has to cooperate with the NYPD in order to find the kidnappers -- and also deal with Venom, who would tear the city apart trying to find his ex-wife.

"If you feel that the comics need to come alive for you, if you love the aerobatics and the whole 'normal guy with amazing powers' schtick that is Spidey, if you want to see Spidey go 3 rounds with Venom, if you love international politics and despot terrorist groups with enough high tech weaponry to take out an aircraft carrier, then you need to read Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath!"
---Nathan Chattaway, Peter Parker's Pad
José brought the story into focus with the Corta Cañas -- the Cane Cutters -- a Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist organization very loosely based on Los Macheteros -- the folks responsible for the famous Wells Fargo truck robbery in 1989. José also came up with some wonderful background on Esteban that adds a nifty subplot to the novel.

The novel itself deals with many themes: loyalty, trust, cooperation, victimization, humanity, identity. Most of all, we try to deal with real-world issues in a milieu populated by people with super-powers who wear their underwear on the outside. What is it like being a cop in the New York City of the Marvel universe? A terrorist whose leader is a shape-changer? A kidnap victim?

"I honestly think it's the best Spidey novel so far."
---Adam-Troy Castro, coauthor of the X-Men & Spider-Man: Time's Arrow trilogy, and author of Spider-Man: The Gathering of the Sinister Six
Each chapter of the novel has an illustration by Joe St. Pierre, whose work is very reminiscent of Steve Ditko's, but with a very modern sensibility. Actually, his Spider-Man looks like Ditko's, but his Venom looks like Todd McFarlane. Joe told me once that his method is to go back to how a character was drawn initially, and it really works here. The cover (seen above) was painted by Tony Harris, the award-winning artist of DC's Starman series.

"This book had everything that the current comics are lacking. Suspense, humor, tension, etc., etc. ... a great read for Spider-fans."
---Brad Douglas, Spider-Man's Crawl Space
The book is on sale now in bookstores, and can also be ordered from the good folks at Amazon.com. I'm quite proud of the work. You can read an excerpt on the Spider-Man home page.

"In Peter Parker: Spider-Man #26, writer Paul Jenkins presented a view of the wall-crawler as seen through the eyes of a number of different New York cops. It was an entertaining and insightful story but only the second-best of its kind. If you want to read the best depiction of the wall-crawling wonder as seen by the NYPD, then you must take a look at the novel Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath."
---Al Sjoerdsma, "Rave," Peter Parker's Pad, Vol. 7, #1, 2001

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