As VenomVerse rushes towards the finish line, I find myself wondering just how conclusive of an ending this series will get. In August 2017, Venom 153 sold nearly thirty one thousand units by Diamond’s estimation. In that same month, each issue of Edge of VenomVerse sold around forty thousand units. Venom is outselling a large of portion of Marvel’s comics and just the anthology series companion to VenomVerse sold an addition ten thousand units on top of that number. While we do not have the numbers for VenomVerse yet, it is a safe bet to assume it is circling around fifty thousand units. That will make this a huge success for Marvel, probably one they will want to return to at some point. So, do you guys think we will see the conclusion of this series next issue? Or do you suspect that Marvel will either launch an on-going or sequel series in 2018?
VENOMVERSE #4: Venom Central
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Iban Coello
Colorist: Matt Yackey
Letterer: Joe Carmagna
C.Artists: Nick Bradshaw & Edgar Delgado
Editors: Nick Lowe & Devin Lewis & Allison Stock
Editor-In-Chief: Axel Alonso
I Am The Atom Bomb: Our issue opens with Poisoned versions of Sabertooth and Gwenpool hunting down the Venoms. They accidentally set off a series of trip-mines that Rocket has rigged and then are assaulted by Venom, Old Man Venom, Venom-23, Rocket Vencoon, and Ant-Venom. Carnage joins the fray but the Venoms are able to make quick work of the Poisons on their own. They return to their base, but are followed by Poisonpool. Despite being Poisoned, Deadpool manages to fight off the infection and tells the others he has a plan to stop the Poisons from summoning more symbiotes to feed on. The issue ends with Poisonpool entering the Poison HQ with a defeated Carnage in tow.
She Was Just A Knockoff Of A Knockoff: Another week, another VenomVerse issue. This issue definitely suffers from a pacing problem by having Gwenpool drop a ton of exposition late in the issue but it also addresses a lot of questions I had about the series like why only Venoms are being targeted or why Poisons retain aspects of their original hosts. We also finally get visual confirmation of what happened to Gwenpool, not that anyone was doubting she had been Poisoned. This is Deadpool’s show though and he continues to be the best thing about this event. The other Venoms get very little to do. Scott gets a BIG moment I guess, but this issue also forgets that Black Panther is a girl now and has Laura contributing next to nothing outside of her claws. Mania is put on lookout duty once again and if Panther bites it next issue I can officially confirm she is a jinx. Even Strange is given little to do of importance, as he merely theorizes that the Poisons will turn on each other while in the next scene, Wade tells the Venoms the exact same thing. Finally, we learn that the Poison’s headquarters is a ship (based off the Ridley Scott Alien design) so I guess we have our heroes backup escape plan if Doctor Venom bites it next issue. I do not feel like this series will wrap up the Poison problem by the time next issue ends.
This is also a weaker issue for Iban Coello as well. In the previous issue, he gave Carnage a very fluid figure with lots of tendrils and unnatural contortion This issue that becomes the norm for pretty much everyone. Everyone seems to be moving at a quick pace, with speed lines appearing in 90% of the panels. The more everything becomes similar, the less individual things stand out. Thankfully, Coello reigns in the visceral carnage so that the few instances are particularly effective. We have decapitations, appendage amputations, and bleeding orifices and it all looks great because it is not in every panel. And even when Coello is having an off issue, he is still one helluva artist. When Pwenpool (who sadly loses her more amphibian design) kicks Eddie in the face, it sends the symbiote recoiling over his face which allows stands of Eddie’s hair to fall through.
Thankfully, Matt Yackey and Joe Carmagna still rise to the occasion. Earlier in the series, I had complained about how Yackey’s fire did not properly illuminate the night sky/cast shadows. He remedies that this issue and delivers some pretty spectacular gun fights and explosions. This issue has more sound effects than any other and Carmagna does an excellent job of distinguishing the different intensities of sound effects; Sabertooth sniffing out the Venoms is a faint outline while an explosion ripples through the page. There is a really cool trick early on where Carmagna has the sound effects of several trip mines going off enclose and surround the Poisons. Lastly, Yackey uses monochromatic color backdrops during his fight sequences to isolate specific conflicts. Old Man Venom and Venom-23 fighting Poisontooth is given a bloody red background, while Venom and Carnage’s battle against Pwenpool is yellow.
Verdict: This might be the weakest issue of VenomVerse and that has me worried that Cullen Bunn and crew might not be able to stick the landing. There is a lot to wrap up in the final issue including: the Peter/Eddie conflict, the Poison problem, rescuing Strange, Deadpool succumbing to the Poison virus, Rocket’s big plan, and the Carnage problem. For this to be resolved, I feel like there will be a severe lack of character moments in the finale; we have yet to even see Doom in action and both Carnage and Peter will have to steal time in the antagonist spotlight. This series has also done a poor job of explaining why Eddie is the best Venom or even portraying him to be the ruthless man he claimed to be back in issue one. I have really enjoyed this series so far but a bad ending could taint the whole thing.
- Letters & Colors
- Answer given
- Exposition heavy
- All the unique art tricks become commonplace
- Continuity problems