Venom throws around a lot of soldiers.

Venom #1 Review

Written by: Al Ewing, Ram V

Penciling by: Bryan Hitch

Inking by: Andrew Currie

Coloring by: Alex Sinclair

Lettering by: VC’s Clayton Cowles

I love Al Ewing’s work on both S.W.O.R.D. and Guardians of the Galaxy. With GOTG now over, it was only a matter of time before he had another ongoing on the shelf. Venom would not have been my first guess.

Ram V is another writer I love, from his original work, and possibly the best vampire comic I’ve ever read, These Savage Shores. If you had asked me what his next book from the big two would be… Yeah, it also wouldn’t have been Venom.

I like Venom. He’s a character I enjoy and I have nothing particularly negative to say about him. I love his design and a couple of his shnicks. I love when he says, “We are Venom.” But I can’t say I’ve ever had any interest in reading Venom before. Whether it’s Eddie Brock or Flash Thompson, Venom has had an interesting motivation and a mythos of his own thatjust never grabbed me.

Venom is swinging up a building towards the reader using a chain rather than webs.
He doesn’t look like this as often as you might expect… or maybe he does? I don’t know what people expect with Venom anymore.

This new series doesn’t either.

Al Ewing feels tailored made for bombastic action and storytelling that’s fun up until it has you crying. Ram V tells stories that have me questioning the nature of things like history, life, and the self on a regular basis. Venom doesn’t feel like a character suited to either style and putting them together doesn’t make him fit.

Donny Cates just had a wild run with the character, ending it with the King in Black. I understand that Marvel doesn’t want to bring Venom back to basics, but making Eddie Brock a god, and overcomplicating an already complicated mythos 3x over doesn’t do it for me. I’m sure Al Ewing and Ram V will make it their own, but for Venom it feels like too much at times.

A Venom Book That’s Not Easy to Jump Into

The Venom symbiote has entangled itself around Eddie Brock's son, Dylan.
Venom has a teenage son now?! Wow, I”m really behind on what the lethal protector has been doing.

I usually scoff at the idea of comics being as hard to get into as non-readers claim. I’ve reviewed so many awesome jumping-on points in the last few months alone so I find the idea ridiculous. This comic makes me question the validity of my own dismissal. This is the first comic in a while that I didn’t like because it felt impenetrable, and for a character I wouldn’t expect to be so hard to recognize.

It also doesn’t help that I find Bryan Hitch’s art to be unattractive to the eye. His style doesn’t match the energy either writer has gone for in previous books of theirs that I’ve read. There’s just this lack of energy to his panels.

So, suffice to say, this isn’t the best jumping on point for Venom. Ironically, despite gaining a whole new creative team, it feels like a continuation of what Donny Cates was doing with a different tone. Because of this, I’m not sure who this new Venom book is for.

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