Venom #34 Review

by Nick Devonald on April 07, 2021

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

The penultimate issue of Cates stellar Venom run is meant to be read as a precursor to King in Black #5. It wraps up Brocks time as a spirit in Knulls symbiote hive, and sets the stage for the event finale. During the issue Cates takes a good, hard look at Brocks character, at the endless cycle he finds himself in, and the relationship he has with Venom. Venom has had many hosts over the years, but it’s always Eddie he finds his way back to. That relationship has been tested under Cates direction, there have been ups and downs, and their relationship is stronger for all the trials and tribulations they’ve gone through.

Flash Thompson’s inclusion in the hive was a twist, but a logical step considering that something from the host persists in the hive after their death, and it’s clear there are plans for the character. His revival of sorts in the real world at the conclusion to the last issue was an even bigger twist, and it’s clear that this won’t be the end of Flash Thompson. That saying that nobody ever dies in comics feels very apt here, and while Flash may not be resurrected per se, he’s clearly back in some form. Whether or not he’s here to stay is anyone’s guess, but more than likely the finale of Venom will clear that up.

One of the perks of Flash taking over a dragon at the end of the last issue is that it gives Iban Coello the incredible opportunity to draw giant symbiote dragons fighting each other. One of the joys of symbiotes is the malleability of their form, and one of the highlights of King in Black is watching different artists put their spin on the symbiote creatures. Coello gets the chance to have some crazy symbiote fight scenes in this issue, and it looks great. Jesus Aburtov’s colours complement Coello’s art brilliantly, filled with the reds and blacks which readers have come to expect from the event, with Venoms spider symbiote appearing even brighter than usual thanks to his recent upgrade, and looking fantastic.

The penultimate issue to Cates run on Venom, an important set up for both the King in Black finale and the Venom finale, filled with moments that are guaranteed to have lasting effects on a number of characters and the future of the symbiotes. It works as a character study of Eddie Brock as well, early on in the run the question, ‘Who is Eddie Brock’, was asked, and the rest of the series has been spent trying to answer that question. This issue and King in Black #5 finally begin to answer that question. Excellent writing, fantastic art, this issue will appeal to more than just Venom fans.

Our Score:


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