Writer: Donny Cates
Art Team: Joshua Cassara, Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer, Frank Martin, VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: February 20, 2019
Cover Price: $3.99
Over here at WSMC were not quite sure if the ‘Fresh Start’ initiative is still a thing or not but never the less, since that mini-relaunch, Venom has remained one of the most well done and intriguing on-going books on the shelves for Marvel. After dealing with the symbiotes own daddy issues, we’ve moved onto Eddie’s, however that pesky ‘Maker’ just wont leave well enough alone to allow him to deal … or has all that’s unfolded been part of his master plan all along? Lets discuss.
The issue begins, and frequently revisits, Eddie Brock in his own mind as he attempts to workout and sort through what is really going on, while also dealing with memories that may or may not be real. While we attempt to get this strightened out the Maker is revealed to be working on Eddie to rid of him of this cancer we’ve seen affecting him, all while still being nefarious about his overall intentions, and willing to kill Eddie to reach his end goal.
Eddie eventually comes to his senses in the ever present liquid vats we see in comics so often, still attempting to be separated from his symbiote by the Maker, by any means necessary. When Eddie comes to the reveals we’ve seen start to make more sense as they are discovered throughout this mind screw of an issue. Eddie seems to realize many of the painful memories he harbors, that haunt and stick with him, we’re planted and a means for the symbiote to keep Eddie reliant on it for comfort, as a way to keep constant companionship, revealing many of Eddie’s insecurities may actually be the symbiotes, even bringing into question whether or not he even has cancer. Its almost like Eddie is a drug to the symbiote that cant quit him, therefore mentally abuses or plants excuses Eddie then uses, to keep it around … pretty powerful stuff.
The confrontation comes to a head when Eddie confronts the symbiote. In a last ditch effort to stay as one the symbiote reveals he previously left Eddie, in the dog form from the Web of issue, and discovered Carnage has returned. Emphasizing they need to be one to take care of this newly revealed problem which is coming for them both whether they like it or not. We end by flashing back to the Makers lab and see Eddie awake one more time screaming to be released as, maybe/possibly thinking clearly, and realizing Dylan may not be his brother after all, but actually his SON!!!
My overall main concerns this arc of Venom I keep coming back to is I just don’t understand with 100% clarity yet whats going on and it is moving a tad slow. However I can say I have a good enough grasp to still really enjoy what I’m getting, and although the excitement level might be a slight step back from the initial story arcs of this series, the fun here is unfolding the mystery we’re getting keeping the reader on their toes each month.
The usual art featuring Ryan Stegman, who is a podcast favorite, gets a little help here as the rest of the crew take over for the ‘of the mind’ areas of the book, but it remains constantly strong and interesting throughout despite mostly being just a couple different conversations.
The Venom series continues to move forward dealing with Eddie’s family issues, while forcing him to confront the symbiote, and simultaneously sort out what is reality from fiction within his own mind. All that and the Maker continues to make his presence felt adding yet another layer of intrigue to this mystery. Venom always remains at the top of my reading list each month, mostly for its story consistency and beautiful art, I just hope we start to get some definitive answers about what’s really going on before the book falls into War of the Realms and changes teams for a few months.