Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Juan Gedeon
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Joshua Cassara & Rain Beredo
Variant Cover Artists: Ron Lim & Israel Silva
After the events of The Abyss and War of the Realms, Eddie Brock has found himself back in New York, looking after Dylan. Free from the symbiote, Eddie tries to get by, while wrestling with his inner demons that make him question what kind of person he truly is. When Dylan gets sick, however, Eddie has to take matters into his own hands in order to get by, and follows a trail that leads him to the last thing he ever expected. What will Eddie find in his efforts to take care of the only family he has left? And deep down, who is he truly, Eddie Brock or Venom?
After a few months on hiatus, Donny Cates finally returns to continue his run on everyone’s favorite lethal protector, and boy, oh boy, does he come back with a bang. Cullen Bunn did a fantastic job of continuing the run for War of the Realms, but I can’t say I didn’t miss Cates’ writing and handling of the characters, so this issue is definitely one I’ve been waiting for ever since issue #12. Cates’ run on the character has excelled in diving deep into the mind and personality of Eddie Brock, and there’s no doubt that it’s the bread and butter of this book.
To start off, Juan Gedeon’s art is absolutely fantastic, and I especially love the way he draws Venom. It’s a style that reminds me a lot of Dark Origin, and I loved seeing a return to this interesting design for the character. While this isn’t a criticism of what’s between the pages, the cover is a pretty poor representation of what the story is about, and I definitely feel like it should’ve been more minimalistic. However, the art is still incredibly well done, and I gotta give props to Joshua Cassara and Rain Beredo.
Onto the main story itself, I absolutely love it. It encompasses everything I’ve adored about Cates’ run so far, and delivers on weaving Eddie’s story in flying colors. The emotional and psychological journey he goes on throughout this story is intense, nail-biting, and cathartic, and brings everything full circle for him in a sense before Absolute Carnage begins. As for the side characters, they’re essentially just for pushing Eddie’s story forward, but for this issue I think it’s definitely warranted. It’s interesting to see Eddie’s relationship with Dylan as he’s hiding the fact that he’s his son, and it definitely makes you wonder how long it’ll last until the truth is revealed.
Overall, there isn’t much else to say without digging into spoilers, but this was a fantastic Eddie Brock story, and I’m elated to see Cates back in the driver’s seat. Absolute Carnage is definitely going to be insane and off-the-rails, and I think this did a perfect job at setting the stage for it. I can’t wait to see how the event unfolds next month, and I’m looking forward to where Cates takes Eddie during and beyond it.