Writer: Donny Cates
Penciller: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, and Frank Martin
Variant Cover Artists: Humberto Ramos and Edgar Delgato
Previously, after escaping from Knull and his symbiote dragon with Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Eddie and the symbiote found themselves with new, hidden abilities, as well as the knowledge of who Rex really is. Upon the revelation that the real Rex was gone and that his symbiote had taken up the guise and personality of him, Eddie, his symbiote, and Rex decide to join together in an effort to stop Knull once and for all.
After stocking up on as many weapons as possible, Venom and Rex call back their “god” in order to finally finish him off. Can they put Knull down for good? And what will it cost to do so?
After reading this issue and looking back at this first arc from Cates and Stegman, I’m trying to pick my brain to find anything that I didn’t like about it, as I’d hate to just sound like a gushing fanboy. However, as I came to the conclusion that I can’t find anything I didn’t like about it, the only thing I can do is gush. So, I will react accordingly: oh my god, Cates’s Venom is one of the best comics I’ve read in a long, long time, and this issue is beyond perfect!
Now that I have that out of my system, let’s talk about what makes this issue so amazing. First off, Stegman’s art continues to be phenomenal and beyond inspired, as if Marvel just opened the creativity vault and just told him to go nuts with his designs. Almost every panel to me is reminiscent of an apocalyptic metal album coverand I can’t get enough of it at all. Cates has done a phenomenal job writing this series so far and he has gotten me to fall in love with Eddie Brock’s character all over again. He writes him almost as if he’s a tragedy from Shakespeare or something of that nature: a complex man who is tortured by his mistakes in life and tries to make up for them by any means necessary.
While I can’t talk too much about him without giving away spoilers, Knull continues to be a terrifying force to be reckoned with and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying him as a villain so far. Rex gets a lot of shine here as well and his opening narration about Eddie and what he’s afraid of gave me absolute chills.
This issue packed a whole lot of emotion, much more than I was expecting, especially between Eddie and the symbiote near the end. If you’re more sensitive like I am, you might end up getting a bit teary-eyed, honestly. And even then, it takes a lot of talent and effort to be able to pull that off, so that definitely speaks volumes about Cates as a writer.
Overall, Venom has been my favorite ongoing of the year, and I hope it continues to stay that way. Cates and Stegman have done a phenomenal job so far of revitalizing the character of Eddie Brock, and I can’t wait to see where they take him next.