Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Guiu Villanova
Colors: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Release date November 4 2020
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
The final Web of Venom before the King in Black event, or Knull-Coming if you will, officially kicks off, and its a bridge between the end of one event and the beginning of the next.
Guiu Villanova returns for another Web of Venom story, his prior one being just the last installment before this one. Marvel seems to be playing at Villanova’s strengths it seems, as our artist did a fantastic job handling the visuals of our last space-themed Web of Venom story, and he continues to nail it here, this time fitting the tone of this book’s added genre: Horror.
Clay McLeod Chapman is neither a stranger to horror or symbiotes. Just as he had the honors of presenting readers with a horror-themed tie-in to Donny Cates’ last Venom event, Absolute Carnage (see Absolute Carnage: Separation Anxiety), we get to usher in the Knull-Coming with his Web of Venom space-scare. The book shares its atmosphere with films like Alien and Aliens, a perfect fit I think when dealing with symbiotes stalking the crew of the book’s Kree/Skrull transport. I was happily surprised to see among the cast of characters Tarna from Spaceknight Venom and M’Lanz from Venom: First Host, two Skrulls who have a brief history with Flash Thompson and Eddie Brock’s versions of Venom respectively. I never expected either of them to show up again. This is no simple fan service, as I think bringing these two into this story is just a very nice touch. A Kree/Skrull event ends and rolls over into a symbiote catastrophe, and we have the two Skrull former symbiote hosts caught in the fray.
Finishing this one-shot, without ever reading a single issue under the Empyre banner, I can say it satisfied me as a good one-and-done. My lacking any experience with the Empyre event never became an issue, the story being easy to follow and sharing what bits from that event that were worth referencing. I don’t think this issue does as good a job hyping me up for the Knull-Coming as either Chapman’s Separation Anxiety nor Cullen Bunn’s Web of Venom: Funeral Pyre did for Absolute Carnage, though. Yes, this is a good read, and it does space horror and suspense well, I expected no less from the man I praised his take of Scream for, but I’m no more looking forward to Knull after reading this then before I opened the book. It may not have really sold me on Knull, but it did scratch that itch I’ve been suffering since Clay’s Scream book came to its end.
Guiu and Chapman combine their talents to craft a tension filled terror of a one-shot, leaving behind the events of Empyre to herald the Coming of Knull.
One thought on “Web of Venom: Empyre’s End Review”
Your review nails it. I really enjoyed this issue of sci-fi horror. Especially seeing Talos, Tarna, and M’Lanz treated like characters and not expendable pawns. I do echo your concerns about Knull; I like him, wish I could love him. He needs some extra bite to him, especially since Marvel cosmic villains are either space monsters (Brood) or space warlords (Thanos). Knull fits both and Donny Cates really needs to bring his A-game to make him a memorable villain in his own event. Still, this is a good comic.