No, you will not find out who the new host is. No, you will not find out how Venom is split from Flash. But this is the grand conclusion to Flash Thompson’s space faring days. Let me know in the comments if you will miss Agent Venom. I will.
Venom: Spaceknight #13: For You, Kid
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Colorist: Dono Sànchez Almara
Letterer: Joe Carmanga
C.Artists: Zach Howard & Nelson Dàniel
Consultant: Dan Nevins
Editors: Kathleen Wisneski & Jake Thomas
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
Prove It By Outliving Us All: After the reveal last issue that the Hellmark has passed from Mania to Andi, Flash finds himself fighting not just Andi but her horde of demons as well. Venom tears through the horde, but Andi is able to use her powers to cut through the symbiote with ease. Before she can strike down Flash, his teammates arrive from their mission in space.
They bring with them the Space Knights and the cure for the Hellmark; albeit only a temporary one. The Knights deal with the horde, while Flash and his team is able to neutralize Andi. After the battle Flash chooses to stay behind to look after Andi while the others take off into space, waiting for the day Agent Venom rejoins them.
We Will Figure Out The Rest Together: I seriously have to give Robbie Thompson and the artistic team credit this issue; there is enough in this issue to make the reader aware this was intended to be a much larger story, but the story is condensed down in a pretty solid way. All the supporting cast is given some of the best material they have received throughout the series, making the final battle a team effort against Andi. The decision to make Andi the final enemy, rather than Mania, is a nice twist in a series that too rarely had them. And just try and tell me that you do not want a return of the Venom series, with Andi and Flash together, after that last page. Thompson does not wrap anything but his own story, which is easily the best decision he could have made. It adds a bittersweet taste to the ending; we know Flash and Venom are soon to part ways. But it also leaves open many plot threads and character relationships that might be revisited one day.
Gerardo Sandoval can draw anything Thompson writes for him and just make it look beautiful. He draws Venom in a constant state of flux, which should not work in static imagery but Sandoval pulls it off. Sandoval draws Venom from his classic days, his Agent Venom days, and his Space Knight days and each look has a distinctive feel to it; classic is monstrous while Space Knight is refined and Agent Venom is bulky. Sandoval also redesigns Andi (not Mania) and I absolutely love the design he gives her. Dono Almara is on fire this issue, his colors cutting through the page quite literally when Andi wields a blade of color. Nobody this issue is slacking.
Let us talk about some of the things that did not work, although nothing was really bad this issue. The addition of the Space Knights is just a constant reminder that this series came to a premature conclusion, due to poor sales (September’s issue only sold 16k issues, not even Spider-Woman dips that low.) The Space Knights all have some cool powers, but as we are learning about these powers they are cut off by other characters who needed the screen time more. We do not see the conclusion of the mission in space cliffhanger last issue, but I doubt anyone is surprised by that.
We do not get to see Andi talking to anyone but Flash, when it would have been nice to see her talk to Mania or the sentient Venom. The fact that the conclusion to the Hell-Mark story line is put off once more is a baffling one, but it keeps Andi as an important player in the symbiote corner. I am also left questioning how much control each half of Agent Venom has, since Venom gets pretty visceral in the demon fight. My biggest complaint though is that Flash openly admits to hating himself as much as Andi does during the battle and if this is where we leave Flash in his symbiote days, I would have liked him to be in a happier place.
There is some great farewells this issue. Iqa joins Valkyrie, Betty Brant, Sha Shan, and Felicia Hardy as potential love interests Flash could return to in the future. The Rollos leave without much fanfare, but that is okay because the Rollos never really came into their own as characters until just before the end. Flash’s impact on Tarna to leave the Agents of the Cosmos and join the Space Knights is a great farewell that builds up the character and makes me long for more about the Space Knights. The Space Knights themselves are used as a way for Flash to express a desire to return to space in the future, so I appreciate their farewell too. But it is the farewell between 803 and Flash that got me emotional. I hated that little bastard when he first showed up, so well done Thompson.
Verdict: Honestly this conclusion should not work anywhere near as well as it does. It is condensing a lot of Thompson’s plans for the book into one tiny three issue arc, which was derailed for two issues by Spider-Man as well. And yet this issue is a great conclusion and alongside Silk #13, shows Thompson can write stories in a condensed fashion and deliver greatness. Not that the art team does not deserve praise as well. Gerardo Sandoval is a beast of an artist when it comes to Venom, and the symbiote will remain in his capable hands in his next series. I am going to miss this series, and Flash Thompson as Venom, no matter the moniker he takes to accompany that, be it Spaceknight or Agent. But the next series looks to continue the concept of a sentient Venom, one more in charge than the host, and that is an exciting prospect. And who knows, maybe we will see Flash and the symbiote back in space one day.
- Great farewell to supporting cast
- Great conclusion to Venom: Spaceknight
- Gerardo Sandoval’s Venom
- Threads of a larger story present