Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, & Frank Martin
Variant Cover Artist: Phil Noto
Eddie is incredibly sick, and the only source of help he has is in the form of his half-brother, Dylan, who wants him to do one thing: kill their dad. However, he has a lot of questions he wants to ask beforehand, namely about Venom. As they sit together in a diner, old wounds and traumatic memories reopen as Eddie reveals what happened between him and his father so long ago. What could’ve caused such hatred? And what does it mean for Eddie as a person?
Perhaps my opinions on this issue will make me sound like I haven’t read enough comics to warrant this, and that would be a valid opinion, but after reading this, I can’t help but feel like it’s one of the darkest and most disturbing comics I’ve read in my life, and I mean that in the best way possible.
To get these things out of the way: Stegman’s art continues to be incredible, Cates crafts a fantastic story, and all of the characters are on point. It has fantastic character development for Eddie and Dylan, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the next issue. Now, I’m gonna have to talk about spoilers, so at this point, if you haven’t read Venom #10 and don’t want to be spoiled, go read it and then come back here.
The revelation of Eddie not being the kid hit by the car, but rather the one driving it and hitting the child, is something that made my stomach sink low, and I mean that as a compliment. It was a development that gave me emotional whiplash like nothing had in a long, long time, and what followed only made it more harrowing. Seeing his father beat on him while demanding he plead innocent at the trial the next day, along with Eddie brokenly repeating it to himself at the end, is the kind of stuff I didn’t expect to see done in this book.
Honestly, I have to give Cates all the credit in the world for this. Not once did any of this feel like it was in poor taste, or trying too hard to be “adult” and “gritty,” it didn’t come across as an edgy attempt to be taken seriously. It was taken seriously by me from the get-go, and it affected me deeply. I can’t say this will be an issue I read all the time, especially because of its content and how much of it I can handle, but it’s one that I’m gonna remember for a long time. And frankly, it did its job in flying colors in that department. If you haven’t read Cates’ Venom run yet, consider this my glowing recommendation for it. It’s my personal favorite from 2018, and at this rate, it’ll be the same for 2019 as well.