Monday, May 14, 2018

Venom #1 Review - Marvel Monday

Groundhogs Day

Writer: Donny Cates
Art Team: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, VC's Clayton Cowles
Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 9, 2018
Cover Price:  $4.99

If you aren't tuckered out yet from an overexposure to Venom lately this issue may be another welcome addition, to your ever growing collection, of the characters comic books. However, if you're a little like me, and exhausted from Venom being everywhere, about the only thing drawing me to this title at this point in time is the creative team names attached to it.  So let's see if Donny Cates and company can weave their Marvel magic again, and make me a believer, out of another Venom relaunch.

The issue starts with a flashback/dream sequence to ancient times, where it appears old-timey warriors are attempting to secure their barracks from an incoming Klyntar/Symbiote attack. Needless to say, things go poorly. Our story connects this all to modern day as Venom/Eddie both wake up from this nightmare with Eddie trying to calm the symbiote down. Before long Eddie is reaching for his pills, then picking up trouble on his police scanner, and heading off to see what's up.

My first thoughts are the book looks stunning, but the story isn't immediately compelling because we've been treading this same ground with the symbiote seemingly forever. The "is it currently fine, or is it going crazy", after having Venom cured multiple times in the last few years alone, is exhausting ... like a Venom version of Groundhog day I keep having to re-read but hasn't been interesting since Venom: Space Knight.

As Eddie is out he chases down the new Jack O' Lantern, eventually catching up to him, and putting his thumbs through his eyes! The cops show up and a big reveal happens as the Venom symbiote has apparently mutated and gone mad! He's frightening and ugly as all hell i tell you, raving mad, and spewing nonsense! The cops shoot at it obviously, as another man in the distance sets of a bomb, putting an end to the scene, then kidnapping Eddie for a little one on one chat.

Obviously, this ol' timer has a history with symbiotes, as Eddie is set up in a position that when he wakes up is not beneficial to his 'other'.  The two parties exchange words, with the old' man filling Eddie in about his past with a symbiote, and now I no longer know how or when these things came to Earth, but the first one doesn't seem to have anything to do with Spider-Man anymore, which I know I don't like. I'm not sure if it's because of Spider-Man's current continuity, and his various reboots over the years and subsequent deal with a certain 'devil-ish' character, but I'm confused about it all.

Anyway, the story begins its conclusion with Eddie investigating a lead the ol' man, revealed to be named Rex, gave him. This leads Eddie to face to face with a convoy of trucks he decides to take head-on. I don't want to spoil too much from here on out but this obviously leads to Venom in a huge ending battle, introducing yet another huge change to the past of the Klyntar/Symbiotes. This ending is the intriguing part, and I want to see how it all plays out, but can't say I'm a fan of the development overall and how this series, even though various reboots, feels like it keeps retelling the same type of story; revisiting the past of the symbiotes, or have it constantly going crazy.

Overall, Donny Cates introduction into the Venom series is a very solidly told story, setting up an interesting past, and possibly a belief system the Symbiotes have followed, but I cant say I'm crazy about the developments personally just yet, despite the obvious quality of work here.  The "is the Venom symbiote crazy, or hiding things from Eddie" stuff has been beaten over the head throughout the last several relaunches for the character, and I cant say I'm overly interested in seeing all that play out yet again. It was cured in Venom Space Knight, cured at the end of Venom Inc, then cured again (possibly?) just having given birth, and now possibly looks to need it again, just feels like too much. The writing quality and effort is apparent, but the topics covered feel like I keep reading Venom's version of Groundhog Day lately.

All that being said I'm going to stick with it, Donny Cates hasn't let me down on a series he's been on at Marvel Comics yet, I don't think he's going to start now, I'll just have to be patient and see how this all plays out.  I can't mention enough though how great this book looks. The whole art team goes out of its way to creep you out the whole time reading this and does a great job of doing so ... kudos there.

Bits and Pieces

While Donny Cates at Marvel hasn't disappointed on a title yet the topics this issue touches on and introduces feel like paths we've been down with Venom and the Symbiote multiple times before making this relaunch have a bit of a Ground Hogs Day feel to it.  Despite that, I trust Cates enough to have things coming that will change my mind keeping me on board for now. There is an awesome horror feel to the art throughout the book that makes it very close to a must buy for any Venom fanboy.



  1. I've got one big problem with this issue: for some reason Eddie Brock looks like a Sabretooth.

  2. Lol he does , over the sink in the beginning swear he even has fangs