Just when you thought it was safe to be Venom again. Donny Cates throws us a curve ball with just as much speed as there is intensity. It seems as though we're done with Gods and Dragons and we're back to basics. Eddie Brock, broken, symbiote-less, and alone. So how does issue 7 stack up to the 6 that came before it? We'll lets talk about it.
This issue is slow like good sex. It's hits all the right spots in the begging makes sure you feel loved, and gets you to the climax in shocking and emotional fashion. Cates gave us some great exposition on Venom in those first 6 issues. New abilities, new history, and a deeper appreciation for the character. Venom has always been fun, but never complex. Cates has added a layer of complexity to both Eddie & Venom the likes of which Marvel has never done before.
Issue 6 saw Venom defeat Knull. However, that victory didn't come without a price it appeared. At the end of that issue the Venom symbiote appears to have sacrificed itself, shielding Eddie from the fires of the furnace used to kill Knull. Issue 7 has Eddie captured and shackled, being interrogated by a man who goes by the alias The Maker. And he has some very serious questions for Eddie as well as some shocking revelations. See, now that Cates has laid the ground-work for his new vision. He can reconstruct Venom is his image. With this issue he pushes the book in a very different direction and I can't wait to see where we end up next. Especially if it's a visually smooth as this issue was.
"...EXPRESSIVE AND POWERFUL"
Iban Coello's work is impressive. Clean lines with a gritty design complimented by Andres Mossa's colors. Which are bright and vibrant enough to tell a story, but dark enough to follow the tone that Cates is trying to relate. Coello's work is both expressive and powerful, while backgrounds make you look twice to truly appreciate the small but subtle details of each panel.
Honestly, the book was worth it for the variant cover alone. But Cates is showing that he can do it all from a story stand point. He’s given us the lore with a fairly fantasy background that encompassed Venom Dragons and Gods with the first story arc. And that was a wild and fun ride to be on. But now he's slowing it down, giving us a near mystery, and a much more emotional journey with a Venom disconnected from it's have mind and a man desperate to get the piece of himself that has now gone silent.
"WE ARE VENOM!"
Venom has really impressed me. It's easily a must pull for anyone reading comics right now. This issue proves, Cates knows what he's doing even when Stegman isn't there to help him along. The art is impressive, and this new arc is intriguing. A lot of issues I've started I've fallen off of simply due to a lack of personality. Cates has given Venom a personality that demands respect and makes us scream "WE ARE VENOM!"
Jonathan Quamina is founder/writer/editor for Geek Unhinged. Follow him on Twitter