Venom #9 Review

Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 5, 2018

While it took me a little longer to get into this Venom run than most, it has become one of my favorite Marvel books. As a newb, it’s been more about the characters than the expansion of the symbiote mythos, but I can easily see why the later has longtime fans excited as well. So, this character-heavy issue should be right up my alley, right? Let’s find out…

The issue opens with an extended scene with Eddie on a bus heading to San Fransisco. Ryan Stegman’s art sets the moody tone that goes well with the narration of failed relationships and loss which means more as the issue goes on. We do get to see what’s up with the symbiote when a guy decides he has to start crap with Eddie and while it is kind of odd what is going on, I’ll go with it.

As Eddie gets closer to his father’s home, Cates recaps some important things from Eddie’s past…one shows one of the reasons his father hates him and another recalls his dead sister. The first one is just icing on the cake, but the second is more important as things play out.

Everything up to this point is pretty low-key, but that changes when Eddie knocks on his father’s front door. To say his father isn’t too happy to see him is an understatement, but there is more at play here. Eddie’s father is either the most forgetful person ever or something is wrong with Eddie, his father or the whole dang world.

As for the symbiote, it goes into full-out horror mode and Stegman has some fun turning the book into something out of an H.P. Lovecraft nightmare. It looks fantastic…sick, twisted and fantastic.

Before Eddie runs away, we see his little brother (?) again and while the mystery surrounding him that started issues ago isn’t solved, the cliffhanger makes you think that we will be getting some answers soon.

Out of nowhere, Donny Cated is setting up a horror story/mystery and I am pretty pumped about it. Yea, at first this seemed like a quiet issue after all the craziness we just left behind, but I liked this shifting of gears and it left me guessing. Who is remembering things right? Is this little brother on the up-and-up? Why isn’t the symbiote a Chihuahua, the meanest of all dogs? I can’t wait for this all to unfold.

I can’t say enough about Ryan Stegman’s art. It is as much a reason why I love this book as Cates’ writing and that’s coming from a guy who yells that it’s always about the story. Kudos as well to JP Mayer and Frank Martin for the inks and colors!

Final Thoughts:

While this issue starts off at a slower pace than usual, it all pays off by the end. Donny Cates continues to impress me with the depth he’s giving this book and its characters and Ryan Stegman and the entire art team kicks butt as well. Yea, this issue has some action, but the mysterious things going on in Eddie’s life are much more interesting and I can’t wait to see more.

9.3/10

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