Venom #5/ Writer: Donny Cates/ Penciller: Ryan Stegman/ Inks: JP Meyer/ Colorist: Frank Martin/ Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles/ Publisher: Marvel Comics/ Release Date: August 22nd, 2018
Sometimes a story needs to breathe. At times, a reader experiences so many twists and turns in a story, it leaves them feeling overwhelmed. Filler issues, in theory, allow the reader to take a break before easing into the next big storyline. Most filler, unfortunately, tends to be a thinly disguised recap, insubstantial, or irrelevant, leaving the reader dissatisfied.
I’m happy to report that Venom #5 does not run into that problem. While technically filler, this issue contains similar insane plot twists, as well as the striking imagery, that defines this run.
I’ll eventually run out of words to describe how talented Donny Cates is. But my GOD that man can write! His scripts run the gamut from funny to scary to awe inspiring—often in a single scene! True to form, this issue contains a shocking revelation about the Symbiote’s mythos, which I am looking forward to exploring in Web of Venom: Ve’Nam.
A good comic is nothing without great art, and Ryan Stegman steps up to the plate once more. His display of Venom’s new powers are awe inspiring. It carries the flavor of a certain caped crusader from the distinguished competition. With JP Meyer and Frank Martin on inking and coloring duties, respectively, the entire issue takes on a somber tone. Fitting for the character.
If there is one complaint—and it is a minor fanboy one—I feel like Miles Morales should have had a bigger role in the story. In the Ultimate Universe, a version of Venom killed Miles’ mother—though she was resurrected because comics—and I feel like Cates and Stegman could have explored that dynamic a little more, as well as forged an uneasy alliance between Miles and Eddie. C’est la vie, I suppose.
In the end, even a filler issue of Venom still delivers the thrills and chills I have come to expect, and the last page suggests the next issue is going to throw us headfirst into a Symbiote smackdown. I cannot wait!
VERDICT: 4 out of 5 Flying Venoms.
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.