Monday, June 18, 2018

Venom #2 Review - Marvel Monday

Venom Dragon Age

Writer: Donny Cates
Art Team: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin
Marvel Comics
Release Date: June 13, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Here we are with issue two, of what is probably the runaway hit of Fresh Start so far, Venom. Don't get me wrong I quite enjoyed the first issue of Donny Cates run, but I also wasn't blown away like everyone else, or entirely happy with where I think these reveals are headed.  Despite these trepidation's Mr. Cates hasn't let me down yet, in his brief run at Marvel so far, so I came back for more to see what's actually cooking.   So what's happening in these pages? Join me and check it out.

The issue begins where the last issue concluded with Eddie Brock dying, revealed to be a man of second chances, after our big cliffhanger fight. Some narration from Rex leads us through the first act of this issue, recapping Eddie's history, while he is revived by his symbiote. All eventually comes full circle when Venom, in turn, confronts Rex, before finally having another 'alien outbreak', that he's able to mildly control this time.

Moving on we're provided a bit of background, via a combination of news reports and again Rex, on what exactly escaped into the sky the last issue, how it all ties into SHIELD, and Rex's past in the military which we saw glimpses of the last issue.  It's told here that after a brave act of sacrifice Rex is embedded with the symbiote, that somehow SHIELD obtained apparently from this Venom/Dragon thing revealed at last issues conclusion, which connected Rex at that time to the entire history of the creature, and the phrase we continue seeing, "God is Coming".

When we return from Rex's flashback we see the creature has reappeared in New York City, Spider-Man has arrived on scene trying to battle it, and as Rex suggests he and Eddie get a plan in place, but he notices Eddie has Batman-ed on his ass. Venom has disappeared into the night to do battle, ready to step up and be a hero, regardless of the horrific outcome he thinks is coming his way.  Before Eddie gets a chance to battle though, he's surprised by a guest star I'm not going to spoil here, but obviously will excite some people more than others, depending on your feelings for the character overall.

As a whole, I know the internet has already made up their mind and is in love with this title, but I'm stubborn and just not there yet. I enjoy the atmosphere, art, and colors used to help this mystery along but the new backstory for the symbiotes just isn't overly intriguing to me. By making it almost just another Captain America type origin, it's now far less interesting than what we used to have, I personally think.

There are even more mysteries brought up this issue when last issues weren't given much closure yet, and the five/six-issue arcs most comic books are told in now really slow momentum of books at various points to a crawl. A ton of questions are always raised the first few issues of an arc, but then rarely are they all ever solved or addressed at an arc's conclusion, and its beginning to drive me crazy because from there they're mostly forgotten about.

Sure I noticed the creature is an evil symobiote type thing, with Dragon wings, that looks BADASS. However we are now headed to issue three of this series, drastically altering the history of Eddie Brock's origin, and I know nothing more than "there is a giant Venom Dragon ... for reasons", and some guy Rex is running around, and he appears to knows things kind of. That is it for $9 and it's just not enough.  To me, value matters and trade waiting makes more and more sense every single issue of a comic book I read nowadays.

Bits and Pieces

Venom #2 is a solid issue by Donnie Cates with great art by Stegman but it also spends a lot of time dancing around the actual information the reader is waiting for from this title.  My main concern is issue two is raising more questions than its answering right now, and as it begins tying SHIELD into everything, its obviously setting up a crossover very early in a Fresh Start title which I cant put a stamp of approval on if the answers never actually come from this book. Marvel again pulls my interest away from a Venom title by insisting to cross it over with other books however the attention to detail here put in by the creative team is noticeable.


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