I was hoping to be the first reviewer of this DVD, but because Amazon.com didn't list it with the other 'Spidey' DVD's, I had to wait forever to see it, and that just makes me annoyed. This DVD was even released into the stores before Amazon.com showed it (and I bought this DVD before I even got 'Doc Ock'). But here I go anyway . . .
Venom is my favourite enemy of Spider-Man, and I love watching this DVD. The first 3 episodes ("the Alien Costume Pt. 1-3)" show how Spider-Man finds the 'Alien Symbiote' and uses it for his own costume, how he tries to get rid of it and finally how Eddie Brock becomes Venom and Spider-Man's worst nightmare (Season 1). The next episode is "Venom Returns", with War-Machine (Ironman's friend and partner) helping Spider-man fight the returned Venom , as well as the new arrival of Carnage, with Ironman appearing in the next episode "Carnage" (both Season 3). "Venom Returns" and "Carnage" are back-to-back/to-be-continued episodes, so, unlike the previous DVDs which had 4 episodes, this release has 5 episodes. The only other special features are the usual "Episode Introductions with Stan Lee" and "Stan Lee's Soapbox", and he says a lot of interesting things. But just like the "Doc Ock" DVD, the Main Menu starts out differently from the first 3 DVDs (now possibly being made by Marvel Entertainment and not Disney, which you can see on the side-spine), and the first episode also has a new opening (same tune, though). The animation is great, but when it comes to epsiodes 4 & 5 it doesn't look the same, sometimes a bit slaggy or not much effort, but still okay. We not only see how Eddie Brock and Cletus Kassidy become Venom & Carnage, but this is also the first time we see Shocker (voiced by the talented and many charactered Jim Cunning) and the Rhino (although we don't see their origins). Also, inside the DVD cover, instead of having the 20 chapters, it lists the original EPSODE titles. What I really liked about this DVD, is that Ironman (and War-Machine) make their return to DVD, having first appeared on the "Incredible Hulk (Animated Series)" DVD. But, he/his suit doesn't look as good here as he does in his own animated series, the "Hulk" DVD or (as I vaguely remember) the 5th Spider-Man season, during the Secret Wars saga. His armour looks less steel-like and more like the often-used skin-tight outfit, but seeing him is good enough. The only thing I don't like about this saga, is how the 2 symbiotes are defeated at the end of the 5 episodes, bearing too much of a resemblance to some episodes on the earlier DVDs. Also annoying is when Eddie (now with the power of Venom) decides to constantly follow/stalk Peter Parker around and make Aunt May think that he is "such a nice man" - sorry to say this, but it makes her seem dumb, and even though that's how it happened in the comics, I don't like how Aunt May agrees in having Spider-man caught (and in front of Peter, too!) But at least Mary-Jane knows better than to trust him after his return. I have also noticed that the 4 previous DVDs have Spider-Man being either squeezed and/or being "crushed" while restrained by Kingpin, 'Ultimate Slayer' Smythe, Doc Ock and Scorpion. I'm disappointed how Venom doesn't do the exact same thing to Spidey, (although there is a head-lock and being wrapped-up in webbing) and Venom does restrain Ironman, but only for a second. Spider-Man (in his Alien Costume) does put the squeeze on Shocker, however.
I hope it's not too long until I see a "Spider-Man vs. Venom" Movie, the release of "Ironman: The Movie" and Ironman's own Animated Series on DVD. It would have been nice if this DVD also had a clip from Season 4's "the Haunting of Mary Jane", where Venom and Carnage do make a small return, which would've made a nice little special extra. I also wonder if there will be a 6th Spider-Man Animated series DVD.
Personally, I think that DVDs 2 & 3 (Dare-Devil and Doc Ock) should've INSTEAD been "the Spider-Slayers" (with the Scorpion, Alister's machine and him becoming 'the Ultimate Slayer' (favourite scene on that DVD is 10) or have each Season be released onto 2 DVDs, each having 6-7 episodes (5 Seasons with 11-14 Episodes = 10 DVD's). If these 2 DVDs were to commemerate the movie releases of Dare-Devil & Spiderman 2, then how come there was no 'Spiderman: Enter the Punisher' DVD? The remaining episodes that need to be put onto DVD are 10 episodes from season 1, all of seasons 2 and 5, 'Doctor Strange' from season 3 and finally 6 (or 7) episodes from Season 4. The DVD that I believe they should make in the near future is "Secret Wars" from Season 5.
However, I have recently discovered (from UltimateDisneyDVD) that the DVD ALSO has a "Villianous Web" and "Sneal Peaks" special features, which is not on the Australian DVD which I reviewed. Despite this 'country-transfer-rip-off', this is still a good DVD, but when you look for this DVD, make sure that it has the 'Villanous Web' and 'Sneak Peaks' specials, or you'll miss out like me.