Time for a slew of #1’s under the new Marvel NOW! 2.0 lineup with everyone skipping past the end of the delayed Civil War II; which by the writing of this, still isn’t over. I’ve read a few great new #1’s with Unworthy Thor and Thanos being my favourite, but now the one I’ve been waiting for is finally here, Venom #1. After Venom’s brief tenure as an Agent of the Cosmos, Flash and Venom found themselves on Earth dealing with their Civil War II Tie-in and helping their lost pupil Mania. I’m ecstatic that we’ve made it through Venom: Space Knight and into a new era for the recently redeemed symbiote; as you can read on my previous review of Venom: Space Knight #9, I didn’t much care for that series as a whole but finally we’re in new and nearly familiar territory.
When I started reading this first issue, I was a little puzzled. Where is Flash Thompson? What happened with Mania? Questions I hope to be answered sooner rather than never. We find Venom, without a host, slinking around the graffiti plastered gutter looking for help in a new host. There is talk of morality and the use of power for good over evil and that it takes strength to be good, which leads us to our first glimpes of the purified Venom symbiote not being influenced by the rage and anger of one his more infamous previous hosts, Eddie Brock. If you’re not in the know, between the time Flash Thompson was running with the Guardians of the Galaxy and becoming and Agent of the Cosmos, the Venom symbiote was purified on the symbitoe home planet. We also learned they’re called Klyntars and not all Klyntars are evil, bloodthirsty, raging monsters, but that’s besides the point. What matters is that we have a Venom who, on his own, genuinely wants to be one of the good guys. Unfortunately I don’t see him getting that wish anytime soon.
The issue sets the stage for a new dynamic for Venom and his host which will hopefully lead to some exciting and daring story arcs. The writing by Mike Costa is top-notch, every character feels unique to themselves, with their own personality and attitude shining through. The transition between the Space Knight books and this new Venom series has yet to be shown, leaving plenty of mystery around how Venom found himself at the beginning, alone and looking for help.
The art by Gerado Sandoval reminds me of older issues of The Darkness and Witchblade, lots of texture and expressive line work. There is so much energy in the panels of this book, the vibrant colors by Dono Sanchez Almara bring Gerado’s exuberant art to life. With a new Venom series, we also get a new Venom design, with this being more of a return to form than something outrageous. We definitely have a more menacing base design for Venom then we’ve had in recent year, reminiscent of Eddie Brock’s hulking physique with the grin and talons of a Xenomorph from Aliens. This new design truly exemplifies our new host’s attitude and I’m excited to see how creative this Art team can be in this new series. Also a brief shout out to the letterer of this issue, Clayton Cowles, for adding some very visceral accentuation on the gore in this book.
After Robbie Thompson’s run on Venom: Space Knight, I’m glad that Venom has a writer that I’m enjoying and a stellar art team to back him up. Hopefully they can make something great that I can enjoy as much as I did Agent Venom. I can say for the first time in a while with confidence, that I’m truly excited for this new Venom series and I highly recommend this issue.