Venom is an interesting superhero in that it’s actually two life forms making up one hero. The Symbiote makes Eddie stronger, but it also works the other way around changing the Symbiote’s bloodthirsty nature. Donny Cates has rejiggered their relationship recently by taking away the Symbiotes memories, which in turn has changed the relationship. Plus Eddie is learning new things about his family and father in San Francisco and also learning new things about his Symbiote.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The sinister symbiote skulks the streets of San Francisco! With the symbiote silenced and Eddie finding parts of his memory missing, will he be able to find the answers he’s looking for in the Golden City? Or will the return to his old stomping grounds reveal secrets better left buried? Rated T+
Why does this matter?
Cates is changing the way we view Venom. The character has already grown exponentially thanks to a new villain named Knull who created the Symbiote race. Now he’s doing it with Eddie and his back story. Buckle up, this issue has a major twist ending I reveal in a spoilery story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with Eddie in a fever dream of sorts. He’s navigating old memories and making discoveries about his past while the Maker attempts to remove the Symbiote from his body. At the same time, his brother Dylan is trying to help Eddie in the hospital and may be in danger from their father. These tensions revolve around Eddie coming face to face with the Symbiote in a no holds barred fight.
One could liken their fight to the one you might have with your lover. Things are said, things are revealed, and insecurities are laid on the table. Cates does a great job with the dialogue making these two deeply connected characters come off as genuine and real. As their anger rises and things are said you can tell deep secrets are coming out from these passions. The Symbiote loves Eddie, but it has also made choices for him that may not have been the most ethical. Can you really blame an alien who didn’t grow up with human culture? These passions flow to a point where a major truth is revealed that will rock these characters forever.
The art is shared by Joshua Cassara and Ryan Stegman with colors by Frank Martin. The ooey gooey nature of the Symbiote is quite cleverly used in the dream sequence early on to show it surrounding and crudding up the memories of Eddie. The face of both Eddie and the Symbiote are incredibly genuine when they are shouting at one another and you can see the pain in their anger. They are truly hurt. The Maker is well rendered too with his creepy elongated head making him snakelike and evil looking.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
I’m a tad confused by two minor details, but maybe they’ll iron themselves out by the next issue. The first is with the dad who seems to want to punish Dylan, but I don’t know why. The second deals with Eddie’s sickness, which may be some kind of emotional sickness that’s manifesting in some way, but regardless it’s unclear what it is and the Maker wanting to “cure” Eddie further confuses that thread.
Is it good?
If you’ve ever had a major fight with a partner you’ll relate to this story. You’ll also know some fights change a relationship and you’re definitely getting one of those in this issue between the Symbiote and Eddie Brock. Passions flair in this emotionally captivating issue.