Venomized #4 Review

by Harlan Ivester on April 25, 2018

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Kevin Libranda
Inkers: Scott Hanna & Livesay
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            Venomized is a mess. Do I sound like a broken record yet?
            Unfortunately, this issue is especially messy. In a string of issues that have been alright at best, this one brings the event to a new low. The best thing I can say about the story of this issue is that at least the bigger bads like Thanos are finally doing something (for about one page). It otherwise has got no room to breathe in the moments that try to leave a bit of an emotional impact. The Poisons as a conceptual threat might have been interesting once, but now, the wind is completely gone from their sails. Seeing Jane Foster break free from a Poison’s shell was one thing, but this issue leading to everyone’s victory over their control is the nail in the coffin. Even outside of the book, it’s unbelievable that Poison control of a 616 character would be “permanent” even by comic book standards. Of course they’re not going to kill anyone in a minor event that most people aren’t going to read. Carnage will be back to normal, so will Jimmy and Jean. There’s so many reasons we all know this isn’t going to matter after next week, so who cares? The Poisons are a joke. Some of our heroes aren’t the brightest, either. If the enemy can bond a symbiote to a dinosaur, why on Earth would you think it’s a good idea to bring giant monsters to the fight? I don’t care if you like writing him, Bunn. Get Kid Kaiju out of there.
            We have a new artist this time around, and if I’m being honest, I didn’t notice for a while. The first couple pages are only Poisons and Kevin Libranda’s depiction of them, and Venom, feels near identical to Iban Coello’s. I can appreciate it as an attempt to give the story a sense of visual consistency despite whatever might have come up that prevented Coello from returning for this issue. Libranda’s background characters seem more thrown together in comparison, but they’re not bad. There’s some questionable poses here or there (Venom is a Naruto fan, it seems), but all in all, I think the more casual readers won’t even notice the change. Matt Yackey is still good in his supporting role, but there’s not much to say about his work here that I haven’t already said, except I’m pretty sure Iron Fist changed costumes or fell into a pool of dye between this issue and the last.
             This issue of Venomized pretty muched sealed the deal for me in a few ways. I was on okay terms with the story so far, but I thought that two issues might be enough space for Bunn to pull out the big guns to wrap things up in a way that might leave me wanting more when I wanted none of it in the first place. Sadly, #4 was a step backwards in both writing and art, and there’s no way that this could possibly be salvaged in just one issue. And now that I think about it, nothing really important happens here. You could skip from #3 to #5 and you could immediately fill in the blanks. So if you have been reading Venomized, save yourself some time and dough and just skip to #5 next week. If you’ve steered clear of the event entirely so far, congratulations. You’re smarter than me.

Our Score:


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