Venom #3/ Writer: Donny Cates/ Penciler: Ryan Stegman/ Inks: JP Mayer/ Color Artist: Frank Martin/ Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles/ Publisher: Marvel/ Release Date: June 27th, 2018
Eddie Brock’s life rapidly changes in the new Venom comic. In the two previous issues, Eddie dealt with his Symbiote suffering nightmares and violent mood swings. He also learned that he was not the first human to bond with a Symbiote. After a confrontation with his predecessors—and suffering a near fatal wound—Eddie learns that something has been let loose. His Symbiote ominously tells him “God is coming.” In Venom #3, Eddie finally comes face to face with this God—as well as Miles Morales, the Ultimate Spider-Man!
I’ve sung the praises of Donny Cates in the past; trust me, they are well deserved. He gets inside his characters’ heads and makes you feel their pain, their loss, their rage. The man understands that comics is a medium in which everything—and ANYTHING—can happen, and he goes for it with gusto. Case in point, the past three issues have seen the rise of a Symbiote dragon, and yes, that is every bit as awesome as it sounds. This approach worked wonders for his runs on Thanos and Doctor Strange, and I am more than happy that he brings it to the wicked web-slinger’s exploits.
Cates’ words are paired perfectly with Ryan Stegman’s pencils. Stegman is no stranger to the Spider-Verse, having previously illustrated Superior Spider-Man with Dan Slott, but it is on this book that his artwork really shines. His Venom is appropriately terrifying—especially when it enters into “Rage” mode—and when Miles and Eddie web sling through New York and engage in battle (whether it’s against each other or the Symbiote dragon), it feels like I’m watching a really amazing animated show. JP Mayer’s inks and Frank Martin’s colors add to this vibe, drenching the scenery in fiery reds and midnight black.
They say “save the best for last,” and that is especially true for the end of this issue. We finally come face to face with the God that has plagued the Symbiote’s dreams and learn very quickly that it was right to fear him. Just like every good comic, it upends, and even deepens, the mythology behind the Symbiotes.
We may only be three issues deep in this story arc, but Cates and Stegman are shaping a Venom story for the ages. I cannot wait for the next issue!
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Symbiote Dragons.
Collier, or CJ as he’s known to his friends, is a screenwriter and blogger residing in Seattle. When he isn’t at his laptop or at work, he loves to read comics, watch movies, play card games, and hit the local arcade. Spider-Man is his favorite fictional character of all time.