Venom: First Host #2
Writer: Mike Costa
Penciller: Mark Bagley and Ron Lim
Ink: Andrew Hennessy and Scott Hanna
Colors: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover: Mark Bagley and Richard Isanove
Variant Cover: Rod Reis
Venom: First Host is written by Mike Costa with art from Mark Bagley and is in continuity with Costa’s Venom run.
Previously, Eddie and the symbiote were attacked by a Skrull, before being saved out of nowhere by a mysterious Kree man who seems to know the symbiote. Who is he, what’s his history with the symbiote, and what are his motives?
After the two fight off the Skrull named M’lanz, Venom and his savior head back to Alchemax to recuperate. After a scolding from Liz about bringing in more extraterrestrial beings into her business, the mysterious man, named Tel-Kar, enters the room and explains who he is and his journey so far. He was the first host of Brock’s symbiote and after being separated, he was claimed a traitor by his own people and sold off to their enemies. After traveling a hellish road, he discovered where the symbiote was and traveled to Earth to find it and reunite. What choice will Brock’s symbiote make? And what are Tel-Kar’s true motives?
This issue has a lot going for it, but unfortunately, cracks have started to show. To start with the positives, the art is fantastic yet again, although it isn’t surprising coming from this team. Every time I see it, it always seems like Bagley was born to draw Venom; the character just looks fantastic each and every time. The more humorous moments still definitely work and there are a couple panels that I will not spoil for anyone that are just comedic gold to me.
There is a twist in this issue, which I won’t spoil either, and that’s where the negatives start to seep in for me. On one hand, I’m glad it wasn’t done later, but even so, it feels very forced and rushed. It’s something I could see coming a mile away, and it felt way too easy. That’s not to say I’m not excited to see what’s coming next, because I absolutely am, but my expectations are dwindling slightly. Hopefully the next issue can put this arc back on course until the end, but overall, this was a tad underwhelming for my taste.