A new era has begun as the adventures of the Brocks and their symbiote ally take them on a whole new unforeseen journey that leaves them altered greatly by the time this issue reaches the end. Marvel has found the best creative team to take the symbiotic anti-hero character into the great unknown, while respecting everything that has come before.
Knull, the God of the Symbiotes, is defeated and gone. A whole new era has begun for not only the Symbiotes and Eddie & Dylan Brock but also the universe itself. That means it’s time for a whole new Venom series with a whole new direction to boot.
Often in modern comics when a creative team departs a new one comes in and often comes with a whole new altered take on the character(s)/book. Understandably many want to do their own take on these iconic characters, and that can often mean pushing aside whatever changes or events occurred in the last volume. Some creators though look at a title as it stands and ponder how they can pick up where the last team left off and take things even further.
That’s the case here as Al Ewing and Ram V take over for a whole new Venom experience. Between the two of them, they have recently done this sort of revival that honors and expands canon with Swamp Thing, Catwoman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk and so much more at Marvel and DC and not to mention a lot of great creator-owned work. Truly they are the proof that canon or continuity doesn’t have to be the dragging anchor that some see it as, but instead can be a guiding post that helps launch one on whole new adventures into unknown realms.
Early on when this book was announced they revealed how it would sort of bounce between Eddie and Dylan (and the Venom symbiote), and here we get a bit of that as the book focuses on both and the moments that lead them to the altering climax of the issue. As is to be expected when these two writers are involved, there is a ton packed into this issue. Sure, it’s a double-sized first issue, but there honestly feels like there is enough in here for that double to be doubled itself. This is very much an issue where everything is laid out and can be picked up in just one read, but subsequent readings are bound to just enhance the experience.
This is a book that is moving from one end of the universe to the other and even through time itself, all brought to life by Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, and Alex Sinclair. They are definitely pulling out all the stops in order to match the energy that the script is asking for, as the various realms and places and characters have a lot of solid life to them across the pages. All the scary moments come off suitably horrifying and the action and character moments flow pretty well.
There are a few spots where things feel a little stiff, but that’s bound to happen when pulling together a double-sized issue this packed visually. No doubt the future issues will flow even smoother now that the team is in a likely groove together (since issue two isn’t that far off from shelves).
Sinclair’s colors are really bright in a lot of cases but still shadowy at the same time, especially when shifting from the dimmer down to Earth (actually on Earth) moments and the more fantastical space adventures. They come with a heaviness that matches the mood of the book, as this is a fun piece but is very heavy as there is a ton of sad and not great things going on around the Brocks at this moment.
One knows that they are getting some great letter work when Clayton Cowles is attached, and he’s been on the Venom books for quite a few years at this point providing a stabilizing force of continuity. There are nicely done differences in the captions and dialogue bubbles between Eddie and Dylan and the various symbiotes as well as others. You know there is dedication when time is taken to turn a character’s scream upside down and backward to match the art of them being thrown at a helicopter and they happen to be upside down.
This book is very light on the SFX, using them for more subtle ‘real’ sound-type moments which works for this story.
Overall it looks like Venom fans are in for quite the ride, and it’s going to be very interesting to see where it takes us all by the end.
Venom #1 is now on sale in print and digitally from Marvel Comics.