‘Venom’ #200 Brings An Era To An End

by Tony Thornley

The Grendel Dragon. Absolute Carnage. The King In Black. In the past three years, Venom has been changed forever. However, the biggest change is yet to come, as an era ends this April in Venom #200.

Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman have poured blood, sweat, and tears into their character defining run on Marvel’s Lethal Protector. In April, it all comes to an end, as the duo reach a milestone for the character. It’s a story that reveals the future of the character. It also will affect not just Eddie Brock but the entire Marvel Universe forever.

“It’s something that we’ve been building to, and building to, and building to. Now we’re here,” Cates told IGN in an interview Tuesday. “Ryan and I talk about that a lot. About how Ryan will send in a new page for King in Black, and it’s finally like a drawing of something that we’ve all been thinking about, a particular moment or a scene that we’ve all been thinking about for almost four years now. So it’s pretty surreal. It’s crazy. It really is a testament to how awesome the Marvel fanbase has been and the Venom fans in general, that they’ve supported the book so much. That this crazy idea of this Knull thing has stuck around so long, that we’re actually getting to do this.”

Stegman added “I feel like I’m always pushing. That’s just my motto in life and in comics. So I think there was definitely a lack of satisfaction with what I was doing. I thought that some of the stuff I was doing was cool, but I feel like once I got onto Venom, I started to really hone in what I did well. It was one of the first projects where I was like, ‘Oh, I know exactly how to do this and it just suits my style.’ Which at the time, my style was nebulous, but I felt like I started drawing in a way from issue one of Venom, that now I feel like in King in Black, it’s the ultimate form of that thing. If we have the cover to Venom #200, I feel like right now that would be the quintessential piece that exhibits what my style has become. I’m going to keep pushing for sure. But I feel like I’ve really found something. It’s a little bit annoying that we’re getting here to the end of King in Black.”

The landmark issue will feature not just work from Cates and Stegman, but an all star slate of their collaborators from all across their run.

Watch for Venom #200 when it strikes in April from Marvel Comics.

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