Monday, July 3, 2017

Edge of Venomverse #1 Review - Marvel Monday

Edge of Venomverse #1

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art Team: Roland Bochy, Adam Gorham, Daniel Brown
Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

You Get Venom, You Get a Venom, We All Get Venom’s!!

Who asked for a Marvel character focused mini-event/crossover centered on the Venom symbiote?  Well my friends ask you shall receive because the Edge of Venomverse has arrived on our doorstep in an attempt to secure your summer comic book dollars. So does the first issue do a good job establishing this events premise or are we all sucked in because that cover is just so damn beautiful … let’s find out that and more inside.

The Edge of Venomverse, which is the precursor to the actual series Venomverse releasing this fall, ironically enough starts out with the focus on our cover character this issue, Laura Kinney, better known to the masses as X-23.  However instead of the modern day iteration here, were treated to a throwback movie-esque version of her as a more feral youngster, seeking revenge on those who wronged her.

X-23 tears through the facility making mincemeat of the guards sent to take her down, until she’s eventually cornered in an area of the building where escape seems impossible.  With a quick slice of her claw however Laura reveals a deeper secret held within this facility, springing open a canister containing a Venom type symbiote which covers Laura as the scene ends with familiar narration box any Venom fan recognizes.

Flash forward two months, to a group of kids checking out an abandoned building, who quickly run into X-23 hiding out in the place. Laura scares them away, for fear of harming them, but into danger outside as they encounter some unsavory people the group themselves were trying to avoid. The kids take off attempting to run away from these ‘bad dudes’ and just when it looks like one is cornered and in for it, X-23, fully engulfed in a symbiote costume, steps in to save the day. 

The story jumps again to weeks later, we see Laura hanging out with the group of kids she scared away and saved earlier, running some small time scams on local businesses.  They bring a tad of heat of themselves, as a task force hunting down Laura is drawn to the scene, resulting in a fight and a few reveals for the reader. Laura has appeared to share her symbiote with the kids she keeping company with and the group makes quick work of the unprepared troops sent their way.

The issue winds down as the group attempts to run for cover from the backup troops however they eventually become cornered in a vault type of room with literally nowhere else to go.  The troops begin to cut through this vault door forcing the symbiote to take actions into its own hands.
The symbiote begins seemingly sucking its donated and dispersed parts back to Laura, which causes a spiral-esque effect, which in turn forms an interdimensional portal?  Hey its comics, crazy things happen, but this is what I understood and it was a weird turn in the book. Regardless of your opinion of this bit it’s hard to deny it was a confusing story development and pulled me out of my investment in what happened up to this point, leaving our friends of Laura stranded, and leading to a cliffhanger that just happens for reasons and wasn’t very well setup.  Anyway the book ends with Venom-Laura face to face with a Venom Captain America, as the first hints of interdimensional time hopping are seeded here going forward.    

Overall the Edge of Venomverse seems to be an else worlds, or out of continuity story (so far anyway) that will showcase a variety of different type of Venom symbiote type characters running through a load of different worlds on a mission of some sorts so far.  That’s the issue here although the first issue was interesting enough story wise I don’t have an idea of what the bigger picture for this event is right now so it’s not clear why I need to buy it.  

Other than the cover which is amazing, the art on the inside of the book is serviceable but a little rough looking character design and color wise for my liking.  Laura/X-23 should look like a more interesting character on the inside of these pages than she comes off being, and I’m not sure why they went with a younger else worlds version of her here other than to capitalize on some movie hype, because the character design looks very similar.

Bits and Pieces

Edge of Venomverse does a decent enough job of providing an intriguing first issue but doesn’t make the overall point of the story being published overtly clear just yet.  In a crowded summer comic book market it’s tough to make a case for this mini-event to warrant much attention just yet, unless some must see moments happen quickly, recapping a version of X-23's origin isnt that just yet ... but hey at least its not $4.99!


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