Venom #1

Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Greg Brothers

For all my years reading comics, Spider-Man has always been one of the franchises that I kept up with. The thing that makes Spider-man interesting is his rogues gallery. While for years the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus were the main bad guys during the 90’s, it was Venom who became the number one enemy. Over time, because of his popularity, Venom slowly switched from arch-enemy to the perfect anti-hero who would take on the bad guys that even Spider-man did not want to deal with. With the constant starts and stops in both his series and heroic careers over the last few year, ,my interest in the character has waned a bit. Honestly if it was not for this creative team I doubt I would have given the series a chance.

Venom #1 starts immediately in an ancient castle as ancient men call out to Beowulf for help from an unseen threat. Before long we find out that both Eddie Brock and the Symbiote are having nightmares. These nightmares feel very real to both, and, in the case of the Symbiote, has him very scared.

From the first panel in Venom #1 it becomes obvious that Cates is planning on adding a depth to the Symbiote that has not been explored in a while. Instead of simply being an alien that hitched a ride back to earth it becomes obvious in the first issue that his history will become much more complicated. Besides the extension of the history of the Symbiote it seems as if Cates is going to explore the relationship between Eddie and the Symbiote some more. While in the past Eddie has had a complicated relationship, now it seems the theme of mental health will also be introduced into the mix. The question of how healthy the relationship between the two of them is is something that has never been touched upon in depth.

Stegman creates characters designs that are unique yet familiar at the same time. One of my few complaints comes with Eddie’s look. One of my first thoughts, before it was confirmed that indeed it was Eddie, was that the Symbiote had somehow found it’s way to Victor Creed. The action panels are dynamic and engaging with colors that pull you into the action. The coloring is dark enough to provide mystery and intrigue without causing the action to be hidden.

Verdict: Buy it.

Venom #1 establishes the beginning of a new status quo for Eddie Brock and the Symbiote. Cates introduces several threads that will allow him to flush out some interesting ideas while reexamining the past of Venom. Jump on now because I think Donny Cates is about to take the readers on an exciting and intriguing ride.

Gregory Brothers
Ohio born and raised. Avid comicbook fan who is always trying to find time to get through my ever growing read pile. When not working on that I Teach, coach youth sports, and cheer on my hometown Cincinnati teams, and Buckeyes. Can also be heard talking comics and pop-culture on The Comics Agenda Podcast.

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