Venom: Spaceknight #11 Review (Spoilers)


detail (5)This issue features a rather spectacular guest star, but does the old webhead steal the focus from Flash? 

Venom Spaceknight #11: We Need To Talk

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Gerardo Sandoval

Colorist: Dono Sanchez Almara

Letterer: Joe Carmagna

C.Artists: Zach Howard & Nelson Daniel

Consultant: Dan Nevins

Editors: Jake Thomas & Kathleen Wisneski

Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso 

14206215_1279926112048370_6627345663149324489_oI’ve Been Gone Too Long: Flash returns to Earth, making a quick stop in New York to visit his mother before heading to Philadelphia. His search for Andrea Benton/Mania leads him into a trap set up by the amazing Spider-Man.

On the other side of the galaxy, on the Planet Wenb, Flash’s friends go hunting for a way to purge the demon out of Mania but get captured by a group of Space Knights.

Spider-Man is hesitant to trust Venom after their last encounter during the Superior Spider-Man era, trying to reach out to Flash who he thinks Venom has taken hostage. Peter separates Flash from Venom, but is caught off-guard when Venom is able to fight on his own. Despite all of Peter’s new tech, Venom is able to rebond with Peter at issue’s end.

14125736_1279925988715049_6177334404453703870_oWe Are Way Overdue For A Catch-Up: Going into the final run, I can not help but feel the ending feels rushed. Flash’s time as a Guardians/Cosmic character feels done. It is likely we will see both Flash and Venom in the Marvel Universe, but together is more of an question. And as sad as that could turn out to be, it feels like Robbie Thompson’s story is the true target here. Flash’s scene with his mother was seven panels on a single page. After the amount of attention she got back in the ninth issue, this feels like a weak conclusion to that story line. Flash’s teammates are also reduced to like three pages of story which ends on a weak cliffhanger.

And then Spider-Man steals half of the issue. Flash only features in five panels after page ten, so it becomes a Spider-Man story not a Flash Thompson story.

14207582_1279926012048380_8463119922878922595_oHowever, it is a great Spider-Man story. Spidey starts off really resourceful in the fight, before getting too cocky. There is a couple cut away gags of Peter displaying his new tech that is used to great effect, both in the fight and as comedy. It is when Peter gets cocky that he falls but Venom holding his own form also catches him off guard. I think the last time Peter Parker fought the symbiote was in 2011, back in the early days of Rick Remender’s Venom, so it has been awhile since Peter fought Venom and I feel this is a decent round one.

The fact that there is going to be a round two in the final issues of the series is bothersome. We do not even see Mania this time around. With two issues left and a lot of story to wrap, I am worried about how the series will wrap up. They also throw in the wrinkle of Venom forgetting Peter Parker was one of his hosts, which is something we probably will not see a resolution to. 14207867_1279925965381718_3489696898212385565_o

On the art end of things, we bring in another artist to the series; Gerardo Sandoval. His art is a highlight, but I have always been a fan of the more cartoony kinetic Spider-Man. Sandoval comes from the Humberto Ramos school of art, but with some Todd McFarlane thrown in and a nice bit of creative paneling for good measure. His art fits in well with the aesthetic Kim Jacinto and RB Silva set up in the wake of Ariel Olivetti and I consider him to be the best artist since Olivetti. His angular faces fit despair well, which seems to be the dominant emotion of the issue.

Dono Almara does a great job coloring the issue. He nails the dynamic colors of Spider-Man’s color scheme. His background colors are never a simple monotone color but an eye catching blend of several different colors. But what really matters is he uses darkness well in a Venom comic and he does a great job on that count. 

Verdict: Am I angry that Spider-Man steals Flash’s comic from him as it speeds towards a rushed conclusion? Yeah definitely, but we review what we get and this artistic team delivers a great Spider-Man/Venom showdown. It has been awhile since we had one of those and while this is not All Time Greats material, we could have gotten much worse. Hopefully Spidey will have small part to play in the next issue, so we can get back to Flash and Venom, as well as introduce Mania into events.

14138791_1279926072048374_7163180757733696538_oPros:

  • Great art team
  • Solid Spider-Man/Venom fight

Cons:

  • Flash ignored in 2nd half
  • Robbie Thompson’s story rushing towards an ending

B

(2) Comments

  1. Brad Douglas

    I just read this last night. I was surprised how good it was. The series has overall been written well, just the setting is off-putting. Bringing him back to Earth is a step in the right direction. It's been awhile since we had a good Spidey/ Venom fight. The mindwipe being addressed by Venom is cool.

  2. WolfCypher

    This was one issue I'll admit to warming up to, though it still featured three beats I'm sick to death of seeing in all these Venom/Carnage/Toxin/symbiote stories 1 - Sonic weapon ahoy. These symbiotes can't be that much of a threat if every time a sonic blaster/cage/pepper spray is all you need, and they're this common. Granted, Peter does have the means of having such an arsenal, but sonics as an equalizer have been done to death in other stories so much by so many characters, its as bad as when everyone had access to Kyptonite in the Silver Age Superman books. 2 - Host character loses symbiote. These bonds don't mean anything if the alien can always be separated from their humans. 3 - Said symbiote rushes to another character, giving us a new temporary symbiote-bound character. See also; Ms. Marvel when she had the Venom symbiote (Spider-Man: Siege), Red Hulk with the Venom symbiote (Agent Venom book), Sampson (a dog) with the Venom symbiote (Agent Venom), Wolverine with the Venom symbiote (Tsunami series), etc, ad nausem. Also, not a fan of the symbiote being able to just "be Venom" without a host. I'm pretty sure the only reason why I even remotely liked this issue at all to any degree was because most of what the previous issues had were barely here. Venom being back on Earth, not in space, being back in the Spider-Man side of the Marvel-verse, and the promise of Mania over all the Flash Gordon Savior-of-the-Universe jank it felt more familiar to why I liked Flash-Venom before they suddenly dropped that for GotG/Comso Venom schtick.

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