Venom #26 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 15, 2020

Writer: Donny Cates
Artists: Iban Coello & Juan Gedeon
Colours: Jesus Aburtov
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Each new storyline that Donny Cates introduces manages to up the stakes from the last one. If you’re worried that this new one, Venom Beyond, won’t manage this then don’t worry, Cates’ does his usual trick and makes the stakes really high right from the get go.

There’s a lot achieved in this issue, which primarily involves Eddie tracking down a lead to try and find out a bit more about Dylan. This has been an ongoing part of the Venom storyline since the second story arc, so it’s nice to be getting a bit of resolution now. Brock and Dylan are taking steps to tackle Dylan’s powers head on, and it’s about time too.

This issue also features the first appearance of Virus. He’s been teased on social media for a few months now, with the original planned first appearance in the Spider-man/Venom FCBD 2020, but thanks to Covid-19 those plans have changed, with Virus instead making a first appearance in Venom and the FCBD title being released a week later. Whether changing the original release order affects our introduction remains to be seen.

Virus is an interesting new villain. His identity is kept secret, which will inevitably lead to a shock reveal later on in the story. He has a grudge against Eddie, and is using a number of recognisable weapons and armour repurposed from various Marvel characters, spotting what he’s using is part of the fun. At this stage however Virus isn’t particularly overwhelming, but knowing Cates as the story unfolds he’s almost guaranteed to become a fascinating and exciting new character.

This issue also serves as a resolution of the storyline involving The Maker. While it presents as many new questions as it does answers, whether the next stage of The Makers story takes place in the pages of Venom remains to be seen. It feels like Cates’ is wrapping up a number of the ongoing storylines from earlier on in the series, perhaps in preparation for Decembers King In Black event, either way it’s nice to get some resolution even while new mysteries are being set up. And speaking of new mysteries, the cliff-hanger ending which Cates’ leaves readers on will have them salivating for the next issue.

While Ryan Stegman is usually synonymous with Cates’ Venom run on the occasions where he’s had to step away Iban Coello has stepped in, doing a fantastic job in his absence. This is exactly what we have here, this time Coello is joined by Juan Gedeon. Coello has a great skill when it comes to drawing symbiotes, and his Venom always looks great. Gedeons art mixes in seamlessly with Coello’s, making it difficult to tell where one artists work ends and the others begins.

Jesus Arbutov makes his first appearance of colouring Venom, but his colours are such a good match for the series you would be forgiven for not noticing that a new colourist had taken over. His New York at night feels particularly vibrant and a colourful backdrop, the explosions and action towards the end of the comic is also well done and comes to life.

It feels like Cates’ is concluding a number of his earlier storylines and mysteries while getting ready for what is coming, namely Knulls arrival later this year. It features the introduction of Virus, who promises to be an interesting villain for Brock to face off with. And, as is becoming tradition, the cliff-hanger ending manages to exceed our expectations and raise the stakes from the previous one, leaving readers desperate for the concluding chapter.

Our Score:


A Look Inside