The complexity of the Symbiotes and Venom is becoming ever more interesting with every passing issue from Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman. The character has not only acquired a new villain but a new purpose. Oh and new powers, apparently. Read this fourth issue to discover even more from all three categories.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
What you see on the cover is in fact real. That is Venom with wings. Cates and Stegman have made this character completely new in exciting ways and continue to do so with this issue. This is one of those calm before the storm issues.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The main character gets their head right, the villain gains strength for the next battle, and a plan to kick some ass is forming. The issue starts however, with Miles Morales and Venom falling from very high up with no way to stop their fall. Cut to Venom wings. It’s a badass idea and it works without having to rewrite anything or retcon anything either. While reading this issue I pondered if Marvel would ever retcon this story since it seems to change so much, but as it stands the character is getting built in new and interesting ways. A lot of that building is thanks to the plan that’s getting cooked up, as well as the stronger voice of the Symbiote that speaks up in this issue.
One of the more interesting things Cates has tapped into with this series is how the Symbiotes are stronger when they are bonded with another creature. It’s not necessarily new–Venom was always strong because it was Eddie and the Symbiote working together–but this extends to the entire race. Knull has entered the story and basically wants to make all Symbiotes a hive mind he controls. This concept of sharing bodies gets an additional twist later in this issue which appears to be part of Eddie’s plan to power up and stop Knull when he returns.
The art continues to be very dark and suits the story. Imagine this story takes place with lots of rain and lightning which you can hear in the distance while Venom talks things out in a dark basement for much of this issue. It’s a nightmare sort of series and Stegman makes that very clear. We’re talking spiked hands through heads sort of clear.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s a table setting issue to be sure with little conflict or action. That’s okay in the grand scheme of things, but aside from the fall to open the issue and a bit of violence later on, I was hoping for things to pick up. When read in a collection it’ll be right as rain, but as a single issue, I wanted more action.
Is it good?
In five issues Venom has never felt fresher. Cates and Stegman are clearly running on full blast when it comes to new ideas and daring chances. Give this a chance and you may just like Venom even more.