Venom #22 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 08, 2020

Writer: Donny Cates
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Andy Owens
Colors: Frank Martin & Erick Arciniega
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles
This issue was sooooo good. Every time I don’t think Donny Cates can outdo himself somehow he manages to. Between this and Thor #1 last week it’s a good time to be a Donny Cates fan, he’s producing some absolutely top notch work at the moment.

I thought the last issue set us up for Venom Island nicely, and I was looking forward to this issue, but it was fantastic. It blew my expectations out of the water. I don’t know where to begin with it. Eddie has been separated from Venom, who is now under Carnages control. Both parties gear up for war.

This issue really shows us how far Eddie has come in this run of Venom. The final page gives us a truly shocking moment which promises to have lasting consequences in the future. It’s also something Eddie wouldn’t have done earlier on in this run. A choice he wouldn’t have made. Throughout this series Eddie and Venom’s relationship has really been tested, they’ve been through some ups and downs, but there’s no doubt about how much they care for each other and just what they would sacrifice.

I assumed this arc would now focus exclusively on Eddie and Carnages showdown but we get a few pages focusing on Dylan which just furthers his story. There is also an excellent moment of foreshadowing here which can’t just be coincidence but I don’t know what this means going forward.

I have two very minor complaints about this issue. First off it’s just too short. I wanted more from it.  And now I’ve got to wait over a month for the next part? That’s just cruel. And the other? Bring back Eddie’s beard. I thought that was a great look for him and I hated when they shaved it off last issue. Of course neither of those are reasons not to pick this issue up.

Mark Bagley’s art is absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed it in the last issue but he really steps up here and there are some great moments. There’s a fantastic double page spread where Carnage confronts Eddie and that’s got to be one of my favourite bits of art from all of this run on Venom, and when we look at some of the stellar work that Ryan Stegman has done that really emphasises how good this is.

There’s a page that’s reminiscent of Predator as well and the colors from Frank Martin & Erick Arciniega are incredible here, as well as throughout the rest of the issue.

If you’ve been reading Donny Cates’ run on Venom there’s no doubt in my mind you’ll be heading to your local book shop at your earliest convenience to pick it up, this is one of the best things happening in comics right now. And if you’re not then you need to catch up on the rest of this run then buy this one. The writing, the art, the characters, it’s all top notch. A standout issue in an incredible run.

Our Score:


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