Venom #13 Review

by Charles Martin on April 24, 2019

Venom #13 Review
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Iban Coello
Colourist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello, and Andres Mossa inherit an Eddie Brock who's positioned very poorly for a War of the Realms tie-in. He's got a son to take care of, and even worse, he's bereft of his symbiote.

Venom #13 is a dance designed to correct those deficiencies and equip Eddie for a big, brash Asgardian war. 

To the credit of both Eddie and his storytellers, he does a good job getting Dylan to safety, even without his slobbery brain-eating partner. It's when he tries to save civilians from Dark Elves that he overreaches. His heroics earn him serious wounds and stinging mockery.

They also draw the attention of Malekith's War Witches. It's one of them that really sets the story in motion, making a tremendously stupid play to try and recruit Eddie into Malekith's army. The result is simply a very angry Eddie Brock, now empowered with a magical Venom symbiote that fully restores his Lethal Protector status.

The visuals make a strong start and then truly go into overdrive with the reappearance of Venom. Iban Coello's characters are impressive throughout, but once the star is back, even the page layouts change to reflect the shift in tone. Venom's deadly speed is emphasized with dynamic panels and frequent character breakouts. Andres Mossa's colours are consistent from start to finish, employing a muted palette to emphasize the "Hel on Earth" feel of New York at this moment. 

The magical new Venom is picked out with blazing blue runes, though, and the colours are a bit more intense around him. This new edition of Venom is formidably redesigned, an old favourite given a distinctive and appealing twist.

The same War Witch who empowered Eddie tries to correct her mistake by cueing up a surprise antagonist at the end of the book. It's a revelation that maps out the rest of the story a little too clearly.

The plot flirts with irrelevance as it marches in lockstep toward a straightforward fight. It's already likely that this tie-in will end up encapsulated as an easy-to-skip digression in Eddie's longer story. 

But Cullen Bunn adds some engaging character work that succeeds in keeping Eddie compelling. Before and after the acquisition of his magical symbiote, he's asking himself penetrating questions about his role as a hero. And the new symbiote throws an interesting curveball into that self-examination.

Venom #13 kicks off a tie-in story that looks dangerously by-the-numbers in terms of plot. It's enhanced with formidable art, though, and the script makes full use of its opportunities to examine Eddie's character. This makes the reading rewarding and shields the story - for now - from being dismissed as skippable.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
It's hardly accidental that the War Witch calls Eddie's new symbiote "armour."