"Venom #8" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Donny Cates
Illustrated by Iban Coello
Colored by Andres Mossa
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 14th, 2018
For the first time in quite a while, Eddie Brock only has one voice in his head: his own. His symbiote has been quiet after fighting a dragon (seriously, check out the first few issues of this series, folks), but that doesn't mean that it's gone dormant. It turns out it's taken Eddie for a ride while he's been knocked out for a bit and now they're both in the hands of The Maker who has just dropped some startling news about Flash Thompson, the last man to serve as a host for the symbiote. Flash is dead.
The Flash Thompson Venom was an awesome iteration of the character. It revitalized Venom and gave Flash a purpose outside of just being the jerk bully to Peter Parker. There's a debate as to who wore the symbiote better and it's tough to beat Eddie as he's the original, but Flash gave a very good run. Venom #8 puts that argument right up front and forces Eddie to confront some facts.
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While the symbiote is certainly at home with Eddie, it did better things with Flash. It served a higher purpose with him. It's like a strange relationship where Eddie and his gooey pal broke up and then got back together without ever really talking about what happened during their time apart. This issue airs all that out and should please both Eddie and Flash fans.
Since the symbiote has been wiped of its personality, it's more animalistic. When Eddie “venoms out” it's a more savage form. Artist Iban Coello makes this version of Venom appear every bit the monster. It's like a faceless rampage of dark violence and teeth. Eddie isn't totally in control of it either, so the two separate some times during the battle, to hit the enemy on multiple fronts.
While Venom's color scheme is really just black and white, colorist Andres Mossa adds enough variety into the shades to make it interesting. It's not a solid black. Instead, the colors kind of adjust and change just as the symbiote moves around.
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I'm not the familiar with The Maker, but I do know that he's the Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe that went evil. He becomes a great enemy for Venom as he can't really be torn apart like normal human beings. The Maker's body stretches and contorts around to lessen the impact of the attacks. It also makes for some creepy imagery. There's a particularly brutal sequence where his face is raked across a wall.
Since The Maker is clearly the smartest person in the room, he speaks that way too. Where everyone else in the comic speaks in the traditional all caps style we see in the medium, The Maker's speech comes out in proper sentence case. This is an excellent and subtle touch from letterer Clayton Cowles.
Writer Donny Cates is making the Venom comic every fan of the character has ever wanted. It builds on everything that's come before and adds so much to the mythos, raising Venom from a cool anti-hero to a fleshed out pillar of the Marvel Universe that has some pretty deep roots. The mythos is ever-expanding and it's as dark as it is awesome. Eddie Brock is getting some justice and it's pretty great.