Venom: First Host #4
Writer: Mike Costa
Pencillers: Mark Bagley, Paco Diaz & Ron Lim
Inkers: Andrew Hennessy, Paco Diaz & Scott Hanna
Colorist: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Mark Bagley & Richard Isanove
Variant Cover Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa & Ian Herring
Venom: First Host is written by Mike Costa, with art from Mark Bagley, and is in continuity with Costa’s Venom run.
Eddie and M’lanz, along with the symbiote offspring going by the name of Sleeper, all team up to go after Tel-Kar and stop him from using the Venom symbiote to unleash a plague that could kill all of the Skrulls. On their way, Brock tries to adjust to joining with Sleeper, and discovers its many unique abilities, including those that differ from those of Venom’s. As they arrive at a Skrull ship where Tel-Kar and the Venom symbiote are located, can M’lanz, Eddie, and Sleeper all stop him and rescue the symbiote before an act of genocide occurs?
While this mini-series has been a tad bit rocky for my liking, I will say that’s it’s picked up very nicely in the last issue, and especially in this issue. The art continues to be outstanding, with the design for Sleeper being the highlight of this issue. It feels very reminiscent of Toxin’s design, with one color seeming to be an extra layer over the main black, this case being green. I really hope that once this story wraps up in the next issue, we’ll get to see more of this interesting new character and design in the future.
The writing has definitely picked up the pace and quality as well, with the character traits and motivations of Tel-Kar and M’lanz becoming clearer. Tel-Kat is still a tad bit generic to me as an antagonist, but he definitely is at his best in this issue, delivering some really good condescending lines. Seeing how Sleeper’s powers worked was definitely a plus, and the fight with Tel-Kar was done very well.
The resolution felt somewhat rushed, and happened way too easily. It felt like there needed to be another page or two dedicated to that development, and I can only assume it’s because everyone involved is short on time, since there’s only one issue left. With any luck, it’ll hopefully be a somewhat longer issue that can tie up all the loose ends of this story arc.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this issue a lot more than the others. While I still have some reservations about this arc as a whole, this issue has gotten me to like it again, and I look forward to seeing exactly how it resolves.