Writer: Donny Cates
Penciler: Ryan Stegman
Inker: JP Mayer
Colorist: Frank Martin
Letter: Clayton Cowles
Greetings Fellow Venomaniacs, apologies for the late review, but I have to run to the comic shop to pick up this book, and my week was not so forgiving that I could achieve that by Wednesday!
The issue opens with Eddie going into Berserker mode with his symbiote about to kill Miles. He regains control in time to tell Miles to kill him, Miles hits him with his ‘Venom Blast’ and Eddie regains control. There is some fighty fighty with Miles and Eddie, and they (of course) agree to team up to defeat the dragon. Miles uses his powers from inside the dragon after being swallowed, and this vampire-like character is revealed. Eddie’s symbiote recognizes him as the Alpha, and he introduces himself as Knull, God of the Symbiotes.
I hate to say it, but I have to admit being a little disappointed in the issue. I was hoping for more of a fight between Miles and Eddie after the second issue being a lot of setup. The dragon symbiote, being built up as this completely monstrous destroyer of city blocks, is dispatched in one page by Miles. The story so far has really taken me in an area that I was not expecting to be taken. Knull reminds me a lot of Ezekiel from JMS’ Spider-Man run, where this character shows up and basically says “hey, so, those powers you have actually came from somewhere, and it has a God who controls them.”
I am also curious how all of this fits into the Klyntar mythos which has only been established in the past few years. With Knull entering the picture, I feel like it is going to cause either some retconning or revising of the symbiotes within the Marvel universe. All of the symbiotes that we have seen so far within the story are dead ringers for Beserker mode Venom. It begs the question, why does Carnage or Toxin or even Scream look so radically different? Are there different races within the Klyntar species?
The writing of Cates is still enjoyable to me, but he is at his best when dealing with the personal struggles of Eddie and the symbiote, and exploring that relationship. I am hoping that the story will give us more of that grounded feeling, while pushing towards this fantastical feel Cates is working with. Stegman’s art continues to be top notch. This issue takes place in the rain, which can be difficult to convey, but he does an incredible job of making us feel like we are in the middle of a storm while reading this. There is definitely a color palette in which Frank Martin is working from. The entire issue has this muted feeling to it. You won’t find many panels with bright colors or many that don’t have blacks, reds, whites, or navys. Even Knull’s speech bubbles are red.
Rating: 6.5 out of 10