Writing - 8.5/10
Art - 7.5/10
Overall - 8.5/10
User Review( vote)
Writer: Mike Costa
Pencilers: Mark Bagley, Paco Diaz
Inkers: Andrew Hennessy, Paco Diaz
Colorist: Dono Sanchez-Almara
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: September 26, 2018
The limited series of Venom First Host reaches it conclusion. We find out what’s in store for the symbiote Sleeper, and the first host Tel-Kar.
Venom First Host #5
The end of Venom First Host is here. Mike Costa’s five-issue series reaches its conclusion, as Eddie has to deal with the fallout of Tel-Kar’s plan. The story wraps up nicely and in true comic fashion leaves open the possibilities of future stories. For these last few months that have been saturated with Venom content, this series was a light fun story that will be missed.
The last issue left off with Tel-kar informing the heroes that they were being surrounded by Kree destroyer ships. Tel-Kar brimming with hope that his people would accept him and regard him as the hero once again. Only to find that the incoming Kree have no respect or sympathy towards him as they fired upon the vessel they were on. Creating an opportunity for Eddie and M’lanz to escape with the symbiotes. Leaving Tel-Kar on the exploding ship along with his doomsday weapon. So that Tel-Kar experiences a cosmic justice, instead of the personal justice at the hands of Venom.
It works to move Tel-Kar out of the way so that when Eddie comes home he has time to process the emotions of the preceding events in a calm manner. That calm retrospective finds itself while having a drink with Harry Osborn. Discussing the fear felt over losing a part of his family (symbiotes) and the lingering question whether he is raising his child(symbiote) right. The two former villains have a civilized discussion on family, which I feel was the whole point of the book. To get us to see the symbiotes as a family.
The actual conclusion itself does feel a bit forced. It does leave open those new possibilities, however. Tel-Kar shows up in Eddie’s apartment. Somehow surviving the explosion and then making it from Space to Earth. Wanting to exact revenge on Eddie by releasing his doomsday weapon to wipe out humanity. His plan ends with Sleeper lobotomizing him and taking over his body. On one hand that is awesome because we have a sentient symbiote controlling a body that was augmented and trained to handle symbiotes. On the other hands,
it limits the possibilities for Tel-Kar to be an antagonist in the future. Sleeper then takes the body to go on its own adventure. I’m sure however we will see the pair again in the future.
Mark Bagley and Paco Diaz last run on the story focus more on the characters than anything else. Exterior shots of spaceships are beautiful as they fire their weapons but all other settings are being drawn minimalistically. Most of the work can be seen on the expressions of the characters. And with a book that deals with the subject of family and exploring what it means, it works. The close up of the characters adds to the intimacy we should feel towards them.
Venom First Host #5 is a fitting end to the series. Personally, I would have enjoyed a fully functional Tel-Kar running around the universe. But if the last five issues have shown anything it is that Costa knows these characters and knows where they should end up. It is sad to say goodbye to a series but at least it was a fun read.
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