I’m getting a little caught up on Venom. As with all my great binges, it comes from me taking the title off of my pull just before it got really good. To be honest it was Ryan Stegman’s artwork during Absolute Carnage that really swayed me to returning to the series, and honestly it’s a stellar book, but it’s issue four here that I want to talk about a bit…
It’s inevitable with comics that once a character reaches a certain point that, depending on the character, the creators feel a need to re-imagine or embellish the roots of the character. Lately Marvel has been really pushing to making a new status quo for Venom, what with the ‘Nam mini-series that reveals that there were symbiotes that predated Spider-Man’s black suit, and other such twists, it really feels like they want to expunge Venom’s history to the point that he might not even have the spider insignia on his chest (kind of like the movie, ahem). Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with that, but this obsession that Venom now needs to be some sort of unique superhero as opposed to the very embodiment of an anti-hero as he always was just seems… cheap? It’s Venom, the original Spidey dopple-ganger. Taking that away from him is like taking the jam out of PB&J sandwiches…
Anyways, rant over, because I do sort of like what transpires in this issue.
Eddie Brock comes face-to-face with the being known as Knull, the all-father of symbiotes. We learn about how he’s this ancient being at war with all things light and good, and symbiotes are basically his own flesh and blood designed to overtake and utilize the universe to his liking. There’s an almost cringy yet prosy moment where Knull actually coins the word “venom” in terms of his own origins, and even the reasoning behind him bearing the same insignia as our own Venom does is somewhat founded. I was a little skeptical while reading it, but I found it pretty good. It’s a story that doesn’t necessarily upset Venom’s story, but maybe even heightens it. I also just came to terms with the fact that (as I alluded before) after thirty some odd years Marvel was bound to dig deeper into the roots of Venom and symbiotes as a whole.
Of all the tweakings and reworks of the past that comics enjoy doing so much, this one gets by pretty well, and I’m actually more and more enthralled with it.
TL;DR Score: However, I’m more enthralled by that gorgeous cover that really harkens to Amazing Spider-Man #347.