Monday, September 10, 2018

Venom: First Host #2 Review

Kree Your Hands Off My Symbiote

Writer: Mike Costa
Art Team: Mark Bagley, Ron Lim, Andrew Hennessy,
Scott Hanna, Dono Sanchez-Almara, VC's Clayton Cowles
Marvel Comics
Relase Date: September 5, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Venom: First Host continues here this week, originally I was thinking this story would revisit threads left hanging from the end of Costa's run with the character, however the subtitle of this series makes it pretty clear this story seems focused on the symbiote and its original connection to a Kree solider we got a taste of in issue one. So lets check in on how all this works out while a symbiote baby lingers in the stories background for reasons yet to be revealed.

The first act of our story continues where last issue left off with the Skrull vs Kree soldiers duking it out, with Venom occasionally jumping into the fray to assist, as the symbiote tries to recall lost memories from its connection to the Kree. Eventually a little teamwork, and a nearby water tower, take down the Skrull causing all the trouble, but not without injuries occurring to the Kree requiring immediate attention, taking us to Alchemax and Liz Allen. All in all not a bad section of the comic wrapping up the end of issue one, the action and art look pretty good, and transitions showcase the fighting clearly.

Eddie/Venom get the Kree some help, much to the chagrin of Liz Allen, who is tired of babysitting Venom's growing alien friend collection.  When the solider comes to he's grateful, filling in everyone on all the news about his connections to the symbiote. The symbiote finally begins to remember, Eddie lets him make a choice between the two, but the symbiote ultimately chooses to stay with Eddie.  This is when the twists start flying and the Kree solider is revealed to be a bit a of a awful alien.  He tosses Liz Allen out he window forcing Venom to save her, then heads to the lab and the symbitoe spawn.  Act two comes off a little more forced in its story direction, with the Kree suddenly and out of nowhere turning into a heel when he doesn't get his way, causing a ruckus that didn't feel very earned. How would he know he would get hurt, that Venom would take him to Alchemax, that the baby spawn would be there? It's all to convenient to keep the story moving when I think it is supposed to play off as all part of his plan.

The big ending is the trade made between the Kree and Eddie, the symbiote Venom strangely agrees to for now, with the all important spawn made a bargaining chip in the hands of the Kree, kind of in a way forcing everybody's hand a bit.  It all appears to want to play out like a plan from the get go, in order for the First Host to get his hands on the symbiote he used to have, ending with Eddie holding the spawn, currently Venomless. Again this story is really hinging on two things the First Host, who I just am not finding to be that interesting of a character, and the Venom spawn whose importance to this story has been poorly explained, other than Eddie feels a connection to it. It's currently helpless and uninteresting, its just doesn't feel as important as we're told, and with it being ignored in the current run so far how important can it really be? 

Overall, the First Host is a story I'm having a bit of a hard time with and wouldn't recommend right now.  The stakes don't feel very big, when this story obviously takes place before Cates current run, we know this will all work out, and the storytelling hasn't been intriguing enough to distract me from that fact yet.  The art has been good and I've enjoyed it but again it's not enough to make me continue this book or to be invested in this story.

Bits and Pieces:

The second issue of this weekly series dives into the Kree solider and his connection to the symbiote a bit further, however has still failed to hook me, feeling just a bit too run of the mill in a crowded Venom market to standout.  The art is strong and looks good throughout but doesn't elevate this issue above average.


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