Reviews

Review – Venom #1 (Marvel Comics)

Insane In The Membrane is Venom #1

Venom and Eddie Brock go together like peanut butter and jelly.  They were made for each other. But that does not mean things are always peachy between the two. Eddie’s symbiote has been acting strange and it is getting harder and harder for him to control it.  Strange dreams are haunting them both and Eddie is taking pills to drown out the voices. Voices that say they want to hurt Eddie and maybe snack on his brains! Down-and-out Eddie’s life is going to be turned upside down when he finds out there is more to his symbiote than he ever knew.  Something is coming for it in Venom #1!

Writing

The announcement of a new Venom #1 did not get me personally excited. He is a character that holds nostalgia for me as he was extremely popular while I was growing up.   And as a kid Venom: Sinner Takes All #1 was one of my favorite comics. However, that nostalgia did not follow me to be really interested in Venom currently.  I have kept up a little with what has been going on with the symbiote as Agent Venom and his stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy.  But just casually here and there. Honestly, I was not even really thinking about picking this up until Donny Cates was announced as the writer. I have been really digging his stuff from God Country, Redneck to his current runs on Thanos and Doctor Strange

VENOM #1 COVER ART BY RYAN STEGMAN
VENOM #1 COVER ART BY RYAN STEGMAN

Donny Cates has been on an incredible run here lately so it is hard not to get excited about him on a new series. He does a good job on Venom #1 of connecting with the character of Eddie Brock. Venom #1 is a very dark and moody book. Donny Cates does not hold back with the mental anguish Eddie is dealing with. I won’t get into spoiler territory, but Eddie is not in a good spot in his life emotionally or financially. Now his symbiote is acting up and strange things are starting to happen. I like Cates dealing with the more mental anguish side of Eddie, it is an interesting take. Cates also plays with the emotional attachment and “friendship” between symbiote and host. 

Venom #1 is 40 pages, but it read pretty quickly for me. It almost felt like things happened a little too fast.  We jump from scene to scene a little too quickly. It is not bad, but it just felt very quick for the number of pages. By the end of Venom #1, Cates raises some good questions about Eddie, his relationship with the Venom symbiote and the history of symbiotes in the Marvel Universe.

Art

Ryan Stegman delivers some impactful visuals with his pencil work in Venom #1. Stegman draws an imposing Eddie Brock and Venom. He has some fantastic pages throughout Venom #1; the series seems tailored made for his style. The dark moodiness of the story is only increased by Stegman’s detailed work. Eddie Brock’s face has never looked so rough! JP Mayers tight bold inking amplifies Stegman’s detailed work to another degree. Mayer helps bring everything into focus on the issue with some great line work. 

I am very impressed with Frank Martin’s coloring work in Venom #1. If you haven’t caught on this is a very dark and moody issue. Martin catches that theme and runs with it. From the night time settings to meetings in underground tunnels, Martin lets the darkness seep in through every nook and cranny, while still letting the images on the pages come to life. I love the way he lets light come into the pages and then slowly fade away.

Conclusion

I am a bit on the fence with Venom #1. I like the story and where Donny Cates is taking it. The visual aspect of the series is great. The art team has some fantastic pages in this issue. I am just not sure how much I personally care about Venom and Eddie Brock.  It has been a long time since 1995. Venom #1 is a put together nicely.  But I am just not sure if I can get personally invested in Venom. However, if one person has the chops to make me care about Eddie it is Donny Cates.  So after a good first issue, I am on board for at least a few more. 


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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