Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Iban Coello & Alberto Alburquerque
Colors: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release Date: June 12, 2019
Review by WolfCypher (D. Brown)
Asgardian/Rune/Barbarian Venom vs. Asgardian/Rune/Nightmare Jack-O-Lantern comes to its end in this conclusion to Cullen Bunn’s War of the Realms tie-in. To be honest, I find it difficult to say much about this issue without repeating myself for the third time here. The events in this entire arc don’t really dig too deeply into the affairs going on in the actual War of the Realms event itself, nor do we really continue with this book main direction. Here is a fill-in arc that I had been enjoying, but it may have bordered on out-staying its welcome.
While I have been positive on this arc, I find my personal positivity diminished. Did we really need three issues of more of the same? Issue 15 covers mostly the same ground we read in issue 13 and 14, the first two parts of this arc. Eddie and Jack battle with magic-based powers, while Eddie relates to himself about how much his anger and his problems with the (actual) Venom symbiote are as much his responsibility as he has blamed his former symbiote for. This was well enough for me with the first chapter of this tie-in, and even by the second chapter I was still all in. But part three really had me wishing either Bunn had found a way to tell this story in just two issues, or otherwise shook things up by the third. Maybe he could have done more with Malekith’s witches by the third part, or brought in another hero or villain (I mean, everyone with powers are all out and about during this war, right?). I wont blame Bunn for not having the keys to Donny Cate’s locked toy chest, where Cates keeps all the goodies I want to get back to away from Bunn. The ongoing events with Dylan, Knull, Carnage, the codexes, Eddie’s problems with his symbiote, etc. are to be explored through this run’s regular writer, and that’s not for Bunn to write, I understand that, but was there nothing else we could have dabbled with by the end of this fill-in story? Still, this installment did manage to find a few new cool moments and ideas I did appreciate a lot (Eddie handling an axe like a boss, and even channeling his “inner Thor” near the end). All-in-all, there’s good to take away from this issue, as Bunn handles both Edie and Jack well (I’m always a sucker to see Venom and Jack throw down) and its a great looking comic. I enjoyed this epic, city-on-fire, supercharged Venom vs. Jack-O-Lantern arc at the start, but by the end, okay, I’m good…its time to get back to where Eddie left off prior to War of the Realms.
One of my personal favorite artists gets a little help near the end with yet another guest artist, Alberto Alburquerque, finishing the final couple of pages. It was a little jarring to get to these last pages and see a completely different style. Not to say that Alburquerque’s art isn’t good, but this book was better for having his art duties take over after the end of the conflict. Alberquerque’s visuals don’t lend well with the Asgardian chaos that took up the better 90% of this book, and I much rather Coello at least managed all of the fighting scenes. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I’d love to have Coello regularly on this book for as long as possible; a bold wish to have considering that the regular artist is Ryan Stegman.
The concluding issue offers more of the same as its two preceding chapters; a story that relies on heavy action and brilliant visuals. This three-part arc may be nothing more than a filler from this book’s actual ongoing saga, but I got my fun out of it (and I’ll be forever grateful for Barbarian Eddie with a badass battleaxe). But the vacation is now over; its time to get back to work, Cates.