“The Night I Became A Monster” (Venom #10 Comic Review)

Venom #10

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

Summary:

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?

Thoughts:

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.

SPOILER WARNING

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.

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Alec Thorn

Alec Thorn

Hey guys! My name is Alec Thorn, I’m 19 years old, and I’m currently a full-time student in college. I’ve loved comics and superheroes ever since I was a toddler, with my favorite comic book character being the one and only Peter Parker / Spider-Man. I have a major passion for acting and singing as well, doing both for as long as I can remember. Hope you all enjoy reading!
Summary
A dark, disturbing, and harrowing chapter in the tragic life of Eddie Brock
Good
  • Story development is engaging and harrowing
  • Eddie's backstory adds a whole new layer to his character
  • Stegman's art remains incredible
  • Cates needs to stay on this title forever
10
Perfect
Story - 10
Characters - 10
Art - 10
Writing - 10
Written by
Hey guys! My name is Alec Thorn, I’m 19 years old, and I’m currently a full-time student in college. I’ve loved comics and superheroes ever since I was a toddler, with my favorite comic book character being the one and only Peter Parker / Spider-Man. I have a major passion for acting and singing as well, doing both for as long as I can remember. Hope you all enjoy reading!

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  1. This is the issue that caused me to drop the current Venom run. While in isolation the writing seems decent, even skillful, when considered in the context of the run or even the character as a whole the pitfall’s start to become obvious, with this issue highlighting all of them.

    The main character has nothing to do with Eddie Brock, let alone Venom, in fact the main character has no personality to speak of, just Generic Male Action Protagonist #78. The writing is very grimdark, in 10 issues there was not a single moment of humor or levity or hope to contrast the monotone bleakness and tragedy and give them the gravity they deserve. Each of the problems presented could’ve fueled an arc or several by themselves but by throwing them all on top of each other they’re made cheap and shallow as there’s no way Cates will be able to explore them all properly. There’s no supporting cast to speak of. Pretty much all the characters have the personality of a cardboard. The plot falls into the common pitfall of comic where everything needs to be bigger and grander where the stakes feel impersonal and slightly ridiculous.

    All of that without taking into the history of the character. Almost all of the new “revelations” that occurred in this run fly in the face of previously established background, often with a bad case of “grander is better”. There’s a blatant disregard to things that were always central to Eddie Brock’s character like his tendency to blame everyone but himself and the fact that spite is practically his superpower. The main thing that made Venom so unique, the dynamic between the host and the symbiote, was literally erased after the first arc. Hell, even the best part about this issue is pretty much a repeat of one of Flash Thompson’s plotline, even the panels look the same!

    Frankly this whole run feels like a bad fanfic by someone with a high technical writing skill. It’s a shame that such amazing art is wasted on such bland and unoriginal writing.

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