Tag Archives: Ben Venice

Ben Venice!


When I’m not working on other projects, I write about a guy called Ben Venice and his world. Ben’s kind of what I see -among other things- as the the between the lines version of Nick Fury as depicted in the Spy-Fi crazed sixties. There wasn’t much Jim Steranko didn’t do in his time with the character, but did you ever wonder about Fury’s private moments as he slid from World War II sergeant to head of S.H.I.E.L.D., the time before he became the super competent top cop? Stuff barely hit upon in the single issue 4, one Mr. Steranko only did the cover for? I do, and this is my own take on a similar concept in prose.

My favorite works of sequential fiction tend to be told in quick bursts- Those issues of Strange Tales with 12 page stories, daily comic strips like Flash Gordon or Cannon. Overall, growing up I was always getting a hold of old comics that were the second or third part of a saga, and I rarely got the other chapters to the story. I didn’t mind. Hell, didn’t we all have more fun with Star Wars when we only had the last three parts?

There’s much to be said about interesting installments, taken on their own merits. To that end, I try to make each piece of this story I’m telling interesting on its own, as sort of a little chunk of “flash fiction” with all fat cut away, that can be taken on its own or as a part of a larger narrative if you’ve been paying attention.

I do the short bursts here, and then from time to time, I compile them for BenVenice.com. I just put a third chunk up on that site, as the adversary of the story has begun to show his hand. So, as follows:

Part I: Meet Ben Venice

Part II: Ben Venice Is On The Move

Part III: The Scorpion Emerges

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Louise Edelman in Judo Lesson


Red was a southpaw, and he had a move he liked. Fake a straight with with the right, then hook with the left when his opponent drew back, right across the snot box. Worked every time, until he tried it on Louise. His face ate the mat within seconds. He wasn’t sure how. “Short flight,”she crowed,  “bad landing.”

The mechanical door slid open and Ben slid in, taking in the scene of Red in his jeans, head down, ass up, and Louise looking down on him like shit she just picked off her shoe, hardly sweating. Her hair pinned up, her sharp features enunciated, dressed in a purple Judogi, her toenails and fingernails both painted the same shade of crimson, pipping over a loudmouth man she just bested… Ben’s heart was pitter pattering just looking at her. He kept it cool.

“I bet you didn’t slap him around like that when his old man ran this outfit.”

“Aw, hell…” Red rolled over on his side, his face a full flush, either from his head smacking the padded floor or sheer embarrassment, “…she used to kick his ass, too.”

Louise crossed her arms. “You come into my dojo with your shoes on, I guess you’re here to spar too, Mister Bigshot?” Red’s eyes grew wide as he gingerly sat up. “Jesus, Louise…” he muttered.

Ben smirked as his lit Lucky Strike dangled, an ember dangerously close to dropping and singing her precious tarp. “Please, Miss Edelman. Mister Bigshot was my father.”

“And Miss Edelman was my sister.”

With that, Louise snatched the cigarette from Ben’s lips, drew hard on it, flicked the ash in her palm, then squeezed her hand into a fist. “These things are killing your wind. Want me to prove it to you?” Her eyes locked with his like she was a tiger in a cage.

Ben was nonplussed. “You have no need to prove anything to me, Louise. Finish that smoke, hit the shower, and meet me in my office in 2o.”

“I don’t smoke.” Louise replied, holding the coffin nail in a familiar way that suggested otherwise.

“Then give it to Red. He looks like he could use it.” Ben said, as he headed out the door.

Red crossed his ankles and his hands behind his head like he was relaxing at the beach, then sing song said “You two are going to have some cranky babies.”

“Say something like that again and I’ll break your fucking jaw.”

Louise was in no mood.

Catch up with Ben Venice and the agents of G.H.O.S.T.

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Catching Up With Ben Venice

Here are the latest two Ben Venice episodes- Ben Venice Meets The Benefactor and Ben Venice In Ninth Floor Penthouse. If you’re wholly unfamiliar with Ben Venice, you can catch all his previous adventures here.


