Take a look at that cover. We all knew this had to happen at some point, right? Now the question is if Gerry Conway and Ryan Stegman can pull it off in a way that’s cool…or at least not stupid/ridiculous.

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #8
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Publisher: Marvel Comics


No small feat when you’re doing an alternate universe Venom series.

First Read Reactions

  • If you see a dead kid and Mysterio is nearby, chances are it’s a hoax.
  • That being said, how many moms do you know who would take that chance?
  • Someone needs to put a child leash on Normie immediately.
  • No matter what reality she’s in, Liz Allan is fully prepared at any time for a super powered being to come in through her office window—and to make an enticing/sinister offer.
  • I’m guessing this timeline skipped the original Secret Wars/Eddie Brock eras.
  • MJ Venom = All types of badass
  • MJ Venom = All types of messed up.
  • MJ Venom = A murderer?

The Verdict

Hats off to Conway and Stegman for utilizing the alternate universe conceit to create a narrative where we truly don’t know what’s going to happen next. MJ appears to make all the same symbiote-based mistakes that Peter did in the 616 timeline, but for better reason…and at a highly accelerated rate. By the issue’s end, there’s a genuine feeling that she may have crossed a line from which there is no return.

MJ’s transformation does feel a bit rushed, but that’s mostly due to the fact that this series doesn’t have the luxury of a few years to develop this plot line—although the Normie plotline, which has been getting developed over the last year, has gone from intriguing to random to downright frustrating. It’s hard to even care about it after multiple cutaways to remind us how evil he is that end up having little to no effect on the rest of the issue.

But aside from those minor quibbles, this is a great start to an exceptionally promising story arc. I’ll admit that getting to see Stegman draw a Venom-ized version of MJ would have been enough on its own to make me buy the issue (don’t judge me), but I’m happy to see that Conway’s script gave her a good reason to make such a colossal mistake.

Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #8
Is it good?
Conway and Stegman utilize the alternate universe conceit to create a narrative where we truly don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Conway avoids the usual narrative traps of alternate universe Venom stories, instead giving the new host (MJ) a smart and heartfelt reason to make such a colossal mistake.
Stegman gets to draw Mysterio and Venom. 'Nuff said.
The Normie plotline has gone from intriguing to random to downright frustrating.
8
Good