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Venom #1 Review

Comic Books

Venom #1 Review

♫ So now you’re back…from outer space… ♫

Okay, I’m done singing. But in my defense, this is a pretty big moment. Not only is Venom back from his time touring the galaxy, but he’s also bad again!

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I’ve never been a big fan of the “Lethal Protector” version of the symboite. Nor did I care for him bonding with a good guy like Flash (despite how well written that part of the characters’ history was). I like my Venom to be evil—tongue, teeth, and sociopathic tendencies on full display.

This week, we get the first issue from Mike Costa (w) and Gerardo Sandoval (a) of Venom’s brad new series featuring the symbiote’s (hopefully) improved disposition.

Is it good?

Venom #1 (Marvel Comics)

venom_1_cover

Observations

  • Why do down on their luck characters always carry ‘RENT PAST DUE’ notices around with them?
  • Mac Gargan. Now there was a good Venom host.
  • Even though I like the symbiote being evil, I don’t think this poor homeless guy deserved to bite it like that.
  • Huh. Maybe the symbiote isn’t 100% evil after all.
  • This new host certainly is, though.

Is It Good?

Remember at the beginning of the review how I stated my preference for Venom being evil? Well, another personal bias of mine is that I don’t particularly care for stories featuring the ‘Broken Solider’ stereotype/trope.

Don’t get me wrong–it can be done well. But in this case, the soldier in question is about as bland and paint-by-numbers as you can imagine. Hopefully, Costa will expand the character’s backstory as the series goes on. I do like that this new symbiote host will be mercilessly ruthless, but there’s got to be more than that if you’re going to make Venom into an interesting character.

venom2016001_int3-12

On the art side of things, Sandoval saves the issue from being a total snoozer. He provides us with a great/gory symbiote slaughter sequence along with a beautiful two-page spread that gives at least a small glimpse into the new host’s psyche.

I’ll be sticking with this series for now, but I really hope Costa shows his previous knack for characterization soon. Venom has definitely got the style part down, but is severely lacking in substance.

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