Venom #26 Review

Venom 26 c1

Writer: Donny Cates
Artists: Iban Coello and Juan Gedeon
Colors: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Release date July 17 2020
Reviewed by D. Brown (WolfCypher)

Knull is fast-track speeding to Earth, the Avengers are finally let in on the impending doom, Dylan’s mysterious powers are out in the open, and the Maker is about to make his move. After the events of Venom Island, everyone is all caught up and things are coming to a point.

Iban Coello so far has been the artist on duty for every single Maker related story this title has done. Has anyone else noticed that? Whether its being done consciously or not, I’m not complaining. I’ll happily take Coello’s work on as many Venom issues as he’d like to do. His Venom is how Venom should look. His Eddie is the big, burly badass I like. The man, especially when he’s with the right colorists, can do no wrong, bringing in exciting fight scenes, which we are treated to when newcomer Virus shows up for blood.

Who exactly is Virus, anyway? A delayed free comic book would have been the proper debut of the character, but changes in plans due to real-life events see him making his 1st full appearance here (if we don’t count a brief tease at the end of Venom #25). He (…assuming Virus is a man underneath the helmet) brings with him a vendetta against Eddie, as well as a patchwork arsenal of borrowed tech ranging from a painted-over War Machine suit and Green Goblin bombs and gliders. With every single facet of Cates’ run connecting explicitly to Knull in some way, I won’t even pretend to consider that Virus isn’t or won’t somehow be a piece in the big Knull puzzle.

Cates’ writing of Eddie and Dylan together is a delight. We get an Eddie who is taking his role as Dylan’s protector very seriously, dotting over his son and making sure he’s wearing a thick enough jacket, reassuring him everything’s going to be fine. Dylan and Eddie’s relationship is a fun relationship I would like to continue to follow, and really, the character of Dylan has only been a strength to this book since his focused introduction in The Abyss arc starting with Venom #9. The Maker is always an interesting character when he shows up in this book. He somehow both comes off as an asset for Eddie, while still feeling like a foreboding menace no one should trust. He comes off as a great threat that also (usually) seems genuine when he admits showing no interest in doing Eddie any ill-will. Outside of a couple of instances where the dialogue didn’t read well, the writing through this issue was great.

I will ask this however…Was there a point to the opening segment, though? Other than being a fun call back to the good-old days of Eddie being a street-tier vigilante and having fun in the process, we never get back to Eddie shaking down that thug (or whoever he was supposed to be) he and his symbiote were chasing. It never comes up for the rest of the comic, and the book reads just as well without first three pages. What information did Eddie need to get out of him? The Maker’s location? Why would he know? So far throughout this run, the Maker seemed to either work alone or with professional hired personnel. Some pierced street-tough doesn’t seem like the kind of guy the Maker would have in his employ or trust any information with, so this encounter, which we’re supposed to believe is what leads Eddie to the Maker, didn’t play well with me. But it was still a fun opening. And in a book that ultimately calls back to the Ultimate Universe, Earth 1610, it was funny to see our Eddie Brock hassling this character who looks like the spitting image of Ultimate Eddie Brock…

Well, with Iban back on the art duties, and the events of this run approaching a new momentum, I’m looking forward to seeing where this new arc takes things. The Maker stories have been my favorite arcs in this run, and this one looks to be the better than the others.

Final Thoughts

Cates returns to his Project: Oversight arc that had been stirring in the background behind the bigger Knull plot with Iban Coello returning on the visuals. The premier of a new villain promises more questions as Eddie and Dylan get engulfed in newer problems.


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