Very few people would try to argue that the roughly five years between the introduction of the alien symbiote costume and the first appearance of Venom in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man were critical years in Spider-Man lore.
There is a very good reason for that.
Amazing #266 has the relationship/partnership between Spidey and the Black Cat finally coming to an end. Thusly:
And thank goodness for that. I'm not a fan of the character. At her best, she's a Catwoman rip-off and the two had zero chemistry. When she literally only likes you when you're wearing a full face mask? There's probably a pronounced absence of real attraction there.
Anyway, we don't get that partnership buried before we're handed a potential pairing that's just downright silly in the form of the Toad from X-Men:
And there's nothing wrong with that kind of story, I suppose. Had it not been done a mere three issues earlier:
Maybe they're thinking that we were all so scarred by Red 9 that we purged everything from our memories:
Although the issue does acknowledge an embrace it's self-plagiarism when the Spectacular Spider-Kid shows up:
Did I mention Frog-Man was there? Yet another guy that wanted to be Spidey's partner?
It was surprising that, considering all the bad press Pete got, that so many folks wanted to hitch their wagon to his star. But that had happened as far back as the Gibbon from issue #110:
He wanted to be Spidey's partner as well. But at least that was 13 years prior.
But no, Pete works alone. Unless you count the Avengers and nearly 150 issues of Marvel Team-Up where he sidled up with nearly every character in the Marvel Universe at one time or another. But no! He works alone.
Except when he doesn't.
And word has it that in the next Spider-Man movie, that's going to be the plot device. Everything old is new again!
They made it look like the Toad, Frog-Man and Spider-Kid were going to form a team called "The Misfits," which never materialized to my knowledge. I would have bought the heck out of a book starring the Toad, Frog-Man and Spider-Kid.
See you Tomorrow!