Title: Venom (2018-) #1
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Ryan Stegman
Publication Date: March 9, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: In the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse, an ancient and primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of Webslingers – VENOM! Still a Lethal Protector of the innocents in New York, this never-before-seen threat could force Venom to relinquish everything it holds dear – including Eddie Brock! Join two of the hottest creators in comics today, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman, for a VENOM adventure a thousand years in the making!
Some thirty years after Venom’s debut in Amazing Spider-Man #300, the sometimes villain, some times anti-hero, some times hero has remained a fan-favorite despite having gone through some considerable changes (both good and not so good) throughout his comic book tenure, and here, in Venom #1, the character has been redefined and re-established in a non-constricting way that reflects fondly on the past.
Cates makes great use of his well-honed storytelling skills and sets this story off in a direction that is promising while maintaining a pace that blisters with excitement and ferocity. Readers are immediately dragged to the center of a story that initially feels familiar, but quickly transforms into a tale of woe and horror and torment that promises to consistently provide readers with reason to return to this series.
Artist Ryan Stegman has done a fantastic job illustrating an iconic Marvel character in Venom #1. Clearly taking inspiration for 90’s Venom comics, Stegman has improved upon some of the visual elements, like McFarlane’s signature ‘spaghetti webs,’ that made Venom comics great, and he’s also managed to really accentuate the horror element that’s woven into this book’s script. All in all, Venom #1 is visually exciting and intense and deserves at lest a single re-read.
This is the Venom comic book that I, as well as many other fans of the character, I’m sure, have been waiting for… As a fan of writer Donny Cates’ other work, Thanos, God Country, Redneck, etc, I was eager to get my hands on this book and although with eagerness came high expectations, I was thoroughly enjoyed this book as Cates and Stegman completely exceeded my expectations.
The Bottom Line:
Not only is this the Venom comic book series that fans have been waiting for, but it’s the series that long-time readers and Venom fans deserve. In an impressive first issue, writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman manage to re-define one of Marvel’s most iconic characters, and they manage to do so in a way that breeds interest and excitement. There is a new age of Venom upon us; rejoice!