“And all the kids cried out,
‘Please stop, you’re scaring me.’
I can’t help this awful energy
You should be scared of me
Who is in control?”– Control by Halsey
Venom Spaceknight #6: Broken Plays Finale
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist/C.Artist: Ariel Olivetti
Letterer: Joe Carmagna
Consultant: Dan Nevins
Editors: Kathleen Wisneski & Jake Thomas
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
I’m Trying A New Tactic: After bonding with Venom at the end of the previous issue, Mercurio takes Venom for a walk and promises him a host that will not hold back his violent tendencies. However, Venom was just melding with Mercurio to get information from his head and rejoins Flash Thompson. Mercurio summons an armada of soldiers, but Flash is a step ahead of him, having already called in the allies he has made over the past five issues. Venom nearly kills Mercurio before Flash and his allies can reign him in, but this allows Mercurio to escape. Pik Rollo is reunited with her child and they join Flash and 803 on their ship, along with Queen Iqa, from the third issue, who has taken a liking to Flash. Everything seems to be looking up for Flash, but his experience with Mercurio leaves Venom questioning who he really is.
Making An Actual Plan: I have to give Robbie Thompson credit where it is due; he knows how to end his arcs well. As he’s done numerous times in Silk, Robbie Thompson does a fairly good job of tying everything up nicely, while also teasing events for the future. He perhaps rushes to the payoff for Flash Thompson, Hero of the Galaxy, but he still does it well. There’s a lot of humor, spectacle, and furthering of characters in these twenty pages and what more can you ask from a conclusion?
Robbie Thompson returns to the broken plays aspect of Flash Thompson that he opened the series with, and while I didn’t like it then, it brings a nice sense of closure to this arc. Flash has always been impulsive, improving things in the moment, but now he is deciding to step up and make plans like a leader. And he gets a crew out of it, so it is a new interesting status quo for Flash. I am very okay with the idea of a Mass Effect-esqe Marvel comic.
But as good as the Flash material is, it is the Venom stuff that is great. For the most part. Although the character comes off very weak and dependent on Flash in certain scenes, we are starting to see the noble facade of Venom fading as the monster we all know lurks beneath the surface. I still think the Klyn’tar wants to do noble things with Flash, which makes this duality story line interesting.
There is still some weak spots. Mercurio is still a weak villain, although he has managed to get under Venom’s skin which makes him a bit stronger as the antagonist. Pik Rollo is still bland, but maybe her kid will be cool. And Queen Iqa is basically reduced to Flash’s badass warrior love interest, not unlike a Mass Effect character. I do find it interesting that Flash calls in those he has aided in the past, rather than his fellow Agents of the Cosmos; I wonder what they’re being saved for.
Ariel Olivetti continues to deliver career highlights here. His fights are super easy to follow and have a very cinematic feel. His art style, plus Robbie Thompson’s quips, gives the fight scenes a very MCU Avengers feel. I love that the attacks look like they have weight to them. Olivetti also continues to nail body posture and even begins to design a body posture for the Klyn’tar; it looks more fluid and is often mimicking human posture. We also see the Klyn’tar bond to a couple different hosts, and it revert to the classic Venom appearance when it overrides Flash’s body. Olivetti draws a lot of great moments, but I think my favorites have to be the one where he uses mirrors to convey things, especially on the last page.
The last third of the issue is dedicated to revisiting a lot of previous planets from previous issues, and it really is a testament to Olivetti’s work that the universe is as vibrant and distinctive as it is, in just six short issues. This book is worth having around, even if it is just to expand the Marvel Cosmos in beautiful ways.
Verdict: This was a great finale to a pretty good arc. Ariel Olivetti’s version of the Marvel Cosmos is beautiful to behold, full of color and distinctive races. Robbie Thompson is doing a lot of good work with Flash Thompson, and some interesting work with Venom that some may dislike, but I quite enjoy.
The series shifts gears from a Flash Thompson solo book to a team book here, which could provide an interesting shake up, maybe in the vein of the Mass Effect games. The important thing is he left pretty much every character in a more interesting place than when they were before. I’m on board to see where this creative team takes Agent Venom next.