The Creators – Donny Cates – Writer, Ryan Stegman – Artist, JP Mayer – Inker, Frank Martin – Colours, VC’s Clayton Cowles – Letters
The Players – Eddie Brock (Venom)
The Story – Something is wrong with the symbiote and Eddie has to take anti-psychotics just to stay somewhat sane as it whispers violence into his ears. Things take a dark turn and a mysterious man shows up with an offer of help.
The Take – Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman begin a brand new era with one of Marvel’s more popular heroes/anti-heroes and they do so by not only going slightly back to his roots, but by infusing a very rich history to the symbiote which turns out to be the smartest move they could have done. So while the book feels familiar, which it should for that character has been taken so far from what it started out as, going back to basics was a must, it also feels brand new because Cates has now added in some fresh elements that not only give it that aforementioned history, but also creates both a mystery and a mission for Eddie and his companion. The story does not find Eddie in a good place and is perhaps the worst situation he has ever been in. Even worse, the symbiote seems to be going through some kind of transformation and because of that and the fact that it is bonded to Eddie; life has become more than a little unbearable. Stegman who has been seen drawing Spider-Man and the Avengers of late the last few years, changes his style up once again to make for a very incredible looking book, one infused with desperation and horror, agony and pain. There is a new supporting character introduced, one that also happens to be the plot device that will move the title forward into its new direction. Though there are no faults to be found which is somewhat of a rarity in today’s comic market and the large number of books to be found appearing every day, it does bear a passing resemblance to Valiant’s Bloodshot title and the history represented within it. That being said, until all the threads are unraveled, one has to trust in Cates that he knows what he is doing and with a track record that includes Thanos, Doctor Strange, God Country, Redneck and more, it is easy enough to do. For a first issue, the book hits all the right buttons and if each issue can hit as hard as this one, it is sure to have a long and successful run.
Worth It? – Yes. Donny Cates can do no wrong.