Venom Spaceknight #10: Loyalty
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artists: Kim Jacinto & Ario Anindito
Colorists: Java Tartaglia & Andrew Crossley
C.Artists: Zach Howard & Nelson Daniel
Consultant: Dan Nevins
Editors: Kathleen Wisneski & Jake Thomas
Story: Our issue opens with Flash watching Venom fight alone against a gauntlet of Klyn’tar warriors. Flash brought Venom to the Klyn’tar home world for help, but instead Venom found himself on trial which turned into an execution when Venom lashed out. Flash and his friends attempt to reach Venom, despite resistance from Myntril and the other agents of the Cosmos. Tarna uses her skull abilities to impersonate Myntril, at the risk of her position as an Agent of the Cosmos. She gets Flash into the arena, where Flash convinces Venom to try a more peaceful approach. This allows Venom and Flash to undergo trial together and they learn that Venom’s soul will be corrupted as long as his spawn, Mania, bears a mark from Hell. Flash’s friends set out to find the Fountain of Purity to cleanse Mania, while Flash and Venom return to Earth to find Andrea Benton, Mania’s host.
Thoughts: The upcoming conclusion to Venom: Spaceknight looms heavily over this series. Issue thirteen will be its last and while the identity of Venom’s host in the Marvel Now relaunch has yet to be confirmed, the odds of it being Flash seem slim. Personally I would like to see Venom on his own, since this series has done an excellent job of distinguishing Venom as his own character. Regardless, we are entering the endgame for Space Knight and thankfully it helps to mire the final issues in uncertainty. Will Flash be able to save Mania, Andrea, and Venom himself from a horrible fate? Flash is loyal to his friends and his missions, almost to a fault, but he is working with limited time.
Speaking of loyalty, this issue revolves around it. Flash’s loyalty to Venom is as admirable as ever, but it is nice to see that despite some recent rough patches Venom remains loyal to Flash as well. Venom’s trial is a two page spread that highlights his tortured past but also the purity of his partnership with Flash. The separation between the two, whether it is three issues or three years from now, is going to hurt.
Flash’s supporting cast rise to the occasion as well. Iqa is the most useless of the bunch this issue, but still provides to the beautiful (and abundant) action this issue. Pik Rollo begins to mirror Flash’s humour and impulsiveness, but it is her child Hilla, who steals every scene he is in. Tarna is the MVP of this issue though, sacrificing her own future as an Agent of the Cosmos to help Flash do the right thing and save Venom. While I doubt we will see the fallout of her actions in the next three issues, it is worth noting that Tarna has gone on quite a journey since we were introduced to her and Myntril in the second issue. It is to Robbie Thompson’s credit that her actions do not feel out of character, despite the limited panel time she has gotten.
The real stars of the issue is the artistic team though. With two artists and two colourists, there is ample opportunity for things to go awry this issue, but it never does. Ario Anindito and Andrew Crossley handle Venom’s combat and trial, creating several unique Klyn’tars to combat Venom against. The trial itself seems heavily influenced by the episode The Firebending Masters, from the animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender. In that episode, the protagonists are cast in flames of multiple colours that show them beauty even in destruction. The same thing happens here, except with coloured Klyn’tars; both scenes are beautiful to behold.
Kim Jacinto and Java Tartaglia handle the rest of the issue and I really have to commend Jacinto’s figures. Some of my favourite panels in the issue are the smaller ones where Jacinto compresses his characters down in size but he allows them to retain their emotions. And while his body posture is not as great as Ariel Olivetti’s, Jacinto knows how to pose characters in dynamic ways. Java Tartaglia does a great job of colouring his work, especially in the final pages where he creates a somber mood to end the issue on.
Verdict: This is the strongest issue of this storyline so far, but it still is not A grade material. A lot of time is spent recapping things the audience already knows and there is no unexpected twists or turns. Thankfully the issue is beautiful to take in, thanks to a pair of strong artistic teams. The supporting cast is used well before Thompson makes the wise decision to split them off from Flash before he returns home; our time on Earth is much better spent with Flash. As Venom: Spaceknight moves into its final three issues, Robbie Thompson and crew look to clean shop from Flash’s past. Perhaps this is a hint that Flash’s time with the symbiote is coming to an end. Either way, this series seems to be on its way to delivering a strong finale, with potential for greatness.
- Creative & dynamic figures
- Vibrant colours
- Supporting cast used well
- Recapping things we already know
- No big surprises