Out this week in comic shops, Venom’s 150th issue is getting the trade paperback treatment along with issues #151 through #153. Venom fanatics know this was a big push to get Eddie Brock back with his symbiote. It’s also part of the Marvel Legacy push of renumbering!
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Reunited, and it feels so good! Or rather, feels so bad! Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote are back together, web-slinging their way around New York again – and a host of creators from the character’s near 30-year history are here to celebrate! With questions still lingering about how the symbiote was separated from Flash Thompson, what lies in its future now that it’s reunited with Eddie Brock? Will he be the city’s lethal protector once again, or revert back to a sadistic, Spider-hating villain? There’s only one way to find out!
Why does this matter?
Venom #150 is a great done in one tale that anybody can jump into. It’s also a new look at the relationship between Eddie and the symbiote that’s quite interesting since it’s a romance more than a bromance.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The twisted connection between these characters is unmistakable.
The 150th issue that kicks off this volume is darn-tootin’ good. The main story is by Mike Costa and Tradd Moore and delves into Eddie’s deep bond with the alien. As Eddie attempts to figure out his life back with the symbiote he puts others in harms way out of jealousy, mindless violence, and his own inability to control himself. Costa does a great job capturing the complexity of the character and it’s a great way to shine a light on his uniqueness among the superhero pantheon. Tradd Moore captures the ferocity and sometimes gross nature of Venom with the alien oozing out of orifices, displaying many teeth, and looking generally frightening. Moore is an artist that suits this character due to the fluidity of his lines and it’s a real treat to see it displayed here.
The remainder of the 150th issue has two self-contained stories by Robbie Thompson and David Michelinie with art by Gerardo Sandoval and Ron Lim. These stories focus on Venom’s desire to be a hero as he takes down some robbers in a mall and the other about the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with being Venom. These stories are top shelf stuff and Venom fans will love it.
The rest of this collection tells “The Land Before Crime” storyline by Mike Costa and Gerardo Sandoval weaving in a partnership between Alchemax and Venom. The two don’t like each other, but who else is going to solve the sewer’s dinosaur problem?! The story weaves in Devil Dinosaur and Moon Girl, which surprisingly works. Costa utilizes the symbiote in a unique way too, which turns the tide in the battle against Stegron. The art in these issues capitalizes on the nature of the symbiote and its fluid quality quite well and Sandoval keeps the teeth rather contained which helps keep Venom looking more like a hero than a crazy toothed villain.
If you like dinosaurs AND Venom you need this in your life.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The Stegron/Alchemax story is about as 90’s action heavy as you can get and while that might appeal to many it ends up being a rather predictable fight-centric story arc. The end result does add something new to Venom’s story, but it relies heavily on a medicine that’s probably too good to be true so as Venom won’t eat the Alchemax CEO’s head off.
Is It Good?
This trade paperback collects the excellent Venom #150 with a fun action heavy story arc that came after it. If you dig Venom this is a no brainer and as it does the character justice.