Venom #33 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 03, 2021

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Iban Coello
Colours: Jesus Aburtov
Letters: VC’s Clayton Cowles

After the bombshell reveal at the end of the previous issue readers knew they were in for a great issue. If you haven’t had a chance to read that issue yet this might be a good time to look away, spoilers ahead for the ending of Venom #32. The reveal of Flash Thompson was one of those moments which is guaranteed to catch fans by surprise, and this issue does a great job of picking that storyline up. There are some great moments here between Eddie and Flash, we get a great mix of humour and some touching moments between them.

Having Eddie die early in the event has, rather than restricting the stories that Cates can tell, really freed him to explore the Symbiote hive in a way he previously hasn’t been able to. This issue takes the hive mythology in new and interesting directions, and at the halfway point of the King in Black event it still feels far too early to say what shape our heroes will be in at the end of the tale.

During Absolute Carnage there were some great moments between Peter Parker and Eddie, which stand out amongst the great storytelling and epic story being told. It really highlighted how their relationship has evolved over the years. This issue begins with Parker and Dylan chatting, and it’s not only a great look at Spider-Man but also a chance to demonstrate how his relationship with the Brocks has grown even more. It’s a surprisingly touching moment amid all the chaos and works really well. It fills in some of the blanks from the King in Black event and lets Cates’ focus a little more on the characters than he’s necessarily able to during the main event. It's also a great demonstration of how well Cates' understands Peter Parkers character.

Iban Coello has been doing a fantastic job with the art during this event and there is some incredible art in this issue. A two-page spread featuring the main battle between Knull and the Avengers is a real highlight, but it’s the time with Eddie in the hive where Coello gets to really be creative and bring this other world to life. It’s obvious he’s had a blast drawing anti-venom and there are some great action scenes featuring him. These scenes work even better thanks to Jesus Aburtov’s colours, the whites contrasting with the reds and blacks which readers have come to expect to great effect.

Not only is this issue essential reading to Venom fans, and the King in Black event, this series is important to Marvel fans in general. The symbiote mythology continues to expand and as Cates’ time on the series draws close to an end it’s clear he’s giving his all to Venom. Stunning art and revelations about throughout the issue, fans won’t be disappointed.

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