“You’re not coming up?”

“Hell, no. Sammy Davis is at the Sands tonight, and this guy gives me the creeps. You can deal with him.”

And with that exchange Red was off in the fire engine red Corvette, into the natural twilight, soon to to be erased by the Las Vegas glitz and glamor. Ben looked up and back down the towering Desert Inn, then headed inside.

Vegas wasn’t Ben’s scene. Everywhere he looked, he saw excess and waste. It felt like the whole city was just baited catnip for suckers, from the slot machines to the prostitutes. It was a toss up which was most ubiquitous. The inside lobby of the joint was like something out of ancient Rome, all towering ceilings and marble. Ben decided to skip the elevator and take the stairs, but started to regret the decision by the time he got to the top floor. He took a minute to catch his breath in the stairway before he got into character.  Upon opening the door to the floor, he encountered two men in black suit and tie and tight short back and side buzzcuts.

“Director Venice!” one of them said, “It’s an honor to meet you. I’m a bit embarrassed to have to ask, but I have to…”

Ben smirked, then replied:


“Correct, sir. That’s the word.”

“I know, I made it up.”

“Of course, sir.”

Ben was allowed entry. Once inside the plush penthouse room, he laid eyes on the man he came to see. Whatever he had imagined he might find, this was not it. There before him, stark naked, stood Howard Hughes. Ben was taken aback, so Hughes spoke first.

“You’ll have to forgive me. I don’t shake hands.”


“Oh, I’m sorry, Mr.Venice. I hardly even notice when I’m starkers up here anymore.” With that, Howard Hughes pulled a bathrobe over his white and boney frame. Ben was just impressed that Hughes wasn’t too far gone to register that he ought not be strolling around with his pecker out on a first meeting.

“Here, have a seat, here by the window, where we can look out at that skyline.” Hughes strolled over to the enormous window, where two lush leather chairs sat, both facing the window. Ben decided to resist the urge to physically move them before he sat in order to face this lunatic when they spoke like men, but instead just hoped for the sake of his clean slacks that Hughes previously practiced good hygiene before he flopped his naked ass on the damn thing when he was hanging out. When in Rome…

“So let me see if I have this right…” Ben began, craning his neck to look over at Hughes as he gazed at the lights outside, “it’s you who funds GHOST, and you build these fancy things for us?”

“I don’t build them. Mr.Venice. I just design them, although they are built on my dime. All your Buck Rogers vehicles and that island headquarters of yours. Have you been inside the Eel yet?” Hughes was smiling pridefully, his eyes locked on the scene of Vegas at night.

“Is that the submarine car?” Ben asked.

Hughes chuckled. “Yes Mr.Venice, the ‘submarine car.’ My next version will fly. I envy you. I really wish that I could get out there and mix it up with you, all you secret agents and crusaders out there.”

“Why don’t you? You’re creating things that are light years beyond what anyone is even dreaming of, outside of fantasy. Why only give this technology to us?” Ben said, wishing Hughes had offered a drink or three.

Kennedy. Because of Kennedy. After all that shit with the Hercules and the government coming after me…you know, that really changed me, Mr.Venice. I was a patriot before that, and I only was again when Kennedy got in there.” Hughes was swinging his arms around as he spoke, his fists clenched.

Ben just watched him until he made eye contact, then began to simmer down. “He reached out to me, he wanted me to help him get the best of the Russians. What became GHOST was originally just a pact between me and Jack. But then those bastards shot him and…well…” Hughes crossed his hands, interlocking his fingers. “…I guess we went Rogue.”

Ben took a deep breath. “What about General Schwartz? When did he enter the picture?”

“Oh, long enough before they shot Jack to gain my trust. I’m not good with keeping track of time. Is it true that women have started taking off their bras and burning them out in the national parks out there?”  Hughes’ eyes grew wide.

Ben desperately wanted a cigarette.

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