Venomized #2 Review

by Harlan Ivester on April 11, 2018

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Iban Coello
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Publisher: Marvel Comics

            Venomized is a weekly series, so that means it’s already time for us to check in on the war against the Poisons. Last issue was fun enough, with mostly solid dialogue and consistently pleasant art, but some story beats can raise an eyebrow. Since we don’t have to wait a whole month for the next chapter, maybe that will alleviate some of the ills of the story. Maybe it’ll just solidify that Venom-fatigue simply by being on the shelves. Mild spoilers below.

            Compared to issue one, this issue is bit more bogged down by story beats that raise an eyebrow. Being the third crossover/event to feature the Poisons in eight months, you’d think writer Cullen Bunn would take it easy with the exposition for them, assuming that we get the basics. At this point, there’s not really much else to them, anyway. It’s a missed opportunity to use the advantage of having the Poisons so recently established to get right to the action, rather than spending so much time waiting for our heroes to catch up, or hearing Poison Thanos and Poison Doom talk about just how scary they are and how soon the world will be theirs. It’s going to be soon! Eddie and Peter’s relationship also seems to have stepped back quite a bit. I would have assumed that Bunn read Venom Inc., because when last they met, they’d come to an understanding, again, and were on good enough terms. Here, they’re at each other’s throats. Sure, it’s a symbiote invasion (sort of), and Eddie has a symbiote, so I can understand why a character who doesn’t know him would think he’s behind this. But Spider-Man has known Eddie for years. When has spreading the love ever been his shtick? Finally, being the focus of this issue’s cliffhanger, I feel the need to call attention to the gods’ dialogue this time around. Thor and Hercules’s words just don’t seem genuine. They’re mostly normal American English with a word swapped here or there and a “thy” thrown in for good measure. It didn’t really bother me last issue, but it looks like Thor is going to have more screen time going forward.

            Iban Coello’s work is thankfully just as good as it always was. He doesn’t get the chance to let it flow too much, so the strength in action sequences is in the movement instead. He really knows how to give weight to Spider-Man’s punch. Coello’s anime influence makes facial expressions stick out without being over the top, and they’re not just for humans. Venom himself shows a wide range of emotion, which I would imagine is harder to pull off since he only has a mouth and wide eyes with no pupils. When Elsa Bloodstone first makes her appearance, her midsection is bent in a way that looks pretty uncomfortable, to say the least, but otherwise, poses are believable and fit characters well throughout the book. Matt Yackey sets the tone for scenes appropriately while also choosing shades that fit the setting well. Red and black lighting that accompanies a Poison’s take over contrasts the normally blue sky effectively and highlights how painful the transition must be in order to elevate the threat that they pose.

            So begins the countdown for the next issue. Seven days isn’t so bad, but I don’t think it really makes up for the slow pace when it’s only a five part story. By the time I finish issue three, we’ll already be done with sixty percent of the event. It had better see some plans going in to motion and our heroes up to speed so that the book can finally feel like it’s going somewhere. I think alternatively, it will get going in its last issue, forcing it to end in just a few pages, just like its predecessor Venomverse suffered. Consistently polished art at least holds the book to a higher standard. If you’ve liked the story, pick it up. Just wait a week so you can read it back to back with issue three.

Our Score:


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