Artist: Paco Diaz
Colorist: Frank D'Armata
"Part One: Altered States"
This is one interesting "What if?" style book. What if the cure for the Spider-virus was not ever released and it mutated, gaining control over all of the supers and humans on the planet other than a few people that somehow did not get infected? I mean, the first page of the book is a Spiderized Carol Danvers. The main character is actually Flash Thompson as Agent Venom because his symbiote was able to protect him from the virus and Spider-Man is MIA due to earlier events (explained in this issue).
As always, this first issue is setting everything up for what is to come, and the premise here is that Flash and the few rebels he leads, learns there may be a cure and decide to go after it even if it ends up to be a trap. There are some cool moments with other superheroes that were unfortunate enough to become infected and it leads to a definite confrontation between Flash and other Spider-Heroes in the next issue.
As far as setups go, this wasn't a terrible issue. I enjoy Agent Venom and am happy to see him still used. That said, Spider Island the first time around was a little shakey for me and I hope that this doesn't fall flat as well.
I do want to mention that there is an added story tacked to the back of this issue that is focused on Mayday Parker that is written by Tom Defalco and Ron Frenz. It isn't bad but it just feels like it was added in last minute to ramp up the price of the issue.