Absolute Carnage may be over, but fans of Venom knows his work is just getting started. Knull is out of his prison, Dylan knows he’s his son, and Carnage can’t really be dead, can he? Oh, and what about The Maker? Find out in this issue!
One reason why Donny Cates is so flipping good at comic book writing is he tends to fill his single issues with tons of clever reveals and twists. Some of his books seem to let the cat out of the bag enough to fill two story arcs let alone twenty pages. This is yet another one of those issues. As a long-time reader, I can’t say enough how fun it is to turn the page, take in the big reveal, and realize there are even more pages. Then it happens again, and again. It’s an exciting way of reading with so many comic story arcs taking 6 issues to reveal one thing.
The main focus of this issue is The Maker speaking to an unknown voice (cast in electronic blue) about what he’s discovered about Dylan and Symbiote Codexes. A lot of the information is already known, but there are some interesting reveals concerning Symbiotes and the Venom Symbiote itself. There’s also a fascinating bit about Dylan. This leads to interesting reveals that raise the stakes for Dylan and Symbiotes as we know them going forward. What we get here is rulemaking so as to build on and likely eventually break away from. Cates is doing the heavy lifting to get our own imaginations going.
That isn’t to say The Maker isn’t interesting. His character continues to be intriguing and I love how Iban Coello and Ze Carlos draw him. He’s young looking, but also a bit twisted. He’s quite insane, but also sure of himself. He’s like a crazy person who has strokes of genius and common sense thrown in. The issue truly shines with some great montage scenes; one in a double page layout and another in a full-page layout. These scenes help convey a lot of information and detail Symbiote information across a year’s worth of stories. It sets up a tapestry of stories efficiently.
Eddie and Dylan also get a key scene. Cates does well with their obviously mixed and overbearing emotions. We pick up where they left off and they are both crying and trying to understand the new information that they aren’t brothers but father and son. They directly discuss the elephant in the room and it’s really satisfying to see this relationship grow and change before our eyes.
This is without a doubt a must-read comic for Venom fans. Cates and the creative team are masterfully telling a lot of stories and character development in a compact 20 pages. Read this for the overwhelming joy that we’re not getting a drawn-out story, but a story that is written for fans who want to be overwhelmed with ideas and reveals.