VENOM #6/ Writer: Donny Cates/ Penciller: Ryan Stegman/ Inks: JP Meyer/ Colorist: Frank Martin/ Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles/ Publisher: Marvel/ Release Date: September 19th, 2018
Eddie Brock and his Symbiote have faced many threats in their time together as Venom. From their insane offspring Carnage to the heavily armored vigilantes known as the Jury, they’ve fought it all and survived. Now they face their toughest challenge-Knull, God of the Symbiotes himself-in the intense, heart-wrenching conclusion to Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s first arc on Venom. You’ll laugh a little, cry a lot, and be captivated by every page.
Stegman, JP Meyer, and Frank Martin bring their A-game to the proceedings, as all hell breaks loose the minute the Symbiote dragon confronts Venom. Bullets, grenades, and sonic blasts fly as the reader is treated to an utterly insane action sequence. It feels like a 90’s action flick-in the very best way! Stegman also draws an impressive image of Venom armed to the teeth with weaponry, and if I ever find him at a con I will pay money to have said image so that I can frame it and hang it up on my wall.
Such grand artwork is deserving of a grand script, and Cates continues to knock it out of the park. He takes us deep inside of the mind of Eddie Brock-a mind consumed by hatred and vengeance-and shows us a man who for all his talk of killing Spider-Man, who claims to want justice, is ultimately lost and confused. he admits amid the chaos.
“I don’t know what I have to live for. I don’t know if I’m a good man. Or if I can ever be one.”
Powerful stuff coming from a huge, hulking alien brute.
Then things take a turn. Eddie is pushed to the very edge. and then over it, trying to stop Knull. The issue ends on a note of uncertainty-and a gut punch, as before the end the symbiote tells Eddie it loves him. That, of all things, hit me in the heart. This creature had sought out Eddie due to their mutual hatred of Spidey. But over the years… it grew to love him. To care for him. That is a layer of humanity I would have never expected to find in Venom, and Cates and Stegman dug it out and put it on display. This is why this book is top notch-despite all the high concept ideas introduced into the mythos, and into the insane action, we constantly find ourselves rethinking our stance on Eddie Brock.
I know I sound like a broken record at this point, but Venom is one of the best titles that Marvel Comics is putting out right now. Cates and Stegman are going to go down in history for the work they’re doing here, and I hope they continue to surprise me.
I mean come on, Venom fought a freaking God. That NEEDS to be topped!
VERDICT: 5 out of 5 sonic grenades. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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.