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'Venom: Lethal Protector' is a reminder of Venom's B-list origins
Marvel

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‘Venom: Lethal Protector’ is a reminder of Venom’s B-list origins

‘Venom: Lethal Protector’ lets you relive the 1990s Venom style.

Revisiting earlier eras in Marvel Comics history has become a common thing these days, including Venom co-creator David Michelinie getting to dabble on the character. This week is Venom: Lethal Protector, which houses all five issues of the series, along with some extras. On the slimmer side, it’s a fun way to revisit the character’s more villainous brain-eating days before he was fully attuned to the Symbiote.

It’s safe to say, Michelinie understands this character backwards and forwards and it’s a fun way to enjoy the ’90s version of the character. It doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for classic Venom, nor does it skip a beat in showing his daily exploits are dangerous, but subtly heroic too. It does suffer a bit knowing these events don’t add or change things in the future, but it’s a nice way to revisit the character.

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The first issue opens with Venom fighting some C-list supervillains in a parking garage. Ivan Fiorelli nails the look of Venom, from the crazy long teeth to the hulking body. The fight is exciting because it shows how Venom fights like a battering ram. In fact, he literally chucks a car into one of the villains and, unlike Spider-Man, cares little if they are alive or not.

Soon after the fight, Michelinie reveals Venom is not necessarily reveling in the fight and wants to be left alone. This is a version of Venom where Eddie is still trying to figure things out, which includes his complicated relationship with the Symbiote. They aren’t quite yet saying “we,” but they’re also bonded. Think of it as the beginning of a romantic relationship.

Venom: Lethal Protector

Kinda neat how Fiorelli draws Venom’s mouth like a snake.
Credit: Marvel

In general, Michelinie doesn’t forget this character is comical and has the time of his life. In the third issue, we see Venom guests on a morning talk show. Ridiculous, but he’s loving every minute of it, including the SWAT team that’s brought in.

The colors by Bryan Valenza are excellent. You can see in the image below, for instance, the slight hue change in the ceiling above Venom that gives the image a bit more depth.

The fact that Michelinie is using C-lister villains is also compelling. Venom was largely a B-lister in the ’90s, at least to some, never reaching the heights of a Green Goblin type, so it’s interesting to see him interacting with even lesser-known villains. The villains almost prop up Venom to make him bigger than he was at the time, yet remind us he wasn’t fighting cosmic gods either.

My only complaint might be the title, which is the same title as the 1993 solo series by Michelinie and Mark Bagley. There’s literally nothing connecting these stories. Heck, the setting is New York when the original was San Francisco. It’s a rather minor quibble, but it’s also a bit confusing to reuse the title unless it’s simply a way to make it obvious this story is set in the past.

Venom: Lethal Protector is everything I want in a throwback Venom story and more. It captures the ferocity of Venom’s fight style, the complicated place Eddie’s life is in and introduces some interesting C-list villains too. Venom fans, rejoice — this is going to bring you back to your childhood.

'Venom: Lethal Protector' is a reminder of Venom's B-list origins
‘Venom: Lethal Protector’ is a reminder of Venom’s B-list origins
Venom: Lethal Protector TPB
Venom: Lethal Protector is everything I want in a throwback Venom story and more. It captures the ferocity of Venom’s fight style, the complicated place Eddie’s life is in and introduces some interesting C-list villains too. Venom fans, rejoice — this is going to bring you back to your childhood.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Nails the '90s vibe of Venom
Good art and action
Reminds us Venom wasn't always an A-lister
Kinda confusing the title is the same as the '90s run
9
Great
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