Reviews

Review – Venom: First Host #2 (Marvel Comics)

VENOM FIRST HOST #2 Cover by Rod Reis A
VENOM FIRST HOST #2 Cover by Rod Reis

 

Venom: First Host #2 Explores the Symbiote’s Sensitive Side

 

Venom: First Host #2 has continued in the current trend of great Venom books. This week we find out more about Tel-Kar’s mysterious past, as well as more in-depth looks into what motivates the symbiote (or Klyntar) to walk the hero path with Eddie. Mike Costa has been doing amazing things with these characters and the interactions they share with each other.

Writing

VENOM FIRST HOST #2 Cover by Mark Bagley
VENOM FIRST HOST #2 Cover by Mark Bagley

After being attacked by a Skrull, Eddie awakens to find the Kree saving him. After Tel-Kar suffers an injury from the battle, Eddie takes him to get fixed up at Alchemax. Liz becomes—understandably—distraught by the surprise and proceeds to scold Eddie about the nature of his decisions. They are then interrupted by “Papa Smurf” (her words, not mine). Tel-Kar proceeds to give us his history.

Venom is currently on the road of an anti-hero. It works for Eddie Brock, as most writers draw from his religious background for the character’s enrichment. He’s a man who has done some bad things and is trying to atone for them as Venom. But he’s not the only part of Venom; for a partnership to work, both sides have to be in agreement and have a similar mindset. So it makes sense for Eddie to want to do the right thing, but what drives the symbiote? Why has it displayed nurturing and caring attributes?

With the introduction of Tel-Kar, Costa answers some of those questions. A soldier for the Kree, he was chosen from hundreds to be the bonded with the symbiote. He’s the symbiote’s “First Host,” if you will. Together they worked to protect and serve as undercover agents within the Skrull. The last issue demonstrated Tel-Kar’s nobility as he parted ways with his symbiote to save a group of refugees. They remained separated, as Tel-Kar became a prisoner of the Skrull, coming to Earth after he learned of a symbiote on the planet.

Eventually, he makes the request to bond again with the symbiote. The symbiote makes the decision to stay with Eddie, and this is when things begin to take a turn; it’s an abrupt, unexpected change, as the pacing of the story had remained pretty steady. But it does work in favor of the story. Events toward the end do happen very quickly, but it’s still easy to follow along so that by the time you finish the last panel you’ll be saying “Oh no.” But a good “Oh no.”

Art

The work Mark Bagley and Ron Lim have been doing on this book has given me an appreciation for their style. To describe it as simple and elegant would be a gross understatement. It fits into the story because it may not be as flashy as other Venom titles, but there’s enough detail for you to admire. A single panel of tears streaming down Venom’s face had me transfixed. The art contains heart, suitable for this series exploring the variety of relationships between characters.

Overall

Venom First Host is an intriguing look into the emotional sides of Venom. Moving forward, the story has many places to go and I’m eager to see where it lands. This exploration into how the symbiote feels about its various hosts is adding more depth to the parasite we’ve known for years. Overall, this series is deserving of a spot on your pull list.


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Venom: First Host #2
Overall
8.7/10
8.7/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9.0/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
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Summary

Writer: Mike Costa
Pencilers: Mark Bagley and Ron Lim
Inkers: Andrew Hennesey and Scott Hanna
Colorist: Dono Sanchez- Almara
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: September 5, 2018

In this issue, Tel-Kar reunites with the symbiote. We then find out what this mean’s for the partnership of Eddie and Venom.

About the author

Edgar O'Neill-Figueroa

Edgar loves to be entertained. From movies and comic books, to television and video games he endures it all so that he may give you an unsolicited and fairly biased opinion.

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