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'Venom' #5 review: The long game
Marvel Comics

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‘Venom’ #5 review: The long game

Eddie Brock has ‘friends’ on the other side.

After following Dylan’s exploits in the last few issues, readers finally get to catch up with Eddie Brock. Of course, having just died, Eddie has quite a few questions — and so do we.

While the machinations of Meridius and the other surprising characters in this issue have yet to be fully revealed, this installment stands out for the way it ties together the first arc of this series. We’re finally getting answers for some of the big moments seen in the first issue, which have been left dangling for months, and that’s thrilling.

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When it comes to Meridius himself, there’s still a lot we don’t understand. But we do learn a good bit about what a threat he might be, simply due to how the other characters react to his presence. Seeing other imposing figures cowering before him or seeking his favor speaks volumes about the kind of power he holds. This issue also allows readers to get inside the character’s head, and the scoffing tone with which he refers to our heroes gives us a good idea at the kind of megalomaniacal villain we’re dealing with. The final page reveal suggests that he’s been playing an impossibly long game and is an untold number of steps ahead of Eddie and the rest.

'Venom' #5 review: The long game

Bryan Hitch and Alex Sinclair are clearly having some fun in this issue. While previous installments have been set squarely in more industrial environments or sterile laboratory facilities, this issue goes back to the more cosmic side of things. We don’t get to see a ton of Meridius’ home, but what we do glimpse is vibrant and almost whimsical, embracing a color palette and design aesthetic that feels alien in a wholly different way than we’re used to seeing in stories involving the Symbiotes. The other characters introduced in the issue also already feel well-rounded and distinct. The body language between them gives us a good idea of how long they’ve been on this plane of existence, as well as how they feel towards one another. I’m looking forward to seeing these relationships develop, but for now, the uneasy energy between them is incredibly interesting.

For the most part, this installment functions as a bookend to the first issue of the series, but it doesn’t seem to tie too much into Dylan’s journey since then. For that reason, it feels very much like a middle chapter without a ton of forward momentum. Even so, seeing the puzzle pieces start to fit together is rewarding for readers who have been curious about the overarching mythology, and we’re already seeing how Al Ewing and Ram V plan to evolve the expansive lore of the Symbiotes.

'Venom' #5 review: The long game
‘Venom’ #5 review: The long game
Venom #5
Meridius reveals more of his plan in an issue that sets the stage for the next era of Venom. The final page alone is sure to have fans buzzing.
Reader Rating0 Votes
The fantastical environment is striking and the new characters are all immediately memorable
Adds some fascinating wrinkles to Venom's mythology and gives greater context for the first issue's events
Leaves some interesting breadcrumbs for the future of Venom
Still feels very much like a middle chapter, especially after waiting so long to see what Eddie's been up to

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