Venom: Rex is out in trade paperback on November 21st, and we’re breaking down seven of its most epic moments.
The series is written by Donny Cates and drawn by Ryan Stegman, with inks by JP Mayer, colors by Frank Martin, and letters by Clayton Cowles.
First, let’s get one thing clear: Venom is an entirely epic series. Stegman’s pencil work is off-the-chain in terms of depth and detail, and Cates’ storytelling is big, over-the-top, and FUN. These guys are celebrating all of the insanity that made Venom popular in the 90s while simultaneously deconstructing and redefining his character. You could throw a rock and hit an “epic moment” from this volume; in fact, I had to extend this list from five to seven because I couldn’t whittle it down and further.
Point is, Venom is top-of-your-pull-list material, and any superhero fan worth his or her salt needs to be reading it. Now let’s talk epic moments:
7. God Is Coming
Issue one ends with a symbiote dragon flying over New York City as lightning crashes and three simple words: “God is coming.” If this doesn’t perfectly convey the tone of this series, I don’t know what will. Cates and Stegman don’t pull any punches in the debut issue. They let you know that this is going to be a story of epic proportions unlike anything you’ve seen before, and the stakes are high.
6. The Symbiote Revives Eddie
When Eddie is critically injured, his Other brings him back to life by mending his broken bones, reconnecting his veins, and manually pumping his heart. Now, we’ve always known that the symbiotes keep their hosts alive and have healing powers, but I don’t know that we’ve ever seen it so detailed before. I mean, we literally see Eddie’s Other heal him on a cellular level. This is what Cates and Stegman’s run is all about: adding on to the character’s mythology and exploring the unknown. More on that later.
5. Miles Gets Eaten
Miles Morales shows up in issue three to briefly fight Venom before they team up against the Grendel (symbiote dragon). Once Eddie learns of Miles’ “Venom Blast” power, he has an idea. He hurls Spider-Man into the Grendel’s mouth, and Miles unleashes all of his blast at once. It’s a fun, humorous little team-up moment that again shows how Cates can push characters to their fullest potential.
4. Venom Goes Rambo
To try and bring down the Grendel, Venom loads up on anti-symbiote weapons. This isn’t some deep or metaphorical moment. This is just cool. It’s Cates and Stegman literally playing in the Marvel sandbox and having fun. Something like this could easily be dumb or silly in the wrong hands, but with this creative team, it feels so genuinely fun. These guys know how to do over-the-top stuff without compromising the integrity of the story.
3. Eddie Burns
Eddie locks his enemy in a furnace and holds the door shut. He orders his Other to go inside him and turn off his pain receptors. He burns. This is such a strong character moment for Eddie Brock. This is him being the hero that he’s always thought himself to be. It’s not only a visually intense moment, but an emotionally intense one as well. It’s the kind of moment where you hold your breath while reading it.
2. Venom Flies
COME ON! Not only do we learn that the symbol on Venom’s chest is actually a dragon, but he actually spreads wings and flies?! And we see it in a gorgeous two-page splash? If you can’t appreciate how badass this is, I can’t help you. You must be really fun at parties.
Again, stuff like this is what this run is all about, adding to the Venom mythos and fleshing out the symbiotes’ history. And perhaps the best example of that is…
1. Knull’s Origin
I’ve said it twice, and I’ll say it a third time: this is what Cates and Stegman’s Venom is all about. Not only is Knull’s origin an epic tale of darkness and horror, but it explains so much about the symbiotes. It explains where they come from, why they fear fire and certain noises, why they need hosts, and more. Hell, it explains where the Necrosword from Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder comes from. This stuff is what makes this series so special and enjoyable to read. The action and craziness is just icing on the cake. And it’s delicious icing, but the rich, flavorful cake underneath is what gets you addicted.
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to use this word in this article, but this run on Venom is metal. If you like balls-to-the-wall storytelling, do yourself a favor and pick it up ASAP.
Venom: Rex is available in stores and online November 21st.