The finale to the first arc is here and it is explosive.
All good things must come to an end and that includes Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s opening salvo that has made Venom new and cool again. Well, he was always cool, but not quite this new. In this issue, we get a conclusion to the ever murderous Knull and Venom begins to understand what it means to be a hero deep in his skin.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Cates is an idea machine when it comes to his writing and that’s why Venom hasn’t felt this invigorating or fun in a long time. Stegman can’t help but make these visuals horror stylized in the coolest of ways. Believe me, this issue is visually stunning.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
A quick count puts this issue at 6 cool ideas, whether they’re visual or story related; given a lot of comics usually get away with one big idea to make an issue truly sing — you know you have something special on your hands with this one. Venom #6 is a good example of a horror movie third act complete with the hero suiting up to fight the monster, having the monster end up being tougher than they thought, and even requiring the hero to seemingly kill it twice. Hell, the issue even ends in a basement where there’s an oven. I wouldn’t doubt if a horror aficionado read this they’d pick up on multiple aspects that make it just as much of a horror story as an action story.
And action it has and then some. Sure we get a sick full page spread of Venom strapped with all kinds of weapons, but have you ever seen two Symbiotes fight in hand-to-hand combat (if you can call it that)? There are explosions, shooting, and physical combat throughout. It’s exciting stuff.
The visuals are no less spectacular. There is a double page spread in particular that is incredible, integrating the onomatopoeia “Krakaboom” into the rubble as it breaks through the jaws of the giant Knull dragon. If you like sharp teeth there’s plenty of that too and Stegman does a great job making the Symbiote very fluid. The opening gearing up with weapons scene is also quite good due to the layout structure of the first-page building towards a great splashy second page.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The only thing that threw me off with this issue is the very end, specifically a scene where Eddie attempts to prevent the villain from escaping. I don’t want to detail it too much to avoid spoilers, but it’s hard for me to believe a god can be held back by a very human Eddie Brock buttocks.
Is it good?
An action packed ending with big horror story beats and impressive visuals. If this is what Venom will be like from now we are in for quite a future with the character.