Venom is a character many of us just don’t even get. He’s also one of the coolest designs in comics hence the big sales and constant interest (for many). In this third volume, Venom gets a hell of a new direction with a few tweaks to the character and his story.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
You’ve seen things from Eddie Brock’s perspective; now see how things look from the other side – from the perspective of the Venom symbiote!
Can I jump in easily?
This volume opens with a good intro to the Symbiote via a Symbiote centric story. I can’t say it helps with the rest–namely Eddie’s requirement to get injections and the dinosaur people–but it’s a help. Volume 2 was a good start and sets this volume up well.
Reason 1: Venom is a protector of monsters just like him.
Introduced in the last volume but further explored here Venom becomes even more involved as the dinosaur people’s protector. Last volume he helped them, but this time his purpose is extended as they see him as some kind of savior. In a quick thinking moment he must help them and prevent an all out war with the Moloids. Once Kraven enters the fray all hell breaks loose and once again he must protect these people even if he’s not their designated leader. I love how Costa explores Venom’s trepidation in helping these strange people in part because he’s always been a loner. How can a self proclaimed hero who helps those who need it not accept the role they most desperately require?
Those teeth are gnarly!
Reason 2: Eddie gets a real job.
Though a minor element (hopefully developed further later) Eddie gets a job working for a newspaper. Not just any newspaper, but a gossip focused portion of the main paper. This is an interesting development that I hope Mike Costa probes further because Eddie and Venom are all about justice and doing good. How can he help write gossip if that’s his main goal? This is also an interesting way to tie Eddie back to his newspaper days albeit he used to be a seriously good reporter not some gossip rag writer.
Reason 3: The Symbiote gains a conscience.
This volume opens with a self contained story drawn by Paulo Siqueira which focuses on the Symbiote itself. As the story progresses we learn it has become obsessed with late night news programs and wants to do right. Costa ties its desire to do good with its previous owner, Flash Thompson, which helps make it believable this once killer alien would be even more inclined to help innocence. This first chapter also goes into the history this Symbiote has gone through including its traumatic experience of being bonded with Spider-Man. It’s a great start to the volume as it helps ease you into the struggle of the Symbiote.
Once you get over the somewhat ridiculous nature of dinosaur people this is a rather interesting tale.
Reasons to be wary?
Lee Price plays a part in this volume and since I read Venom Inc. I know why. That said, it seems rather pointless to have this character since he plays very little part in the main story. It’s’ all set up for the future Venom Inc. story. While that’s typically a good thing (so story elements feel earned) there are a few courtroom scenes and lawyer scenes that are rather boring and long winded. We’re talking lawyers chatting it up for way too long. I feel bad for readers who don’t have the knowledge that Lee Price will play a part down the road because without it these scenes seem rather random.
Is there a rationale to the reasons?
I really liked how this collection read. It opens with a great chapter focusing on the Symbiote and its character and then delivers a rather good self contained story involving Kraven the Hunter. By the end you’ll feel like Venom (and Eddie) have grown and changed, which is really all we can ask for from these serial characters.