Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Ryan Stegman, Joshua Cassara, JP Meyer, VC’s Clayton Cowels
Release date: February 20, 2019
Every time I know Venom is coming up that week I’m pumped. It’s one book that since it’s debut has really not let me down once and just been a monthly onslaught of awesomeness from day one. This particular issue I’ve particularly been looking forward to mainly for the completely badass Watchmen variant cover playing off the #BetterTheWatchmen meme started by Ryan on twitter so I was pretty happy to see my comic store was able to hook me up one of those bad boys today.
The book picks up from where we left off last month with Eddie in hospital being attended to by the Maker after pretty much losing his shit at the end of the last issue and lashing out at his ‘little brother’ and the maker deciding he will have to separate the symbiote from Eddie which would induce severe withdrawals and possibly death, The book switched between the maker debating his decision and Eddie having dreamlike visions while in his coma-like state first of his uncle dying from Cancer and then of himself contemplating suicide to escape his own cancer.
When the Maker separates Eddie and the symbiote and very emotional scene plays out between Eddie and the symbiote talking back and forward where it is revealed that what Eddie had been seeing back from his memories of his sister and now his uncle etc where actual manipulations of his mind by the symbiote which had been manipulating his memories and that the symbiote had manipulated his body to give a false cancer reading in order to keep Eddie dependant on the symbiote for fear of being left all alone.
The Maker separates the symbiote from Eddie and isolated by some kind of forcefield and its finally revealed when Eddie remembers having been separated from the symbiote that his little brother is not his brother at all but actually his son which was the motivation for the symbiote to manipulate Eddie as it though he would leave him for his son.
Another really great issue of Venom. Donny Cates has really been building this co-dependency and emotional connection between Eddie and the Symbiote throughout the series so far so really felt the impact of this complete disconnection between Eddie and the Symbiote which has been building towards for a few issues now.
I really like the idea of the symbiote infiltrating, changing and implanting memories in his mind and the twist that his brother was actually his son was a cool reveal that leaves some interesting questions moving forward that I’m looking forward to getting some answers on. Interested to see who the mother would be as well as long as the kid isn’t some weird offspring of a symbrock relationship but having seen Donny’s responses to some of those suggestions on social media I think we’re hopefully pretty safe from getting too weird in that regard.
Too often these days I feel like a lot of books just lack and weight or real stakes with each arc just feeling like another episode in some kind of serialized storytelling where at the end of it everything is resolved in a neat little package and we move on to the next with no real consequences. This creative team has done and great job in my opinion just continually building on top of itself and really making it feel like this is an important run that is really having long term impact on the universe and the character and also kudos to Marvel for giving Donny the freedom to change some things up with the character write a story that feels like it has actual consequences for the character which is lacking from a lot of books these days.
The art remains worth the cover price on its own and the fact the whole thing is basically in a hospital bed and a few flashbacks its pretty impressive that the art team was able to make it look so awesome from the cool layouts and art with the visions of the uncle, the look of the church where Eddie is contemplating suicide to just keeping coming up with interesting ways and angles to draw the Maker and Eddie just in the hospital room just great creativity, layouts and art direction to make a reasonably static story look so damn impressive. Inks and colors have also been consistently brilliant in this series as well.
Another great issue of Venom that kept building and progressed the story in a meaningful way. For a book, without really any fight scenes of anything crazy for the artists to really sink their teeth into it looks fantastic and shows the ability of the art team to take a story such as this and make it look so badass. As with Donny’s style again there was an interesting cliffhanger at the end that has me bursting at the seams to get my hands on issue 12!